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How to Optimize a Website of Your Sports Venue for Search Engines (SEO) and Increase Popularity of Your Website by 100% - Comple

Would you like to have a website monthly visited by many people, i.e., your current and your future customers? Who would not, right? However, it is necessary to do something for it.

Basically you have 2 main options – on-line advertising and search engine optimization (SEO). There are also other ways how to attract visitors but this guide is particularly focused on getting customers through search engines. We adjusted everything to the needs and limits of sports venues so that you do not throw your money out of the window and do not get lost in the SEO maze.

Before we start, have a look at a demonstration of our results in increasing visitor count for one of our smaller customers. The situation before the optimization is highlighted in orange color, the one in the process of work is blue (and it kept improving). Statistics are from Google Analytics.

Search engine optimization - SEO - results

... and you can have this too! Let's talk about how.

What is search engine optimization, so-called SEO?


You have certainly already heard about the term SEO. But do you know what it actually means?

SEO is a set of methods for creating and editing websites so that their form and content are the best possible for automatic processing in search engines.

Adjust your web to your visitors - at the same time, it is the best way how to adjust it for search engines.

Another definition says that the point of SEO is making websites so that they are as good for users as possible. It corresponds to the principal aim of search engines, such as Google or Bing, which is to give users the best web option for what they are searching for. And you want it to be your website.

Optimization aims and who will take care of SEO for you


The goal is to get your website as high as possible in search results for particular key words. This leads to an increase in visits of your web because the higher your link is, the more people click on it. This way you achieve the goals of your website – new customers, increasing sales, profit, etc.

SEO can be done:

  • By yourself. In this case our articles can be of help to you. It requires to put your knowledge into practice and also some skill. Simply try it out and see.

  • Hire a SEO expert. These experts are usually experienced freelancers who will take care of it for you. However, their services are not for free. Be thorough in selecting. Do not let yourself get coaxed by unknown words you do not understand or by empty promises. Have them show you their work and achieved results.

  • Leave the task to a company specialized in the web optimization. Probably all of these companies promise that your initial expenses will soon pay off, but be thorough here too. Do not invest needlessly. Carefully choose the best company by critically examining their services. Have the company assess if the SEO is worth it for you. A decent company will not promise you the moon. This is how we too do the SEO for customers at SportCentral.


What you should know before you begin optimizing your website, or what to improve and what to bear in mind.

  • Be thorough. If you decide to get down to it, be precise and careful. Do not abandon things in midstream, bring them to an end.

  • Long-term effort. It is necessary to realize that you cannot bring your website to the fore in just a few days. It comes with months. Do not get discouraged by it and continue doing what you have started.

  • Innovation. When you master the basics, try thinking up your own original way of promotion.

  • Time investment. To achieve desired results you should count with at least 10 hours of work a week.


Prices of SEO


A company will definitely be more expensive than an independent SEO expert but the result can be comparable. The services of the SEO expert cost about 500 - 750 USD a month (approximately 10 hours of work a week x 10 - 20 USD). The companies often charge twice or three times as high prices. Or the same but you will get less hours of work. The needed number of hours and price differ according to regions, your sports venue (e.g., small sports venue designed for 1 sport will get better price) or competitors' websites. An asset of the companies is that they have a bigger team of employees and network of contacts so they can deal with certain tasks faster and more efficiently.

Keywords and SEO


What is a keyword?


Since we talk a lot about so-called keywords in the connection to the SEO, it would be appropriate to clarify this term right at the beginning.

A keyword is a word which a user enters into the search field of Google or Yahoo. Your concern is that they find you through the right keywords.

The keywords of your sports venue are your name and the offered services or products (usually the names of individual sports).

Let's give a few examples for fitness centers:

  • Fitness in New York City

  • Weight gym in New York City

  • Fitness In New York City prices

  • Ladies fitness in New York City

  • Push Fitness Club


How to find out what are your keywords


We explained what the keywords are. Now it is time to find out which are suitable for you. Then you will work with this word list further (add more keywords, divide them into categories, remove inconvenient ones, etc.).

When making the list think about the keywords as in two groups:

  • primary keywords (general, probably used by your competitors too)

    • Example: "Fitness New York City", "Weight Room Los Angeles"



  • secondary (specific, rarely used)

    • Example: "Ladies Fitness New York City", "Weight Room Los Angeles Prices"




Both of these two groups can help you attract many visitors:

  • primary keywords - few words (e.g, 1-10 words), each greatly increasing the view count (e.g., 200-1,000 people per month for every word)

  • secondary – many words (e.g., 100 different combinations), each slightly increasing the view count (e.g., 10-50 people per month for every word)


How to find the right keywords?

