If you have a mailing list that includes customers, members, and past event attendees, you have a built-in conduit for advertising upcoming events. What about people who are not yet connected to you and don’t even know your event exists? How do you think these people are most likely to find your event if they’re looking for something like it?
These days, the average person seeking an event of some sort is likely to start their search on Google by simply entering a query. This means you and your corporate meeting planner have to find ways to show up in results for relevant searches, and ideally, before competing events. How does this happen?
You’ll need to rely on search engine optimization or SEO. When a Google user enters a search for “gaming conventions” or “food trade shows in Los Angeles”, you want them to find your event first, and this means playing into Google algorithms that deliver the most relevant and authoritative data for related terms.
Proper SEO strategies ensure that Google recognizes your expertise and delivers your links to users searching for events like yours. Here are just a few things you and your event organizer should focus on when it comes to getting your data in front of the right users.
Nab Popular Keywords with Your Event Organizer
As you probably know, including the name of your company is important, especially if it’s attached to the event or you’re the main sponsor. This is not only a crucial aspect of growing brand recognition, but it helps Google to properly index for search results, linking the event to your brand and your website.
Unfortunately, most people who are unaware of your particular event are unlikely to search for it by name, or by your brand name, so you also need to cherry pick keywords most closely associated with your event, including terms related to the nature of your event. If you’re hosting a food trade show, using keywords like “food trade show” and including other data, searchers might use like the location city or the current year of the event is wise.
Google can help you to discover related search terms, but you and your convention planner are going to have to choose the best terms, and it’s important to understand you will have to pay to use them in advertising. However, if you’re facing competition, it’s worth paying something for prominent placement.
Keep in mind that the more specific the terms you use (such as long-tail keywords), the less competition you’re likely to have, but you’re also less likely to match up to generic search queries. If you aren’t already aware of the growing use of voice search and how to choose the right keywords for this field, now is the time to learn.
Don’t Skimp on Meta Data
The titles, tags, and descriptions for landing pages may not be seen by readers, but that doesn’t make them any less important. They are seen by Google search bots and used to help index your site and your pages. By including relevant keywords in your metadata, you and your event organizer can reinforce the keywords featured in your content and help to boost relevance for related searches.
Develop a Network of Valuable and Organic Links
Link building became something of a bad word a few years ago thanks to underhanded linking schemes that helped to boost Google rankings at the expense of the user experience. That said, back-links are still one of the primary methods Google uses to determine relevance and authority, and you and your convention planner can’t do without a strong network of valuable links.
While black hat SEO practices like linking schemes will get you delisted from Google these days, you can still build up a network of back-links by creating content that begs to be shared organically (and spreads links to your pages). You can also work with trusted and highly-ranked websites and blogs within your industry to get valuable links that will weigh heavily in your favor. Whether you build relationships with these online outlets or you offer content in exchange for links is up to you.
Focus on Mobile Optimization with Your Convention Planner
Says Annie Fernandez, Director of Marketing at AMI, “Google is all about mobile first, and you want to make sure you’re on the bandwagon. They’ve said websites optimized for mobile users are going to get preferential treatment moving forward, so your SEO efforts should definitely place a premium on mobile content.”
With more and more users searching via phones, tablets, and other mobile devices, Google wants to make sure to deliver on customer expectations. You and your event organizer can’t afford to ignore their mobile first initiative if you want the best chance to connect with attendees seeking events like yours on Google.