If you have a website for your event business, I bet you would love to get more traffic. More visits from prospective clients likely equals more inquiries and more business.
But how do you do it? One tactic that isn’t talked about enough is building links to your website. It’s not easy, but it’s worth the effort.
The benefits of link building for event professionals:
If you hear the term “backlinks,” this means links to your website from another website on the internet. These links have a couple of benefits.
First, these links can drive clicks and traffic straight to your website. If you’re linked from a relevant website or publication, that site’s visitors might be interested in what you have to offer and click over to you to check it out.
Secondly, links can really, really help your Search Engine Optimization strategy. The quantity and quality of the links to your site have a big influence on Google’s rankings. The Google algorithm figures that if a lot of other good websites are mentioning your site, your site must be high-quality and worth ranking.
I find that a lot of event businesses that work on improving their SEO focus on optimizing their website’s content (i.e., using keywords, tagging images, and blogging) but often forget about the huge value of building links.
Three ways to get more links:
Building links the right way takes diligent effort to identify good opportunities and to do outreach to other website owners one by one. It’s important to state that this is the right way to build links—I never, ever recommend buying links or hiring cheap SEO services that promise “thousands of links” for no work. Low-quality links to your site can actually cause your site to lose authority.
Here are three SEO-approved ways to get more links:
1. Make it easy for other vendors to link to you.
The easiest websites to get links from are those of other vendors you’ve worked with. You have a personal connection, so use it!
When you work on a great event with a venue, florist, rental company or any other vendor, hand-deliver them everything they need to write a recap blog post where you are listed in the vendor list. Prepare and resize images, send the full vendor list, and remind them of the clients’ names and any key details in a simple email. Here’s a template you can use:
The Sweet Events team and I had a great time working with you on Sarah and Jarred Smith’s September 9th wedding. We loved the Old World charm and all the beautiful gold and white details. Do you plan to blog this event on your website? In case you do, I have included a Dropbox below of approved images from Amelia Jane Photography, as well as a full list of vendors and their links. You can check out how we covered it on our blog here. Thank you again for collaborating on this event with us, and we hope to work with you in the future.
You will likely earn a link (or at the very least, a few mentions on Instagram) for making it so easy for the other vendors to market their work.
2. Get listed on free or inexpensive listing sites.
The event industry is chock-full of websites that list event vendors. Many of them provide simple free listings that include a link back to your website. Don’t miss these opportunities for free links.
Not sure which sites to get listed on? Search Google for your best-ranking competitor and see which sites they’re listed on. This will indicate what Google likes to see, and may help you find some local listing sites you didn’t know about. You can also analyze their backlinks using LinkMiner (it’s free for a limited number of searches).
3. Don’t forget local blogs and directories.
If you serve clients in a specific city or market area, don’t forget to look beyond just event industry websites for links. Links from local blogs and directories can also have a lot of value in bringing you local authority with Google.
Here are a few ideas to look into:
● Your local chamber of commerce: Do they have a directory where you’d get a link or profile if you’re a member?
● Local magazines: A lot of communities have a local magazine with an online component. Can you pitch a story about something you’re doing?
● Local blogs: Does someone blog about local events and businesses in your area? Offer to write a guest post.
● Local podcasts: Can you pitch yourself as a guest?
So how do you achieve this? Consider setting aside one morning every month for link-building efforts. Maybe this month is signing up for free listing sites. Next month can be pitching yourself as a podcast guest. Every link helps, and links built up over time are sure to give you a bump up on Google.
Sara Dunn is a wedding SEO consultant at SaraDoesSEO.com, helping wedding planners, photographers, venues, florists and other event pros reach rock-star status on Google.