Local SEO: How to Get Your Event Ranking

1 (1)As we delve deeper into the complex but crucial world of search engine optimization, we look at what can be done 'off-page' to help and ensure your local event climbs the ranks of regional searches. 

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Guest Post by Brendan Baker on Eventbrite

When it comes to search engine optimization (or SEO), your event faces a unique challenge: it happens at a specific time and place. To rank locally for a timely event, you need local SEO.

Local SEO emphasizes an immediate neighborhood, city, or region. For instance, a person looking for a tech conference in Seattle won’t be interested in similar events happening in New Orleans. So Google will filter out events happening outside the Seattle region.

In Local SEO: How to Get Your Event Ranking [Part One], we looked at the steps you can take on-page to ensure your event is showing up in localized search results. In Part Two, we’ll look at what can be done off-page to help your event rank well on search engines.

Off-page SEO for local events

Now that Google knows what your page is about, it should have an easier time deciding what queries your site or page should rank for. However, that’s only half the battle, because you want to rank on the first page of search results, not the fifth.

How do we reach the promised land? Well, you need to prove to Google that you’re worth ranking. In other words, you need to prove that you’re trusted and popular, and the way you demonstrate your popularity is by getting inbound links pointing to your site.

Disclaimer: This process, called link building, can be a tricky game. The two rules to follow are: 1) don’t pay for links ever, and 2) if you’re reaching out to people for links, make sure the link is on a relevant page! If you’re throwing a local music festival, don’t ask your friend who runs a Volkswagen dealership to link to you haphazardly from their homepage.

If you’re throwing a bigger event, you’ll probably get these naturally through press and media coverage. But if you want to influence more people to link to you, you’ll have to “pitch” your event to relevant people.

Does this sound time consuming and borderline maddening? Absolutely. But it still remains one of — if not the — biggest ranking factor. Here’s some ideas about who you can reach out to:

  • Think about your own websites. Do you have a relevant site, such as a corporate blog, where a link could go? Have you thrown similar events in the past that might be worth dropping a link on?
  • Have friends in the event space? See if they’re willing to recommend your event on their website.
  • Talk to vendors that might be participating in your event and see if they’d link to your site.
  • Reach out to influencers in your industry that might be interested.
  • Bonus: Make it easy for visitors to your site to share it on Facebook or Twitter. While social sharing may not be a direct ranking factor, there does exist some evidence to suggest it may help rankings.

Conclusion

Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second, which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. A great number of those are people searching for an event like yours in their immediate area.

1 (1)If you’ve followed these steps, you should now have a site that 1) Google can read and understand, 2) is optimized around important keywords, and 3) has enough popularity signals to get Google’s hard-won attention.

Just keep in mind that SEO is not something you do once then reap the benefits. It’s an ongoing process. Want more tips for getting your event found on search? Download The SEO Cheat Sheet for Events or read how you can measure your SEO success with Google Analytics.

Brendan Baker: Born in Baltimore and then schooled in Boston, Brendan started off his career as a copywriter before stumbling upon the wondrous world of SEO. Now that he’s planted his feet in SF, he continues to get his creative kicks by frequenting nearby independent movie theaters.