Are you looking to expand your reach, target new audiences, and sell more tickets in 2021? Although selling out in-person events is challenging under the current situation, all is not lost. Now that virtual events and hybrid events are mainstream, your potential to reach broader audiences is greater than ever. Strengthening social media presence and relationships is tantamount to building your audience in a virtual culture. But sometimes no matter how far your digital footprint travels, creators struggle to translate that influence into ticket sales.
One reason for that is simple but often overlooked. Event creators are naturally, well, creative! It makes sense that they tend to put their energy into the more inventive and original aspects of event creating. However, focusing too much on the bigger picture can cause them to lose sight of the details, such as ensuring events get maximum exposure.
Don’t Underestimate the Value of SEO
Besides social media, email marketing, and tracking data, SEO and SEM are integral to gaining exposure for your event. Keywords help to optimize your visibility, and there are several great tools that generate the most relevant for your event. Google Ads uses keywords to create paid ads that appear when people search for events like yours.
To briefly review, keywords are the words that people type into search engines like Google, Amazon, or Bing. Google Ads and other SEO tools can tell you what words people most commonly type into search engines when looking for events like yours. Once you learn what those words are, you can target audiences by using them in your ads, social media, and other promotional content.
Not only do SEO tools help you define keywords related to your event and/or products, they also tell you how often specific keywords are used. That way, you can find out how often people are actually searching for events like yours. Want to know how many searches a keyword yields per month? Google Ads and other tools, which we’ll discuss shortly, can give you that information and more.
Although good marketing is strategic, brands are complex. Whether you think of it in these terms or not, brands contain different categories within them. For example, if you sell a product and create events, there will be different keywords associated with your product and your events. In that case, the goal of your campaigns would be to sell tickets and products- and most likely to generate sales leads. In order to target different kinds of sales and meet unique goals, you’ll need to use specific keywords appropriately.
And did you know…
You Can Use Google’s Keyword Planner Without Paying for a Campaign
Google doesn’t want you to know this, but it’s true. It’s no secret that budgets are tighter than ever. Although you don’t want to overlook the value of SEO and SEM, you may be hesitant to stretch a limited budget even further. If that’s the case, there are many free tools that may be able to meet your needs.
One of our favorite free SEO tools is Google Keyword Planner. However, not many users know how to get the most from this tool. The good news is that we do, and we want to share our hacks with you. If you’ve tried to use Google Keyword Planner before, you may think that the only way to access it is to create a Google AdWords campaign- which obviously means handing over some cash. While there are many benefits to doing so if you choose, you don’t have to invest in a campaign to use this tool to access the top keywords for your event, product, or other specific marketing goals.
When you go to Google Keyword Planner, you’ll see a screen that asks you: What’s your main advertising goal? Instead of selecting one, click on the small “Experienced with Google Ads?” link. (Do this whether you are experienced with Google Ads or not). This will take you to a screen that gives you options to select a campaign type or create an account without a campaign. At this point, you’ll click on the option that says, “Create an account without a campaign”. Then hit the “Submit” button on the next page, and you’re good to go.
What next? Simply click “Explore your account”, and then go to “Tools” on the menu bar. From there, you can switch to expert mode, and go back to the “Tools” menu. Once there, you’ll see an option that says Keyword Planner, which will give you access to find keywords that help you reach your target audiences. You will be prompted to enter “words, phrases, or a URL related to your business”. Entering any of these yields over a thousand relevant keywords, and you can choose which are best for each category of your own campaign. (Read: You don’t have to sign up for Google Ads to use the Google Keyword Planner for SEO purposes). You’ll also have access to search volume and predictions for how well your keywords are projected to perform in the future.
Should You Invest in a Google Ads Campaign?
By providing you with SEO hacks, we’re not diminishing the benefits of investing in a Google Ads campaign. To the contrary, there are many benefits to doing so, and it’s actually pretty cost-effective. It’s also probably the best way to gain exposure through Google Search and Maps- and that’s important because those are popular search engines!
