Promoting your sports organization is important to help communicate with parents, coaches, and players. But, to get started you need to make sure community members can easily find information about your league or club. The first step to making it easy to find information is to get your website near the top of Google search rankings for your sport in your region.
Ever wondered how you could make your site appear at the top of search results for phrases like “youth sports in (name your community)”? Here are a few important factors to remember to help improve your website’s Google ranking:
Post on Your Website Often
The first step is to post content regularly on your website. Generally speaking, updating your pages more often will help your website climb in search rankings. Keeping content fresh will decrease bounce rate, which sends a signal to Google that your website has useful content and information.
Make sure you’re posting important information like registration info, schedules, and announcements on your website. If you’re not posting updated information, website visitors will leave immediately and your bounce rate will rise.
If you’re not updating your website often yet, spending a few minutes making small updates weekly might be a good first step. Setting a weekly habit of updating the website with important weekly highlights and announcements will make a big difference in the long run. Using a super easy website builder made for sports can save you time.
Get a Domain Name for Your Website
A domain (like www.example.com) makes your website easy to share with parents and community members. If you’re using Jersey Watch you’ve already crossed this path :).
The better your domain describes your organization, the easier it will be for Google to read and direct people when they search for your organization.
It’s always a good idea to try to keep your domain short and simple so it’s easy for visitors to type. You should try to make sure your domain name has your community name and sport in the domain, instead of using abbreviations. For example, if your organization’s name is Westcreek Baseball, the domain westcreekbaseball.com is much better than wcybaseball.net
Describe Your Organization in Detail on Your Homepage
Google is crawling the internet for useful text and information so that it can direct traffic to the proper website in search results. A key factor is the description on the homepage of your website, most often known as the “meta description“.
Describing your organization in detail on the homepage of your website is super important. You may think that everyone in your community already know about your organization – but they don’t! Make sure you describe your league or club effectively for people who just moved to your community and parents who have kids that are just becoming old enough to participate.
Here are a few quick areas you should definitely include in the text on the homepage of your website:
- The official name of your organization
- The communities or region your organization participates in. Don’t just include the name of your town – you need to include your state as well. More than likely, there are other communities across the country with the same name, so you need to differentiate yourself for Google.
- The ages that can participate in your organization
- The season(s) that your teams play
- When registration is open and how to register
- A “call to action” that lets visitors know what to do next. A few examples are “Register today!” or “Contact our board for more information!”
Make sure your website has a strong description on your homepage to help Google (and your website visitors) know who you are and what you do.
Make Sure Your Website Is Designed to Work Well on Phones and Tablets
Beginning in April 2015 Google expanded its use of mobile-friendliness in search rankings. If your website doesn’t work well on all devices, Google won’t rank it as high in results.
How do you know if your website is mobile friendly? You can use this Google tool to get your grade.
If you’re using Jersey Watch, your website is mobile-friendly, so you’ve got nothing to worry about!
If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website yet, setting one up just takes a few simple steps and can be a big help for your organization.
Get Some Inbound Links!
One of the most critical factors for Google rankings are inbound links (or backlinks). An inbound link is just an external website that links to your website. Long story short, Google recognizes that websites with a lot of inbound links must have important content, so it ranks websites with a lot of inbound links higher.
How do you get inbound links? For starters, make sure the Facebook and Twitter have links to your website (you should be able to update those on your Facebook and Twitter settings). It’s also a good idea to link to your website often in your Facebook and Twitter posts. Do you have an old website for your sports organization in cyber space? Make sure to go back to that website and post a link to the new website on the front page.
Another idea to get some quick inbound links to your website is to make sure the other sports organizations in your community are linking to your website. Ask the high school coach if they would mind putting a link to the youth organization’s website, and vice versa.
Remember that it takes time. You won’t appear at the top of Google rankings overnight. But, if you continue to update content throughout the year and encourage parents and coaches to visit your site you’ll soon notice your website climbing to the top of search rankings.