Trace Cohen is the Co-founder of Launch.it, the only Event News Management Platform for expos, tradeshows and events to increase their social engagement, buzz and revenue with their exhibitor and show news by creating a Digital Media Center for them.
How to Harness the Power of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Events
I write many articles on social media, content marketing and how to engage with your customers, which are all great strategies for shows, exhibitors, and attendees to educate and generate new leads.
All of these initiatives are viable and aimed to deliver quicker results. Now, I would like to focus on a more “under-the-hood” or long-term internal workings strategy to keep people coming back well after the show has ended using SEO.
Most people are under the impression that search engines deliver answers, when in fact, they deliver search results that you can control, allowing you to come up higher.
Here are a few tips on how to generate leads when people are searching for “something” online using Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines:
Selecting the right “keywords” that people are searching for:
THINK like your potential customer! Focus on words that you feel they will type into a search engine to hopefully find what they want. This can be a single word like “tradeshows” or a phrase like “consumer electronics tradeshows,” which will display completely different results. When you produce content, you want to make certain you use that word/phrase exactly like someone will type it, so that the search engine determines how your content should be displayed. Check out Google’s Keyword Tool (https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner) to find the popularity of words and phrases.
Once you find the word(s) or combination of words and phrases, the next step is to use it multiple times in your article so that the search engines understand that they are the focus of the content. Generally, you want to use the words 5 to 6 times, so it is the most common aspect of your story and will hopefully come up higher in results.
URLs, Title tags and H1:
This is a lot of the “invisible” content that only the search engines and their spiders can see. The most powerful part of SEO is derived from the URL (links) as it’s basically your address online. Which link below do you think gets better SEO? Should be obvious:
Have you noticed when you open a new tab/window in your browser, there are words in that tab at the top. Those are called “title tags” that you can put into the site code that labels the page and tells the search engine what to expect. Next in the hierarchy are H1 tags, which are the title or header (H) of your story. Make sure that all of these are aligned and focus on the keywords that you have chosen.
PDFs and Documents get you almost nothing:
While these are great formats generally used to produce and share content, they are not very good when it comes to SEO. You want to get as much digital content published online as possible. Writing a short blurb, and attaching a document to be downloaded, will hurt you SEO efforts.
Name your photos/images properly:
People don’t just search for text, but for images too, and with the increased popularity of social networks like Pinterest, you need to name everything just right. Simply put, if I add my companies logo to a story, I will name the file “Launch-event-news-platform-logo” and not “screenshot1455&3.” I think you get the point, but it’s the little things that add up.
SEO is a long-term strategy because it takes time for the search engines to crawl your content and index it, as well as the time for you to produce enough relevant content. SEO can be a very powerful tool for events if used properly. Why? So much content is being produced between themselves and their exhibitors that can live on long after the show ends. The more high quality and carefully thought-out content you produce, the better chances you have of being found and generating news leads.
Until recently, the opportunity to have a celebrity attend an event, attach themselves to a name-brand or endorse a certain product or idea was untouchable. The thought of paying a person to promote a product was seen as something only Fortune 500 companies could afford. Social media has changed all that with brands and businesses utilizing celebrity influencers to connect directly with their demographics and increase sales and profits.