Webinar Transcript: Discovering

The following is a transcript of the second installment of our “Making the Most of Your Event Content” series that was held on June 8, 2017.

You already have great event content, but is it optimized for online success? It’s time to explore the ins and outs of accelerating the discoverability of your platform and events. In this guide we will discuss how you can not only maximize your platform’s reach through SEO, but also through user engagement.

There’s a ton of ways that discoverability is defined, so to make sure we are all on the same page, here’s how Localist defines discoverability:

Discoverability efforts are all of the passive ways to ensure customers can find services they need online. Some examples are social media, search engine optimization, messaging tools and other ways to interact with customers to help provide what they need. These efforts are not like traditional advertisements because they don’t aim to interrupt or distract. They instead aim to reach customers in a more organic way to make sure that they can easily and quickly find your content when searching online. 

Part 1: Structure

Out-of-the-box, Localist is a well oiled SEO machine built from the ground up with features that will directly and positively impact the discoverability of your calendar and events. Before we dive into the features and functionalities you can influence, here’s a few behind-the-scenes factors you don’t have to sweat:

1. Title tags: Localist automatically applies relevant title tags to every page depending on their unique purpose and content.

2. Unique URLs: Every single Localist page has a unique URL, so the amount of pages a search engine can potentially index is virtually limitless.

3. Page load time: Localist constantly monitors site performance, page loads and processing times for all actions taken on your platform. Rest assured, your audience will be connected with your content at the speed they expect.

4. Social Sharing: Your platform comes equipped with AddThis social sharing, so your users can share to their favorite services easily and quickly.

5. Google Tags: In 2017, Google announced an update that allows for event search results to display in clean, user-friendly lists for easy accessibility. Your Localist events are already optimized in such a way that they will be eligible to be included in these results.

Part 2: Event Content

Discoverability is so much more than a technical game. One of the pillars of SEO is more content = more discoverability. Here’s six ways you can sway search engines in your favor by increasing your platform’s reach through pages and words:

1. Landing Pages: Take advantage of the content aspect of SEO by adding unique pages for your places and organizations with Localist landing pages. Not only will the extra pages and content give you an SEO boost, you’ll receive a usability boost by providing relevant information and context to your users in one central location.

2. Complete Content: While additional pages and unique URLs lay a great SEO foundation, the actual content is where the true SEO magic happens. Fill your pages with details to not just satisfy search engines, but also your audience so they do not have to look elsewhere.

3. Text-first Communication: All relevant information should be communicated by including it directly in the event’s description or through assigning various classifications. Since photos are not indexed, relying on a PDF attachment or a flyer as the event’s photo will greatly decrease an event’s reach.

4. Keywords: Localist provides keyword fields for events and places that can be used to store relevant words or phrases without displaying them publicly. For example, if a place or event speaker’s name is commonly misspelled, entering the alternative spellings in the keywords field will ensure it’s still found.

5. FreshContent: Search engines love websites that are constantly updating. Two easy ways you can avoid having a stale platform is to let your audience and community do some event curation for you by allowing for public event submissions and importing event feeds.

6. Visibility: The default visibility for all Localist events is “visible,” which means any visitor, logged in or not, can view an event and any search engine can discover it. Be extremely conservative in what events you apply the visibilities “Visible Only When Logged In” and “Hidden” as once it’s applied, it will be entirely cut off from outside discoverability.

Part 3: Social Engagement

So, your content is set up to bring users to your platform, but is your platform set up to encourage those users to stay? The longer a visitor stays on your platform the better as it signals to search engines that the content you are providing is relevant and enticing. A key to increasing your visitor’s time on page is to engage them, here’s a few ways to do this:

1. I’m Interested: This user-centric call-to-action is displayed on every event listing and landing page. It adds the event to the user’s personal calendar, adds their avatar to the event’s “People Interested” list and then prompts a reminder notification and a prompt to review the event once it has passed.

2. Comments/Reviews: These functionalities help connect your community and event with each other and event organizers.

3. Multiple login methods: If your platform is locked down to organization specific single sign on, the number of visitors who can truly engage with your content, will be drastically stifled. We recommend providing at least one of the five social logins Localist offers as an option for your users.

4. Trending: Static, chronological options are out and trending is in. Give your community the ability to influence your listings so that the most interesting events are always at the forefront.

5. User-centric filters: As the number of seconds it takes for a user to find the content they’re looking for increase, so does the likelihood that they’ll abandon your platform all together. Enable your users to get where they’re going as quickly and easily as possible by providing a short list of broad filters that are geared towards their unique needs.

6. Multimedia: Embedding supplemental content, such as videos or slide shows, is a fantastic way to not just grab your user’s attention, but to also keep them on the page longer as they engage.

Part 4: Credibility

1. Brand Template (SILK Wrapper): Your Brand Template isn’t just here to visually brand your platform, it’s here to connect your platform and audience back to your main website. The more pages of authority, like your website’s homepage, you link to the more boost your platform will receive.

  • Remove no index and no follow tags (<meta name=’robots’ content=’noindex,follow’ />)Not removing these will completely cut your platform off from indexing.
  • Remove link=rel elements: Not removing this element will force search engines to see any calendar pages as direct duplicates of the wrapper and therefore they will not be indexed.
  • Include Meta tags: Do include these to communicate with search engines what your website contains and which pieces to include in search result listings.

2. Responsive: As of 2015, Google has officially recognized mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. By default, your Localist platform is 100% responsive, but double check that any design overrides you’ve added have not diminished your mobile displays.

3. Link to Your Platform: Not only does linking to your platform on other webpages let search engines know that your platform exists, but if you link to it from your most authoritative pages, like your homepage, that authority will help further establish trust between search engines and your platform.

4. Custom Site-Search: If your main website uses its own in-site search tool, be sure to add your calendar’s custom domain to the list of indexed websites.

5. Widgets: The more unique domains that link to your platform, the better.

6. Social media presence: Promote (not just the volume, but how long standing) The way social media is growing and shifting. Another unique referral. SM – > Main – > Calendar