Struggling to drive traffic to your website in order to sell tickets? With so much competition out there, it can be tough to stand out in search engine results. In this episode, we're joined by Daniel Hutt, head of content for ZeroToMastery, to explore one of the easiest ways to increase traffic to your event website: schema markup.
Daniel will break down the ins and outs of schema markup and how it can help event organizers like you get more views, clicks, and ultimately, more ticket sales. He'll explain how schema markup works, why it's important, and how to use it to improve your website's SEO.
Throughout the episode, Daniel will share practical tips and tricks on how to implement schema markup effectively for your event website. He'll also discuss common mistakes that event organizers make when using schema markup and how to avoid them.
By the end of the episode, you'll have a solid understanding of how schema markup can help you drive more traffic to your event website and ultimately, sell more tickets.
Click here to access Daniel's article we talk about!
So, if you're ready to take your event marketing to the next level, grab a notepad and get ready to learn from one of the top marketing nerds in the game.
What is Schema Markup?
So what is schema markup? Imagine you're a librarian who's organizing a library. You have lots of books, but you need to know what each book is about so you can put them in the right section.
Schema markup is like labels you can put on your books that explain what they're about, making it easier for you to find the right section.
Similarly, schema markup is like labels you can put on your website that explain what each page is about, making it easier for search engines to understand what your website is about and rank it higher in search results.
- Schema markup is a powerful tool for event organizers to increase traffic to their websites, ultimately leading to more ticket sales.
- Schema markup helps search engines better understand the context of your website, which can lead to higher search rankings and more visibility for your event.
- It's important to use schema markup intentionally and strategically, with a focus on the information that will be most valuable to your target audience.
- Schema markup can be used for a variety of different types of content on your website, including event listings, blog posts, and other related pages.
- In order to get the most out of schema markup, it's important to use it consistently across your entire website and keep it up to date with any changes or updates.
- Event organizers can also use schema markup to showcase unique features of their events, such as location, special guests, or pricing options, to help stand out from the competition.
- By incorporating schema markup into your overall event marketing strategy, you can increase visibility, drive more traffic to your website, and ultimately, sell more tickets.
Here are a few resources to get you started.
- Daniel's Schema Markup blog - click here
- Google's Structured Data Testing Tool - click here
- Merkle's Schema Markup Generator - click here
Lee: Welcome to the Event Martech podcast. This is your host Lee, and on today's show, I am joined by the one and only, Mr. Daniel Hutt. He is the head of content for ZeroToMastery, and today he's gonna help event organizers who are struggling to drive traffic to their event websites and sell more tickets.
Before we crack into that though, Daniel, hey, how are you?
Daniel: I am Awesome, man. How's it going? It's been a while.
Lee: It's been a very long time. Little bit of backstory folks. I also have the Trailblazer FM podcast and about four years ago me and Daniel did a recording there, so I'll make sure I link back to that.
Daniel, for those who don't know you, could you please l give us a little bit of a bio before we crack-on?
Daniel: Yeah, it's, well, I guess it's changed a little since I spoke to you last. Um, I'm an Englishman with a weird accent because I live in New Zealand for the last 11 years. I'm a permanent resident here now. Been all over the place. Uh, absolute marketing nerd. Um, got into it because I started a clothing company within five weeks I was in five retail stores. Sold that company. Got into marketing. I had a bunch of success with paid ads and things and, and written content. I once wrote an article, that got 3 million in client requests in two weeks. I just do nerdy marketing stuff basically.
Lee: That's pretty incredible. So folks, we're gonna be looking at something called schema markup, and before you switch off, please, stay tuned because this is something that is ridiculously powerful.
Daniel put together an incredibly informative and easy to follow article over on zerotomastery.io and we will link that in the show notes. But what we're gonna do today is actually interview Daniel and just get some more information from the horse's mouth. I'm sure you don't mind me calling you a horse mate.
Just to give us a little bit more context and to understand the benefits of schema markup for our event websites. So before we go any further, mate, could you just kind of explain what schema markup is to anyone who's just not a developer or a web builder?
