How to Harness the Power of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Events

July 27, 2014

Trace Cohen

Trace Cohen is the Co-founder of, the only Event News Management Platform for expos, tradeshows and events to increase their social engagement, buzz and revenue with their exhibitor and show news by creating a Digital Media Center for them.

I write many articles on social media, content marketing and how to engage with your customers, which are all great strategies for shows, exhibitors, and attendees to educate and generate new leads.

All of these initiatives are viable and aimed to deliver quicker results. Now, I would like to focus on a more “under-the-hood” or long-term internal workings strategy to keep people coming back well after the show has ended using SEO.

Most people are under the impression that search engines deliver answers, when in fact, they deliver search results that you can control, allowing you to come up higher.

Here are a few tips on how to generate leads when people are searching for “something” online using Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines:

Selecting the right “keywords” that people are searching for:

THINK like your potential customer! Focus on words that you feel they will type into a search engine to hopefully find what they want. This can be a single word like “tradeshows” or a phrase like “consumer electronics tradeshows,” which will display completely different results. When you produce content, you want to make certain you use that word/phrase exactly like someone will type it, so that the search engine determines how your content should be displayed. Check out Google’s Keyword Tool ( to find the popularity of words and phrases.

Keyword density:

Once you find the word(s) or combination of words and phrases, the next step is to use it multiple times in your article so that the search engines understand that they are the focus of the content. Generally, you want to use the words 5 to 6 times, so it is the most common aspect of your story and will hopefully come up higher in results. 

URLs, Title tags and H1:

This is a lot of the “invisible” content that only the search engines and their spiders can see. The most powerful part of SEO is derived from the URL (links) as it’s basically your address online. Which link below do you think gets better SEO? Should be obvious:


Have you noticed when you open a new tab/window in your browser, there are words in that tab at the top. Those are called “title tags” that you can put into the site code that labels the page and tells the search engine what to expect. Next in the hierarchy are H1 tags, which are the title or header (H) of your story. Make sure that all of these are aligned and focus on the keywords that you have chosen.

PDFs and Documents get you almost nothing:

While these are great formats generally used to produce and share content, they are not very good when it comes to SEO. You want to get as much digital content published online as possible. Writing a short blurb, and attaching a document to be downloaded, will hurt you SEO efforts.

Name your photos/images properly:

People don’t just search for text, but for images too, and with the increased popularity of social networks like Pinterest, you need to name everything just right. Simply put, if I add my companies logo to a story, I will name the file “Launch-event-news-platform-logo” and not “screenshot1455&3.” I think you get the point, but it’s the little things that add up.

SEO is a long-term strategy because it takes time for the search engines to crawl your content and index it, as well as the time for you to produce enough relevant content. SEO can be a very powerful tool for events if used properly. Why? So much content is being produced between themselves and their exhibitors that can live on long after the show ends. The more high quality and carefully thought-out content you produce, the better chances you have of being found and generating news leads.

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Partner Voices
Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. TSNN had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to future female leaders. Lisa Messina, Chief Sales Officer, LVCVA With Las Vegas becoming The Greatest Arena on EarthTM, what are some of the things you’re most excited about in your role? Our team was at The Big Game’s handoff ceremony earlier this month, and I couldn’t help but think, “We’re going to crush it next year!”  These high-profile events and venues not only drive excitement, but also provide unmatched opportunities for event planners. Allegiant Stadium hosts events from 10 to 65,000 people and offers on-field experiences. Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place in Las Vegas in November, after the year-one F1 race, the four-story paddock building will be available for buyouts and will also offer daily ride-along experiences that will be available for groups. And, of course, the MSG Sphere officially announced that it will open in September, ahead of schedule, with a U2 residency. It’s going to be the most technologically advanced venue as far as lighting, sound, feel, and even scent, and it will be available for buyouts and next-level sponsorships inside and outside. There’s no ceiling to what you can do when you’re doing events in Las Vegas.  Allegiant Stadium As the trade show and convention business returns to the pre-pandemic levels, what shifts are you noticing and how do you think they will impact the industry going forward? Our trade show organizers are very focused on driving customer experience. Most of our organizers are reporting stronger exhibitor numbers and increased numbers of new exhibitors, with trade shows proving to be almost or above 2019 levels. Now our organizers are really doubling down on driving attendance and focusing on the data to provide that individualized, customized experience to help attendees meet their goals and get the best value. Some companies continue to be cautiously optimistic with their organizational spend when it comes to sending attendees, but I think it will continue to improve. As the U.S. Travel Association makes more progress on the U.S. visa situation, we also expect a growing influx of international attendees. What are some innovative ways the LVCVA helps trade show and convention organizers deliver the most value for their events? We focus on customer experience in the same way that trade show organizers are thinking about it. We got rave reviews with the West Hall Expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), so over the next two years, we will be renovating the North and the Central halls, which will include not just the same look and feel, but also the digital experiences that can be leveraged for branding and sponsorship opportunities.  Vegas Loop, the underground transportation system designed by The Boring Company, is also a way we have enhanced the customer experience. Vegas Loop at the LVCC has transported more than 900,000 convention attendees across the campus since its 2021 launch. Last summer, Resorts World and The Boring Company opened the first resort stop at the Resorts World Las Vegas , with plans to expand throughout the resort corridor, including downtown Las Vegas, Allegiant Stadium and Harry Reid International Airport. The LVCVA also purchased the Las Vegas Monorail in 2020, the 3.9-mile-long elevated transportation system that connects eight resorts directly to the convention center campus. This is the only rail system in the world that integrates fares directly into show badges and registration. For trade show organizers, these transportation options mean saving time, money and effort when it comes to moving groups from the hotels to LVCC and around the city. Also, the more we can focus on building the infrastructure around the convention center, the more it supports the customer experience and ultimately supports our trade show organizers. Scheduled to debut in Q4, Fontainebleau Las Vegas will offer 3,700 hotel rooms and 550,000 square feet of meeting and convention space next to LVCC.  What are some of the plans for advancing DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) within your organization? We’re currently partnering with instead of working with a leading consulting firm, to lay the foundation and create a solid DEI plan and be the leader when it comes to DEI initiatives. The heart of that journey with the consulting firm is also talking to our customers about their strategic approaches to DEI and driving innovation in this space.  What are your favorite ways to recharge? My husband and I have an RV and we’re outdoorsy people. So, while we have over 150,000 world-class hotel rooms and renowned restaurants right outside our doorstep, one of my favorite things to do is get out to Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead. Five of the top national parks are within a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, so there’s a lot you can do. We love balancing the energy of Las Vegas with nature, and we’re noticing that a lot of attendees add activities off the Strip when they come here.  Valley of Fire What advice would you give to women following leadership paths in destination marketing? I think it’s about being laser-focused on what you want to accomplish; building a team around you that lifts you and helps you achieve your goals; and being humble and realizing that you do it as a group. No one gets this done alone. Thankfully, there are a lot of women in leadership in this organization, in our customers’ organizations, and in this city that we can be really proud of. We’re a formidable force that is making things happen.   This interview has been edited and condensed. This article is exclusively sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. For more information, visit HERE.