In this post: website – does your festival or event need its own? We’ll share key considerations for stand-alone events, such as major festivals or events versus parent organizations with events, umbrella organizations, SEO, branding, the difference between sub-domains and sub-directories, using social media such as Facebook for your festival or event website.
Festival organizers and planners struggle with the question, “Website – does your festival or event need its own?” Two different thoughts on this subject vary depending on the brand name recognition or reputation of a festival or event AND on the traffic going to the event organizer’s parent or umbrella – website.
- A stand-alone website for a festival or event that is put on by a group with no other purpose but that festival or event and all ancillary events related to the main event;
- An organization whose mission is to do X but uses a number of events to fundraise or support the mission and none of those events have a reputation bigger than the organization or overshadow the organization; and
- An organization, like #2, but the event’s reputation exceeds the identity of the host organization.
STAND ALONE FESTIVAL or EVENTS
PARENT ORGANIZATION with CHILD EVENTS
PARENT ORGANIZATION with MAJOR A FESTIVAL or EVENTS
- Continue to maintain an events or activities page on your parent or umbrella organization’s website. For a larger festival or event, provide summary details on that website and then link over to the festival or event’s sub-domain. If you do a number of events, perhaps only one will achieve that stand-alone status with a sub-domain site. Remember to cross-sell the smaller events housed on the parent or umbrella organization website from the sub-domain since it will be garnering lots of eyes. As a result, links will be flowing in both directions.
- Backlinks can be achieved by posting your event on these websites:
- The local chamber of commerce – assuming you are a member
- Tourism websites – providing the festival or event is relevant to visitors
- Convention and visitors bureau (CVB) and state tourism websites – again providing relevant content
- Community calendars – because the media (TV and radio stations, newspapers and local cable news channels) is inundated with requests for coverage, a community calendar is often the mechanism they use to show support. Determine if you can sign up to add your own content or if administered by the media outlet.
- Remember to maintain a list of your backlinks and track them on a spreadsheet. You will need them later. These likely are also the same outlets you’ll send news releases to.
- Ask your festival or event sponsors to also provide backlinks to your festival or event sub-domain or to your parent or umbrella organization’s events and activities page or dedicated (directory) webpage for a special festival or event. This should be an easy request to meet providing this page doesn’t showcase competing sponsors, such as two other local banks.
- If you send out news release using a paid distribution service to promote your festival or event, those can also provide backlinks. Don’t consider the cost of this service strictly for news coverage. The backlinks are value-added.
- Seek out directory listings but realize they may not carry significant SEO juice. General directories will provide little value but those tied to a specific theme are more likely to reach a loyal fan base. For instance, directory listings for wine, beer, arts and crafts festivals fall into this category. When adding listings of this type, the content should be generic and timeless so it will remain accurate should someone forget to update the information. Not all directory listings will give your festival or event a backlink as some are set with “no follow” tags … no backlink ability.
Some festival listings require you to be one of their members, as is the case with state association of festival and events, while others like EverFest.com have added the content for various festivals and events, some of which is outdated. One of Everfest.com’s website’s investment backers was Live Nation which was created by a merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster. Perhaps this site was built as a lead generator.