One of Spain’s most successful football teams with international presence needed to improve its SEO content in three languages, to optimise search results and keep its website the most visited of all teams worldwide.
The new world of football.
The big football clubs are also powerful global brands: they attract millions of followers around the world, and any information related to them exceeds the interest generated by many companies. In this context, our client was one of the most important teams in Spain and in the world.
Its website was the most visited website of a football club worldwide in 2019 (the year we started working together), according to Comscore data, above Liverpool FC, with 863,000 unique monthly users, and that of FC Barcelona, with 812,000 unique users each month. To boost it, for two years we worked on the development and implementation of a SEO strategy with a double objective:
- Positioning the brand and giving the club’s official media its own voice.
- Optimising content for search through mobile devices, virtual assistants and by voice.
SEO positioning is essential to monetize the impact of a football team through its own digital assets.
SEO for content positioning: information and brand search.
The website is accessible in nine languages. Our work focused on optimising traffic in the three most important languages (Spanish, English and French).
First, we carried out a complete categorization of the content, inventorying all digital content, cataloguing and adding tags, certain metadata and HTML elements. This improved crawling and indexing, as well as the semantic information of the content.
We then defined the keywords associated with the main searches in two distinct areas:
- Brand search: all searches related to brand and product (kits, balls, tickets, stadium visits, merchandising, etc.), as well as queries about the football players themselves, a fundamental part of the club’s heritage and its own brand.
- Non-brand searches: all information coming from the club. Here we focus on giving its TV channel the capacity to compete with powerful media specialised in sports news, positioning it ahead of them.
Content positioning for the kings of football.
To achieve this last objective, we trained the editorial staff, giving courses on SEO optimised writing, and we adapted the format of the news to position them in Google News, where they didn’t have a presence before.
Within the content strategy, and with the idea of capitalising on the maximum volume of traffic, we carried out an event positioning work. The sporting performance of football teams has a huge impact on searches: the better the results, the higher the volume of queries.
In the case of our club, we carry out specific work for the big moments of the season, especially the Champions League finals. And during the Club World Cup, we took advantage of this to build a specific minisite.
The distinction between brand search and non-brand search was important, as the volume of queries was so high that we needed a separate strategy for each.
Technical SEO: mobile optimization and voice search.
Technical SEO actions are necessary to complement the content ones. In this case, we migrated the organisation’s website to a secure https environment, performed semantic markup and adapted all content to the AMP format, optimising mobile searches, the main source of traffic for the website.
The most outstanding technical project, pioneering at the time, was the adaptation of all content to voice searches, so that it would be accessible to virtual assistants, such as Siri or Alexa, as well as voice searches on Google from mobile devices. In general, when search terms exceed seven or eight words, the user prefers to dictate them to the mobile device rather than type them in.
First, we conducted an in-depth keyword research study, understanding the type of searches and the most common questions asked about the club (“How many European Cups have they won?”, “How many games has their captain played?”, “What is the capacity of their stadium?”, “How tall is their goalkeeper?”, etc.).
We then readjusted the content to adapt it to voice assistant trackers and developed dashboards for quick and easy visualisation of key insights.
The results: becoming digital champions.
Immediately after implementing these improvements, the number of new users gained through the optimised AMP pages reached nearly 100,000. We also achieved a 26% year-over-year increase in the number of unique users gained from SEO. And above all, we contributed to strengthening the digital footprint of the best football club in history.