How to get more people to visit your theatre website

By Erin Gleig, EMG Design

Theatre SEO

Powerful and useful SEO strategies for your theatre website

First impressions are everything. Like a book cover, people will judge your theatre website by its search result title and description. Search results are an opportunity to advertise your business. Take advantage of this by establishing a keyword-rich headline, meta description, and URL.  Add schema and provide quality content for your searcher and you’ll be on your way to having a higher click-through rate. Be a step ahead of the competition. Here are some tips on how to improve the click-through rate to your theatre website. 

Investing time into creating an SEO strategy for your theatre website will pay off in the long term. Let’s be honest, you already have a core audience that comes to your productions regularly. We’re not trying to convert them to buy tickets – they are already loyal customers. On-page SEO will help get your website in front of new audiences because it will attract people who search organically. When people are searching for what is playing in their hometown, you want your theatre show to come up. Here’s how to increase your chances of being found online in a competitive marketplace. Use these essential elements to set up your website for success. 

It’s All in the Headline

The first line of text people see about your webpage on Google is your headline. The goal of your headline is to grab the searcher’s attention. Your headline should be unique and reflect your brand personality. For example, if your theatre company is targeting families, then you can write in an informal tone explaining how your show will capture all members of their family.

Here are some tips for writing a successful headline for your theatre website:

  1. Make it easy to digest. Lengthy headlines have a lower click-through rate. People usually scan headlines, so a short and straightforward title a higher chance of being read. Google will include ellipsis after 70 characters.
  2. Include keywords at the beginning of your headline. Google will favour headlines using the keywords your searcher is looking for. A headline is more likely to meet a user’s needs if the keyword is at the start of the headline rather than the end.
  3. Don’t use clickbait. Clickbait is claiming a fact that you can’t support. It’s used to trick the searcher into visiting your webpage. Don’t do this. It will increase your bounce rate because you’re not honest with your communication. Using clickbait will tarnish your brand.
  4. Use questions in your title to get your viewer to respond mentally.
  5. Use lists. People love lists. For example: “12 Best Musicals of All Time”.

Meta Descriptions

Powerful Theatre SEO Strategies

After your headline, the searcher will see a description of your webpage. This description is the meta description. They are a maximum of 160 characters long. Meta descriptions are an opportunity to advertise your webpage and are an essential part of marketing your brand.

Include your Personality

Many theatre companies miss the opportunity to include their personality in their website’s meta description. Remember that this is often the first point your searcher has “met” you and is an excellent opportunity to connect with them. If your brand is cute and sassy, include that style of writing in your meta description. You don’t need to be formal. Your meta description should reflect your brand personality. Don’t need to list theatre credits in your meta description; please don’t! Instead, use this opportunity to give your searchers a preview of what your theatre company is doing and intrigue their curiosity. Make them want to see more.

Elements of a Great Meta Descriptions

Often meta descriptions are left to the end of website development – as a hurried task that doesn’t get proper attention. This is a lost opportunity. By writing a keyword rich description of your webpage, you’ll increase your click-through rate. It is vital to give your meta description attention when developing your content. To increase the chances of a searcher finding you and visiting your website use these elements:

  • Use the keywords that your webpage is targeting.
  • Provide a compelling description.
  • Be relevant.
  • Make it unique from other content descriptions on your site.
  • Include your brand personality.

By writing a keyword rich description of your webpage, you'll increase your click-through rate. It is vital to give your meta description attention when developing your content.

Why are Meta Descriptions Important?

The main reason they’re important is for conversion. Although Google says they don’t factor meta descriptions in their algorithm, they do factor the click-through rate, or CTR. CTR is the number of people clicking on your link to go to your website. Having a meta description that accurately reflects your content and brand, and promotes the searcher to click through to your webpage tells Google that your content will likely provide value.

Social networks will also use your meta description in the preview of your webpage link. If you have a blog post linked to your Facebook Business page, for instance, the meta description will be listed as the summary for that post in your feed unless otherwise specified. Use meta descriptions to give a preview of an upcoming production.

URLs

URLs are also crucial for gaining a high click-through rate for your website. They should be descriptive, and your website’s site hierarchy should be logical and “future-proof.” Add web pages in a logical order as your website grows. Use the same system for building your URL structure throughout your entire theatre website. Keep your URL short to avoid Google from cutting it off.

Get rid of prepositions and conjunctions. Words like “and” or “the” can be left out of the URL because they don’t matter to Google. Use hyphens to break up words in your URL; not underscores. Underscores will join your words together.

You might be interested in this article as well:

What is Schema?

In your search queries, do you ever see events with photos or videos that have snippets below? These web pages are using schema to give a richer experience to their user. By using microdata, Google can understand what your content is. It enables special features and enhancements in displaying your webpage. Your webpage looks better in search results with images, star ratings, and other features, and it puts you higher in search results. Adding schema will improve your traffic from organic search. Best part—it’s free! The schema code is available to anyone who wants to improve the quality of their web pages in search results, at schema.org. You do need to understand the coding or classification of schema, but there are online generators and plugins that you can use to generate schema without understanding code. Providing content that is relevant to a user’s query gives the audience a more satisfying experience. To create your schema code, you can use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper. After you’ve added schema, be sure to test it using the Structured Data Testing Tool. This tool will let you know if you have any errors to correct.

If you’re using WordPress for your theatre website, several plugins can generate the right code for your site. There are also online schema generators that can assist you. Don’t understand coding? No worries. Here is a useful schema generator on SEO chat that will do your mark-up for you.

