TicketSource’s Digital Marketing Manager Liam Martin gives his recommended best practices to help market your events to broader audiences using Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
TicketSource has recently upgraded the URLs used to display event pages. This means you’ll start seeing event links that look less like computer code, and more like logical locations.
Less like this:
And more like this:
By making our URLs look more natural, everyone be able to understand them more easily: Including search engines. This is the first of many changes that are coming to assist with event promotion on the TicketSource platform. Helping you to sell more tickets by reaching a broader audience at minimal cost.
With that in mind, I’ve produced a quick guide on what Event Organisers can do to better work alongside search engines.
What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?
Search Engine Optimisation is the practice of increasing traffic to your website through organic search engine results. Google is the most popular search engine in the UK (over a 90% share) and sets the trends that other search engines follow. For this reason, most SEO changes are made based on Google’s best practices.
Above: An example of an organic search engine result for the word 'ticketsource'
How do I get my events listed in a search engine?
TicketSource already does that for you! If you want us to promote your site as well, just make sure you fill in your website on your account settings. After a few days, engines like Google will pick up the link from our page. This acts as an endorsement of your site by us - giving you a little boost and making it more likely to be indexed.
How can SEO help me sell more tickets?
When people search for your events, Google will try it’s best to match their question with the right answer. However, if there are many potential answers it can be difficult to determine which is the best. To make sure you have the best chance possible of being top, you need to make sure you’re as compatible as possible with modern search engines.
4 Top SEO Tips for Event Listing pages:
Separate words in the URL: use a hyphen instead of a space
/youarenowhere should be /you-are-now-here to avoid confusion.
Engines like Google use advanced AI such as RankBrain to match questions to answers. But what the AI can’t do is separate words joined together. The above example is even tricky for a human to interpret accurately!
Use uniquely identifiable words in the URL
/sherwood-lake-theatre (or your venue's name) tend to be better than /romeo-and-juliet (generic event name). Be unique, so if your event has a more distinctive name then use it!
Think about what people look for when they search. If your URL closely matches what they search for it’s more likely to turn up top. And then when it does turn up top, you’ll want to make sure people know it’s relevant in case the click something else instead! Google will try to determine relevance by location (search in a city for Shakespeare, you’ll get localised results) but sometimes this isn’t enough.
Mention alternative names in the page description
“Your Theatre, part of the Royal Memorial building, is based in Town.”
“This event takes place in Farmers Field, near Peaches Farm.”
“Famous Actor stars in Romeo & Juliet”
If previous names or aliases aren’t featured somewhere, just make sure they’re on the page. You never know who will be using outdated information to try and find your events. Your venue might also need additional definition to make it more distinct from similar venues or other events at the same location. If you do have a big name associated with your show that people will look for - mention it in the description! Google can and will pick up little details like this when it refines search results.
Mention the genre or event type in your description too
“Funstuff is a comedy written by our creative director.”
“Terror-party is a special event for Halloween.”
Some people may be looking for a type of event rather than yours specifically. Adding a mention of the event type increase relevance of the result to that audience. We already tell Google where you event is. So mentioning Halloween will let you appear on results for 'Halloween events near me'. Search rankings change constantly and you’ll move up the results faster if you include as much relevant information as possible. It also better informs your readers, leading to more confident buyers and higher ticket sales.
What TicketSource already does for you:
There are lots of things we already do to connect you with more customers around the web. To give you an idea of what’s going on behind the scenes:
Our site gets millions of hits a month - and not just from Google! Many users bookmark TicketSource to use our massive event directory to search for events.
We promote your events to our advertising partners: Including event sites such as Ents24.com and theList.co.uk.
Plugged into Mailchimp we’re able to keep your marketing list up to date automatically. Send email campaigns with the contacts and permissions already updated.
Our social media channels are optimised to target your area and promote it to local followers. Copy us into your posts and we’ll also boost them with likes/shares from our company accounts.
Your event data is translated into a format Google can read and catalogue. Things like your event's location are already known by Google for this reason. It also creates event links under your search results like this:
Want to know more about SEO?
If you're interested in diving deeper into the world of SEO and Digital Marketing, here are some additional resources to get you started: