Optimization and Advanced Tricks
By Melissa Wickes
March 10, 2022
You’ve established your goals, designed your website, and you have your content lined up—what’s next in creating the best youth sports website?
Optimizing your youth sports website.
Ultimately, you want people to easily find your website. The easier it is to find, the more likely you’ll garner leads.
So, what is optimization anyway?
Optimization is the process of analyzing your user experience, accessibility, and search performance and making the changes necessary to increase traffic. It allows you to sustain long-term growth and to convert more leads into customers. When putting the finishing touches on a website, we have a few tricks up our sleeve for optimization and implementing advanced features.
Here’s what you’ll need to know:
Optimize for Mobile
More people browse the internet on their smartphones than on desktop. In 2021, Statista reported that mobile and tablet devices account for 54.8% of total users worldwide. If your youth sports website isn’t optimized for mobile, here’s why you should do it:
- It’ll increase revenue. Our own data shows a trend toward transactions that are completed on a mobile device—to the tune of 75%.
- Users return to mobile sites that work well. Google says 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site that they had trouble accessing and 40% will visit a competitor’s site instead.
- It’s where the youth sports users are. According to our own data, 60% of users in the youth sports industry are using mobile and tablet devices.
Now that you know this, what’s next? Use this checklist to determine if your website is in fact optimized for mobile:
- It loads in less than three seconds
- It’s easy to navigate
- My brand is recognizable
- It provides a good user experience
- If this wasn’t my website, would I spend time on it?
Make Your Youth Sports Website Accessible
Accessibility tools do exactly what you’d expect them to do: they make your website more accessible for all kinds of visitors. You want your youth sports website to be user-friendly for everyone, including those with hearing and visual impairments. Tools like WAVE can find accessibility issues such as missing alt text, small text size, contrast errors that make your website content inaccessible to screen readers, and more.
Build Your SEO Strategy
If you read our Guide to Website Content, you know the importance of search engine optimization (SEO). Having an SEO strategy helps Google love you and place your website on the first page of the search terms you’re targeting.
Here’s a refresher:
- Make sure your web copy represents who you are. 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, without forcing it.
- Create clear calls to action. Establish clear calls to action (CTA) to get people to make their next move on your website. Hint: steer clear of general CTAs such as “learn more.” Instead, tell the visitors exactly what you’ll be giving them. (Register for tryouts, view schedules, make payments, sign-up for updates).
- Consistent branding. We get into the weeds of this in our design and layout article, but at face value remember that your website is a representation of your organization. Pay attention to colors, font sizes, and messaging—and keep it consistent throughout your website.
To get deeper into SEO for your youth sports website, read our Guide to Optimizing Your Youth Sports Program’s Website.
You know better than anyone, people don’t like to waste time. When a site takes more than five seconds to load, it leads to a 38% bounce rate (and as it takes longer, the bounce rate becomes higher!). Your page speed also affects your SEO. There are free online tools you can use to improve your page speed, such as Pingdom Website Speed Test or Pagespeed Insights from Google. One of the goals of the LeagueApps Design Shop is to make sure your website loads faster than it did when you came to us.
Advanced Website Tricks
Here are some other tricks you can use to make your website easy to use to increase your website traffic:
- Use breadcrumbs. These text paths allow users to know where they are on a website. For example, on HubSpot:
- Use images (and compress them). Images make your website more compelling, and compressing them reduces their size so your website can load faster.
- Add a super footer. Also known as a mega footer, these are found at the bottom of your webpage and include content that will carry across all pages of your website, for easy access.
Here’s an example:
Are you ready to take your website to the next level? Tell your organization’s story with an amazing youth sports website that’s optimized (and that Google loves!). Let’s make it happen.