3 SEO Tips for Optimizing Your Youth Sports Program’s Website
By Melissa Wickes
November 4, 2021
It used to be that only the experts understood search engine optimization and how to use it to enhance your youth sports organization’s website. Those were the days of keyword stuffing and trying to trick the Google spiders into thinking the website was valuable when it came to the topic being searched.
Then the hundreds of Ph.D. data scientists at Google got smart to that practice and began to place value on things such as whether or not visitors stayed on the page—and visited others on the website, other websites linking to it, and whether or not visitors shared the page or pages.
Quite suddenly, anyone who created really interesting content that was valuable to their audience could do SEO far better than the “experts.”
Many youth sports organizers and their teams are intimidated just by the term SEO, let alone having to create content that is well-optimized.
Earlier this week, we talked about the importance of having a mobile-optimized site. If you can accomplish only one thing for your website during the remainder of this year, that’s the thing to do. But if it’s already optimized for mobile or you can take on one more project, SEO is the next thing. Even sites that are well-optimized need to be enhanced, as we discussed yesterday.
Following are some things to consider.
SEO and Discoverability
Say that you’re a volleyball club in Connecticut. When someone searches “volleyball clubs in Connecticut,” you want your organization to appear on the page. This is where SEO comes in.
The best way to make sure you’re ranking highly is to make sure that the copy on your website represents who you are and what people will find on your site. In other words, does your website show up on the first page of results when someone searches “volleyball clubs in Connecticut”? To do that, make sure to put “volleyball club” and “Connecticut” on as many pages as possible, but do it without keyword stuffing.
For instance, if you were searching for volleyball clubs in Connecticut and you landed on a website that had that phrase every other sentence, would you be compelled to stay? Probably not.
But if you landed on a website that talked about the different volleyball programs for kids of all ages in all of Connecticut, and also had resources such as lodging and dining, you’d be far more likely to stay on the site and dig around for more information.
And, if that site then linked to the relevant hotels and restaurants, your life would become lots easier. Suddenly the SEO for that organization has value to you.
Take it one step further by creating a “reference” or “helpful links” page where you can link to blogs, YouTube pages, or regional/national governing bodies. In the same instance of our volleyball club in Connecticut, you could link to a YouTube channel with volleyball skills and drills, the USA volleyball website, and so on.
Create Clear Calls-to-Action
Calls to action, or “CTAs,” are the buttons and links that help people navigate throughout your site. You’ve seen them. They usually are a colorful button that says something such as, “Learn more.”
The challenge with “learn more” as a CTA is that EVERYONE uses that copy for their buttons. And most website visitors need things that are more active:
- Register for tryouts
- View schedules
- Make payments
Then you can make your CTAs stand out by using a button color that is different from your brand colors. For instance, we use blue for some of our CTA buttons because our brand colors are gold and green. So the buttons stand out on our pages.
Lastly, don’t overdo it. Many websites have several CTAs on one page. Ideally, you’d have only one per page.
It’s important to remember that your website is a representation of the organization, your values, and the brand you’ve built. Make sure the colors and the messaging represent what you want the world to know about you.
When it comes to colors, choose two or three that you want to use throughout the site. Sites with too many colors can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate.
Pay attention to font size. Reference other clubs in your area or some of your favorite blogs to make sure that your font feels right—not too big, not too small. You want it to be easy to read but not so big that your site feels like a brochure.
Finally, make sure that the messaging feels authentic to you. It’s okay to keep language casual, but it should still feel professional. If you can, create an “About” page that includes your mission statement—this helps people understand why they should want to be a part of your organization.
SEO for Your Youth Sports Program
There are lots of other SEO tips that will help you grow the visibility of your youth sports program’s website, but if you start with these three tips, you’ll be further ahead than most of your competition. If you look at every page on your website and aks yourself, “Is this the very best page of content on the internet for this topic?” and the answer is yes, Google will reward you without your having to do a bunch of fancy SEO tricks.
But if the answer is “no” or “I’m not sure,” let us know and we’ll help you with some additional tips to get the answer to yes.
And, in a few weeks, we’ll be back with enhanced SEO tips to help you gain ground and stay at the top of the first page of Google results—without having to pay for it.