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Real Internet Results for Local Networking Event Organizers

The event management challenge of internet marketing is getting specific and it's all about potential target market niches. Local is good. But HOW local?
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Search Engine Optimization and Localization for More Targeted Website Traffic ... and Sales.

Marketing Sherpa provides marketing research and case studies about how to improve Internet business processes. They recently provided an extensive list of "localization" techniques to help local businesses optimize their google and other search engine visibility and click through resuluts.

Let's look at that list and revise it specifically for local networking event organizers. The challenge of internet marketing is getting specific enough without cutting out potential target market niches. Local is good. But HOW local? Is it once city. Or is it neighborhoods, neighboring cities and towns. Counties. Regions. And niche groups who self-identify such as the Italian community, the Downtown click... or the Lake District?

Natural search keywords for many business niches are dominated by a handful of established NATIONAL players.

Trying to break down this front door is not even possible for most local businesses, let alone small businesses -- not the local national corporation across town. But a local SEO program in a competitive market such as business networking can be crafted to increase your traffic, and improve the quality of your traffic at the same time. Learn how to research keywords, localize your optimization of your website, and improve procedures to follow through on the traffic you attract.

The Plan

Business networking event organizers can pull attendees from approximately 2 to 15 miles, depending on population density. That's very local. Some larger, regional events can pull from a region... but these regional business events still depend on a lot of local SEO power.

The earn more, you need to attract quality networkers for attendees who want to meet people face-to-face. You earn more from referrals and repeat attendees, so SEO is often secondary to providing a really great networking experience to your attendees. But fresh networking opportunities season the pot! And SEO articles, invitations, and other content can help you rise to the top of the local networking Internet community.

The event management challenge of internet marketing is getting specific and it's all about potential target market niches. Local is good. But HOW local?



There are probably 50 or 100 options that you COULD do to increase attendance ... but you'd probably like to settle on just a few at a time. That makes good use of your time, and helps you master each new networking strategy. Launch an SEO strategy to upgrade your webpage content. Select up to four categories for SEO optimization such as:

  • Business networking
  • Professional networking
  • Marketing and sales networking
  • Technical networking

Step #1: Choose your SEO niche

Consider a pay-per-click ad campaign that targets keywords in the four categories you select (such as identified above). This ad campaign provides immediate visibility in search engines and provides data that can be used later to help build a good SEO strategy. For three months, maintain and improve your program, aways looking for keywords that fit three criteria: 1. High volumes of traffic 2. High conversion rates 3. Low levels of competition

Geo-targeted Keywords

Many keywords you identify in a keyword finder such as the Keyword Finder in Google will probably be variations of a broader keyword, especially variations that include a LOCATION. Including key local terms -- ie, city, county, region, ethnic references. can improve quality visitors who look for nearby resources and therefore are more likely to convert.

Step #2: Conduct keyword searches

You can learn a lot from yuour front line -- by understanding your audience. Ask the people on your front line -- sales people, receptionists, and your best referral supporters. The best terms to target are revealed when you understand how your prospects look for information and companies in your niche. Identify the questions people ask and the topics they discuss when calling.

Website Analytics

Check your website analytics program or service (such as Google Analytics) to identify which natural search keywords and phrases are already driving traffic to your website. This helps you narrow down your "authority" and the keywords you can improve. Leverage keyword tools to estimate volume of traffic for each keyword; estimate level of competition (and cost of paid advertising), and to uncover other relevant keywords.

Step #3: Repair your website Architecture

Use secondary URLS to point to a single homepage. Don't waste your Google-juice on multiple homepages! For instance:; and should be simplified with two of those pages redirected to the third. Check to see if you have duplicate content -- that can be an issue for search ranking. Repair or remove pages that do not load -- also known as "404" errors. Redirect or remove other duplicate pages.

Step #4: Add local-keywords to your website

Insert the nmes of nearby locations throughout your website, including the names of towns and suburbs in a 45+ mile area surrounding the office.

Step #5: Tighten your SEO

Add your street address, city name and phone number to the heaer and your full address and phone number in the footer. Include 10 links to nearby organizations your are associated with, especially those that inclue the names of nearby cities. By including this information in the persistent header and footer you add it to every page on the website.


Add your office location by listing nearby locations at the bottom of the homepage: "Gathering networkers at business networking events from: Los Angeles, Culver City, Santa Monica, El Segundo and Westchester and more!"
Add the list to several other pages to strengthen the website theme you have established.

SEO-rich Pages

List your full address for your office and/or event venue location first in regular text, then on a large map. Make sure that your events are held on a regular schedule, and publish that schedule prominently and in an easy to remember format... eg, First Tuesday of every month.

Create informative pages that target key phrases such as "Business networking", "Networking for Sales", "Bizdev through Networking Events" and include photos of your venue, your networkers, and your team, and/or graphical images that illustrate your key results and processes.

Include lead generation forms on key pages such as your Schedule page, your Photo Album, and key articles that explain the value of networking and how you deliver results. Include a persistent left-column navigation system for your visitors and a sitemap that is readable by search engines.

Add links throughout the website that point to key term-driven content pages -- such as section pages and informative tips and techniques articles. Use a variety of your very best keywords and phrases in the anchot text of the links.

One key page is the "About Us" page -- which can link to all the best articles on your website -- up to 10 different pages embedded in the copy, and/or listed as bulleted keyword-rich titles.

Metadata on webpages is used by search engines to serve a short description of your web pages in their search results. Update these tags to include relevant keywords and your local city. Keep it short -- under fifteen words. Check a few descriptions on search engines such as Google and Yahoo to see how many words actually show up ... and where those words are found on the webpage. Then use this as a guide to your own best practices in creating meta descriptions, first paragraphs, image captions, etc.

Step #6: Improve community SEO

Search engines focus on the Internet community more than on your individual website, so they give weight to factors that are largely outside the control of the site owner.

These factors include Inbound Links; Google Places; and Local Search.


Inbound links can have a significant impact on SEO, so it is important to find ways to encourage links to your website. One common way is to contribute informative articles to related websites and ensuring that the articles link back to your website -- and to a significant page on your website. Having a related, more in-depth article that is referred to in the article is a good way to ensure this.

Try to include geo-keywords in the links' anchor text when possible.

Google Places

This service allows businesses to build a page about their location that is tied to Google Maps and includes relevant content about the organization or company. You can include items such as: Photos of staff and venue; Video of your events; Short description and keywords; and Address, Contact Numbers and homepage URL.

Local Search

There are many website directories and specialized search engines in the Internet. Keeping up with them can be a challenge for a small organization, but there are companies that will help manage this verification and listing process. Just be sure to monitor their results -- especially key directories for your industry.

Monitor and Measure Your Results

It's productive to know what works. Be sure to have your team ask newcomers how they heard about your events... and then nurture those sources of referrals with appreciation, more content, etc.

Know what works best: key themes, productive keywords, favored directories and websites, referrals by industry players, and visibility on the Internet and in the real world. Track the number of new attendees you attract by month and by source. Identify your top keywords during key campaign months through the use of Google Analytics tools.

Edited by Carolyn Allen, Managing Editor of Solutions For Green

Publication Date: 5/1/2012


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