I went to Google to look for local events in Flintshire.
Google told me these things were happening:
Looks like there’s a lot on. Wait – all of these events are in Liverpool.
You know what that says to me? Google reckons there’s nothing to do in Flintshire.
Are they right? Is there nothing to do (don’t laugh)?
No, they’re not right – and I’m sure people working to run events in Flintshire and North Wales are trying very hard to promote their work. You can find a good list on the What’s On? with My Storage Pod Flintshire/North Wales Events Calendar.
So why haven’t Google got it right?
Google Knowledge Graph/Local Pack Results Aren’t Perfect
This type of search query is an example of where Google hasn’t got the UK results quite right. It might be different if you’re looking for results in an urban location, but (anecdotally) I do occasionally have problems finding good local pack for semi-rural locations outside of organic listings.
Take this SERP for “self storage north wales” and look at the local pack:
Those businesses might provide a great service, but they’re not based in North Wales – and importantly, they’re not even close. For non-UK readers, that’s South Wales, not North Wales.
People probably might be okay with this poor result if both of the following were true:
- There were no self storage companies in North Wales (there are plenty)
- There were business listed who weren’t too far away – for example in Mid Wales, Cheshire or Shropshire
This kind of result just sends searches elsewhere. Both AdWords and Organic results are far more useful in this instance, but that’s a big chunk of the SERP that’s wasted.
What can Google do for Flintshire Events? Organic Results Have The Answer
These results are not the norm, at least anecdotally.*
So how does Google do a better job? Well, they need help from marketers and website developers. The “Listing Your Events in the Knowledge Graph” page indicates that adding structured data to events listings will enable appearance in this type of event listing.
So this is a must for organisations that run events.
Is it Flintshire Event Organisers’ Fault?
Which local (Flintshire) event organisers use structured event data on their websites?
Let’s have a look at the following places, and put their websites into the Structured Data Testing Tool:
- Theatr Clwyd
- Coleg Cambria
- Greenfield Valley Museum & Heritage Park
- Gladstone’s Library, Hawarden
- St Winefride’s Well, Holywell
- Clwydian Range (tourism website)
- Flintshire County Council
Unfortunately, only one out of seven organisations have events listings good enough for Google to acknowledge in the Knowledge Graph. Well done to Theatr Clwyd, see you in the SERPs.
One of the websites only offered a PDF of events, I’m sorry to write.
Flintshire Event Organisers are Missing Out
It might be a bold statement, but any event organiser who publishes event listings on their website and cares about the popularity of their events should be interested in getting this right.
That’s all event organisers, by the way. Are you one? Get in touch :)
What’s best for users, then?
Google’s aim for this type of Knowledge Graph result is to give searchers quality information quickly. It’s pretty good – you get the event, location and date/time. It wasn’t around a year ago, and it won’t definitely be here forever. But while it is here, it’s another SERP opportunity to take advantage of.
*yes that’s the second time I’ve used that word, because this post isn’t a data-driven behemoth, it’s a look at some local results from the perspective of a local user…with some technical analysis :)