SEO is one of the great ways to put your Event in front of your desired audience and the unpaid chance to step up your Event Marketing game. One of the first steps and crucial process for doing SEO is searching the right keywords for your event.
When I first started doing keyword research, my whole strategy was all over the place. I would jump into Google's keyword planner and just started searching for any relevant terms. My choice of relevant event keywords was random and chaotic.
I soon found out what was wrong with this strategy and that's because it wasn't a strategy at all.
In fact, the majority of beginners and other event organizers were doing that exact same thing with keywords! And the way you're able to tell is because you were just trying to rank for insanely competitive keywords.
After listening to many mentors and trying out several other strategies for myself, I've refined my own keyword research blueprint from my chaotic yet humble beginnings.
But be aware, the technology space is always evolving and so are its strategies. My best advice to you is to understand the difference between SEO and SEM, try and adapt to your own. That way you'll be able to always uncover keywords that your competition simply doesn't know about and you're able to make the most impact with your marketing dollars.
The biggest step is always the first and many event organizers simply overlook this part because they jump right into a keyword research tool. But you must take the step to primarily figure out your customer personas.
What does a buyer persona actually mean?
Well, a buyer persona is a representation of your ideal customer based on market research and other insights. The things that make up a buyer persona may include demographics, behavior patterns, goals and motivations.
One of the biggest reasons why we start off with the research of buyer personas is because your customer is likely spending their online time on places they like to spend their time, which means not really looking for what you sell.
By predicting and becoming more aware of the types of people that purchase your product or service, you're able to develop better insights that will inform your research later on.
For example, one of our clients is in the luxury travel space and has a customer segment of male millennials, aged 25-34, who's recent purchases include liquor and fashion.
They might be looking for things that were related to our clients' service but had nothing to do with purchasing an experience. But because we focus on building out content that our ideal customer Nick is searching for, we are able to provide content he likes and thus give our client's site the brand recognition.
So when Nick is ready to buy, our client's brand is the first to come to mind.
The next step is to figure out what your customer cares about by thinking about the topics that they might search for.
Finding topic for your Event
Simply, you must head over to where your target customer spends their time online and then look for topics that they tend to discuss.
To continue with our example, Nick spends most of his time on Instagram and seems like he is a classic millennial weekend warrior but loves to put in work at the gym during the weekdays.
It's easy to assume that this customer segment, let's call him Nick, might be interested in online topics like New York streetwear, Central Park fitness, nightclubs in the LES, Tribeca events and Brooklyn bars. I usually try to figure out 5 topics before moving on.
And now we finally get to your competitor's step one, keyword idea generation.
But let's take this a step further and gather keyword suggestions from 3 places where your competitors are not looking.
The first is rather simple and it is taking keywords from Google, or rather Google Suggest.
What you want to do is plug in the topic into Google but don't press enter.
You'll see in the drop-down a variety of long-tail keywords that are perfect to add into your running keyword research document. Another great hack is to add two spaces price to the topic query to have google fill in suggested keywords before the first word!
The second suggestion on Google is to click enter on the keyword topic and then scroll all the way to the bottom. You'll find a "searches related to" section that will provide more long-tail keywords that you can add to your ideation.
Searching for keywords in online communities
Besides Google, where does a community of people choose to spend their time online? One great time suck of mine, as well as many others, is the online community Reddit. Without a doubt, you will be able to find a community here that your target persona might be interested in.
Once you search for your topic and find yourself in the search results or a subreddit, you will want to look for commonly occurring words or phrases. Take note of these by adding them to your collections of keywords.
Another community that is similar to Reddit is Quora.
Quora is a great place because people are not only asking questions but discussing a variety of solutions.
For example, let's say Nick is traveling to New York and posts a topic on Quora related to the best tours in NYC. You'll see a community engaging with Nick's question and from there you'll be able to gather more information that will help with your keyword ideation.
Choosing the keywords value for your Event
The next step in your keyword research is choosing the best keywords and analyzing how valuable they are.
To accomplish this, we highly recommend tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs since the Google Keyword planner only gives an unhelpful range when it comes to bidding prices.
The reason we have to use these tools for their actual bid prices is that this communicates if people are actually making money on these terms.
Imagine if you had a keyword that was giving you tons of volume to your website, but that particular audience were not buyers! Therefore that audience's conversion rate isn't effective at all.
Another way to check if a keyword is valuable besides using an SEO tool is by searching it on Google manually.
Simply type in the keyword phrase and check if companies are running ads! If you notice that several of the top paid positions are taken, then you know that keywords are valuable and content for your event should be built around that.
Choosing Event keywords by trend
The last thing you can do to figure out if one keyword is more valuable than another is by searching those keywords on Google trends. Keyword trend growth is a great way to determine how a keyword will do in the future. Many companies won't take this extra step, and could easily miss out on an opportunity to be on the right side of ranking months down the line.
Being strategic about your keyword research has lead to more informed decisions in our marketing. This has lead to doubling and tripling the conversions for a variety of our clients.
This example below shows a comparison between two prominent night clubs in NYC. As you can tell, we’d most likely choose to develop content about Marquee instead of Jay-Z's 40/40 Club. Thanks, Google Trends!
Which strategies have you found most effective? Have we missed any that have worked out best for you? We'd love to know!
Also if you are about to embark on keywords search for your event or know someone who is, please share this article with them.
Where do you go from here?
We suggest checking out how to create an event on LinkedIn.