Building Links with Local Events
Local events are a tried and tested limited marketing campaign to improve the image and brand of your business in the nearby community, which will hopefully lead to an increase in sales revenue. However, a quality event such as a workshop, informative presentation or entertaining show could be used to further the SERP standing of your website via authoritative link building. As long as the event is worthwhile to the visitors, these links will grow in number and importance, and they will drive more traffic to the website.
The first step is to create either a dedicated events page on your website for previous and upcoming events or a separate message for this one event. Alternatively, think about using a third-party domain for the event page to boost the authority of the backlink. This should be professionally done, with just enough information to incite visitors into coming but not too much as to give anything away. A newsletter sign-up form can help keep those interested updated with changes to the venue, time, speakers or activities, and it will give the organizers a rough estimate of the number of people coming. Do not forget to specify the venue and even embed a picture or map so that visitors can find the place with ease.
Local event websites let organizers quickly and easily add new events to their calendar. A brief description will do the trick but do not forget to add the business name, address and contact details as these will improve visibility in geographical searches1. Focus on the event and how attendees will benefit from it, for example, by receiving a hard copy of all education materials, improving their skills, and meeting other like-minded people.
However, these sites can be a bit tricky to find. Nevertheless, use Google to locate local event websites as they have common phrases like “submit an event”, “submit your event”, “add event”, “add conference”, etc2. Websites with strict acceptance criteria are even better as these channel high quality traffic. You might want to be wary of phrases like “Powered by” although these name the common software used by event websites, which is another searchable characteristic. Sometimes you will stumble across lists of such websites so make full use of this luck.
The next step in the link building campaign is to try to obtain more difficult (and more valuable) backlinks. Research local communities associated with your business, for example, for a fishing shop, these would include fishing associations, fishing clubs, blog enthusiasts, and fishing venues. Then send these an inconspicuous e-mail simply promoting the event as something of interest to their customers. Do not mention any backlink and include the URL of the event, preferably on a third domain. If the site owner finds it interesting, he will link to the most informative webpage (yours).
The best thing about local events is that they are covered by local newspapers and magazines, which should be notified well in advance. The ideal situation would be for a third party to notify these outlets as this gives more credibility to the event but as with the specialized websites, suggesting that the event will be of benefit to the readers should be enough.
The day of the event must be fully utilized to gather additional e-mails for your mailing list, reward the attendees with limited material and content, and politely ask for backlinks. Depending on the quality of the event, visitors will be inclined to share your company information via social networks like Twitter and Facebook. If you provide hard copy of all the slides and information, they will be more inclined to do so.