Last Updated on July 10, 2022
What exactly does search engine marketing have to do with event planning?
Alright, so this is probably something of a strange topic for an event management blog. A lot of you are probably confused as to why I’m writing on it, but the answer is actually “more than you’d think.”
No matter what industry you work in, you’re going to want to be online. As of 2010, 97% of consumers use the Internet to shop locally and search for local businesses. You’d be foolish to assume that figure doesn’t include searching for event management firms, whether to plan a wedding or to organize a corporate conference.
As such, you’re going to want to maintain a strong online presence. While part of that is making sure your website makes a great impact on prospective clients (first impressions are everything), it’s even more important that they’re able to find it in the first place. That’s where search engine marketing (and its closely related cousin, search engine optimization) comes in.
On the surface, it’s a pretty simple concept. Basically, when someone’s searching the web, they’re in “hunt mode.” They’re looking for information, and it’s usually of a commercial nature. There are two ways to make your website likelier to show up in their search.
The first, SEO, involves organic marketing. Basically, you’re tweaking and modifying your website so that it’s likelier to show up in a user’s search results. SEM, meanwhile, takes a far more direct (inorganic), approach, purchasing paid links from Google, Bing, or Yahoo! that appear at the top of a user’s organic search page.
Given that SEO is far more complex than SEM, we’re going to spend more time talking about that. Unfortunately, we’re probably only going to have time to cover the basics here. If you want a more in-depth explanation, there are plenty of fantastic guides on the web (personally, I’d recommend checking out the one over at Moz).
Right. So let’s say you want to make Google like your event planning website a little better – you want it to rank higher on Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP). How do you go about that?
There are a few ways; we’re going to arrange them into bullet points to make the whole mess a bit easier on the eyes. Again, we’re just covering some of the basics here:
- Figure out the keywords your clients will use to most frequently search for your firm, and use them in your website copy. Google Adwords is one great way to do this. Once you’ve figured out how people are searching, work out a way to include the search terms in your website copy – but know that above all, it still needs to sound organic.
- Write up a unique meta description for each page on your website. This needs to be 160 characters or less.
- Local keywords are huge – it might actually pay off to use Google Places and create a unique landing page for each city your firm serves.
- Make sure your site is usable, loads fast, and is easy on the eyes – Google uses all of this in its rankings.
- Two words: social media. If you can connect your site to any social networks, I’d advise that you do so.
- It may be worthwhile to start writing up a blog – the extra traffic could bring you clients you’d otherwise never see, and it could eventually end up serving as a revenue stream in its own right.
No matter what industry you’re in, you need some form of online presence. As an event planner, it’s important that you maintain a clean, professional-looking website. It’s even more important, however, that you tweak that site so that people can actually find it – otherwise, it doesn’t really matter how good it looks.
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As I’m certain you’ve heard on more than one occasion (you’re likely growing tired of hearing it by now), location is everything when planning an event – especially a corporate conference.