  • Think about which words you would want to bring people to you, what they might be interested in.

  • Try to find all the words from your web that characterize your business and make a list of all of them which might be used in search engines by your prospective customers.

  • Examine the keywords of your competitors (check out their websites)

  • Use the special tools for suggesting the keywords to get more keywords suitable for you - for example a tool from Google Adwords, so-called Keyword Planner

    • First of all, you have to create a Google Adwords account but do not worry, it is for free. Then enter a reference keyword (e.g., Fitness New York) and Keyword Planner will tell you what other expressions you could use, how many people search for them and how much they occur at the competition.



  • If you measure the visitor traffic by Google Analytics, check what are the most used keywords for your website


Now we can extend our keyword list for fitness, the new ones are in bold:

  • Fitness in New York

  • Fitness New York

  • Fitness in New York City Manhattan

  • Fitness cenetrs in New York City

  • Weight room in New York City

  • Fitness in New York City trainer

  • Fitness in New York City prices

  • Ladies fitness in New York City

  • Push Fitness Club

  • Cheap fitness in New York City

  • Luxury fitness in New York City

  • Fitness in New York City membership

  • Fitness in New York City season ticket

  • … and more


Why there is New York City in most of these keywords? Because the word "fitness" as such is too general. It is not clear whether users mean by "fitness" food supplements, clothes or sports venue. Actually they themselves usually add other words to specify their query. In the case of sports venues they often include the name of a city or a locality. You need people who search for a place to do sports in.

I have the keywords, what next?


You can save them into a document in Excel. Attach particular pages of your website to each of the keywords as how they refer to them. Each word should be attached only to one page and each page should have only a few keywords.

Why is it useful? Imagine that you offer tennis and squash courts in New York City. In this case it is a good idea to have one page for tennis and another for squash. People who will search for "squash in New York City" will come to the appropriate page where they will learn that they can play squash at your sports venue. At that moment they do not need to know that they can also play tennis there. They will find it out later on your website or directly during their visit. It is also better for search engines - Google can more easily decide which page to show in results for tennis and which for squash.

You will need to use keywords in almost every other areas of your work so let's continue right away, what do you say?

How to do SEO for a website of a sports venue


Finally we are getting to the work itself.

You will do SEO on two levels

  • Adjustments of your web - these include finding and editing the keywords, creating and formatting pages, headings, texts and pictures, changing source code, etc.

  • Activities outside your web - getting backlinks


Before you start, have a look at the article 9 areas to think about BEFORE doing SEO of a sports venue website and 4 subsequent steps. You will learn what to pay attention to before beginning to work. It is a kind of your simple initial analysis.

Let's say that you have already done this. Now it is time to launch into the one-time adjustment of your website.

One-time adjustment of a web + repeated activities


You can begin with browsing through all of your web pages and adding or editing the keywords.

Here is true that less is sometimes more. It is good to keep the optimal density in the range from 1% to 3 %. This means that if you have a fitness, this word should not appear more than 1-3x out of 100 on one page. If your page was glutted with the keywords, it would lead to "over-optimization". Google recognizes this and might penalize you in its results.

Where to place the keywords (to make things simple, assume that your keywords are the sports you offer):

  • URL addresses - e.g., www.your-web.com/fitness

  • Home page - mention all the sports you offer and include links to respective web pages. Your home page will always be the strongest in the terms of SEO, and you need to transfer a part of this strength to your other pages.

  • Menu – if you use a menu, also create a submenu for individual sports (e.g., Available sports -> fitness | squash | tennis)

  • Links – instead of "learn more here" go for "more about fitness at our sports venue", etc.

    • As for links, you may also add the HTML attribute "title" with your keyword.



  • Headings – your fitness page can be for example structured like this:

    • Main heading: Fitness

    • Subheadings: Fitness price list, Exercising with a trainer in our fitness, Photos from our center



  • Text – here is a space for other keywords such as your locality (city, district) and words from your keyword list

  • Page title – each page can have its own title (i.e., what is written on tabs in browsers) by adding the HTML tag <title>. Try for example "Fitness in New York City | Name of your sports venue"

  • Pictures – name your files using the keywords, Fitness-New-York-City-weight-room.jpg is much better than DSC20140101.jpg

    • You should again use HTML attributes "title" and "alt" with the keywords for pictures.



