Events are a special consideration for SEO purposes based on their temporary nature. Luckily, there is a lot of overlap between traditional and event SEO best practices like optimizing the event title, URL, meta descriptions, headings, and content. Events go one step further to get your event ranking high in SERPs with things like structured data playing a crucial role, updating Google listings, and paying close attention to date, time and addresses of events.
Optimize Metadata, H1, Images, Titles, etc.
Don’t neglect basic SEO practices for events. In fact, they become more important because you simply have less space to convey your page to users and search engines alike. Meta descriptions become hugely important and should reiterate the event name, location, date and time if possible.
- The H1 heading should be the event name
- Any images should be chock full of the event name and location in the ALT and title text
The content in the body of the event page should include all pertinent information especially with a link to the location on a map.
Schema Structured Data
One of the more important inclusions for an event is schema structured data. This allows search engines to see and display relevant information without users needing to click on the website. The example below is from a popular music venue in Portland, OR. While it might seem counterintuitive to have search engines display information that keeps users away from your website – and it is currently untrackable to see how many people searched for an event calendar and then attended an event – getting your site’s information in front of searchers is the goal. Plus it reinforces your site’s authority.
Schema.org offers these structured data types to help display data like the example above. You can use the structured data to display your events on SERPs however you would like.
If an event will ever be recurring, avoid using dates, even years, in the URL. While it might be relevant for that year’s event, you will have to update the canonical tag or the URL redirect on a yearly basis – which is a waste of time. Your options are not vastly limited, however as your URL can display as:
The final example can include the year of the event as it implies that there will be a new domain for the event next year and only one redirect needs to be set up once the current year’s event has ended.
Google My Business Listings
You can list your events on your Google My Business profile in order to add one more layer of visibility to your events. While these events will only show up in branded searches regarding your website, they will attract users to your events page and your website will be seen as an authority on events. Include tracking code and UTM code to these listing links in order to track clicks through these links.
Include live streaming when and if you can during an event and promote the live stream heavily on social media. Immediately after the event, add photos, video, reviews, and any other content that is relative to the event. Add links to other people’s photos, reviews, blog posts, and videos of the event. These serve as a type of review of the event that future searchers may refer back to and find extremely helpful. If your website does not have direct access to the content from the event, you can always link to a site that does.
The idea is to build a community and network around the event that can be used as both a resource for folks looking to attend the event in the future as well as a hub for folks who attended the event.
Even after an event has passed, that event listing still carries plenty of SEO weight. After a post expires, it should move to an archive section instead of being completely removed from the site. These archives should be searchable and if you have optimized the event page properly, search engines will be able to serve links to your events archives when folks are looking.
The other weight that having an archived events page carries is that up until the same event the next month or year or whenever it takes place, searchers will land on the previous event’s page. You can then see how much interest your past event has continued to generate and use those numbers to help estimate interest in the next event.
Events pages can be a gold mine for organic traffic, even if that traffic never makes it to your site. Optimizing those pages and making sure your schema structured data is on point can take an expert’s touch. Luckily, there are a few experts at Anvil Media that can help you! Please feel free to reach out and talk to one of our experts!