When I do website reviews I look for a lot of things, but these are the first 5 things I look for at a website, the same that a bride or groom visiting your website is looking for, at least initially.

If you don’t have these 5 things right everything is an uphill battle and it will be harder for you to book more weddings.

Load Speed

Is there any issue with your home page loading? The #1 reason brides and grooms leave websites is because of slow loading pages. Google also looks at page load times and may penalize your search visibility and rankings if it is slow loading.

Initial VISUAL First Impression

Does your website create what I call the “Oh Yes” moment? If a bride/groom visits your website are they likely to say: “Oh Yes, this is what we’ve been looking for.”

If they don’t think “Oh Yes” to themselves you’ve got a potential bridal bailout issue. They might just click their back button and go look for someone else.

The right “Oh Yes” moment is created using excellent website design, clear and crisp visuals, easy-to-read information, social proof, and compelling marketing copy.

When I see a Google Bounce rate that is above 60% it’s a pretty good indication that something isn’t right with a website. If you’re not getting many good inquiries, that’s another indicator that there could be a problem with your “Oh Yes” moment.

Marketing Message

Just like brides and grooms who visit your website I want to know two things: (1) what you’ve done for others, and (2) what you’re going to do for me. The first gets accomplished by using reviews and testimonials right up front on your home page (and throughout your website). The second gets accomplished by your initial marketing message.

Action Item: Ask this question: “What is the most important thing people want when they are looking for <your category of services>?”

Is that question answered in the first paragraph of your marketing copy?

Call-To-Action

Website Design 101: Don’t make people think! When I do website reviews I’m looking for a call-to-action on every page, and specifically at the bottom of every page where people are ready to take the next step. The bottom of a web page is what I call an ACTION POINT.

If the look and feel of your website is right, and your marketing copy is right, the next natural step is to make an inquiry, right?

I’ve seen a simple call-to-action, properly placed, increase inquiries 20% or more.

Social Proof

Social proof, not to be confused with social media, is the use of testimonials, reviews, professional credentials, and photos of real couples that you’ve worked with. After word-of-mouth, I believe social proof is the #1 reason couples ultimately choose the wedding services they need for their big day.

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Chris Jaeger produces the BOOK MORE WEDDINGS NEWSLETTER and is the Founder and Director of the INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF WEDDING INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS (IAWIP). He is a wedding industry marketing veteran with more than 20 years of experience marketing to brides and grooms.

Ready to take your Internet marketing to the next level? Want better results from your website? Check out Chris’s INNER CIRCLE.

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