Understanding the Wedding Industry’s SEO, You Are Able to Build Websites That Boost Their Keyword Ranking Tremendously
Expert Interviews: Alex Cheng, Boutique Websites
Tell us a little about Boutique Websites:
Boutique websites were founded on the idea of building websites for Wedding Businesses so that they can take their business to the next level. This might mean, more brides, higher budget brides, or more relevant brides. We do this by combining captivating design, hand-coded development, and SEO as part of the foundation of building our client’s website.
What’s so unique about your services?
As mentioned above, we do 3 things differently than most website designers/agencies. Designed from scratch, hand-coded development, and Search Engine Optimized to the foundation of the website. I’m also unique in that my second career was working in the wedding industry for 5 years doing decor, catering, venue management, event entertainment, and planning. That is why I work exclusively with the wedding/events industry. Today I’m a founding president of WIPA (Wedding International Professional Association) Toronto Chapter and have worked with over 100 wedding businesses. Also, I don’t outsource any part of your website creation, I’m doing it all so that quality, communication, and integrity is there.
It also keeps the cost of our Signature Website Design Packages affordable 🙂
Who do you target and why?
I work exclusively with Wedding and Event businesses. As I started to niche in this industry and work with businesses around the world, a pattern of success started to emerge. Wedding websites require a captivating “WOW” factor when a potential bride lands on their website. This can really be done when you’re not limited by the template. Also, by understanding this industry’s SEO, I was able to build websites that boost their keyword ranking tremendously. If I applied these methods to other industries, it may not be as effective or it would take a lot more time to understand the industry and discover the keywords that are relevant to that industry and to that business.
Explain the difference between professional services in CUSTOM designed websites, websites designed by templates, and DIY websites?
A website is like a retail store as Gracie mentioned in our interview.
Retail Location = SEO - Most people are concerned about the look and feel, but it’s also crucial that your website is found on the first page for YOUR keywords. As they say about real estate “LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION!!”. Being found for your keywords is like having your retail store located on a street full of engaged couples (or your ideal clients). When we hand-code your website, we are not limited to a template (which many elements are locked and cannot be optimized for SEO). Therefore, we don’t have a glass ceiling to rank your website on Google.
Interior Experience = Website Design - Imagine looking for wedding planning and going over 5-10 wedding planning websites. Across the board, I can bet that 95% of your website experience is similar, templated, and/or DIY. Your brand is probably NOT templated or DIY so why would your website create that kind of experience for your brand? Going back to the retail analogy, you can have the best retail location (SEO) but if the experience is not consistent with your brand, people won’t buy or want to work with you.
Construction - Website Development - This is the most overlooked aspect of a website. Most people use templates and don’t bother looking at how it’s constructed. Ideally, you want a website that is hand-coded from scratch because using a template can negatively impact your website security, a glass ceiling to your SEO, limitations to your design experience, loading speed, and how often you need to maintain the website. It’s like having a retail store that can have security vulnerabilities, traffic issues, inability to change the interior shopping experience, an entrance with a door that opens too slowly, etc.
I might have gotten too far with this retail location analogy, but I hope this gives you some insight into why we design, develop and build in SEO as part of our website packages.
Why is it important for a business to invest, at the start of their business, in their website and not cut corners in cost?
The website is truly part of the foundation of your business and your brand (see retail analogy above). There are so many missed opportunities, to be found, to convert a website visitor and even to attract potential PR opportunities.
I had a client once who has been in business for 20 years. The rent luxury linens and have been doing pretty well. Their website is custom and at first, I was pretty impressed since the website had the ability for my clients to update/add new products and create a page for each product. The design was very dated and not pretty at all. It should be great for SEO at first glance due to the sheer amount of products and pages... However, it wasn’t ranking for anything other than the name of the business. As I looked into it more, their developer was not an SEO specialist or a designer. When we relaunched the website, they were ranking for more than 100 keywords on the top 10 pages of Google and top keywords (wedding linens, tablecloth rentals) on the first 3 positions of Google.
It’s important to start with a great foundation. Starting a business takes money, but if you are opening up a luxury retail store or restaurant, I’m sure you won’t spare any expenses for a good retail location and a good interior design.
What are the primary functions of a website?
Depending on your business, your website needs to satisfy your visitor’s intentions. For example, I designed a website for a Bridal Store and the most traffic is going to their bridal gowns. Visitors want to be able to look at gowns organized by price, designer, or shape, so we made sure the website has a section for each and many buttons that link to those pages.
SEO vs. SMO: What’s the difference, and why should we care?
SEO = Search Engine Optimization and SMO = Social Media Optimization. One is specific to Google search (organic not paid) and the other is for Social Media platforms like Instagram.
How important is it to blog? What impact does this have on a website?
Very important if you care about your ranking on Google (SEO)! Blogging consistently at least once a month is a great way to start. I have a workshop on this specifically and it’s about 2.5 hours long with A LOT of content.
How can people get in touch with your services?
Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Is there anything else you’ll like to share with the readers?
I’m offering a complimentary SEO audit for your website that will reveal to you all the keywords that you are ranking for on the top 10 pages of Google. This session includes a 20-min online marketing strategy session as well. I’m only offering this exclusively to Gracie’s audience so definitely take advantage of this. Here’s the link to schedule a time to do the session over the phone: www.calendly.com/boutiquewebsites/seo
Thank you Alex for taking the time out to chat with us about the value of quality website design and the impact it can have on our business.
Please contact Alex Cheng of Boutique Websites for his services. Alex is a friend of our program and will return to join us on a few more great topics! Stick around to see/hear/read what's next.
To see some of Alex work, please visit the following sites:
Continue to watch out for more interviews, tips, and advice from amazing experts like Alex Chang, stay tuned!
Alex, it’s been a pleasure!
Until next time,
Check out the video chat between Alex and Gracie:
Learn more about Boutique Websites visit: www.boutiquewebsites.ca