SEO 101 for sports and fitness websites

31 July 2018 openplay Leave a comment Booking System, Marketing, Technology

With over 57,000 searches per second and at least two trillion searches per year, Google is your biggest marketing tool. Search Engine Optimisation is the name given to the activity of improving a web page’s ranking on Google (other search engines are available) without simply paying for advertising. Social media can drive a certain amount of traffic to your website, but the majority of visitors are scooped up by the clever use of SEO.

So how do you use SEO effectively?

SEO beats PPC when you promote local

With the top four spots being taken up by paid advertisements, known as “pay-per-click” or PPC; the remaining Page 1 positions are highly contested for through the use of SEO. Unfortunately, 65% of clicks are made through PPC sites.

Sports providers shouldn’t be disheartened if pay-per-click isn’t an option. For many location reliant searches, such as sports clubs or fitness classes, ads don’t even surface. For example, if you type “Tennis in London” or “Football camp Leeds”, both return advertless results, with the top spots taken up by local sports providers.

To secure a premier place, feature plenty of location-specific words on your website, and be sure that your meta-description clearly states the purpose of your business. Pay-per-click is a quick fix that will gift you instant clicks. SEO is a long-term investment that grows in value as clicks accumulate over time. SEO turns out to be a better return on investment if you are hoping for steady and sustainable growth.

Use keywords

You don’t just want to be found; you want to be found by the right people at the right time for the right reasons. Keywords are essentially the words that people are most likely to type into their search engine when looking for a business like yours. In fact, keywords are really key phrases; they are likely to be three to five words long.

Unfortunately, an excellent article doesn’t equate to lots of visitors, shares, and business. You must use keywords, which can be annoying as it often requires you to choose the most common word rather than the most eloquent. Choosing your keywords is, for the most part, common sense, but you can use tools such as Google Adwords Planner or Serps to compare the popularity of phrases.

SEO trends change as frequently as the weather

If you want to master SEO you have to be prepared to follow the trends. For the most part, your keywords will stay relevant, but you can use tools like Google Trends to see if the words you feature are still being searched. It’s not only keywords that are subject to change but Google’s very algorithms.

Right now local businesses do well, but Google has become increasingly commercial in its approach to its search results. Pay-per-click ads have recently increased from three to four of the top results, making it harder and harder for businesses to reach people organically. As the monopoly shifts towards the money spenders, new SEO trends will, no doubt, emerge to keep smaller businesses in play.

Click Bait is out. Click through is in

Before the interweb grew its wisdom teeth, it was easy for mediocre content or even complete nonsense to scam the system and rank highly in search engines. Nowadays, Google’s algorithms are smart and only reward valuable content.

Consumers are delighted they no longer have to wade through click-bait rubbish; businesses should be too. However, content providers now have to work harder in order for their articles to rank.

You want people not only to read the content of the page they visit but “click through” to other sections of your site. Include links to more blog posts or your sales page, so you drag visitors deeper into the rabbit hole of your website whilst you climb up the search ranks.

Read more: Website tips for sports providers

Quality is a delicate balancing act

Google’s algorithms have shifted to favour websites that feature quality content. Quality content is the primary factor in an effective SEO strategy.

Quality is defined as original material that caters to popular searches and trending topics. However, these demands are somewhat counterintuitive. Indeed it is difficult to be original when writing about issues that everyone is writing about. Try to find a new angle on a popular subject. Again, keywords, keywords, keywords.

Count the seconds

If people don’t scroll to page 2 of a search result, why do you think they will read to the bottom of your blog post? *Spoiler alert*- they won’t. The two come hand in hand. Good content makes it to Page 1; good content is read in its entirety.

For every second a viewer spends on a page, the value of the page itself increases. You might think that you can write a thousand words of heavy going, thesaurused content and complicated syntax, but realistically this will have people x-ing out before reaching the second line. Choose words carefully and write succinctly to ensure you carry your readers right to the end of your article.

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