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News & Views

26 Feb 2024

How to make your event website SEO good – the ultimate guide

Jon Monk, Head of Attendee Growth Services
How to make your event website SEO good – the ultimate guide
ASP's SEO Guru, Jon Monk, gives us the essential guide to SEO for your events website

In the ever-evolving digital landscape, the significance of SEO for event websites cannot be overstated. Whether you're organising a tech conference, a music festival, or a business seminar, the visibility of your event online plays a pivotal role in attracting attendees. But where do you start? 

Ahead of his session on SEO at International Confex 2024 on Wednesday 28 February ASP's Jon Monk shares this comprehensive guide. He'll dive into the essential steps of identifying and targeting the right keywords for your event, ensuring your website not only ranks well in search engine results but also meets the needs and interests of your potential audience.

From conducting thorough keyword research to optimising your site's pages for these keywords, follow closely as we explore the detailed process that will set your event up for digital success.

1) Are People Searching for Events Like Yours?

Determining whether there are specific keywords being used in search engines to find events similar to yours is crucial. This knowledge dictates whether investing time and money into SEO is worthwhile.

Keyword research - the process of identifying the queries that a significant number of relevant individuals enter into search engines to find an event like yours—is the first step in this journey.

The initial stage involves brainstorming potential search terms related to your event.

Following that, you should utilise tools such as Google Keyword Planner (within Google Ads) or Keyword Keg. These tools help ascertain the search volume for each keyword or phrase, providing insight into the necessity of SEO efforts.

For instance, if you're hosting an AI event, discovering thousands of monthly searches for "AI conference" indicates a strong need for SEO. Conversely, an event focusing on Agricultural Technology might reveal that searches for "agtech conference" are considerably lower, suggesting a reduced requirement for SEO optimisation.

It's imperative to not only explore keywords related to the primary theme of your event but also to delve into any sub-topics you might cover. The significance of this cannot be overstated; without targeting relevant keywords on your website, its technical SEO readiness won't translate into high search rankings for those terms.

Your Next Steps:

  • Brainstorm all possible words and phrases potential attendees might use to search for an event like yours.

  • Utilise tools such as ChatGPT or Gemini to broaden this list with suggestions you might not have considered.

  • Employ keyword tools like Google Keyword Planner or Keyword Keg to determine search volumes. This data informs the keywords you should target on your website.

  • Review any existing performance for these keywords in Google Search Console (set this up if you haven’t already). Improving rankings is often easier for pages that already show some search performance rather than starting from scratch.

By following these steps, you'll gain insight into whether people are searching for events like yours, if you have any existing traction for these terms, and ultimately, whether an SEO campaign is necessary.

2) How to Target Your Chosen Keywords with Relevant Pages

With your target keywords identified, the next step is to integrate these into relevant pages on your site, be they existing or new.

Step 1: Identify Existing Pages for Keyword Targeting

Firstly, assess if you already have pages that could be optimised for your chosen keywords. Utilising Google Search Console to review your site's current search performance can reveal pages that are already ranking for related terms. For instance, if "AI conference" is a target keyword and you have a page that shows some search performance related to AI, it's generally more effective to update this existing page rather than creating a new one.

Step 2: Map Out Pages and Their Target Keywords

List the pages along with the keywords you intend to target on each. While a single page can target multiple keywords, it's advisable to focus on those that are closely related. For example, keywords like "AI conference", "AI event", and "AI expo" can be grouped together, whereas "What is AI" may not be as relevant to the specific context of your event.

If your website lacks pages that can be aligned with your target keywords, you'll need to create new ones. For event websites, setting up pages that target sub-topics related to your main theme can be particularly effective.

For an AI event, consider sub-topics such as machine learning or generative AI. Creating dedicated pages that focus on these sub-topics not only helps in targeting specific keywords but also enriches your site's content, making it more valuable to your audience.

3) Optimise Key Elements of the Page

To ensure your page is optimised for your target keywords, focus on the following elements:

  • URL: Incorporate the primary keyword into the page’s URL structure to enhance its relevance to the search query. For instance, use /programme/ai for a page about a machine learning event.

  • Page Title: Craft a concise and descriptive title that includes your primary keyword. A title like "AI Conference & Presentations" effectively communicates the page's content while targeting the keyword.

  • H1 Tag: Your main heading (H1) should also contain the primary keyword, possibly with a variation to cover a broader range of queries. "AI Talks and Presentations 2024" serves as a clear and keyword-relevant H1.

  • Text Content: Utilise tools like to analyse the top-ranking pages for your target keywords. These tools can help you generate a content specification and offer suggestions to refine your written content. They ensure your page covers topics and subtopics that search engines deem relevant, increasing the likelihood of a higher ranking.

Remember, the ultimate goal of your page is to cater to real individuals, not just to rank well in search engines. It's essential to craft content that is directly relevant and genuinely useful to your visitors. For instance, if you're developing a page on a machine learning event, consider what someone interested in this topic would expect to find:

  • Detailed information on the topics, discussions, and presentations scheduled.

  • Profiles and backgrounds of the speakers.

  • Information about relevant exhibitors participating in the event.

  • Opportunities for networking with peers and industry leaders.

  • A comprehensive FAQ section addressing common questions and concerns.

  • Additional resources or related content that enriches the visitor's understanding and interest in the topic.

While the focus here is on optimising your website for search engines, it's important to remember that these algorithms strive to reflect human interest and intent. By putting yourself in your attendees' shoes and considering what content and pages will be most beneficial to them, you're aligning your strategy with the core objective of search engines. Incorporate the SEO steps outlined previously, and you will create a website that not only performs well in search rankings but also resonates with and is valued by your audience. This dual focus ensures your site will not just attract visitors, but engage and retain them too.

In summary

Navigating the complexities of SEO can seem daunting, but by focusing on the key aspects outlined in this guide, you can significantly enhance your event website's online presence. 

Remember, the goal is not just to rank higher in search engine results but to create a website that genuinely resonates with and provides value to your audience.

By meticulously researching your target keywords, aligning them with your website's content, and continuously optimising for both search engines and real people, you're laying down the foundation for a successful event. 

The journey towards SEO mastery is one of ongoing learning and adaptation, but with these strategies in place, you're well on your way to attracting more attendees and making your event a notable success in the digital realm. 

Keep your audience's needs at the forefront, stay adaptable, and watch your event's online visibility soar.

Find out more

If you'd like to learn even more about SEO you might be interested in our new SEO Masterclass, due to kick off in June 2024 the new course has been specifically designed for marketing and content teams in the events industry. Unlike generic SEO courses, which often cover broad strategies applicable to any sector, this course looks at the specific challenges and opportunities of marketing events online. From keyword research to on-page optimisation and technical SEO, every aspect of the course is tailored to maximise the impact of your event’s online visibility. 


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