Google Ad Words works because it directly exposes you to customers when they’re searching for events on Google Search and Google Maps. Furthermore, Google Ads offers SEM services, which can go a long way toward local and global exposure. For those of you who aren’t sure what SEM entails, it essentially allows you to pay for clicks on your website or other contacts to your business. Google Ads are placed strategically; you get to decide whether you want them to appear locally or globally. You also get to personalize your ads by writing three lines targeted to potential customers. Don’t underestimate the power of visuals- if you go this route, we do recommend purchasing images that will catch the eye of potential customers.
Google Trends is also free to use. It works by showing the popularity of specific topics over time. You can use that information to hone in on the most relevant topics for your business, and use them to target your audiences. It’s surprising what search engines can tell us about consumers and what they want. Trends are fluid and ever-changing; keeping up with the flux involves tuning into the changes as they happen. Google Trends helps you capitalize on popular topics and revitalize those that are losing interest over time.
Google’s Rich Results test is another useful tool. Rich results are enhanced search results that yield additional visual or interactive features. Want to know if your page supports rich results? Go to Google’s Rich Results Test and enter your URL to find out.
Other Free (Non-Google) SEO Tools We Love
Google is a leading resource for event creators, but it doesn’t have the monopoly on SEO and SEM! Answer the Public actually pulls queries from Google’s autocomplete results. Some of this information includes questions people are asking about topics relevant to your campaign. When you know what people are asking search engines about topics related to your event and/or products, you get more than keywords. You potentially learn valuable information about what people are looking from for events like yours. For example, how many local people are looking for events similar to yours? What are people using products like yours for? Answer the Public and other tools like it may not have exact answers, but they do have useful information you can use in your campaigns.
We all know that people talk about businesses- and trending topics related to them- on Reddit. People use the site to share experiences and information, make recommendations, and gain insights about specific topics and businesses. Sometimes there are entire threads dedicated to which brands deliver the best quality of a specific product or service. Keyworddit retrieves keywords from Reddit threads, providing monthly search volumes for each term. If you’re not sure how a keyword is used, you can click on the “Context” column. (Obviously, this gives you information about the context in which specific keywords are commonly used).
Again, we like Keyworddit because there is a lot of information to be gained from websites like Reddit, where consumers go to talk about their preferences and experiences. And when keywords appear on Reddit, Keyworddit gives you context; it lets you know what people on the site are talking about regarding specific topics that pertain to your business.
3. Rank Math
Rank Math is one of the few free SEO tools that helps with technical SEO. It provides structured data for rich results, which are more visually appealing search results with additional information. (We talked briefly about them above in the section about the Google Rich Results Test). This structured data can also be used to pull SERP features. SERP features are basically non-traditional search results. These may include tweet boxes, PPC ads, and knowledge panels. All of these contain valuable information!
Rank Math also assists with adding titles, meta descriptions, OG tags, and other meta tags on posts and web pages. Need to redirect a URL? Find and fix dead links on any of your pages? Rank Math can do the leg work there, too.
Alsoasked.com is another tool that extracts info from Google. More specifically, it extracts the questions from People Also Ask (PAA) boxes. How can you use this information? Well, it tells you a lot about what people want to know about topics that may be related to your business. You can answer these questions as conversation starters in your social media marketing and to improve your content and services.
Are consumers frequently confused about the use of products like yours? Are they asking Google how to make the most of them? If so, maybe you can show rather than tell them using live virtual product demos. Or maybe you can answer these questions in a special breakout session at your next event. Perhaps the information you glean from Alsoasked.com points to a broader discussion that needs to be started, and you can be the industry leader to do it. In this way, questions that people ask Google can also potentially generate sales leads. In short, when you know what people want, you’re better equipped to give it to them.
Hunter.io is unique because it finds email addresses associated with a website. The obvious function of this is to help with email marketing. If you are looking for a specific email address, simply enter the domain and the person or business’s name.
A simple Google search will yield many other similar free tools that provide useful SEO information. As businesses struggle to reinvent themselves in an increasingly virtual climate, SEO and SEM have taken on new importance. Online visibility is arguably the most vital part of reaching audiences remotely and keeping up with existing consumers as the world changes. If your SEO and SEM needs revitalizing, we hope we’ve provided you with some tips to get started. Happy keyword surfing!