SEO for Event Planners: The Top 5 Strategies to Attract and Convert Attendees
SEO stands for search engine optimisation, which is a method of increasing the amount of high-quality organic traffic that a website receives. It uses a variety of different methods to help a website become more visible on search engines like Google, generating more visits from genuinely interested users that are likely to convert into customers.
As an event planner, you can use SEO to improve attendee attraction and conversion by helping your events become more visible online and optimising your website so that visitors are more likely to purchase tickets. It’s an approach that requires patience and consistent work over time, but the results that it can produce will be incredibly impactful.
In this SEO guide for event marketing, we share some of the best, actionable pieces of advice for getting started with an SEO marketing strategy.
In this article:
5 SEO Tips for Event Planners
There are plenty of different methods involved in SEO, so we’ve put together a quick SEO strategy guide that covers the five key things event planners can do to boost attendance at their events.
Optimise Event Landing Pages
The specific landing pages for events on your website will be where you want to drive the majority of your traffic. You want these landing pages to rank as high as possible on search engines results pages (SERPs) which means you need to optimise them with SEO criteria in mind.
One of the key things that impacts how well a website ranks on search engines is the page loading speed. It’s very straightforward to improve this so that your landing pages load as quickly as possible, by optimising images, removing unnecessary plugins and making sure you’re using a good hosting platform.
You should also optimise the title tags, header structure and meta descriptions of each of your landing pages so that they include key search phrases like ‘travel trade show London' or ‘MICE networking event’. This makes it clear to search engines what the content on each landing page is about, helping it to rank higher for relevant search phrases.
Prepare for Mobile Users
According to data from Exploding Topics, 59.5% of internet traffic comes from mobile. This means that at least half of your potential attendees will find your website on their phones, so you need to prepare your site for these users so that they stay on it and convert to paying attendees.
Check that your web design works on a mobile or tablet display and ensure that there aren’t any pop-ups that can’t be accessed or interacted with on mobile. You should also be sure that the ticketing system on your website works as well on mobile, as a lot of attendees will likely be purchasing tickets on their phones.
Conduct Keyword Research
Keyword research is an essential element of SEO that involves finding the specific search phrases that potential attendees are using to find events like yours. You can use a keyword research tool to make lists of these phrases and then use them to optimise the content on your website.
This helps with event SEO because it will increase the number of phrases that your website ranks for. More highly-ranking phrases lead to more website traffic, which in turn leads to more attendees at your events.
Regularly Write Content
As part of your keyword research, you’ll likely come across search phrases that are questions that you can answer with long-form content. For example, if you organise events in the travel industry, potential attendees might be searching for phrases like ‘the best UK travel conferences’ or ‘how to network at a travel event’.
You can use these phrases as blog post titles and write content that attendees will enjoy, which may then lead them to purchase tickets to your events after they have benefitted from your advice. Regularly updating a blog also helps with SEO as it shows search engines that your website is active and boosts how high it ranks.
Start Link Building
Finally, a great SEO tactic that will help your website rank better and attract more attendees is link building. This involves getting other websites to link to your website, driving traffic and improving your site’s reputation by having it featured or recommended by other online publications.
Link building can be done by asking for reviews, taking part in interviews, writing press releases or organising PR campaigns that will get other people writing about your events. It’s important to stick to white hat SEO techniques so that your link building is ethical, as this will allow you to generate a lot more traffic and increase attendee numbers.
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How to Measure the Success of an Event with Data
Success looks different for every event, so measuring the success of your event with data depends on what your goals for the event were.
When defining event goals you should always also define how you’re going to measure these goals, which gives you a set of metrics that you can use to decide whether you’ve been successful. For example, if one of your goals is to have a higher number of attendees than a previous event, the metric for success will be the number of people that attended.
Along with identifying key success metrics in line with your goals, you’ll also need to define how you’ll know whether you’ve been successful. For example, if you’re aiming for a greater level of engagement with your emails leading up to an event, you might decide that a 50% open rate is the data point that indicates success.
Most events have multiple goals that may also tie in with wider business objectives, so you’ll likely have multiple metrics that you can use in event data analytics. What’s important is knowing what these metrics are and the results you’re aiming for before you start tracking event data, as this will make it much easier to decide whether your event has been successful.
This article is only a beginner's guide to SEO; you’ll find a lot more advice if you do more research into SEO marketing guides. It might seem overwhelming when you get into the more technical approaches to SEO, but there are plenty of basic steps you can take to help improve your website's ranking and attract more interested attendees.
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