Learn how to make your website show up on search results
It sounds simple, but to be a successful youth sports team you need athletes. If you don’t have players who want to play for your team or want to tryout, then you risk not having enough athletes to fill this year’s roster, or maybe even squads in the future.
So how do you attract athletes? You’ve recruited at local schools and organizations. You’ve hung flyers at grocery stores. You even tended to a booth at a local fair. So why aren’t players finding your team?
It’s time to focus on digital marketing. If you’re saying “I already created a website,” great. Now, it’s time to make sure players and parents can find your site. While some prospective athletes might know about your club and go directly to your website, most are going to do a search for your team in a search engine, like Google. This means you need to make sure your site shows up on search engine results pages.
This is where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes in. This form of marketing – SEO – allows you to help your site show up in relevant online searches. SEO can be a daunting pool to dive into. There are companies that specialize in just SEO alone. Books have been written about it. And Google pretty much controls the rules. However, there are some quick and easy ways to improve your site’s SEO.
Get tips below on easy SEO improvements you can make on your site.
Tip #1: Find Out What Players are Searching For
To come up in relevant searches, you need to make sure you are targeting keywords and terms that prospective players are searching for. To find out what terms athletes are searching, first put yourself in their place. If you were going to search for your team, what would you type into the search engine in hopes of finding your site? To validate your keyword options, ask current players and their parents what they searched for to find your site.
To boost your list of keywords with terms you might not have thought of, there are many tools to help you determine popular search terms related to your team and sport you should be using.
If you are using Google AdWords for digital advertising, you can utilize their keyword aids to display the top search words. You can also sign up for a free account on Moz and Wordtracker. These tools will show you the most-searched keywords and phrases associated with your sport and organization.
You can also utilize the Google search bar. Start typing in keywords into the search bar and see what other terms automatically pop up. This is a quick and easy way to add to your keywords list.
When determining what keywords you want to target, make sure you are hitting the right audience so you show up in relevant searches. So if you are running a soccer team, then you’d only want to use keywords associated with youth soccer. The more specific keywords you use, the more targeted audience you will attract to your site.
You will want to incorporate these keywords into the content, page titles and metadata on your site.
“If you were going to search for your youth sports team, what would you type into the search engine? Put yourself in your athletes’ shoes to start improving SEO!” [Click to Tweet!]
Tip #2: Create More Content
Adding useful and relevant content to your site will increase your SEO. The more interesting a user finds the content, the more time he or she will spend on your site, which will increase your “dwell” time. This tells Google that people are finding your content useful and it’s worth listing high in the search results.
Creating content regularly also tells Google that your site is being updated, and it should crawl your site often. This will allow Google to index your content more quickly and allow pages to show up in searches.
When creating content, try to incorporate relevant keywords in the headline, subhead, and headers.
How long your content should be can vary. Google likes longer content, but it also has to make sense for your site. If you are just rambling on to hit 2,500 words, that could work against you. So write the content as you think it applies to your users. Focus on making the content digestible and usable by your target audience.
Tip #3: Use Header Tags
When creating content, add content headers to help break up the page. This will make the page more visually appealing to users, and it will make it easier for Google to crawl. Using keywords in headers will also help boost your SEO on the content.
When creating headers, put the titles in the appropriate H tags. The H tags should help give your page hierarchy. Each page should have one H1 tag, usually reserved for the page title or headline. The H2 should then be used as the subhead. And H3 tags should be used for headers inside of the content. This shows Google – and your reader – what’s most important on that page or in that story.
Tip #4: Create Relevant Page Titles for Each Page
To help your pages get crawled, include keywords in the page titles on your site. Instead of titling a page something generic like “Schedule” or “Tips,” use specific words like “Club X Schedule” or “Tips for your Youth Soccer Player.” By adding more specific keywords, you are more likely to show up in relevant searches.
Tip #5: Add Metadata
Every time you create a page or a piece of content on your site, add the relevant keywords into the metadata field. Also, add a meta description. This allows you to add keywords into the description of your site that displays during an online search.
Tip #6: Add Alt Text to Images
When adding images to your site, make sure you add Alt text to each image. These images can also be crawled by Google, so adding relevant keywords to images will help boost the SEO of the page and the site.