How to make your event visible using Search Engine Marketing

“Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.” – Wendy Piersall

do you

We hear on a daily basis about Search Marketing, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization(SEO). But what does it really mean? Is Search Marketing the same with Search Engine Marketing? – the answer is no.

Search Marketing is the umbrella under which fells Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization

Search Marketing is the process of gaining website traffic both organic (SEO) and paid(SEM) advertising.

SEO is the process of improving your website and content so that it’s visible to search engines. The process is organic and requires a lot of patience.

SEM is paid advertising with the help of search engines. Advertisers pay and bid on specific keywords to be shown when searched for.

Search Marketing = SEO + SEM

Since both SEM and SEO are two broad and confusing topics, in this article I am going to speak about SEM, what is it, how to use it and what practices are best in order to maximize your event’s exposure.

When somebody is searching for an event the results displayed at the top of the search engine’s page represent the search ads. And obviously that’s the place you want your ad to be displayed in order to make your future attendees find you fast and easy.

Google has 78% Market Share in the Search Network Market

The Search Network Market is shared within a limited number of players and by far the leader is Google with a 78% Market Share followed by Bing and Baidu with 8% each. NetMarketShare, May 2017

The most popular among search ads are Google Search Network which handles more than 40,000 search queries every second and a total of more than 1.2 trillion web searches every single year.

Google Search Network as explained above, are the ads which help you find new customers and if used right your ads will be displayed within the top searches.

One of the major misconceptions is that whomever has the largest advertising budget wins – False!

On top of the money, what Google stands for is delivering the most appropriate content to it’s users. For this to be possible all ads have to pass through a process which is know as ad auction and only the ads with the highest Ad Rank will be placed in the top searches. Yes, a larger advertising budget can help you, especially when bidding for competitive keywords, but another important factor which can help you spend less money is the Quality Score.

AdRank = Maximum Bid * Quality Score

Maximum Bid is the maximum amount of money you you are willing to pay for a click.

Quality Score is calculated considering the overall quality of the advertisement. The factors constituting the quality score, are:

  • Relevance of each keyword to its ad group
  • The click-through rate
  • Relevance of your ad-text
  • Landing page quality and relevance
  • Your historical AdWords account performance

The one characteristic which “weights” the most from the above mentioned is the click-through rate (CTR). It tells Google how many people saw your ad and actually clicked on it. This allows Google to understand that your ad is relevant and helpful and will increase your quality rank through a high CTR.

Keyword selection is one of the most important aspect of SEM’s success

Keyword selection is one of the most important aspect of SEM’s success and beside them there are a few more practices which should be considered:

Relevant keywords it is important to identify from the beginning the keywords which are relevant to your event and customers;

-use WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool, which provides a range of valuable information, such as search volume for each individual keyword in Google and its general competitiveness.

-to find out how well your account is doing, try WordStream’s free AdWords Performance Grader.

Group of keywords – create group of keywords and market them separately and on different occasions. It is easier to monitor which ones are successful or not. It is easier to remove the ones which don’t generate any ROI and be cost effective.

Niche keywords and long tail keywords rather than general ones since the consumers who are searching an event with the intention of attending will be more specific in their searches and keyword selection rather than searching for general keywords.

Keep pace with the competition – It is important to be updated with what your competitors are doing too, what keywords or promotions are using. Try being creative and keep up the pace with them.

Bidding strategy – you should not be focused on the general keywords and how much your maximum bid can be. You should permanently monitor the campaigns, check which keywords are converting or not and practice the AB testing within keywords and campaigns.

The advantage of Search Engine Marketing is that you can monitor and track your consumer’s journey and behavior

Once a new user lands on a page, a profile is going to be created and with which it’s whole journey is going to be monitored. From that moment every marketing link clicked on, every page viewed, and every ticket bought, is captured in the profile where it can be analyzed and understood.

SEM can be a significant tool for your event. It is the tool that helps your attendees find you and in order to do that successfully you need to make sure it is used adequately. Not only Search Engine Marketing but the whole process has to be used in the right way. SEO, SEM and of course the paid ads.

