People say “publicity stunt” as though it’s a bad thing.
But it can be a great thing for your local-search visibility – particularly your local rankings in Google.
Maybe stunt is too strong a word. What I mean to say is holding any kind of public event at your business is a great way to get more visible to customers in the local search results.
I wrote this post to answer a simple question:
If I hold a public event at my business and want to spend a little time publicizing it, which “events” sites can help my local search rankings?
A public event you hold at your business can be a great source of citations and links, which can help your local rankings big-time.
It could be it a charity fundraiser, an hour-long how-to workshop, or an informal pow-wow with other business owners in your area.
Events like those are good to do anyway simply because they help people and because – even though hosting one will take a few hours of your time – they almost always end up being fun and worthwhile for everyone involved.
Still, you’ll want every quality citation and link you can get, especially if you’re in a really competitive local market.
Your event doesn’t need to be Woodstock 2012. You don’t even need to buy a box of those irksome “Hello, my name is ___” nametags. It can be a production that 5 people show up to.
What’s important is (1) your event actually helps people and isn’t a sales pitch, (2) you hold it at your business location, and (3) you list your event on sites that can help your local-search rankings by providing citations and (preferably) links.
I’d just like to point out that this post probably won’t apply to you if you run your business from your home address. Then again, unless you’re related to Hef and are in line to inherit the Playboy Mansion when he croaks, you probably won’t have the space or desire to hold many “events” at home anyway.
Anyway, if I were putting on a little (or big) public event today and wanted to get the maximum local-search bang from it, here are the “local events” sites I’d try to list my event on:
Here’s the list as a bunch of links – because we all know how grueling it is to type a URL into the address bar:
A few notes:
- The website of your local newspaper would also be an excellent place to get your event listed. I’ve noticed that having citations on local sites can be a boon to your Google rankings.
- Obviously you don’t have to list your event on all the sites to get build some good citations, links, and local karma. But the more, the better. I’d start from the top and work my way down the list.
- Many of them are free to list your even on, but I don’t believe all of them are.
- My ranking of the sites is approximate, but just let me know if you want me to describe how I ordered them. (*Of course, you can get a pretty good sense of this just by looking at the chart.)
- Some of them have a bent toward tourist-y or nightlife events, but all of them accommodate a pretty wide range of events – and businesses hosting those events.
What should you do now?
Just think of the simplest, easiest-to-plan, most informal event you could possibly put on and make open to the general public.
If you find this daunting, think for a minute about how pathetic and lazy your competitors are compared to you, and how awesome you are for putting together an event that helps other people, wins you some old-fashioned publicity, and grows your local-search visibility.
Then actually work your plan – meaning you’ll probably need to spend a couple hours sorting out the logistics.
Submit your event to as many sites on the list as you can.
Now you’re committed, and there’s no way to wiggle out of it
By the way, if you’re not sure what type of event you could host, just ask me in a comment and I’ll see if I can come up with a couple ideas (obviously, let me know what type of business you run).
(Thanks to Zachary Palmer of DivotAgency.com for telling me about several of the sites on the list, which helped spark the idea for this post.)