From Web sites promoting upcoming events to recaps and photos after they wrap, planners want to get online content seen by as many relevant eyeballs as possible. Here are four strategies to boost S.E.O. for your event's Web presence.
1. Promote your hashtag
“Prominently displaying a quality hashtag before and at the event is proving to be a great way to drive engagement,” says Ben Hindman, C.E.O. of Splash, a service that allows users to manage events through custom Web pages. “Not only does it provide the imperative to share content, but it tells your guests that you're planning to party-source the recap. Make your guests aware of where they can find event photos, and you'll see a 150 percent spike in traffic. And a powerful way to amplify your event's reach is to partner with an a newsletter, magazine, or a charity with a large and engaged community.”
(Here are four ways to select the best event hashtag and 15 ways to promote it at the event.)
2. Maintain a blog
Incorporate a blog into your event's site so that fresh content continually appears for Web crawlers to index.
“Write a blog post about every single question that a potential attendee might have, with the question as the title of the post, appearing in the page content and again as keywords and metadata. Your chances of appearing at the top of the search results go up when someone types that question into a search engine,” says Building Blocks Social Media's Elizabeth Glau, citing a tip from the Sales Lion's Marcus Sheridan. “It also makes your organization appear helpful when you answer questions your potential attendees have.”
3. Pay attention to Google Authorship
“Google Authorship can seem complicated, but the results are worth the effort,” says Glau. “When a blog post or article on your Web site is connected to a verified author via a Google Plus profile, not only will the link appear higher in search results, but a picture of said author shows up next to the link. A potential attendee will be more likely to click on a link that shows them who wrote the content they are about to click over to. This process helps set your organization apart as a thought leader in your industry.”
4. Keep working when the event is over
Take every opportunity to grow your online presence, even after a given event is over, as a means to continually grow your brand or organization's reputation in a bigger-picture way. “I call it the post-event event,” says Hindman. “Empower press to write about your event with photos and mouthwatering tweets.” That way, your event's page will live on and serve to promote future events—meaning you won't have to start from scratch building up S.E.O. when next year's annual meeting or fund-raiser rolls around.