Finding your way…to a sports team app

This week has been all about Search Engine Optimisation. We have a web site and we have a product, but how do we get you to find your way to our site to use our app?

Seeing as you’ve found your way here, if you don’t want to read an article about Search Engine Optimisation for a free app for sports team management and just want to try the app, here’s a two minute overview of the functionality which can be used for fixtures live:

If that’s all you need, you can skip the article and click the app link here.

But for those who want to learn search engine optimisation for beginners, or at least my take on what I’ve learned after one week of studying, please read on.

Considering the billions of online users in the world it’s pretty clear that getting only a small percentage of those using ALL IN would make a big difference.

But how do you get a good ranking in Google search?

This week I’ve been reading 3 months to Number 1 ( by Will Coombe, which I think is an excellent guide with key steps and a week by week programme to help you improve your search rankings.

Seeing as ALL IN currently has no rankings I can find, I can guarantee the recommended solutions from the book will not fail. But I’m interested to see what difference they might make.

So, first things first, let’s pick one area of functionality within the app that we want to highlight. Any idea why that might be important?

Well, in our case ALL IN can be used for all kinds of organising and getting together and more is better from the perspective of being a handy planning app right? Well, not for search engines as it turns out.

As ALL IN is designed to be used for planning weekends away, organising fun nights out, settling bills, paying friends back, organising team sports etc it’s actually harder to get ranked in searches because it can be used for so many things.
It’s more important to be specific than generic, to allow Google to understand what your website is about and create different sections for each of the functions ALL IN provides. If we’re not clear what we offer, then the search engines won’t be either, so it’s important to advertise your features on a silo basis.

Let’s say we take Sports Team App as a particular search term. How do you get your offering to rank against the other sports team apps out there? And there are many that offer various different features: Teamer, Team Snap, Teamo, Teamstuff to name just a few with the word Team in the title.

In recent weeks we heard that Teamstuff would be closing at the end of January 2021. So how do we set our site up so that people that are looking for alternatives to Teamstuff can come give ALL IN a trial for their sports club? It’s free after all, and as you can play with it online or through our app so it has perfect flexibility for testing it for managing your sports team.

Using a tool to view the popularity of various searches on the web, I can see that there were a grand total of zero searches last month for terms like alternative to Teamstuff, Teamstuff alternative, or Teamstuff app alternatives.

So, that makes those terms significantly easier to rank for…but, if no one is searching for them, then is there any point? Can we assume that there will be a sudden surge of people looking for alternative sports management apps this month and therefore next month we’ll see this start to gain traction as a popular term?

If not, given it takes weeks for changes you’ve made to filter through the site indexing then you may not find out for months that you’ve done the wrong thing.

Other attempts at Googling to find a sports team app has shown that some people find their way to the best team management apps by accident. Teamo, for example, has a high percentage of romantics landing there on search because they were looking for Te amo or Te amor. That’s not to suggest that team managers aren’t passionate or potentially amorous but you would assume the people typing in those search terms weren’t prioritising finding a sports club organiser. I could be wrong, of course.

Similarly, miskeying can work out well if you plan for it. The phrases Team Snap and Teamsnap both get over a 1,000 searches per month for people in the UK looking for a sport team management app. By comparison, Team Nsap as a search term gets almost the same level of searches as Teamsnap although getting a ranking for the misspelt Team Nsap is actually harder, according to the search tools.

There are also 720 requests per month in the UK for Team Snapchat, and I’m not aware that’s actually a thing.
Some app names are harder to spell. I’ve had many conversations with parents alongside sports matches asking if a particular sports app is pronounced Pitcheroo or Pitch Hero. That said not many people seem to have issues spelling Pitchero as far fewer end up searching for Pitch Hero as two words.

When you look at Teamer as a search term, there are almost as many sports team members that find their way there by entering Teamer login. By comparison, far fewer people search for Teamstuff login than they do for Teamstuff and Teamo login actually outranks the non-romantics searching simply for Teamo.

And then, even if you’ve got to the point where you’ve found the words you want to rank for, you then find that some of them are too competitive to make sense battling for, especially if you’re offering a new app for sports team management.

Clearly contending for the front pages on searches for words like teamsport or team app is going to be harder and, even if you get there, you might find many customers aren’t sports team managers or looking for a sports club organiser and so won’t click. If you’re not relevant, then you won’t get rewarded, so that makes things tricky too.

And then there’s content. If you want people to find their way to your page, then each of your pages should have over 1,000 words on them. But how do you do that without simply repeating phrases like team maker or best sports app repeatedly? The clever people at Google can easily see through a list of similar or repeated words so you need to ensure you’re writing high quality content. Interlacing sports club management app phrases seamlessly into information that is useful for users is not the easiest. Ahem…

And, even once you’ve got your subject matter sorted and written out all your search terms you can get penalised for over optimisation! One source I’ve read has suggested it’s preferable to actually not have a target keyword in your app name so, assuming that’s right, getting people to find ALL IN as a sports app should, theoretically anyway, be easier than finding Teamer or Teamstuff.

Any advantage, even if accidental, is helpful at this stage.

And let’s not forget, ALL IN is more than just something you can use for online sports team management. But I’ll have to go into that detail as part of a different article.

Want to see if it’s working? Now you’ve read this article, go search for something like ALL IN sports app or Alternative to TeamStuff and see if you can find ALL IN moving up the ranking pages…