SEM Terminology

  • PPC (pay-per-click)
  • CPC (cost-per-click)
  • CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions)
  • Creative/ Adtext – Heading and description of search ad
  • SERP – Search Engine Result Page
  • CTR% – Click through Rate (as a percentage) – a metric that measures the number of clicks advertisers receive on their ads per number of impressions.
  • Impressions – The no of times your ad is shown
  • Google Content Network – Display banner ads outside of Google
  • Rank/ Position – The position your ad is shown when a keyword is searched (a through 8 page 1)
  • DKI – Dynamic Keyword Insertion
  • ROAS – return on advertising spend
  • PLA – product listing ads (shopping ads)
  • Quality Score – A ranking Google gives your ad based on its CTR

Use long tail keywords to promote your events

Did you know that almost half of the world’s population (and over 75% of the population from Europe and North America) has internet access? And that on a daily basis Google and Bing gather more than 5 billion online queries? If so many people use online searches for information (and to actually buy products/services) what can we do to get a slice of this big pie? The short answer would be Search Engine Marketing; SEM has different areas to focus on but today I would like to tell you more about long tail keywords and how they could lift up your business.

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What is Search Engine Marketing? 

 

SEM is the form of internet marketing that has the purpose of increasing a site’s visibility in search engines results pages.

The two main components of SEM are Search Engine Optimization  and Pay Per Click, both of which I’m sure you have heard of, so I’ll just mention how each work (as a short reminder):

 

Search Engine Optimization- the process of increasing your site’s visibility in the search engine machines by:

  • Selecting  good keywords and focusing on them
  • Creating good and unique content
  • Creating a good structure for your website
  • Building links (internal and external)
  • Including the selected keywords in your site’s title, pages, articles, Meta Tag Title, meta description etc
  • Providing best possible user experience (speed, cross-device compatibility etc.);
  • and more.

 

Pay Per Click: or cost-per-click (such as Google AdWords or Bing Ads), paid search advertising where you select the keywords for which you want to be listed (when someone searches for them) and pay when someone clicks your ad. For the search engine to determine which ad appears where the process includes an auction (you select how much you’re willing to pay for every click) and a quality score (how useful is your ad for the user: relevance, landing page etc.).

 

What are keywords? We use the term keywords for words or phrases that people search for online, through search engines. So what you type in the text box when you use Google, Bing or other search engines falls into this category.

 

The generic term keywords has 2  categories:

 

Head (or short tail) keywords:

Keywords that are most frequently searched for (usually the “head” has 1 or 2 words)

and

Long tail keywords:

more specific keyword phrases (usually the long tail phrase has more than 3 words)

 

But if head keywords have hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of searches each month why would anyone concentrate on anything else, right? Well, here are some advantages of using long-tail keywords, especially if you have a smaller event planning business.

 

 

75% of the search queries use long tail keywords 

 

This means that there are some keywords that can be found in hundreds of thousands of searches each month but most of the searches contain more specific long-tail keywords. So while the main focus is on one-quarter of the pie, there are still 3 quarters left for us to work with. There are tens of variations of a long tail keyword and each of them can bring you tens or hundreds of visitors that are further along in the buying cycle.

 

 

Search Engine Marketing is a very competitive field

 

SEM is a process that takes time and involves a lot of work if you want to make it in the “big league”. If you construct your keyword strategy based on a very popular head keyword you will be in direct competition with all the big event planners all over the world, even if they are not your direct business competitors.

SEO – bigger companies have more resources to invest in their websites and it is easier for them to generate more content (and search engines love sites that have more pages). 

PPC – an important part of PPC is the auction for keywords and a very popular one can become extremely expensive.

If I search for “event planner” there are 28,700,000 relevant results on Google…it is hard to compete with all of them.

Let’s say that you organize leadership conferences and work in the UK. And you want people to find more about what you do, when is your next event and other useful information. If you focus on “event planner” as keywords you will enter a ferocious competition with companies all over the world for a keyword that surely is more relevant for others than for you.

 

 

Long tail keywords have a better conversion rate 

 

Using the same example as above think that someone uses “event planner” for an online search. That person may look for information on how to become an event planner, or he/she may look for someone to plan a wedding in Japan, a business summit in India or an Indie concert in Kansas City.  It’s true, there are tons of searches for “event planner” each month, but this is because “event planner” can mean different things in online search terms. On the other hand, if someone uses  “leadership conference in England” or “leadership summit 2017 Merseyside” for a search he has a real interest in your type of event.

Using long-tail keywords you can focus on what really makes you stand out from the crowd. For example we, at Oveit, know that our feature that allows you to use cashless payments at your events represents our advantage; so we tend to use it more than the classic “online tickets”. Use your strengths when you communicate your message and you will have the perfect match for your customers.