How to Improve Your Search Rankings by Leveraging Events

Aug 19, 2014

Link building has evolved to the point where it’s become the SEO (search engine optimization) strategy that most digital marketers love to hate. Thanks to Google’s updated algorithm and revised guidelines, acquiring those all-important inbound links has become the most tedious, frustrating, and difficult chore associated with the practice of SEO. Unfortunately, link building shortcuts are a dead issue; if you want to create a robust profile of authoritative links that will improve your search rankings, you’ve really got your work cut out for you.

While most link building shortcuts may be a thing of the past, there is one frequently overlooked technique that can supercharge your link building efforts with minimal effort: leveraging offline events in your favor.

event promotion for link buildingLink Building Through Sponsored Events or Donations
Maybe your company is already sponsoring a local event or organization with a cash or product donation, or through a donation of your valuable time. If so, be sure to reach out for a link in return. Many charitable organizations are run by people with little to no experience of the value of a link, and will be happy to accommodate you if you simply ask for a link.

  • Before you commit yourself, find out if the event will be promoted online. Don’t settle for a page link that disappears after the event. To gain the long-term SEO benefits of your sponsorship, ask for a sitewide link for the event you’re sponsoring, followed by a permanent link on an archived past events page.
  • Let the event organizers know that you are available for media interviews about your event sponsorship. Local media outlets are always in the market for local filler material, and just a few minutes of your time could be rewarded with additional links from high-authority news organizations.
  • Write a blog about the event. Conduct a brief interview with event attendees and incorporate the best responses in your blog. Be sure to post it to your social media channels as well as to the news outlets.

Newsjack Your Way to Links
Another way to improve your SEO with event leverage is by newsjacking. This involves creating an angle about your company or products that can be inserted into breaking non-tragic news stories and events. The key thing to remember is that you have to be prepared to move fast once a potential newsjack event occurs.

  • Set up Google Alerts to monitor keywords that could potentially impact your industry.
  • Follow the key reporters and media channels relevant to your industry as well as major and local news organizations. Setting up an RSS feed from feedly.com is a great way to stay on top of breaking stories. Google Trends is a valuable source for trending topics and the keywords that you’ll want to target in your article, and the data can even be filtered by geographic interest.
  • Once you identify a potential newsjacking story, determine how it relates to your company or product. If you can’t find a logical tie-in, keep looking.
  • When you find a breaking news item that meets your relevancy criteria, create a quality article about the event that highlights your company’s connection. Try to include direct quotes from your source material – they add weight and valuable keyword juice to your story.
  • Post your completed blog, and share it across your social media channels and with your news organizations list.