SEO and Your Conference or Event Website

SEO for conference and event websites

SEO, the Holy Grail of the internet. The one thing that we all want to achieve so that we can be found by the millions of masses that populate this little planet we call home. We all want to be discovered and SEO promises to bring home the bacon. But what if everything you ever read was bubkis.

First, What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the act of building your web pages and blog posts in such a way as to “attract” search engines like Google and Bing and having those engines give you a higher ranking which will then result in more traffic to your website.

Here is a simple definition from Brick Marketing:

Simply put, search engine optimization is the process of improving the quality and volume of web traffic to a website by employing a series of proven SEO techniques that help a website achieve a higher ranking with the major search engines when certain keywords and phrases are put in the search field.

Now, I am a fan of some SEO tools but not all.

I always use a WordPress plugin like Yoast or AllinOneSEO so that I am able to add the proper title and meta descriptions to all of my clients posts and pages (and PlannerWire’s as well). This information is what Google and the others use to describe your posts or pages when they come up in search.

Here is an example:

What you want to see is nice title structure and a good description. That is what you are trying to achieve so that people understand where they will be going before they get there.

Another benefit of putting in the proper titles and meta descriptions in your posts is that when you post to Facebook or other social networks, they show up correctly in much the same way that they appear in search results.

How many of you have placed a link in Facebook only to have to re-write the whole title or description area because it came up with information that was not even related to the original post.

Here is how a post should look on Facebook:

Beyond this one simple thing, I really do not recommend doing much else with SEO.

OMG! SEO people all over the world just went BONKERS on my ass. They probably want to hunt me down and hang me in the town square. How can I not care about keyword density, longtail keywords and proper formatting? This is BLASPHEMY.  My GOD, the skies are going to open up and lightening is going to strike me down where I stand and the Google Gods are just going to have a lather.

To this I respond…. So What, Let Them

Meeting and event planners are serious people with serious jobs and we need to do things correctly, in as short a time as possible. We do not have time to be fussing over the SEO of every page or post, especially when it will not get you very far.

Basically, everything that you can find out about SEO on the internet is usually a lie, a misrepresentation or misleading. SEO claims are created this way so that people will shell out thousands of dollars to some SEO guy that promises you a page one ranking on Google in a few short weeks.

If you believe this crap, good for you and when you are in the market for some real estate, I know of a really awesome bridge for sale with an awesome view that is real, real, cheap and comes with a lifetime supply of Vodka Gimlets.

The long and short of it is, there is no way to guarantee anything when it comes to SEO so you might as well just give in and do what you do best….. and this will give you the best chance of coming up number one over time.

How Do You Get Good Search Results from Posts and Pages

The easiest way to get good results from pages and posts is to write quality, ass-kicking content that people actually want to read. This should be your entire SEO plan.

This method will get results and it costs nothing beyond your content creation abilities.

The other option is to write all kinds of bullshit, cram it with keywords and try and game the system and it is only going to get you two things….. a quick blip on the radar and then penalized by Google which will drop you further down in search and make it harder to reach the top. Why bother.

Do Yourself and Your Event a Favor

Create awesome posts and pages that you just know your attendees, followers and fans are going to respond too. Post these works of ART to your website and share them to your social media outposts. After your share them (multiple times, not just once) you will notice that others will start to share them and link to them and then others will link to them and share them and then others will share them and then others will link to them and then you will notice that your website traffic starts to go up and then you have more followers on Twitter and more likes on Facebook and then the next time you share an AMAZING post it gets shared by this larger group and you get even more traffic and more followers and so on and so on.

Ultimately, what you notice is that you have more interest in your event which means more attendees and more followers and the cycle repeats.

You will also notice a little side benefit,  something happens to your search results, you are getting closer to the top every day.

Getting quality rankings is not about gaming the system, it is about creating something that people actually want to read. It is about creating AWESOME.

When you do this one simple thing; which is creating the most amazing content you can, you will find that you will never, ever, have to hire a private, overpriced SEO consultant.

You can do this, you simply have to have the want.

Keith Johnston

Keith Johnston

Keith is the Managing Partner of i3 Events but is most widely known as the outspoken publisher of the event industry blog PlannerWire. In addition to co-hosting the Bullet List and Event Tech Pull Up Podcasts, he has been featured in Plan Your Meetings, Associations Now, Convene, Event Solutions, and has appeared on the cover of Midwest Meetings Magazine.

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