ASP

Event Website & Creative Agency

16 May 2016

10 Minute SEO tips for #EventProfs: Linking

Arran Coole

Carrying on our series of quick tips for event marketers to improve their search ranking, it’s time to talk inbound and outbound links and even that weird liquid that apparently flows round the internet: link juice…

Why links are important to event websites – link juice

Link juice is not the latest clean eating diet fad, it’s a term coined to visualise the power or prestige that one website confers on another by linking to it.  It’s an up-vote, a hat-tip or a like from one website to another.  The quantity of link juice is an analogy for the value that the be-linked website gains in the eyes of google.  The better the link, the more link juice flows through it and the greater the benefit.

Even from the earliest days of Google, links were counted as votes of popularity.  The pages that had the most links pointing to them were seen as the most popular and relevant.  Although Google’s algorithm has become much more complex over time, links are still considered to be one of, if not the most important parts of it.

In Moz’s annual survey of SEO professionals last year, links still topped the list as the top priority  (if you are not already aware of moz.com their blog is a great source of accessible information on SEO and you can gaze in wonder at founder Rand Fishkin’s amazing facial hair).

It’s important to see link building in the context of link “earning” – creating content on your website that is worth linking to.  And this is much more than a ten minute task. But the good news is as the owner of a great event website, you’ve got some powerful allies in creating great content for your potential visitors that others should want to link to.

The 10 minute part is picking up the phone to ask!

Here are a few link worthy pieces of content you could try:

  1. Interviews or opinion pieces from your speakers about the issues covered in their session; they’ll probably be delighted to link to this from their own, or organisation’s website (speakers love a bit of self-promotion – that’s why they speak at conferences)
  2. Reviews or rankings of your exhibitor’s products – even better if they come from your delegate community
  3. Guides to getting the most from your event; this could cover session highlights for different delegate types, such as returning delegates or visitors with children.  Or perhaps a guide of places to eat in the area around your venue
  4. Content that’s really easy for your exhibitors to post on their own news pages, featuring event highlights, essential details and a link to a landing page for booking (remember if you link straight to a third party registration platform rather than your own site, you are missing out on that link juice)
  5. Session summaries and booking details that your speakers can easily share.  It’s as much in their interest as yours to have a well-attended session, but they may well be too busy to research the details themselves, so just make it easy for them.

 

So the more links the better then?

Sadly not.  Not all links are created equal. Links from sites that Google considers to be low quality don’t give you any link juice – and even worse could result in your site being penalised.

Avoid paying for links, or using so-called link farms, or large directories of unrelated links.  If it doesn’t look useful to a human, it isn’t going to help your website.

Google has even taken measures to stop paid-for linking on legitimate sites.  For example if you buy a banner advert or advertorial style press release on a partner site, those links should be set up in such a way that no link juice passes down them.  That’s not to say there is no value to them, as human users are just as likely to click on them, they just don’t support your search ranking.

What about outbound links?

An outbound link is where you link from your site to another website.  The good news is, this can also benefit your site too, especially where your link is to another site the Google considers to be high quality.

So if encourage your exhibitors to link to their websites in their profiles and link to relevant articles in your sector press from your blog posts – get that link juice flowing both ways.

PS: When you have linked to another site, why not get in touch to tell them; and ask them to link back to you!

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