Voice Search

Schema improves search ranking and can be used for voice search. Voice search is fast becoming more popular with devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo. By using schema, you will be ahead in the curve because your website will be accessible to voice search and many theatre websites are not doing this.

Provide Great Content

How to get more clicks on your theatre website

Part of your mission when writing content for your theatre website should include great material that is relevant and useful for your audience. It’s great for a search engine to find your site, but if your content is not helpful to a real person, it’s useless. Provide useful, good quality content. You will see your viewership increase, especially in returning visitors. In response to providing great content, you’ll also lower your bounce rate.

Some examples of content you could use for a theatre website are reviews, landing pages for each show, behind-the-scenes setup, timelines, and details of the history of your organization.

Tip!

Tip! If your organization has a rich history, use old programs, photos, and newspaper articles to commemorate an anniversary. Alternatively, take pictures of rehearsals and write about the progress of an upcoming show. People love to be a part of that and have an “insider” view of your organization. Get creative!

Keywords and On-page SEO

To understand search engines, you need to know how they work and why they’re essential.

Spiders!

You may have heard the term “spider” or ”crawlers” when people talk about SEO. Spiders are robots that scour the Internet, putting web pages in a database. Think of the internet as an extensive library, and web pages as books. The spiders will search your web pages for various elements to catalogue your webpage in the proper spot.

Spiders work through the web pages using links. When a user inputs a search query for your theatre website, the search engine recalls this information and displays its listings. The list of “answers” or web pages a user receives are ranked according to relevance.

How does a search engine work out rankings?

Search engines use many factors to calculate where they should list your website. Don’t get too buried in all the algorithms. Create good content that uses best-practiced on-page SEO techniques, and you will build your audience. It takes time. Stop thinking about the robots going through your webpage and think about the user.

Keywords

Keywords are the words or phrases in your content that make it searchable by search engines. Using keywords in your theatre website’s content will help search engines verify your content. Keywords define what your content is talking about. Search engines know where to put your webpage by the keywords you specify. Keywords can be “short-tail” (phrases of 3 words or fewer) or “long-tail” (keywords or phrases of more than three words). It is best to have a mix of each content item, leaning more towards long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are more descriptive than short-tail keywords and target audiences that are specifically looking for your information.

To rank well with organic (non-paid) on-page SEO, you need to use keywords that your audience would use. It is vital to research your keywords when developing your keyword strategy for your theatre website. Use language that your ideal client would use. The internet is for humans, not robots. You’ll get poor results if you don’t use keywords that reflect your clients’ thinking. A great free tool for researching keywords for your theatre website is Ubbersuggest by Neil Patel. This website is a free service that you can quickly look up keyword search volumes.

How do you research your keywords?

There are several tools available to research keywords. Google Ad Keyword Planner, Wordtracker, and Moz Keyword Software are among the most popular. These platforms will give you volume estimates for your intended keyword. Use keywords that have a low or medium volume because a high amount is too competitive. Ranking well with a competitive keyword is very difficult. Use keywords in your title, URL, meta description, first 100 words of your article, closing paragraph, and sprinkled throughout your article. These elements tell search engines that your article is about the content you said it was about.

When developing your SEO for your theatre website, keep these best practices in mind:

  • Don’t keyword stuff. Keyword stuffing is randomly inserting keywords into your content with no context. Search engines will remove your website from their listings. Keyword density is optimal around 2-3%. Make your sentence structure flow to increase readability.
  • Use your keywords throughout your content, in particular, your first paragraph, headline, URL, meta-descriptions and concluding the article.
  • Writing your body copy like a conversation makes your content more readable.
  • Choose keywords that are not common. Your competition will be smaller, giving you a better chance of ranking higher.
  • Experiment with keywords. Use keyword search tools.
  • Be open to updating your keywords as the content is active. Changing your keyword strategy can increase your viewership. However, you must be patient, it will take several months to see if your keywords are improving your page rank. It’s not an overnight fix. You’ll be able to see over time which keywords have a higher response rate.

Make it long!

In 2019, professional bloggers and SEOs are finding that to rank in Google your articles need to be 2,500 words long. It is better to have fewer blog posts that are longer in length and explore your topic deeper than to have short articles that are more frequent.

By giving your headline, meta description, URL, and thoughtful consideration before diving into the content of your article for your theatre website, you’ll rank higher. Yes! Remember to follow best practices of quality content that is long and provides useful information to your audience. Deep dive into the information you are contributing to offer value to your audience. Add your schema to your article that uses the Event schema, and you’ve created a great start to getting your theatre website to rank higher on Google.

Do you have any additional tips for improving your click-through-rate to theatre website more accessible and more beneficial? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Erin Gleig

Erin Gleig

Erin Gleig builds marketable online identities for Arts, Culture and Non-profit organizations. She is the owner of EMG Design, a digital design studio in Delta, Canada. Connect with Erin at Twitter @erin_gleig.

Are you an Arts Organization that needs help executing your marketing?

With several years experience helping theatre companies and non-profits with their digital marketing needs I can save you time and reach a wider audience. Let’s chat! View my services offered by EMG Design.

You might find these articles helpful: 

How to get your website ranked higher in Google
Web Development
emg

Optimizing Website Performance

There are many aspects that search engines look at when ranking your business website. Website performance is one the major factors that search engines calculate in the algorithm. Content is the other major aspect.

In this article I discuss website optimization from the technical perspective. Optimizing website performance will increase speed and traffic, resulting in higher conversion rates. Your business website should be optimized to get the highest return on investment (ROI). Here are some quick performance optimization strategies for business websites.

Read More »
Website Homepage Checklist

Grab my Free Website Checklist
Get Organized & Save Hours of Time!