Businesses of all industries acknowledge the importance of search engine optimization. Given the constantly increasing number of online searches, today SEO is no longer an optional investment, but an essential one. However, along the line sports organizations & academies don't seem to be concerned with this reality.
As one searches for a sports organization on Google, whether for a specific sports or in general, top results are dominated by the big names only.
As clearly observable, in both snapshots top Google results show academies that are either run by an elite sportsperson or a national or provincial level organization. So, apparently local sports academies are relying pretty much on their off-the-internet popularity to attract more sports enthusiast and to grow.
And this is quite baffling to us, why small & medium sized sports organizations aren't leveraging the power of SEO to practically rub shoulders with the big names in search engine results.
Now, if you own or manage a local sports academy, then we certainly have your attention. So, without waiting anymore let's discuss 7 actionable SEO tips that can make your sports academy appear among top search results, consequently attract more sports enthusiasts.
Tip 1: List Your Academy on Google Local
To ensure your stand among the top sports academies, you first need to strengthen your local presence. Undeniably, Google is the prime source for getting online traffic. Thus, creating a G+ local business account for your sports academy should be your first step.
Online searches for sports academy are area specific mostly. Thus, listing your business on Google Local naturally improves its visibility on search engine results. See for yourself.
See how with simple Google Local listing, local sports academy can appear along with big names in local searches. Plus, you should also add some pictures of your academy to your listing to attract more clicks.
Tip 2: List your Academy on other relevant Business Directories
Google Local is your best option, but not your only option. After creating the Google+ profile, you should target more local business listing sites. For instance, Bing Places, Yahoo Local, Yelp, and Facebook for Business.
In addition to that, you should target business listing sites that are more relevant in your specific geographic area. These business listing sites are also called business directories and citation sources. Search for all these key phrases to obtain better results.
Tip 3: Make Social Media Profiles of your Academy
The more you are present in the online world, the more are the chances of being found. So, creating your sports academy's profile on different social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. is important. Plus, social media profiles appear among top search results, which consequently boosts you search engine visibility.
However to get desirable results, you need to remain active and regularly post images and videos of your academy and other relevant posts on your social media profiles. Take insights from the social media profiles of big brands of sports industry in this context.
Tip 4: Create a Website of your Academy
A website gives your sports academy a fixed online presence where users can assuredly get relevant information about you and your offerings. And importance of website shouldn't be too hard to grasp. Take an example of yourself searching for a school, college or a company on Google. Of course, you tend to look for its website in the first place.
Now, a website is the online face your academy. It must portray professionalism, should be able to engage users, and should get ranked by search engines. Thus, hiring a professional team for its development is essential.
See how this private local sports academy has acquired 4 spots among top Google search results (without its name being the searched phrase) by creating a website, and profiles on social media platforms & business listing sites
Tip 5: Share Images and Videos of your Academy
Unlike businesses of other industries, local or global, sports academies have much scope for sharing relevant images and videos. As academy's owner or manager it is important that you recognize and grasp all the opportunities for using images and videos.
Put images of your sports academy on your website, social media profiles, and local business directories. Share videos of practice sessions and tournaments you organize on social media profiles. Create an on-site gallery of images and videos.
Images and videos are likely to get more clicks and are more engaging for sure. Plus, when people google you by name, images and videos also appears among the results, which certainly make a good impression on them about your academy.
Tip 6: Regularly Blog with Relevant Posts
By now, on one point we are clear that you sports academy don't have any shortage of material to share in the online world. So, besides sharing all the images and videos of your academy on website & social media, why not use them to create some blogs as well?
If you are a bit familiar with Google's search algorithms, then you must know that Google values fresh & quality content more. Thus, with blogging you can easily highlight your sports academy in the top results, since through blogs you can easily insert common keywords like â€˜sports academy in â€˜region name'', â€˜best sports academy in â€˜country name'' and many more.
So, don't hesitate in hiring a professional team for maintaining your blog, since in long terms it will be a good return-on-investment ROI.
Tip 7: Invest in paid marketing, but not until later
When it comes to online promotion of your business, most people advice right away â€˜go, invest in PPC advertising'. But not us. PPC or Pay-per-Click ads are what you see right on the top of organic results whenever you search with a generic term.
The one-line explanation to how PPC ads work is - â€˜Organizations bid for certain search phrases to get highlighted above the organic results, and pay for every click they get to the ad hosts (Google, Bing or others).' For instance, in above results one of the targeted search phrase is "sports academy in Mumbai".
What we advise is that you should not invest in PPC ads until you have strong web presence through a website, influencing social media profiles & blog, and adequate business directory listing. Ad or no ads, people will eventually google once they come across your academy's name. And if they do not find something that engages them, certainly they won't consider you again.
Investing in PPC ads without a strong online establishment, may get you traffic but not business. Nevertheless, you will have to pay for every click you get without much success, which of course will be a poor ROI.
Hopefully, after reading this post you must be wondering, as we have been, why sports academies and other sports organizations aren't considering SEO to expand their reach and grow their business. Surely, partnering with an expert SEO team will help your academy grow to the extent you wouldn't even expect. Feel Free to share your views in comments section.
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