Saturday, October 1, 2016

Green Sports SEO Analysis


Making your green sports webpage show up in


Google searches

Part 1 -- Identifying Keywords

The below is step one of an analysis performed with the goal of optimizing search engine performance for a green sports program webpage.

The use of keywords (or phrases) are key to search engine optimization (SEO) for any site.  They can also be tricky to narrow down.  Targeted keywords should (1) provide an accurate description of site content and (2) differentiate from similar pages in the same field.  However, a site’s keywords should also (3) have some noticeable search volume, which can be difficult when trying to differentiate.  

We performed keyword research to assess which keywords should be targeted when creating green sports webpages.  

Survey
A short questionnaire was used to gain insight into why someone would go to a green sports page and what keywords they would search to get there. We posed three questions:

  1. What group or audience do you identify with (green sports professional, sports marketer, fan engagement professional, etc)?
  2. Why would you search for a green sports webpage?
  3. What would you type into the search bar to get the results you’re looking for?

Based on the survey, the top reason that people search for green sports pages is to learn about sports initiatives going on around the nation. Some people are simply curious as to what is going on in the world of green sports, while others have a more concrete reason -- comparing different teams and efforts, learning how their organization can support green sports, staying on top of trends, and gaining inspiration for concepts to apply to their own green sports initiatives. Scroll to appendix 1 for a complete list of survey results.

The last question in our survey asked what people search for to find green sports pages. The hope was that this question would help us identify optimum keywords based on our target audience’s searches. When we googled the top three search terms identified by survey respondents, webpages for organizations relating to the “greening” of sports, not specific teams or stadiums, were the top results. (Read: specific team program web pages don't often rank very high.)

Identified Keywords  
We identified four audiences that a particular green sports page may want to attract: general green sports, sports/team fans, sports marketers and sponsors, and green building and venues.  We ran these keywords through Keyword Planner (Google Adwords) to help determine which keywords should be targeted on a webpage.  Scroll to appendix 2 for the complete list of keywords and their average monthly searches according to Keyword Planner.  

In the end, we identified two keywords for each audience and (not surprisingly) deemed “Green Sports” as the main keyword to help optimize search engine traffic to a green sports program’s main landing page.  Some of the keywords are relevant to specific audiences and have low search volume, which for this particular topic is to be expected and acceptable.  These low-volume keywords are long tail keywords and would be used by searchers who know specifically what he or she is searching for.

Keywords to target based on audience:
Audience
Identified Keywords
General Green Sports
Green sports; Sports sustainability
Sports/Team Fans
“Program name”; “Team name” sustainability
Sports Marketers and Sponsors
Green sports sponsorship; Fan engagement for sustainability
Green Building and Venues
Zero waste stadium; Green stadium

Armed with this base keyword knowledge, any program will need to finalize their chosen keywords based on their individual program features and intended audiences.  Feel free to use the survey answers and lists below to help.  After your keywords are chosen, the next step is to assess your site to see if it is optimized for your keywords.

Appendix 1 - Survey Results
Why would you search for a green sports web page?
  • Information about initiatives taking place in the green sports space
  • To learn about what teams, leagues and arenas around the country/world are doing in the space.
  • Since SD ASG, it's been interesting to watch the sustainability acts at the baseball stadiums.
  • Green sports is one of my to interests.
  • Idea generation, comparison
  • To see what others are doing--explore best practices, etc.; choose where to attend a sports event
  • I work in collegiate athletics & want to see what other teams are doing.
  • For material for my Green-sports themed blog
  • to learn about sports teams' sustainability efforts and how my company might support them; to stay on top of green trends in sports
  • To identify potential green sports prospects or to learn activation ideas
  • To find other green sports professionals to network with.
  • out of my own personal interest
  • To learn about organizations that are enviro friendly
  • To see what teams are doing to be sustainable.

What terms or phrases would you search for to find what you are looking for?

  • eco athlete, green sports, green stadiums, green venues
  • LEED certified arena, Sports Environment, Sports Sustainability, Green Sports
  • Sustainability, Go Green, and recycle.
  • green sports, sustainability in sports
  • Green sports programs
  • sustainable sports, most sustainable sport facilities, zero waste stadium
  • Sustainability, greening, recycling, composting, reducing carbon footprint
  • green sports, purpose sports, sustainability sports
  • "composting sports teams" "sports teams zero waste" "sports waste diversion" "sustainable sports teams"
  • green sports / sustainable sports
  • green sports professionals, sport sustainability
  • green, sports, athletes, environmentally sustainable sports venues franchises operations energy water waste
  • Green, Environment, Sustainability
  • sports team name + sustainability

Appendix 2 - Possible Optimal Keywords, by audience



Keyword
Average Monthly Searches
Competition
General Green Sports
Green sports*(ID’d in survey)
100-1K
Low
College green sports
--
--
College sustainable sports
--
--
Sports go green
--
--
Sustainable sports*(ID’d in survey)
10-100
Low
Sustainability in sport
100-1K
Low
Sports sustainability*(ID’d in survey)
10-100
Low
Environmentally friendly sports
10-100
Low
Eco-friendly sports
10-100
Low
Collegiate green sports programs
--
--
College green sports programs
--
--
Green Sports Industry Leaders


Sports/Team fans
“Organization” green sports
--
--
“Program name”
--
--
“Team” sustainability
--
--
“Mascot” and sustainability
--
--
Green building and venues
Green stadium
100-1K
Low
Sustainable stadium
10-100
Low
LEED certified stadium
10-100
Low
LEED certified arena
--
--
Most sustainable sports facilities
--
--
Zero waste stadium*(ID’d in survey)
--
--
Sports Marketers and Sponsors
Sustainability sports sponsorship
--
--
Green sports sponsorship
--
--
Fan engagement for sustainability
--
--

Source: google, google adwords

This post is adapted from a study performed by Shawn Lindabury, Margot Montouchet, Meghan Radelet, and Monica Rowand; MBA students at University of Colorado Boulder.