In a perfect world, everyone who hits the ATTENDING button on Facebook would show up to your awesome shindig. You invest all that time and effort into planning a great event which will benefit so many people, and yet you know that folks won’t turn up. How can you change this mindset? How can you turn this trend around? You need to find a way to boost event attendance without pressuring people too hard. You need to find a way to entice people, draw them in and make them WANT to attend. You need strong event SEO.
There are as many marketing strategies out there as there are statistics backing up those results. The problem isn’t in figuring out that marketing is important, it’s in learning what type of marketing to leverage for your end goal.
In the events space it is all about raising awareness and hype to draw people to your thing. The marketing here is all announcements, social media posts and actions that build and grow in real time. The hidden gem in these campaigns is Event SEO so you can draw in users that are ‘high intent’ through your organic presence. Smart marketing isn’t about shouting the loudest message, it’s about sending out the most effective message. The first step in this process is putting your message in front of the right people.
With the year 2020 behind us and a world opening back up in 2021, let us show you how to get the most out of your event marketing through organic searches, and we’ll have you drawing in the right people for your event.
The Core SEO Conundrum
A key component of building your audience is creating an event website. All of your SEO marketing plans are designed to bring people back to your web page where they can learn more, subscribe, sign up, buy a ticket, merchandise, you name it.
If you have a recurring event, you need to be agile in making changes and updating information for people to be in the know. Outdated information is a big negative blow to your SEO and attendance. Each new and updated page needs to maintain the backbone of your previous message. This gives people a seamless and user-friendly experience. It also builds authority and demonstrates to Google your professionalism, allowing it to rank for your keywords.
Let’s use music festivals as an example. What I often see in Australia with these events is they will build an EPIC WEBSITE, hyping their event with featured artists, special locations and other entertainment, and in the background they build out a massive keyword list based on searched for terms for these things.
When the event is over, the buzz goes quiet. The event organisers keep the websites up, basically a splash page with words like- Stay Tuned for Next Year!
So why do they keep these webpages up? All that great content they had leading up to the event, giving them some massive organic search results, are rendered useless and are gone forever.
Keywords will start burning off because of the monumental shift in how the website looks and the removed content that was allowing them to rank for keywords.
You can see from the below chart the volatility in search results which happen before, during and after an event.
There is a much smarter way to powerfully leverage these organic search rankings for a longer and more consistent set of gains, to get you more traffic and sales.
Events may lead up to the day, but the play could be so much longer. Play harder with Event SEO as a backbone to your next event and you will win more success.
Search Intent Based Artist Pages
It always starts with keyword research.
Establishing a target audience does more than focus your efforts, it opens up opportunities to tailor messages and open pathways to communicate. When you have a clear vision of your audience, when you get a set of social media interaction and a good idea of what they search for to find events like yours, you get a massive advantage on your competition.
Music Festival Example
Artists & Locations
As a keen fan of music festivals, often I think- “Damn, when is this artist coming to my town?”, and thus you’ll find many artists have these variations of keywords “artists + locations”, with some combinations reaching strong volume numbers.
Seeing this, we implemented specific landing pages based on this keyword research, not only for Melbourne, but for all cities that the artist was touring:
You get the idea.
Through this strategy we hit 1st position right at the peak of her tour and leading up to the event day itself.
This method doesn’t just work for artists. Any person of interest will have significant search around them.
“Person of interest + location”
Search intent – we’re satisfying a more direct user intent by landing a user on a page targeted toward their favourite artist and their location of choice. We can create a stronger conversion point off this.
As a landing page for traffic being directed through backlinks, searches, and ads, the page needs to load quickly and read easily.
A good landing page benefits from multiple passes and audits to ensure it’s optimized for various devices and bandwidths.
It needs to contain core information presented according to SEO standards. This helps raise ranking while not discouraging visitors to leave before they even fully arrive.
A few options for these might be:
- 301 Redirecting pages back into the homepage. This will help maintain any backlinks that we’re pointed toward these pages.
- You could build out Artist Profiles on previous artists involved with the event, which will be useful if that artist then returns to the same event so you can re-energise that page.
Data Driven Planning
A festival is only as good as its artists involved, to generate hype having the hottest artists on stage.
Using keywords we can actually see the trends of artists across the globe. Looking at Lizzo, which we were doing above, she was riding a big wave of hype from late 2019 into 2021. Now Tate McRae, while less searched overall, is surging in user interest.
The power of backlinks is in anchoring your knowledge and authority to that of other pages. For every important site you link to, and for every important site that links to you, a bond is formed.
These bonds show that the information you present has value and isn’t just useless background noise.
Authority is important for establishing and holding dominance of a keyword and leading the internet, rather than following it.
The event page will be the target of all your backlinks. It provides the nuts and bolts information to guide your attendees. Finally, it works to convert visitors into attendees.
Content drives the biggest part of SEO. After all, SEO can’t optimize anything if there is nothing to search.
Content feeds the machine with data it can extrapolate and assign value to.
Content has more don’ts than do’s
You need to write for a human. Google, in particular, is wise to content that is nothing more than a jumble of words and concepts trying to stuff keywords and hence rank. Google wants content that proves authority, content that can be accessed by others, and content that spreads organically.
The better your content, the more reliable it is, and the more consistent your content is, the more value will be assigned to it by search engines.
Many of the event websites I researched for this article kept it light on content. While this may be great for UX, it is not good for organic SEO power.
Know thy enemy, as General Sun Tzu said. It is a great way to help yourself and your website. Look at the data available online for your competitors. See what they’re using and what words are trending associated with their work.
You don’t want to out rightly wrestle with competitors who are too far ahead of you in the game. Instead, target a niche they may have overlooked to give yourself a better inroad.
Knowing the keywords associated with your market and audience does the heavy lifting in this regard.
Get Started Now
It takes a lot of small, incremental pieces of work to boost event attendance and build an empire. You need the best tools and the best people with the best know-how to build a strategy, keep track of all the data and leverage every advantage for SEO success.
You’ve done the work, you’ve built the event and you’re ready for them to come. So get started on your marketing today by contacting us. After all- you found this article, so that means we must know what we’re doing!