A Simple SEO Guide for Successful Event Marketing

Fraser McCulloch
Traditional marketer now specializing in keyword research, SEO content plans, and content briefs. Has-been Scottish golfer.
Article stats
  • Monthly traffic 542
  • Linking websites 78
  • Tweets 44
Data from Content Explorer

Shows how many different websites are linking to this piece of content. As a general rule, the more websites link to you, the higher you rank in Google.

Shows estimated monthly search traffic to this article according to Ahrefs data. The actual search traffic (as reported in Google Analytics) is usually 3-5 times bigger.

The number of times this article was shared on Twitter.

    SEO is essential to marketing any event, gig, or conference to help people find it when they search online. SEO for events is quite specific. But it’s no rocket science to help your events rank high on search engines.

    Read on to learn how to apply SEO fundamentals to maximize your visibility, event registrations, and ticket sales.

    Booking the most obvious venues, towns, and cities for your event is tempting. But before you do, you should do some keyword research.

    Use Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer to identify event and location keywords that can drive traffic to your event:

    • Enter a seed keyword such as gigs, music, events, or concerts into Keywords Explorer
    • Use the filter to enter locations, e.g., Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth, Dundee
    Finding event and location keywords that can drive traffic using Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

    In this example, the search volume and traffic potential are much higher in Glasgow than in Edinburgh even though the city populations are similar.

    So you can consider Glasgow over Edinburgh as an event location if you have an audience or fan base there.

    What’s more, I can see gigs that are on in Glasgow today, tomorrow, next week, and so on for keywords like “gigs in glasgow.” That’s why doing a little keyword research is important and why SEO is needed to appear in this event pack.

    Event pack search result example

    What is the event pack, and why is it important?

    An event pack is a special type of Google SERP feature that appears when you perform an event-related query.

    The event pack is important because it allows event organizers to appear at the top of Google searches for their events.

    It is powered by Google Events schema markup, which allows you to structure webpages with event information that can be displayed in the event pack.

    When you click a result, you are taken to Google’s event calendar, which shows more detailed event information such as location, directions, and ticketing links.

    Event pack calendar example

    If you want to be featured in the event pack, you need to compile the right event details. 

    It is important from an SEO perspective to collect the following details about your event to maximize your search visibility.

    Essential event detailsOptimal event details
    Title of eventPhotography, artwork, or video
    Event descriptionDress code
    Start and end dateAge limits
    Start and end timeRefreshments
    Venue or location nameFacilities
    Address, city, country, state, postcode, or ZIP codeWhat’s included in the ticket price?
    Phone numberIs there Wi-Fi?
    WebsiteEntry requirements: age, visa status, vaccination status
    Organizer nameDisability access and facilities
    Organizer phone numberRefund or cancellation policy
    Organizer websiteHow to get there by public transport, car, etc
    Event website URL (booking link)
    Event cost

    All of these details are used for the event schema, which enables Google to show them on the SERPs.

    Learn more: What Is Schema Markup? How to Use It for SEO

    There are various ways to get your event information onto Google: add an event plugin to your website, use a third-party website, mark up the code on your webpage with event schema, or a combination of all three.

    1. Use an event plugin to add events to your website and Google

    In this example, I created a couple of golf demonstration days using the Events Calendar plugin for WordPress.

    Install the plugin and add a new event using your event details.

    WordPress Events Calendar example

    Preview the event and publish it.

    Event created with WordPress Events Calendar plugin

    Designers and developers can customize this very basic event page design and layout.

    2. Add events to third-party websites

    In addition to listing events on your website, there are many popular, industry-specific event and ticketing solutions, including Eventbrite, Ticketmaster, Live Nation, and so on.

    Most of these solutions have event-structured data built into their event-creation tools.

    In this example, I created an event using eventbrite.com.

    Event created with eventbrite.com

    Here are the steps to do it:

    • Create an event from the event menu
    • Enter the details of your event
    • Add your images and description
    • Add your ticket pricing and capacity
    • Preview the event and publish
    Adding an event on eventbrite.com

    3. Manually mark up your event page

    If you don’t use WordPress or cannot use a plugin or third-party solution, the third option is to manually mark up your event page with event schema. This is the most simple way to do it:

    • Create your event page and publish it
    • Go to Google Data Highlighter
    • Make sure you’re logged in to Google Search Console
    • Select your site
    • Press “Start Highlighting”
    • Enter your event URL
    • Select “Events” from the dropdown
    • Choose “Tag this page and others like it” or “Tag just this page,” and then press “OK”
    • Highlight the event name and select the name field
    • Highlight the time, location, and other information with the correct fields
    • Then publish
    Google Data Highlighter tool

    Here’s a short video that shows how the Google Data Highlighter is easy to use:

    After publishing, Google Data Highlighter will confirm the data is published correctly as an event in event schema format.

    Overview page of Google Data Highlighter

    Next, use the Google Rich Results Test tool to ensure that Google has crawled your page and that it shows the correct details about the event in event schema format.

    Google Rich Results Test tool

    In this case, the validator highlighted in yellow a couple of details that can be added by using the Data Highlighter tool in the previous step or optimizing your event listing in your event software.

    By promoting your event with the suggestions below, you can land press coverage and links to your event that will support your SEO and event marketing efforts.

    Facebook Events

    Facebook has an event listing feature that allows you to view, book, or add events.

    • Go to Facebook Events
    • Create New Events
    • Use your event details to complete each field and publish
    Entering event details on Facebook Event

    Alternatively, many of the ticket and event promotion websites integrate with Facebook Events to show your events, concerts, and gigs.

    Email list

    Send an email to your email subscribers and customer base, letting them know about upcoming events.

    Example of email to promote an event

    Link to events on social profiles

    Add your events to your social media channels using a free tool like Linktree.

    Linktree added to Instagram profile

    Links

    On your website, add events to the main navigation or link blog posts to the events.

    Songkick event listing on Ricky Ross website

    Add concerts and gigs to Spotify

    For musicians and artists, you can list your events underneath your artist profile on Spotify—provided you work with one of its approved ticketing partners.

    Event listed on Spotify profile

    PR, trade, or local press

    Reach out to people in your industry or local or trade press to make them aware of your events.

    For example, to identify people writing about SEO events, you can: 

    1. Enter the following into Ahrefs’ Content Explorer: "SEO" AND ("conferences" OR "events" OR "seminars"). Use the “In title” path to only show the most relevant pages.
    2. See the author next to relevant pages; these are the people you can contact.
    Finding contacts and bloggers using Ahrefs' Content Explorer

    Here, you can see a link to an SEO event in Barbados that’s yet to happen:

    Backlink for an event

    You should aim to get similar mentions with your outreach activities.

    Joint promotion with venue host or event sponsors

    The venues hosting your event should be more than happy to help promote it, but you need to provide them with your event details and assets.

    The venue or event sponsors can promote your event on their email lists, websites, and social channels.

    Consider providing them with exclusive promotional assets such as images, interviews, videos, or ticketing incentives.

    Facebook post promoting an event

    Use Google Search Console to track events in the Performance section under the Search Appearance section and the clicks you get.

    Eventbrite provides reports on sales, attendees, and traffic.

    Analytics and reports on eventbrite.com

    Alternatively, use Google Analytics to create a conversion report.

    Final thoughts

    To ensure greater event success, follow these SEO steps: do keyword research before booking venues, collect event details, get listed on Google, promote your event, and review your results after an event.

    Got questions? Ping me on Twitter.

    How useful was this post? 

    4.3

    Vote count:  10

    No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post. 

    • Monthly traffic 542
    • Linking websites 78
    • Tweets 44
    Data from Content Explorer