By Beatrice Gamba

2 months ago

Discover how integrating SEO and structured data can revolutionize online visibility and revenue for publishers and event organizers in the age of AI.

In the contemporary digital ecosystem, integrating SEO and Knowledge Graphs is crucial for publishers and website owners aiming to excel online. 

WordLift consistently leads in leveraging knowledge graphs to optimize SEO strategies, demonstrating the tangible benefits of this technology. Equipping your website with a knowledge graph paves the way for developing AI-driven applications, facilitating the amplification of website traffic.

This article examines the strategy we crafted to steadily increase visibility, organic traffic, and revenues with structured data and content for a major publisher. 

The following findings were also projected during my speech in May at The Knowledge Graph Conference in New York.

The project aimed at enhancing the visibility of 10 event microsites with the following goals:

  • Increase in clicks from search engines
  • Improved visibility for event websites
  • Enhanced brand representation online
  • More tickets sold from organic traffic

Of course, we knew online promotion is challenging in the news and events industries, but we were up for it.

The Challenges of News & Event Online Promotion

Promoting events and news online comes with a unique set of challenges that can make it difficult to achieve visibility and engagement. Let’s dive into some of these typical challenges and explore how they impact the effectiveness of online promotion.

1. Content Volume

One of the primary challenges is the issue of content volume. News pieces are often concise, summarizing a fact that has happened, and might include a short opinion. This brevity is essential for keeping readers informed without overwhelming them with information. Similarly, event promotions typically focus on a limited set of crucial details, such as the speakers, the location, and the topics. The “less is more” principle is often applied to highlight the most essential information without unnecessary clutter.

2. High Competition

Both the news and event industries are highly competitive. With countless news articles and events being published and promoted daily, it becomes challenging for individual events or news publishers to stand out in search results organically. This competition requires a strategic SEO approach to improve visibility and attract the target audience.

3. Local Targeting

Events and news are inherently local, requiring specific location targeting in SEO strategies. This localization can further limit their reach, as the content must be optimized for specific geographic areas. Effective local SEO involves using location-specific keywords, creating content relevant to the local audience, and ensuring that the event or news piece appears in local search results.

4. Short Lifespan

Another significant challenge is the short lifespan of events and news. A piece of news might become outdated within the same day it is published, losing its relevance and search interest. Similarly, the buzz about an event has a limited time frame, typically spanning from two months before the event to about three weeks after it has occurred. This short window of relevance requires timely and strategic promotion to maximize engagement.

5. Brand & Authority

Branding plays an essential role in promoting content like news and events. If the event organizer is established within the event industry, it becomes easier to attract participants. Similarly, readers are less likely to trust news from an unrecognized or untrusted source. Building a solid brand and establishing authority in the industry is crucial for gaining trust and credibility, which drives engagement and participation.

6. Balancing Informational and Transactional Intents

Lastly, the same scarce content must simultaneously cover informational and transactional intents. Informational content aims to educate and inform the audience, while transactional content focuses on driving actions such as event registrations or news subscriptions. Balancing these intents requires a well-thought-out content strategy that addresses the audience’s needs while encouraging them to take the desired actions.

The Power of Knowledge Graphs in SEO

Everything at WordLift starts with a knowledge graph.
But what is a knowledge graph in SEO?

A knowledge graph in SEO serves as a semantic framework, mapping relationships between diverse information pieces to enhance search engine and AI system comprehension.

The event markup we built for The Knowledge Graph Conference 2024

Knowledge Graphs offer a comprehensive solution to traditional SEO challenges in event promotion by enhancing the understanding, visibility, and discoverability of event-related content in search engine results.

The data that is structured inside the knowledge graph is passed over to search engines in the form of metadata, the same language that they speak, so search engines and AI systems can process it much faster. It’s a matter of time, and acting timely is required when working on events.
Structuring the information inside the knowledge graph means transforming all the information in the event website’s front end into metadata.

Many readers might wonder how this contributes to traffic increase in organic search.

As I mentioned before, one of the main issues with events and news is authority and brand representation.

As an SEO, I constantly evaluate what details will make a difference for every client. So, what makes it for events? What feature drives the purchase for a specific event? It’s people, and more specifically, it’s the speakers.

In the current era of AI-powered search, people still make a difference. Corporate speakers at events like these are real authorities within their industries, and they have documented experience. So, we started by enriching the knowledge graph with entities for every speaker.

We definitely want to tell search engines and other AI systems that CEOs and business leaders are speaking at a specific event. This helps build branding credibility.

We enriched the publisher’s authority as an event organizer by providing all the information about the speakers at their events. 

Navigating a renewed “Messy Middle”

This model, known as the messy middle, was outlined in a white paper by Google in 2020.

The theory describes users’ decision-making journeys, which differs from the traditional funnel approach. The path from the trigger to the purchase experience is not linear but resembles an infinite loop. Users go through a continuous cycle of exploration and evaluation until they narrow their options to purchase. Anything, even a competitor’s billboard offering a discount, can change a potential buyer’s decision. It is crucial to provide the right content for every user query in each phase to meet their informational needs when they want to purchase.

