When it comes to Search Engine Optimization, I think Ricky Bobby may have said it best, “if you’re not first, you’re last.” And while I may be taking that quote completely out of context, the basic premise still holds true. If you’re not on the first page, let alone the first couple of results, it’s very unlikely anyone will ever find your page on Google, Yahoo or Bing. Don’t believe me, take a look at the top 20 positions according to a study conducted by Optify:
Highlights include 1st place getting 3x the traffic as 2nd, and the combined percentage of total clicks on page 2… 14.4%. Not great odds if you ask me.
That said, all is not lost if you’re not on the first page yet and why developing SEO best practices for your League is extremely important. While the basic idea is to keep your content focused on the keywords that are important to your audience, it’s important to be aware of the competition that’s out there, and make sure you can own the categories that you’re competing for.
So, where do you go from here? We’ve compiled some of best practices that we use here at TeamPages everyday. Give them a read and please comment below if your league is doing anything else to help drive more traffic to your site.
1) Keywords, keywords, keywords – Create a list of all keywords and phrases (be sure to check out Google’s Keyword Tools for suggestions) that your client base may use when searching for your league (be sure to use the sport offered and every benefit, feature, timeline, age, gender, and any other details associated with the league).
2) Quality over quantity – Always be producing content that others will use as a resource. According to search engines, the number of backlinks, or inbound links (IBL’s) is the best indication of the popularity or importance of that website.
3) Get Local – Be sure to include many “Local” keywords and phrases in your website differentiating yourself from other league websites in different cities. Also, you may be able to attract members from neighboring communities by offering a user friendly and accessible website.
4) Give people a reason to come back – The more visitors a website receives the higher up in the search engine’s results it will become. Make sure your always has the most up to date information on it. If your league members are confident schedules, scores and standings are always up to date, your league website will be the first place they check.
5) Tag everything – While pictures and videos will often attract the most amount of attention in a website Google has no idea what are saying. This is why the use of ALT tags is extremely important. Be sure when adding media to your site that you properly title each photo and video with an accurate description (that hopefully is also inline with your keywords strategy).
6) Keep it fresh – Google has introduced a “Freshness Update” that began in Nov. 2011 and now prioritizes websites whose content stays current, interesting and are constantly maintained. This can prove to be useful for those leagues who create a social media aspect to their website that includes schedules, blogs, and photos.