Why We Use Google Ads for Wedding Venues
Case Study: How we optimized Mountain House Estate’s Google Ads to $3.71 cost per conversion.
First, let’s define the cost per conversion in this instance. When someone fills out Mountain House Estate’s contact form to get more information about their venue and take a tour, we consider that a conversion. This is different than cost per click; cost per click just means they visited your website, not that they converted.
Mountain House Estate, located in Cloverdale, CA, wanted more qualified leads to their website through Google Ads. After testing for a number of years, we decided that Google Ads outperformed paid listings on The Knot and WeddingWire. And when you think about it, it makes total sense; brides are bombarded with venues on both The Knot and WeddingWire, but if they are directly searching for “wedding venues near me” or “Northern California wedding venues,” and find Mountain House Estate, they are only focused on them.
Your website probably won’t outrank The Knot or WeddingWire. They spend hundreds of thousands of dollars a month to place at the top of Google. BUT, you can outperform them and outrank with your local Google listing because they are not local businesses.
This is where Google Ads comes in; you can send wedding couples to your local Google business listing or your website through Google Ad campaigns. If optimized correctly and maintained month to month, your Google Ads leads will be more qualified than other digital advertising avenues.
Why? It’s simple. Take Facebook Ads for instance. Facebook Ads are extremely easy to set up; it’s no wonder it’s wedding venues’ (or companies advertising to wedding venues) #1 chosen advertising route. But Facebook relies on picking an audience (engaged, income, in your area) for Ads. These couples may not be looking for a venue, they may not even be actually engaged (a fake Facebook engagement is a real thing), and it doesn’t take into account that many wedding couples’ parents help foot the venue bill. Google, on the other hand, shows your ads to people who are actively searching for wedding venues.
So when we needed to bootstrap Mountain House Estate’s Ad spend, we decided to nix Facebook Ads and focus on Google Ads. Through our efforts, we were able to turn wedding couples who had never heard of Mountain House Estate into warm leads (we refer to someone filling out the contact form for more info as a warm lead) for only $3.71. Our actual cost per click is $0.46 and our conversion rate is 12.45%.
Some companies will promise you a low cost per click. But a wedding couple clicking on your website doesn’t necessarily mean that they are interested in your venue or reached out to you. So that information is essentially useless unless you track the wedding couple from the first interaction (Google Ad, organic search, etc.) all the way to the contact form/phone call.
We use Google Analytics to track conversions. Mountain House Estate takes it a step further and tracks where they came from (Google Ad, organic search, etc.) and what % converted into a signed contract. Over time, we learned that referrals, Google Ads, and organic search traffic had the highest conversion rate. And that is why we focus on Google Ads and SEO.
About the Author
Elizabeth splits her time between Jackson Hole, WY and Silverton, CO. Her favorite activities are working with amazing wedding industry professionals and forming business relationships/friendships, designing badass wedding industry sites that convert more leads, ranking sites through SEO, backcountry splitboarding, resort snowboarding, skydiving, hiking, baking, and rock climbing. Elizabeth was born and raised in Texas. On a whim, she quit her job, packed her car, moved to Colorado, and started her company, Snowmad Digital. Snowmad Digital was formed to give wedding business owners more power and financial security. Since 2014, she’s built three camper vans and a teardrop trailer, traveled North America and abroad to snowboard and skydive, became a licensed skydiver, fought wildfires, and volunteered as an EMS. Her adrenaline-packed adventures fuel her passion for her clients, who are often good friends.