Daniel: It's actually pretty simple. It's complicated words for things that you would've heard before basically. If you are driving organic traffic to that website, to that event website, you've probably heard of seo, search engine optimization, things like that. A big part of that is getting sites to link to you, but it's also making sure that your pages are optimized, mainly so that search engines understand what the page is about.
If you've got a gig for, you know, like, um, one musician, is there gonna be any confusion between that and something totally different. Back in the day, if I digress just slightly, I remember my clothing company got a lot of customers, uh, sorry, a lot of traffic overnight, like a million visitors almost. And I, I couldn't understand what was going on cause we were small and it was because one of our t-shirts was optimized for this term and it turned out a Korean pop band literally launched a song like two days afterwards of the same name.
So when people were searching for it, they came to our website and then ran off. It's, it's on page SEO to help search engines understand what it's about, but it's kind of like the next step. So schema markup is technically, it's called the structured data, and it's just additional information you can put onto every page of your website to really help search engines understand the thing is, This thing, this schema markup was actually created in collaboration between like the four biggest search engine companies.
So you've got like Google, Yandex, I forget the other one off the top of my head, but like these are trillion dollar companies and they're working together, which is rare enough on its own to make it so that search engines understand pages more. So the fact that they're working together for one thing means that this is important.
Second thing is hardly anyone does this. Uh, third thing. It can really, really, really increase your traffic because. The more they understand, the more the search engines understand your page, the more often they can show it to people. Not only that, when they create new features, they often pull this information from that details that are in schema, so like rich snippets and things like that, and clips. In comparison, so, Zero To Mastery, I think, we went from, I'm not too sure of the original traffic at this start, but we managed to scale to 2 million impressions a month in Google, uh, within about five months. Not a lot of new content, maybe like one or two articles a week if that. But what we were actually doing is simply improving the pages we already had so that search engines could find us.
That's it really in a nutshell, just helping them understand so they can share you more often.
Lee: Holy smokes. So for the Trailblazer Podcast, for example, I have over 400 episodes that I've never done any schema markup with. So I could just go ahead and instead of recording more content, I could actually just go ahead and improve my schema markup, which might help drive more traffic clicks, et cetera.
So on that then, could you elaborate on how that would work? How? How does Schema markup help drive more traffic?
Daniel: It's one of those things that it's simple and principle, but it's a little complicated to set up because there's no, there's no like one click solution. You can get certain plugins and things that offer this, but what they do when you use them is they just kind of pull random information from your page and, and create the schema code.
And when it does that, it kind of messes it up. So manually, what you can do is you can use a tool, um, and I put it in the guide, like exactly how to walk through, how to do all this, but there's a company called Merkel, which is an SEO company, and they made a tool. You can go on there for free, pick the kind of page that you are about to do, so like a podcast page or a blog post, a recipe, an event, things like that.
And it will ask you for specific information that you can fill out, you know, like a location. What's the URL for this? Uh, How much does it cost for a ticket? Things like that. And it'll pull all that information live into search results. So say if you were looking for, this comes to mind cuz the Wutang Klan is here in like a couple of weeks.
If you were looking like to go see Wutang Klan, you would see it not just show up and the location, you would see the availability of tickets, uh, prices, all that kind of information would be additionally pulled. Onto the page. I hope that makes sense. It's, it's a difficult thing to explain without like looking at it at the same time.
But really all it is, is you are just filling out a checklist and when you upload that into, um, the header section or a code section of a page, you know, if you've ever worked in the backend of a website, there'll be a box that says, add HTML code here. You just copy and paste it there, press save, and the search engines will be able to then suggest you for way more stuff.
Lee: So when the search engine suggests for way more stuff, are we now talking that not only could you rate higher ie get onto the elusive page one, but does that mean for certain types of content you could actually appear right at the top? So if someone's searching for events in the area, you could actually appear as a local event with your date and ticket prices, et cetera.
