Event Marketing

The Complete SEO Guide for Event Marketing

Reading time: 10 min

There are tons of ways to promote your event nowadays – social media ads, email campaigns, press releases, you name it! Of all the event marketing strategies out there, search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most powerful ways to connect to customers without cutting into your budget. Sounds great, but wondering how to get started? We've put together this complete guide on SEO for event planners to help you do just that!

But first, what is SEO?

Search engine optimization (aka SEO) is the process of improving your website so that it appears higher in search results, increasing your event's visibility. At any given moment, someone may search Google for upcoming events in your area that interest them. Your goal? Put your event at the top of those search results! This is an essential part of your event marketing strategy because you'll get more people to visit your site, interact with your content, and ultimately buy tickets to your awesome events.

It's also important to note that SEO helps your site appear organically in search results. This means your site will naturally generate as a search result, as opposed to using paid search to appear at the top of that page with the word “Ad” next to your site. 

Now, let's dive into the practical tips of our SEO guide for event marketing!

1. Define your target audience

First things first, you'll need to determine who you're writing this page for. Depending on who your target audience is, your content should speak directly to what's important to them and match what they're searching for. This specifically means that the keywords you use will likely vary based on your audience and their search intent. 

For example, if you're hosting a workshop or class, you may use more professional and industry-related terms. If you're hosting a community-wide event, you'll probably stick to casual, everyday words and phrases. You'll also want to use local terms that people will search for related to your event's location, such as the city, venue name, and region. 

2. Boost your visibility on Google search results

When people search Google for something, the page that appears is called the SERP, which is short for “search engine results page.” On this SERP are websites Google thinks are relevant to you, displaying the title of each page and a brief description (called the "meta description"). The higher your page is on these search results, the more likely a person will click on it. Here are a few ways to help boost your page's performance on this SERP:

Conduct keyword research

Keywords are the search terms that you want your website to appear for. If you're hosting a pumpkin patch, for example, some relevant keywords might include “pumpkin patch near me,” “pumpkin picking,” or “best fall events.” Keyword research tools like Ahrefs, Semrush, and Google Keyword Planner can help you determine what these search terms are for your event. You can also visit your competitors' sites to see what keywords they appear for on Google. 

As you do so, you'll also need to consider a person's search intent. Google might relate certain general phrases to more topics than you might expect. For example, if someone searches “theater events" looking for musicals or play performances, the SERP might also display movie theater times too. To avoid this, focus on keywords as specific to your event's niche as possible that still have substantial search volume. Pull a list of the best keywords together, so you can include them throughout your website. By matching both the keywords and their search intent, you'll improve your rankings on relevant SERPs and draw in visitors of your ideal audience!

Perfect your site's title tags and meta descriptions

Your title tag and meta description are the first thing that users will see when your website appears in their search results – so make it count! To give you an idea of what we're talking about, here's an example:

To grab viewers' attention, your title tag (the larger blue text) should be around 60 characters long, incorporate your event's name at the beginning, and have your most important keyword in it somewhere too. 

Just beneath that is a brief summary called the meta description. This should be between 70 to 160 characters long, describe what your event offers, and give potential ticket buyers a call-to-action (CTA) that persuades them to click. Within it, be sure to include at least 1-2 relevant keywords from your previous research above. This last piece is especially important because it directly impacts your click-through rate (CTR), which is the number of people who click on your link out of the total number of people who view it. The higher your CTR is, the better your chance of getting listed higher on the SERP! 

3. Put relevant event details front and center

Once you've drawn people into your website, display your event's most important information at the top of the page, including the name, date(s), time(s), and location. Pairing this with an eye-catching photo or video can help draw readers in too (more on this later!). Then, the rest of your page should give the inside scoop on your event. That way, your readers will have everything they need to know for the big day. 

Don't forget to incorporate similar target keywords throughout your copy (similar to the ones in your title tag and meta description) to reinforce the relevancy of your content to Google. Consider adding an FAQ section, your contact info, and social media handles as well.

4. Make your CTA loud and clear

Because your site visitors can click away at any second and your end goal is to sell more tickets, you'll want your CTA button as clear as possible. The easier you make it to buy tickets, the more likely you are to sell more of them! So, add it near the top of the page, use bold colors and font, and insert short but compelling copy to make it stand out. As for the CTA link itself, use a platform like TicketLeap to build an irresistible landing page!

Backlinking is an effective way to build your site's credibility. This means whenever another site links off to your pages, you earn a “backlink” from them. If you return the favor, then they'll earn backlinks from you too. People may share a link to your website from their social media pages, blogs, news articles, or other reputable sites. Please note, these sources need to be credible. This is because the quality of your backlinks will either help or hurt how search engines think of your site as well.

To help with this, don't be afraid to ask people (e.g., your sponsors, performers, and affiliates) to link to your site. Backlinking lets search engines know your site has a great reputation and will, in turn, be more likely to rank your site. Having other websites talk about yours also increases web traffic and introduces your event to more people!

6. Make the most of your images and videos

Did you know the images on your site can help you in two different ways? On one hand, using high-quality images and videos from your event photography efforts can help hook new fans in. Using images of attendees having the time of their lives at your past events can make your next event seem irresistible to website visitors. 

On the other hand, you can also make your site more accessible by inserting alternative text (alt text) that briefly describes what your images are. This text will appear if your image doesn't load, and it's especially helpful for those who are visually impaired or rely on screen readers. As a search engine crawls your website and decides its search ranking, this provides extra signals regarding how your content ties to relevant search results. 

7. Incorporate structured data

Structured data, or schema, are snippets of code added to your webpage that tell search engines more about your website. Adding these extra details to your site can help you rank higher on a given SERP. By providing structured data about your event (e.g., date, time, location, and ticket prices), search engines can more easily read your site and display additional search enhancements under your main website, like links to subpages or a map of your event's location. Luckily, with a ticketing platform like TicketLeap, we do this automatically for you on your event listing. As for your actual website, you'll likely want to consult your specific provider on how to include this.

8. Ensure your site is mobile friendly

The majority of website visitors nowadays use their mobile devices, so optimizing your site for mobile is a must. Build your layout so it works as seamlessly on someone's phone as it does on their desktop. Plus, regarding SEO event best practices, Google heavily prioritizes mobile-friendly sites in its ranking system, meaning your freshly optimized site will have a better chance to rank higher!

9. Track your success!

Measure your site's performance to help you determine how you can make it even better! Use Google Analytics, Google Search Console, or other tools to track your performance and conversion rate based on your visitor count. You can also see where people are coming in from to measure the effectiveness of your event marketing campaigns and to see what types of searches your website is appearing for.

Now that you've made it through our guide on SEO for events, it's time to put it into practice! And remember, there's always room for improvement. Then, once you've got your website tailored for SEO, you'll have an extra leg up on your competition when promoting and selling your tickets!

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