Digital Marketing in Sports
Athletics are an integral piece of American culture and throughout the world. We live and die with our favorite teams; we dedicate hours to driving our children back and forth to practices of all kinds, and overall, sports allow us to come together and share feelings of camaraderie. For many of you, sports may even be your career choice.
If sports are in fact a major piece of your livelihood, you probably work for or with an organization that needs to build awareness and that would like to consistently market their products or services. Whether you are a sporting goods store owner, an Athletic Director of a University, or a sports medicine professional, having a strong digital presence for your organization is paramount to serving your target market’s needs. What do we mean by a “strong digital presence?” Well, it all starts with creating a responsive (mobile friendly) website & coupling it with strong Search Engine Optimization (SEO) work. If you are a sports organization, you also certainly need a strong social media presence and perhaps Google AdWords campaigns. Effectively reaching your target market in today’s hyper-competitive environment involves several best practices and a holistic approach to your online tactics. If you want to have sustainable success for your sports organization, take a look at these steps below.
What is SEO & Why is it Important?
First, let’s start with SEO. SEO stands for search engine optimization. SEO involves strategies that help improve your website’s visibility and that ultimately help it show up as a top search result. Having a website with strong SEO sports strategies will keep you competitive online. So, what exactly are these tactics that will help get your organization’s website to stand out and get on the first page of search results? Step 1 for great SEO in sports is having a professional and modern website.
Make Sure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly
Are you a Division III Coach looking for new recruits? Maybe you are the owner of a sporting goods store, or a sports medicine physician with his or her own practice? You may even be a freelance sports photographer? Any of these careers all have something in common. You probably love sports and you probably need or have a website. If you have a website in today’s world, it needs to be responsive, a.k.a, mobile and tablet friendly. Many of today’s consumers are looking for you on their smartphones, and if your athletics’ site isn’t functional on one, or takes too long to load, they will click a different link and forget all about you.
Do Keyword Research & Figure Out What Your Target Market Cares About
Think of your buyer persona or your ideal target…what would they be searching for? What would you search for if you were them? Think of keywords and phrases that you want to rank for and that make sense for your business or organization. For example, if you are a sporting goods store owner in Connecticut, you may want to rank for, “Mizuno baseball gloves in Connecticut,” and variations of that. Always keep your target in mind when performing your athletic organization’s SEO.
Use Those Sports Keywords To Your Advantage
Use the lineup of keywords and phrases that you created within your website’s characteristics. By this we mean include them in the title tags, meta descriptions, headers (ex. H1s, H2s, etc.) and image alt tags throughout your website.
In addition to these procedures, use the power of keywords in all your sports related content. It is a vital part of SEO in sports business that you produce regular, well-written, and engaging content. If you own a sports apparel store, write about your latest products. Not only will fresh information, stories, and blogs keep your target market interested, it will tell Google that you are still relevant.
Create A Google My Business Account
People are hungry for info. People will be searching for your travel soccer team, or, people will be searching for local sporting goods stores, or, someone may be searching for local sports doctors because of their recent knee injury. In effect, Google is the search engine you should give most of your focus towards. We recommend creating a Google My Business account and a Google Plus page. With these two accounts, you can ensure that you show up on Google Maps and your sports organization’s information will be featured at the top of local search results, complete with links to your address and phone number.
Sports Advertising: Incorporate AdWords & Social Media
By using the above SEO tips for sports organizations, you will be on your way to ranking well on Google. With that being said, these organic SEO methods take time and consistent effort to reach their full potential. A great way to get more immediate search engine attention is through an AdWords (pay-per-click) campaign. These paid ads get you a top spot and quicker website traffic to get the ball rolling. They can also be a great way to test out some keywords to see which ones you should target with your other SEO efforts.
In addition to paid efforts on Google, it is crucial for your sports organization to have a social media presence. In addition to regular and consistent posts, we recommend creating paid social campaigns on Facebook. Putting some money towards “boosted” posts and advertisements will bring further awareness to your brand.
SEO for Sports Organizations
Just like becoming a professional athlete or running a professional sports organization, building a digital presence takes hard work and dedication. Use these tips above to get your brand more awareness and always feel free to contact Zero Gravity Marketing with any questions.
Written By Alex Serbetzian, Account Executive & Digital Strategist