Daniel: Exactly! Events, but any kind of page that you would have on there, it would pull that information because it's, it's helping it to understand contextual information about what's on the page. Cuz it doesn't understand what a picture is or anything else, or a video. All it gets is the size of the image. You know, it's four 50 by two 80 or whatever it is, and you can call it something, but it still doesn't know all that information. But with Schema it can pull a lot more from there. So, When, when it does that, it can, for one thing, it can understand your page more. So it can, like, instead of just 10 keyword words, maybe it might suddenly rank for 200 for that page. All these relevant things, it understands it contextually. So if you were searching for a specific band or uh, a certain event or something like that, it's gonna show you the latest version of it instead of last year's or different location.
Um, it's gonna also pull it for. Over different types of search results. So rich snippets are the ones that appear at the top of the page when you're searching for information on something. So even though your website might not even show at the top, because you are being out ranked by someone, by having the schemer on there, you'll show up for the rich snippet and then you'll actually get the click, even though a competitor, it technically outranks you. So you are getting higher click rate and more traffic. Simply because your page is better optimized than a competitor who has a lot more backlinks, maybe a lot more experience, uh, years in the industry, things like that. It's just, it's such a little cheat code for this.
And then if you've got videos embedded and things like that, they'll start to shop with the page. Uh, so will the images. If there's steps of like how to, um, how to do something, it can show that as well. It's, honestly, it's one of the easiest things that you can do right now. It's time intent, like it takes a little time to do, but it's one of the easiest wins that you can get without creating anything else.
Without doing anything else. No new content, no new pages, nothing. Just fully optimizing the pages that you've got.
Lee: So some good examples would be I've run a search for something and I will get videos first before the actual main results appear. Therefore, um, even though a competitor will be the top result of the actual website results, one of my videos is actually already at the very top on how to do something, especially on things like a how to or, uh, like an article. Um, can you kind of mix then? Can you have one page with multiple different types of content?
Daniel: You can. Yeah, and that's one of the issues with plugins is usually it'll let you do one or the other. Whereas if you actually do it manually, you can go in and say, okay, well I've got this page. It's a local event, plus there's gonna be frequently asked questions section in there, and whatever else. You can create the event information, save that, create the FAQ information, save that, put them together, just save it on the same page.
Now it's gonna show up for all those additional things instead of just having, yeah, it's amazing.
Lee: Like you said, it is like a cheat code, isn't it? Everyone's focusing on back links and more and more content, and yet you can appear in, not even paid for as well, a really good real estate of, uh, search engine pages up near the top in its own section, like events near you or, uh, how to guides or videos.
Daniel: Well the top link gets like 30% of all clicks. Even if it's a rich snippet, like the, the traffic is much higher to that. So being able to jump up is just, it's such like a cheat code because you're, you're getting all that before you've even got all those back links. The, there's a bunch of cool effects.
Google actually checks. They wanna provide the best experience, the best result to people. So they're starting to check and measure clicks and time on page. So if it is that you are actually getting clicks from your rich snippet or whatever else, and people are staying there, they're gonna start ranking you higher again for all your overages, just because you are a proven source of good content.
So it's like it starts to compound on itself. Seriously, it's like one of the easiest things you can do to get the biggest impact in your organic traffic right now. And no one does this. Something like only 10% of websites implement it. Insane. I was gonna say, even the people who do it kind of do it poorly.
They use plug-ins and things, and so their results that show up on the page, uh, kind of, you know, if you have a search for something and you see it, and then the information underneath just doesn't make any sense. It looks like it's just pulled from randomly halfway through the page. That's like plug-ins and stuff doing that.
Whereas with schema, you can actually design the code and even, set the spacing and add emojis and all kinds of things on there. You give yourself a five star rating if you want to and stuff like that. And that's what'll appear in the results when someone looks at the thing.
Lee: I think my biggest takeaway so far then is, uh, do your own schema markup and be intentional with it, as opposed to trying to find any sort of quick fix, which I honestly have done in the past. I've installed third party, uh, SEO plugins and activated the auto generates schema and thought, oh, haven't I done a great job?
Daniel: Yeah, because you just wanna tick stuff off your list, right? And it does take time, like if you've got 50 blog posts and it takes an hour per page or 40 minutes or half an hour per page cuz of how much you wanna put into there, it's gonna take a lot of time. But the irony is, if you wrote content for the next two years, you probably still wouldn't get as much impact as what you would have by optimizing those 50 pages better.