  • Meta description - if your Content Management System enables editing of so-called meta tags, create a good meta description (describes what the page is about). Its length should not exceed 160 characters because it is a text shown in search results under your website name. If you do not specify the meta description, nothing really happens, search engines will automatically use a part of the text on the page. However, it is your chance to determine what users will see. Keep in mind that by this description you want to convince the users to click on your link rather than on your competitors'.


Remember, do not overdo it. This is especially true for the headings and texts. Do not forget to use synonyms (tennis, tennis courts, tennis center, etc.).

Other tips on one-time adjustments:

  • Make sure that your web has a nice and well-arranged structure

  • Everything should be working (pay attention to links)

  • Attractive graphic design is also important

  • Add pictures on individual pages

  • Create a photo gallery with captions

  • Extend your website by discussions, news overview, reviews, linking with Facebook, etc.

  • Thoroughly keep texts on your website useful, up-to-date, appealing and interesting for customers

  • Your texts being original is also important - do not copy them from somebody else's webs (or at least rewrite it in your own words)

  • Strive for fast loading of your website (causes of slowing down are usually high-resolution pictures, outdated CMS, slow web hosting, etc.)

  • Have an XML sitemap created (and regularly update it) – your CMS should be able to do it

  • Check what should a website of a sports venue contain


Repeated activities:

  • If there is something new at your sports venue every now and then, post news articles (at least 1x per month) – search engines like recent content and your customers will see that your website is still "alive"

  • Are you experts in your sport? Try writing a blog about it.

  • Add photos from events at your sports venue


SEO activities outside your website


The only thing you want to achieve on other websites than yours is to get backlinks on your web. The backlinks can be in a form of a text or a picture (e.g., your logo) These links will increase your visitor traffic and at the same time help you get a better position in search results.

For example, you can (or maybe you already have) register your sports venue for free on SportCentral. In your profile, you can enter up to 5 links to your web (e.g., to the home page and some of the subpages). Not only that users will find your sports venue on our social network but we also bring them to your own website, improving your SEO at the same time.

In addition, you will get access to the following statistics…

Success rate of the promotion on SportCentral - SEO

In fact, all your links on any website will work this way. They will have a certain number of views, people will click on them and they will be important from the point of view of the optimization.

How to get backlinks

  • Register your sports venue to

    • List of companies (e.g., Bloomberg.com)

    • List of sports venues (e.g., SportCentral.com)

    • Regional catalog – for your city, region

    • Choose only the best and biggest ones. It is not very useful to register into hundreds of different small databases.



  • If you have a new website, add it to search engines Google (the page for submitting your URL) or Bing (the page for submitting your URL)

  • Register on social networks and take good care of your profiles (Facebook, YouTube if you have videos)

  • If you have an interesting story, you can try to catch attention of the medias (usually local newspapers with on-line newscasting in the case of sports venues)

  • Create a special offer and share it for example on Woot.com.


Repeated activities

  • Search for webs about your sports and find out if you can insert your link there. Contact their owners and suggest link exchange or paid advertising.

    • If you agree on the exchange, you should put the link of your partner on your website too (usually into the Partners section or at the bottom of a side panel).

    • In the case of paid linking you do not reciprocate (this is a better option in regard to SEO).



  • Post to discussions

  • Keep track of what backlinks use your competitors and draw inspiration from that. If your competitors exchange links, contact those that exchanged with them. It is very likely that they will help you too.

  • Visit link exchange forums and find someone who will be forthcoming and exchange links with you (Link Exchange on MyFastForum or Boursekala)

  • Convince some webs or blogs to publish your PR article. This can carry great weight but you should expect that it is not always for free and that it is necessary to make certain effort to create the article.

  • Make a good use of social networks – add posts with the link to your web


As for links, it is important that they are placed on websites related to your topic. Having a link on a website about tire manufacturing is almost useless, having it on a sports on-line shop is much better.

TIP Agree with a certain on-line shop on linking from different product categories according to what sports you and they offer. Ideally linking from their fitness section to yours, from their tennis to yours, etc.

It is recommended that your link include your keywords. However, beware of over-optimization. Your links should look natural. Search engines would become suspicious of you if there were links to your website on other 10 webs and all of the links were the same. Add synonyms, use the name of your sports venue or leave the link in the simple form of "here".

Summary


So that is all. SEO is a bit of doing. We hope that now you have at least the basic idea about how to optimize your websites and what it involves. The short summary of what you have learned follows:

  1. What is SEO

  2. What are its aims, who will do it for you and what are the prices

  3. What are keywords and how to figure them out

  4. How to do SEO on your website

  5. How to get backlinks


Now it is time to get down into it. If you need help, do not hesitate to contact us. We will gladly answer your questions or assess if doing the SEO would be profitable for you.

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