With the advent of massive online ticket exchanges (e.g. Ticket Network Direct) it is becoming increasingly difficult to optimize ticket broker and affiliate websites for search engines. These ticket exchanges have many advantages in that it makes it possible for even the smallest of ticket brokers to supply their customers with tickets to nearly any of the 80,000+ events throughout the U.S. However, as a result, nearly all of the ticket broker websites list the exact same tickets for sale often at the exact same price. Anyone that knows a thing or two about search engine optimization (SEO) knows that duplicate content is a big no-no. So what is a ticket broker to do to overcome the duplicate content issue? In this post we discuss 5 easy things you can do to optimize your website for the search engines and build both traffic and sales.
1. Create Unique and Useful Content
Anyone that pays attention to the best management practices recommended by the many search engines (i.e. Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) knows that content is king. With literally 10,000+ ticket broker websites in the U.S. alone it is not enough to simply list ticketed events on your website. Everyone already does that. In order to get premium placement in the search results you must provide additional details for the events you have for sale. Many ticket broker websites make the mistake of only adding some copy and pasted text (usually from Wikipedia) to the performer or team page. While this does provide the page with additional keywords, it will not help you as it is not unique nor useful content. Simply put, don’t bother wasting your time. If you are not going to take the time to write your own original and unique content that will benefit your users (which is highly recommended) , a more efficient method is to utilize RSS feeds to display relevant content on each performer and/or team page. There are many websites that can provide syndicated content free of charge. While original content is best, syndicated content can help your website visitors find relevant information and boost the amount of text on each of your pages.
Some good feeds to use can be found at:
CBS Sports RSS Feeds
ESPN RSS Feeds
Ticket RSS Feeds
You can also build a custom news feeds at Google News. To make you own feed simply put your search terms where it says “MYSEARCHTERM” in the following URL: http://news.google.com/news?q=MYSEARCHTERM&output=rss
2. Build backlinks
While search engines use complicated algorithms that are constantly evolving to rank the pages that are displayed on the search results, the biggest ranking factor seems to be the quality and number of backlinks. In the eyes of the search engines, each link to a page is considered a vote for that page. A vote from a highly respected website is weighted over a vote from a not so respectable website.
Backlinks are not easy to get for a commercial ticket website. The best way to get free backlinks are to list tickets for sale at various classifieds websites. However, classifieds websites like Craigslist and Backpage will delete your ads after a short period of time, thus, negating any long terms benefits. Perhaps the best classifieds site to post ticket ads is at Tickifieds as the ads are permanent and never deleted.
Another way to build backlinks to engaging in discussions on various blogs. Most blogs commenting systems will allow participants to leave a link to your website. You will want to find blogs related to the content your are looking to promote and leave a thoughtful comment. There is an art to this as a generic or unrelated comments can come across as spam and will prevent your comment (and link) from being approved. Probably one of the best blogs to comment on is the very one you are reading as it is directly related to the ticket industry. So, feel free to comment on this article and get a free and easy backlink to your website.
3. Encourage Sharing on Social Media Websites
Many search engines are looking towards social media as indicators of quality content. Webpages shared on social media sites are treated much like backlinks- a virtual vote for your webpage. Encouraging sharing on social media site is pretty easy and straight forward. Place buttons to various social networking sites to encourage sharing of your content. Some of the top services include Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. You can either get a snippet of code from each of those services or you can integrate all of them via a service like AddThis or ShareThis.
To make this even more effective, be sure to created branded pages on each of these services. For example check out our Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ pages.
4. Start a Blog
Blogs are a great way to accomplish many of the other items on the list. A blog can be used to create unique content, build backlinks, and encourage visitors to engage with you via social media. You can either create a blog on a subdomain of your ticket website or simply use a free hosted solution like WordPress or Blogger. While creating a blog is free and easy to do, remember not to underestimate the time and dedication need to reap the immense benefits of blogging. If you are going to start a blog you will need to frequently write fresh content (at minimum 2-3 articles a week).
5. List your Tickets at Tickifieds.com
While we have already mentioned the benefits or using Tickifieds.com to enhance the visibility of your ticket website in the search engines, we thought we would expand upon that statement a bit further. Tickifieds is really a unique service in that it provide as highly visible platform to promote your service and/or tickets. The volume of ticket listing we receive everyday ensure that the search engine spiders frequently crawl our website. When they do so they note any links to outside websites. By making a listing you get a quick, easy, and free “vote” for your webpage from a highly respected website. Tickifieds is one of the top websites in the world (see our Alexa rank) and consistently appears at the top of the search results for many event ticket terms. So even if you are failing at SEO for you own website you can easily get search engine visibility through Tickifieds.
You can even further the benefits of using Tickifieds by checking out some of our ticket classifieds tips. Of particular interest is our article on using your personalized RSS feed. Your personal RSS feed contains only ads you posted and is a tool to build viral backlinks to your ads and website. To learn more about this be sure to check out “Promoting Ticket Sales With RSS Feeds“.
We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback so please leave a comment!