Lee: Now you mentioned earlier as well that um, Google are tracking things like how long somebody's on a page for. Are there any tips then for keeping somebody on a
Daniel: Huh. Fast, low times. Believe it or not, like one of the biggest things that you can actually do is well, One of the biggest things that will affect you negatively if is if a page takes a long time to load. And also if things are moving around on the page, so they call it core web vitals. So Google's implementing these new features that are all experience based.
How long does it take? Once I click, how long does it take before I can actually start touching stuff? Are things moving around on the screen? So I'm gonna click on something by accident. All of that kind of stuff. So just. Cleaning up your code will help but opt like running on a faster server, uh, better web host is ridiculous.
How much more traffic you will get and how many more sales you will get. I think it's, uh, you've got, you, you lose something like 80% of your traffic if they gotta wait more than three or four seconds for the page to load. And if you actually ran your site through, uh, Google's like ping test. Some pages are 11 seconds on mobile.
See, that person is already gone, you know?
Lee: Yeah, I suppose as well, making sure that the snippet is actually relevant to the content. So if someone's being driven to content on your page and you've actually not got much to do with it.
Daniel: You can't get away with, so there's two aspects, right? You. You, you want to be able to, to show up. And once you show up, you want people to click on the result. So the, the, the information that you show on there, if you customize it and things like that, you're gonna get more clicks. But it does, like you say, it does have to be correct because otherwise, if they get across to the page and it's not, they're gonna look for something else, and Google's gonna look at that and say, hang on a minute, people are not getting this. We're not gonna show you anymore. In fact, we're gonna rank you lower. Same time though, if they do click and they love it and the page loads and people leave before they even start. Google's gonna look at that and say, this is not a great experience for the users, let's show them the second best person, you know?
So honestly, like it's, it's the small things everyone wants to do, like these big swinging changes, but it's the small things like a faster web host and optimizing your page. It's gonna double your traffic and sales.
Lee: How do you think schema markup kind of fits into an overall broader SEO strategy then for an event website?
Daniel: Honestly, any kind of assets that you are, for an event, so it depends if, if it's like a recurring event where you're running, I dunno, like a meetup once a year, things like that, definitely worth, it's worth doing a schema anyway, just because it, it's really not gonna take that long. You probably don't have that many pages on that event site.
Maybe you're creating a couple of blog posts on there about, uh, particular topics or speakers or something like that that's coming in. Anything that helps search engines show you more. It's never a bad thing. More , more views, more clicks, more traffic, more sales, things like that. Um, if it is that you are running it recurring each year, even more important because now you're gonna be able to show up for like a specific type of event at a location all the time.
And like we say, it's gonna pull that contextual location data and things. So you'll be able to see, oh, okay, well this is, uh, the event near me that I want to go to. So, Nothing too exciting, but at the end of the day, we are trying to drive traffic. You know, you've gotta do the things that work.
Lee: I've seen as well a lot of event organizers. Not only are they doing the yearly events, but they're also now starting to add real content. So blogs that are specific to the content that's going to be in the event itself. So you can also be adding schema to that, and that's gonna help drive an awful lot of extra traffic.
Daniel: A hundred percent because, if you've got different speakers and stuff as well, and they're talking about it and they're sharing their advice about that content, well now it's actually really valuable assets as well that are gonna continue to get traffic the next year's event, even if that speaker's not there anymore.
You know? And if the event is always around a specific topic, you know, if it's always around email marketing or whatever, you're gonna continue to be able to get customers and leads all throughout the year. So it could be that your event is every September. But your blog content is capturing leads every month of the year because it's optimized.
And then that way when you come to your event, you're gonna sell your tickets much easier, right.
Lee: Awesome folks. Remember there is a link in the show notes where Daniel does a deep dive into all of this. If you are not a developer, don't worry about it. Pass it onto one of your web team. I'm sure they will have fun having a read through, but as we come into land, Daniel, are there any potential downsides or limitations to using Schema, I guess specifically on event websites, and how can organizers ensure that they're using it the most effectively?
