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SEO for Club Websites Part One

SEO for Club Websites Part One

Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO) is often an area of website management which can create confusion for a club; particularly as it is difficult to make sense of all the advice and information available on countless websites and books on the subject.

With this in mind, Kevin McGreevy, an experienced SEO expert, offers some practical advice for clubs wanting to improve their website’s online profile.

 

What is SEO?

SEO is an abbreviation for Search Engine Optimisation.  If you are unsure of what that is, in a nutshell it means “optimising your website for search engines” or in practical terms “getting your website to the top of page 1 on a search engine”.

Search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo crawl millions of websites for words that are relevant to what their users have searched for. Therefore, in theory if you can match the words being searched for, your website should appear.

In the SEO industry this is known as keywords. In the recent decade search engines have been developing and utilising extremely complex algorithms and now rate websites on their content, visits/hits, user experience and social outreach.

 

Content v. Keywords

Content is easily controlled by webmaster, relevant quality content containing the correct keywords. Content is still key as it is what search engines can guarantee is most relevant to their user’s search.

Content is key and keywords are content. There are two types of keywords, long tail and short tail. A short tail keyword is a small number of phrases that encompass a large target group, while long tail includes more phrases targeting a much more specific group.

Examples of short and long tail keywords:

Classic cars – short tail

Classic cars London – short tail

Classic cars club London – long tail

Classic cars club forum London – long tail

Classic Ford cars club Croydon – long tail

Search engines will find websites using the long tail keywords where relevant and when no options are available, or websites do not have a good ranking, will choose websites with the short tail keywords to display relevant results.

If you are targeting a specific area, the language or more importantly the daily slang used can play a big part in your choice of keywords; best to incorporate both.

Keyword examples: “Car” is common in UK; “Vehicle” is common in USA. “Classic, Antique and Collectable” can mean the same thing; choose which is most commonly used. It could be worth mentioning all three terms.

A good tip for using keywords is to start with your club’s URL (the ‘www.’ bit) classic-cars.co.uk does not provide the user or search engines with an exact match for your website, classic-cars-club.co.uk does.

 

Website Description

This is definitely the most important part. The location where you are based should be included here. If you chose not to use the word “club” in your website name, include it in here too. i.e. Classic Cars Club Croydon

Your website description can appear many times after your page/post title when you use programs such as WordPress. So a page title tag would look like: 1969 Ford Capri | Classic Cars Club Croydon

In categories/sections; if your website includes a forum for its members, then call it forum, not “group chat” or “members rant”. Choose the most common term for sections of your website. Ensuring that the URL of the website is displayed i.e. classic-cars-club-croydon.co.uk/forum

Using keywords in this way will only have SEO benefits if your URL structure is defaulted correctly or manually changed for each page/post and not the default setting.

Example of a page title:

Default:                domain-name/id www. classic-cars-club.co.uk/?p=12

Change to:          domain-name/category/ title www. classic-cars-club.co.uk/ford/1969-capri/

Do not overkill with the categories/sections, it will not be of any benefit. Overkill example: /american-cars/ford/capri/1969

In page/post titles the URL structure length comes into play here. Don’t write 10 words if 5 will do. Use capital letters for the page/post title, but do not use capitals in the URL structure. Try not to repeat words within the URL structure.

Example:

Page Title: 1969 Ford Capri

Bad URL structure: /Ford/Capri/review-of-1969-ford-capri/

Acceptable URL structure:           /ford/1969-capri

/ford/1969-capri-review

/1969-ford-capri/

 

Page/Post Headings

Break up your pages and articles into paragraphs, try and give headings to each paragraph, however do use appropriately, do not simply add a heading for the sake of it. Make the headings relevant to your keywords.

Example: Car Name History; Car Name Specifications; Car Name Events. Webmasters will understand when I say, use the proper heading tags, i.e. <h1>. Search “header tags” online for more information. Having a heading in bold is not enough.

It is best practice to have the long tail keyword in the page/post title, heading and content. Slightly change the wording for the headings if you are able to provide the whole long tail keyword in the title. Make sure the long tail keyword exists in the content, if nowhere else.

It is not too late to change your websites URL structure, sometimes it is easier to change when you can see the various different pages/posts. If you have multiple makes and models, then it might be best to structure the makes into categories.

 

Visits/Hits

With a fan base/members already associated with the club, the webmaster simply needs to ensure their members are visiting regularly. How do you do that? Event updates section and club forum are two examples. If your website is popular, search engines will show your website.

When I talk to businesses with a client/member base, I ask the business: What happens outside of the website that can happen inside?

Examples:

  • Clients like to phone up for an update or advice. I would suggest they create a client contact form / faq section.
  • A business may provide training or room hire or other form of event booking. The client currently phones up to book such an event. I would suggest they add an online booking form.

The more you can drive your current members to the website, the easier it will be for new potential members to find you.

 

You can read Part Two of this article here

Note: website addresses in the above article are for illustartion purposes only and do not reflect real websites.

 

My name is Kevin McGreevy and I am the owner of WSS (Web Seo Solutions), a website development and online marketing strategy business. Our services include weekly and monthly website updates, SEO analysis and strategies, Pay-per-click (PPC) campaign management and online marketing advice.

We are not unique in the services that we provide, but we are unique in how we deliver our services. We provide an upfront and open, single monthly charge, this charge is generally lower than most of our competitors, those being digital marketing agencies.

Our most important factor in our uniqueness is loyalty; we offer exclusive contracts. WSS will not work with any other business that is in the same line of work in your area, never mind your competitors. Visit www.web-seo-solutions.co.uk for more information.

 

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