Here’s one thing you probably won’t admit out loud: the word SEO makes you feel uncomfortable or nauseous.
Fair enough. Besides, your responsibility is to plan events, not master the art of organic traffic. All that keywords-related craziness has nothing to do with running a successful event … does it?
I’m afraid the answer won’t make you feel better.
Although not directly related to planning, understanding how SEO works will help you design a powerful event website that actually drives organic traffic.
But let’s take these things one step at a time. Since you may not be familiar with organic traffic, let’s start with some definitions.
Types of traffic
When you launch an event website, you can choose from six different types of traffic to generate.
The first one is paid traffic, which involves the visits to your page that come from internet advertising, such as Google AdWords.
The second one refers to direct traffic. In this case, people get to your event website by typing the URL into a web browser.
Next is social media traffic. This is when your potential attendees discover your event website through platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, etc.
The fourth type of traffic is the one that lands on your page as a result of clicking on a link you’ve sent through an email marketing campaign.
Next, there’s referral traffic. Usually, people will discover your page via external links they’ve clicked on other sites.
Finally, organic traffic refers to natural visits you get from potential guests who find our event website on Google. There is where the term SEO (Search Engine Optimization) kicks in. To gain this type of traffic, you must build your event website with SEO in mind.
Why bother with organic traffic, when you have so many other traffic sources to choose from?
Reasons why you should build an organic traffic for your event website
For starters, you can’t always rely on paying for advertising or designing email marketing campaigns.
Additionally, there are some things powerfully linked to building organic traffic that you simply won’t gain any other way. Here are some of the reasons why you may want to consider organic traffic:
Reason #1. Build brand awareness
We, as humans, have an extraordinary capacity of ignoring advertising, even if it somehow addresses our needs. That’s why you may fail to see significant results with your Facebook ad campaigns.
However, it’s a completely different story when someone finds your event website as a result of a Google search. And if this result also provides a meaningful answer or an immediate solution, be sure this is the first step in building brand awareness and getting people to know about your upcoming event(s).
Reason #2. Strengthen your leadership
Transforming your event website into a reference is not an easy task. It takes time and a well-defined strategy.
However, by increasing organic traffic to your site through efficient and relevant content (useful blog posts, tips and action steps, meaningful content, etc.), you’ll be able to strengthen your position as an industry leader. In turn, this will transform your event into an important reference.
Reason #3. Attract high-quality attendees
It’s one thing when people click on your event website link because they received an email in their inbox. It’s a totally different situation when these people find you on Google when searching for important questions related to their challenges or issues.
By building your event website the right way and taking SEO into account, you can get discovered by relevant leads.
Subsequently, by seeing your event’s real value, these leads will become high-quality attendees. Those qualified guests will help you raise the caliber of your event and reinforce your brand.
Reason #4. Gain social proof
Do you think people decide to attend an event just because they saw a simple ad on their Facebook wall? Usually, they’ll want to find out more about the event and see if the money they’ll pay for the experience would be worth it. By focusing on gaining organic traffic, you’ll build a powerful event website that will speak for itself.
Reason #5. Achieve long-term results
Increasing the natural traffic to your event website is a real endeavor that may take some time. Ranking on the first page of Google is not an easy task to accomplish. However, once you’re there, you’ll be able to constantly reap the fruits of your efforts.
Taking these reasons into account, the next question is how do you build or raise the organic traffic? Is padding your event website with keywords the answer? Or is there a better approach to SEO?
How to apply the SEO rules the right way
You’re probably already familiar with the concept of “keywords.” Also, chances are you’ve already heard about how some people choose to cram as many keywords into their content as possible just to rank high on Google.
There’s no shortage of landing pages or texts that are difficult to read because of the crazy amount of keywords. It’s as if the content itself was written for a machine (in this case Google), and not for people.
Maybe you’ve experienced it firsthand—you read an article strictly written for Google, and it’s excruciating, as if your eyes are burning.
The keyword density makes the reading a truly painful experience, and the only thing you want is to just close the browser and never open it again.
Seed keywords, long-tail keywords, Google penalties, quantity over quality, LSI keywords, pogo-sticking … Once you enter the black hole of SEO, you are lost forever. (Just kidding!)
Luckily, Google changed the SEO rules, highlighting quality over quality.
Dwell time and Click through rate
Last year, Google introduced the RankBrain, a system that uses artificial intelligence to filter results. This year, we can already see its blooming results and changes in the search dynamics.
As the famous SEO expert Brian Dean indicates, “Before, Google would try to match the words in your search query to words on a page. Today, RankBrain tries to actually figure out what you mean. You know, like a human would.”
Dean offers a “dead simple explanation” on how RankBrain works and how it’s affecting the way results appear on Google.
He notes, “RankBrain simply measures how users interact with the search results … and ranks them accordingly.”
To help you better understand how RankBrain works, let’s try a quick Google search on “blockchain technology.”
The titles for the second and fifth results encapsulate the promise of explaining what blockchain technology is.
I clicked on the second one first.
The headline seems incredibly attractive, considering that it’s a “step-by-Step guide.”
Yet, when I start reading the article, I understand that I understand nothing … so, a bit disappointed.
I go back to my searches and click on the fifth result.
Compared to the previous article, this one is very well written. I spend good minutes on it, devouring every single word.
RankBrain will notice both the bouncing from the second result to the fifth result and the time I spent reading each article. Calculating these variables, most probably, Google will boot the second result spent from its position and rank the fifth result higher.
As Dean explains, RankBrain focuses on two things: How long someone spends on your page (Dwell Time), and the percentage of people who click on your result (Click Through Rate).
According to Brian Dean, “Dwell time is the amount of time a Google searcher spends on your site after clicking on your result. Obviously, the longer someone spends on your page, the better. This tells Google: “Man, people are LOVING this result. Let’s bump it up a few spots.” And if someone bounces from your site after two seconds, that tells Google: “This result stinks! Let’s drop it down a few spots.” So it’s logical that RankBrain would measure Dwell Time—and shuffle the results around based on this signal.”
To considerably increase the organic traffic to your event website, there are some important tips you must consider:
Tip #1. You must build and launch the page months before the event
The ranking process will take some time, so you can’t expect that Google will position your event website a few weeks after you launch it.
Tip #2. Generate and publish really good and valuable content
To position yourself better on Google, you must create content people actually love and read. In other words, forget about designing one-page event websites.
To break through the noise, you also must provide meaningful and frequent content in the form of articles, eBooks, checklists, etc.
Tip #3. Make sure your event website is responsive
Did you know that 58% of all Google searches are now done from a mobile device?
An event website that looks unattractive on a mobile phone is a NO-go.
As Dean indicates, “Mobile is the future of SEO. And that’s probably why Google is overhauling their entire algorithm to focus on mobile search.”
That’s why it’s crucial to use intelligent event management software that allows you to build attractive, responsive event websites that look good on mobile devices.
When it comes to SEO, there’s no shortage of information one must understand and retain. From identifying high-ranking keywords to link building, you’ll discover endless data on how SEO works.
However, considering that Google is slowly moving toward quality and rewarding truly good content, it’s worth focusing on designing an attractive event website that can actually provide value and actionable solutions to potential attendees, increasing their dwell time and click through rate on your page.