This theory still holds up, but it could use some renovation. In the current era, it’s not users who explore and evaluate; it is a search engine.

Generative search engines embark on the exploration and evaluation journey, selecting the options for the users based on their behavior and tastes (we know they are still trying to accomplish this level of personalization and accuracy, but I think Bing’s Copilot is doing a great job). Content has to meet the user where it is most needed, and we can achieve that with structured data AND content.

Content Creation and Optimization Through Data

In an era when SEO is no longer keyword-based, structured data isn’t enough to keep track of industry requirements. Content is also essential, and the content that makes it in the new era of Search must be structured so that the new generative search engines can understand and retrieve it.

As search engines powered by AI and generative models take hold, how we create content must adapt. To be easily found by these systems, content must be informative, well-organized, and address users’ increasingly specific queries, often phrased as long-tail searches. 

This focus on long-tail queries offers a double benefit. First, by providing detailed answers to these niche questions, the content aligns better with how users naturally interact with search generative engines. This structure helps the SGE understand the content’s relevance and display it for appropriate searches. 

Second, prioritizing well-structured and informative content elevates the overall quality of information returned by SGEs. By focusing on clear explanations and addressing specific needs, content creators can ensure SGEs become a reliable source for users seeking in-depth information. In essence, crafting content that caters to long-tail queries fosters a win-win situation for creators, SGEs, and users, ultimately leading to a more informative and user-friendly search experience.

Even if (and rightly so) Google’s AI Overviews won’t appear for hard news – as stated in the latest update from Elizabeth Reid, VP & Head of Search at Google- optimizing a website with structured data and well-organized content is still crucial especially in this landscape, to propagate content that is beneficial for the user.

To address this, at WordLift, we developed a Knowledge Graph-powered conversational AI that facilitates content creation and knowledge graph enrichment tasks, thereby speeding up the process of covering each informational phase of the user funnel. 

You can learn more about our AI SEO Agent by visiting our website, where you’ll find detailed information on how it can help optimize your content, improve search engine rankings, and drive more traffic to your site.

When posing a question during the exploratory phase, content from one of our microsites is retrieved by Copilot

When posing a question during the evaluation phase, content from one of our microsites is retrieved by Copilot

Measuring the Impact

To measure the impact of the strategy implemented on the 10 event microsites, we have kept track of all the aspects on search that could be affected by it:

  • Increased brand awareness – we tracked the number of new organic keywords and snippets
  • Share of voice – we measured the new snippets and rich results that we were able to generate
  • Organic traffic – we measured the typical SEO metrics like position, clicks and impressions
  • Revenues – we measured the revenues generated from organic traffic by the 10 events we worked on.

Organic Keywords – Brand Awareness

Organic keywords are used to attract free traffic through SEO and Structured Data. 
Knowledge graphs enable search engines to understand and interpret content more accurately. 

This deeper understanding allows search engines and AI systems to associate online content with a wider range of relevant keywords.

We generated an increase of 24.39% on average for the 10 event microsites throughout 2023.

Source: Semrush

Event Rich results – Share of Voice

We were able to pull event-specific rich results. 

The rich snippets and panels on the SERP are aggregated containers of data from different sources, especially from sites with structured data.

For the different events Google started showing panels that permit buying tickets directly from SERP. Buying tickets to an event from search dramatically shortens the path between trigger and purchase, compressing the exploration-evaluation phase.

Organic Traffic

We tracked the typical SEO metrics for 10 recurring events spread throughout 2023, taking into consideration:

  • the country where the event took place
  • 2022 data vs 2023 data
  • variations before and after the event took place

Here are charts for the main events for 2023, and we found similar trends for increased traffic year over year.

The clicks, impressions, and ranking increases are average on the 10 event microsites.

Tickets sold data

While structured data might not be the magic bullet for soaring rankings and skyrocketing revenue, it is a powerful catalyst. 

The event sites we worked on saw a YoY increase in revenue generated by organic traffic exceeding 40%. 

The key lies in enhanced relevancy, as search engines can grasp content with far greater accuracy, leading to a more targeted audience. This translates to a valuable digital marketing strategy: users find exactly what they need, and businesses connect with highly relevant customers.

Ready to boost your traffic and revenue? Contact us today to learn how we can help you achieve your goals!

Must Read Content

The Power of Product Knowledge Graph for E-commerce
Dive deep into the power of data for e-commerce

Why Do We Need Knowledge Graphs?
Learn what a knowledge graph brings to SEO with Teodora Petkova

Generative AI for SEO: An Overview
Use videos to increase traffic to your websites

SEO Automation in 2024
Improve the SEO of your website through Artificial Intelligence

Touch your SEO: Introducing Physical SEO
Connect a physical product to the ecosystem of data on the web

Are you ready for the next SEO?
Try WordLift today!