Wednesday, October 5, 2016

On-Page SEO Tips

Making your green sports webpage show up in

Google searches

Part 2 -- On-Page Optimization

You’ve identified your keywords, but is your site using them properly to optimize search engine results?  

After following the outline explained in Part 1, you should have a list of keywords.

It is now time to assess your page for keyword use and performance. AKA: Line up your keywords and start googling.  As you search, keep track of where your page shows up in the search results. We did this for our green sports program and about 25 keywords.  A truncated version of how we tracked search results is below.

At this point, you may want to re-assess your webpage, goals, and intended audience to narrow the keyword list down to 1 over-arching keyword (we chose “green sports”) and 1-2 supporting keywords.  (Note: supporting keywords can be different for each page on your website.)  

Now that you know your keyword shortlist and your personal search engine ranking, do you wish you ranked higher for a specific keyword?  Say, “your team name” plus sustainability?  If so, then it’s time to optimize.

Start by doing a 3-minute audit of your web page(s). Look at the URL, page title (that’s what shows up in the browser tab), and page content.  Do you see your keyword(s)?  More than twice?  If not, add them:

  • Edit your URL to include your keyword (ex:
  • Include the keyword in your main page title (ex: ABC Athletics Green Sports Program)
  • Use the keyword 1-3 times in the content of your page -- and make sure that your pages can be crawled by the google spiders. ← If you don’t already know for certain your site and individual pages can even be accessed by search engines, definitely read through that link.

Congratulations! You’ve just reviewed/edited your site to make the most of “on-page optimization” tools.  Some additional ways to use your keywords on-page are:

  • Use identified keywords in the alt text on images.
  • Create a series of web pages with different categories of information targeted to specific audiences.  Make sure the pages are linked together so that they are crawlable by search engines, and include other audience-specific keywords in relevant page titles and extended URLs.
    • Look at keyword competitors: Perform a three-minute audit for pages that rank high for searches of your keywords.  If applicable, model their keyword use in your content (while still staying unique…).
  • Include your keyword(s) in the meta description tag to help to attract clicks by searchers reading the descriptions on the results page.  The meta description isn’t taken into account for google rankings, but the number of clicks is and therefore the description is important for SEO.

Appendix 1 - Program Performance by Keyword
Current Google Rank (top 10)
General Green Sports
Green sports*(ID’d in survey)
Not ranked
College green sports
Not ranked
Sports sustainability*(ID’d in survey)
Page 4: Local news article
Otherwise not ranked
Green Sports Industry Leaders
Not ranked, but mentioned in an article on page 4
Team Fans
“Organization name” green sports
Ranked 1
“Program name”
Page 1, #1, but is news site without images
“Team name” sustainability
Page 1, #2: Article on related site
Otherwise not ranked
“Mascot” and sustainability
Other pages, but not landing page
Green building and venues
Sustainable stadium
Not ranked
LEED certified stadium
Not ranked
Most sustainable sports facilities
Page 6: News article about program
Otherwise not ranked
Zero waste stadium*(ID’d in survey)
Page 1, #4 - other program page
Page 1 #5 - other program pages
Sports Marketers and Sponsors
Sustainability sports sponsorship
Not ranked
Green sports sponsorship
Not ranked
Fan engagement for sustainability
Other pages, but not the landing page
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.