Daniel: Uh, no, there's, there's no downsides at all. Um, really all it is is just the next stage of optimization. The only things would be if you were using a plugin to just pull it automatically your result is just gonna look weird and you might show up and people would be like, well, what is this, that doesn't make any sense, that doesn't look like a legit thing, and I don't wanna click on that. But that's it really. I in the article as well, I talk about how to add custom HTML code into schema because some of them annoyingly don't have spacing and things. So like you'll, you'll write out, uh, sections for your results to show up and it's just like a wall of text, but you can go in there and add in like a, a bracket forward slash p kind of thing to create a new line and stuff.
I couldn't find that anywhere. No one talks about that in any guide on schema, like I've looked at, not even developers or anything. And it makes it so that your results show up and look so much better and get, I think, I didn't include this in the article, but our, our click through rate on some went up by like 5%, which is huge, like an extra 5% in clicks just because the appearance of the same text looked more appealing.
Like I say, it's, it's all in the blog post. It sounds complex. It's really easy to follow. Hopefully I've made sense cuz it is a little bit late here in New Zealand, so my brain is a little slow. Um, but yeah.
Lee: No, that makes a lot of sense. Well, I mean, like I said, I think my biggest takeaway or my biggest takeaways from this would be that schema markup is essentially some basic code that is gonna provide instructions to search engines saying, Hey, this is what we're all about. These are the types of content that we have, and it's going to help search engines understand contextually, uh, what you have and what your site's about.
It's gonna allow you to create multiple different varieties of content that you can then promote or kind of get more exposure to through rich snippets showing up as an event, showing up as a how to, as frequently asked questions, uh, perhaps even visitor ratings, et cetera from previous events. There's all sorts of potential in that.
Um, you've also mentioned just near the end there, the, the last little gold nugget that there are also ways to make sure that your particular snippet looks gorgeous as opposed to everybody else is thus increasing the likelihood of the click through. And the final biggest takeaway was that whole intentionality.
Don't try and automate schema with third party plugins, but actually be intentional. Take a look at the page that you are, are doing the schema for. Work out, you know, what you want this to, uh, rank for what you want people to see, um, what you want their experience to be. You don't wanna be driving someone to a page that doesn't have much how to copy on.
But you certainly want to drive them, if this is the showcase for your yearly events, you wanna make sure that you are ranking for those particular items. And I'm saying things like ranking and making myself sound like an expert. Honestly, I haven't a clue. So I'm hoping Daniel, you can say whether everything I just said was mainly correct.
Daniel: No, you are, you're spot on. Like it's, I know we talked about like, you can get a developer to do this for you, but you really with the tool when you're loaded up and if you see in the blog post, it'll literally, there's boxes there where it says, what's the website page address? And you copy and paste it in.
What's the title of this event? You copy and paste in. When is it running? You copy and paste, and at the end of it, on the right hand side, it creates the code for you and you click copy, and then you just go to the page and you just paste it into the section and that's it. You know, like it's, it's, it's not much more complex than that unless you want to customize it slightly.
And again, it, that's just adding in like spacing and emojis and stuff. It's a copying and pasting certain elements.
Lee: I think if you've added, say, pixel code, uh, from say social media or anything like that, it's the same sort of processes and it you're going to a third party tool, copy, paste and put it in the relevant section. Obviously for schema, it's on a per page basis rather than at the top level as a website basis.
Daniel: Spot on.
Lee: Nice one. Well folks, if you want to learn more about this, then do check the link in the show notes for this in-depth article. You can also learn more about Daniel over on ampmycontent.com. So as we come into land, mate, what's the best way for people to connect with you or follow you, say on social media, and then we shall say goodbye.
Daniel: So I am on Twitter @InboundAscend, and I think I said this last time, but I mainly share like cat photos and things on there and the occasional blog post. But yeah, that's probably the best place to get me
Lee: Follow Daniel on Twitter for the latest in cats and the odd piece of content. All that's left for us to do mate, is say thank you so much for your time and have a great
Thanks a lot guys. Thank you.
Lee: Cheers mate.