Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process you will undertake to help your club website climb the rankings of search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
Each search engine will “crawl” your Pitchero website, analysing the content that appears on your site. The system then makes judgements on the quality of those various webpages in relation to things that people search for on Google.
Well, that’s the simple version at least.
Why is good SEO important?
Think about your habits when you use Google or any other search engine, and you’ll quickly realise the importance of good SEO.
When you search for something online, how often do you look further than the first 4 or 5 listings before finding what you’re looking for or making a new search? The higher the site is in Google’s rankings, the better it is at providing information on the term searched. For you, that will be the name of your club.
Mix it with the best at the top of Google for your club name, and ultimately this will convert into more traffic for your site.
Tips for Climbing the Search Rankings
Whilst SEO is by no means an exact science, there are a number of easy to adopt practices that are sure to see your club’s website climb up the Google standings when people search for your club name.
1. Content is king
The easiest and most effective way for you to start climbing the search rankings is through content
It’s easy to create content with a Pitchero site. What Google looks for is quality
To achieve that, your content needs to be:
- Unique- Your content must be original, i.e. not plagiarised from other websites
- Relevant- Your site is about a sports team, so make sure you create content that is relevant to your club.
- Consistent- The more content that is unique and relevant, the better. Make sure you’re posting on all your club’s latest news and matches.
2. Be creative
Make your content as exciting and varied as possible by incorporating images and video wherever you can.
Using different forms of media makes consuming your content a much more exciting prospect for readers. A better quality of content translates into better SEO.
Note: When saving images to use on your site, make sure you use a relevant title for that image file. Google will crawl image names to find relevant terms just like it does all your other content.
3. Get your own domain
Add a layer of professionalism to your club website by moving it onto a custom domain. You can do this in your club control panel by heading to Settings > Custom Domain and following a simple process.
Using a custom domain name will translate into increased traffic to your site. Visitors are more likely to remember a shorter and less complicated URL, and having your club name earlier in the URL helps users who are scanning search results in Google.
4. Get some links
In SEO, a regular stream of traffic to your site holds considerable weighting when ranking sites on Google.
So the more places you can get your club's name out there the better. One way you can do this is getting your sponsors to link back to your site, increasing referral traffic via their site.
For a simple SEO boost, ensure your sponsors are hosting a (nofollow) link from their site back to yours, and link straight out to them from your site. Ask your sponsors to ensure all links from sponsors are "nofollow". Google will penalise a follow link from a sponsor as money has exchanged hands in its creation, which Google doesn't like.
Elsewhere, ensure you're linking off to relevant pages when creating content such as match reports and news. For example, if a recent signing makes his debut, link off to the news item of his signing when writing your match report. Similarly, a player might score a hatrick and you could link back to that player's profile.
Linking to other pages on your site will keep visitors on the site for longer, and increase the amount of traffic each page gets.
Note: Don't worry about your Pitchero site though, links out to sponsors will be nofollow by default.
5. Drive through Social
One of your best weapons for driving traffic to your site is social media, where shares of your content will reach out to sports fans that may have never ever heard of your club.
Each and every piece of content created on your site should be posted to fans on social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter channels, driving people back to your site and establishing your club as a provider of great content.
6. Monitor your content
For clubs on standard and Pro packages, you’ve got a vital tool making sure you’re on the right track.
On your club dashboard, head to “Performance”. There, you’ll see a selection of graphs outlining your site’s performance.
Aside from viewing your site traffic, you can contrast and compare how much traffic individual pages have gained. Experiment with what works with regards to your content, and optimise future content based on your findings.
Optimise your content and your readers will appreciate it. If the readers like it, so will Google.