Local SEO Love
Link building for local events is a great way to cultivate a natural link profile for your website. Yet, we find that many clients don’t understand the value of keeping event related pages active on a website. This post will share tips on how to leverage local events for search visibility and valuable SEO.
Local Events Are Hard Work
Planning a local event is hard work. Not only do you have the figure out the logistics of the venue, content (e.g., formal presentations, panel discussions), you also need to get the word out to potential participants. Getting registrations requires planning and following up. If you’ve got an active email list… fabulous. If you’ve got several strategic partners who can help you market your event… even better. Since you’re already putting a lot of effort into your local event, link building is a no-brainer.
Votes of Confidence
A link from another website to your event is a vote of confidence. The referring website is recommending a visitor to go your site for more information. It’s legitimate and provides value. Plus, it’s a signal to Google of relevance and authority. That all adds up to naturally building online visibility in search. Just be sure to follow their quality guidelines and avoid link schemes that uses manipulative tactics. When link building for events think about these potential referring domains:
- Strategic partners
- Local event directories
- Geo-specific opportunities
SEO Strategy & Logistical Considerations
Many of our clients use an Events plugin on their WordPress website. The plugin helps manage sign-ups and email confirmations. When registration closes and the event is finished, that link becomes inactive or invalid. Rather than having your event only in the event registration software, we recommend a different strategy. It’s one that helps build and sustain your website’s SEO.
If you don’t already have a general events page, create one. This is a page a visitor can reach via your main navigation. For example, it could be called “News & Events.” Provide an overview of the types of local events, webinars, workshops, etc… that you hold. If you use an Events plugin, a calendar or listing is usually created in chronological order. Once an event date passes, it is automatically eliminated from your calendar or list (which doesn’t necessarily help your SEO).
Additionally, we suggest creating a separate blog post about the topic and event details including the registration link. This is blog post should then be used for your event link building. It will remain on your website long after the event has passed. More on that later.
By using this strategy, you have (at least) two pages that talk about local events that can be indexed by Google and Bing. Think of web pages and blog posts as purchasing lottery tickets. The more you have, the greater your chances of winning. More pages mean more opportunities for Google to return your site on a Search Engine Results Page. You want to keep blog posts active. They are available for search even after event registration is closed. Why? Read on, please.
Event Link Building for Lasting Results
There is definite value to a webpage related to an event even after it has occurred. We recommend that our clients never take down a blog post that highlights an event. Here are five big reasons:
- Removing an event-related blog post is like tearing up an unclaimed (winning) lotto ticket. If the page(s) has been added to Google’s index, you’re negating all that link building work.
- It’s still relevant. Update the blog post with a recap, access to presentation materials, participant reviews, etc. Be sure to remove the registration link. You can even reference an upcoming event (just remember to revise it again when that event is over). Not only does it provide updated content for Google bots to index (a very good thing), it shows a potential human visitor that your events are worthwhile.
- There’s a good chance a visitor will look for an upcoming event, especially if you offer ongoing classes, workshops or webinars on similar topics. Maybe it’s an opportunity for them to commission you for a special event for their organization.
- Deleting the page means deleting inbound links contained on it. It’s hard work to get them. They are still extremely valuable. You want to maintain a diverse and healthy link profile. It can have a major impact on how you rank on search engines.
- Collect enough local event information and Google may add a site link. Site links are shown when the search engines think they can display useful information (so a human user can quickly find what they need). Other examples of site links: Locations, Careers, Products, Contact.
As you can see there’s a lot more to local event link building than first meets the eye. Their SEO value lasts long past the event itself.