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Well, the time has come for me to write my very first post on the I-COM blog. I could write some generic post containing SEO advice….or I could write something light hearted ,and it will come as no surprise to people that know me that I’ve chosen the latter.
So in keeping with the themes of recent times (see Graham’s hilarious match report from the first I-COM 5-a-side football game) I have decided to write about the similarities between SEO and football. To make this a little more educational, this could serve as a way of understanding SEO to a beginner who happens to like football….
The idea might sound a bit weird, but if you think about it there are a lot of correlations between the two. To start with at the highest level you can liken a football club to a website - both have a lot of stakeholders and both want to finish above their rivals in the league. In SEO, that league is a search engine. Google is of course the Premier League, with Bing and Yahoo making up the Championship and League 1, and everything else making up the lower leagues. In reality with their very high market share Google would have the Premiership and entire football league, with the rest taking up the Non-league and Sunday league positions.
The rankings within these search engines are the equivalent of the league tables in football, with the websites/clubs moving up and down the positions (on well thought out, targeted keywords that will bring great ROI of course!) based on how well they perform, and how well they work internally.
Football clubs are formed with a chairman/board at the top, with fans also as big stakeholders. Clients take that role in SEO, with THEIR stakeholders being the ‘fans’ of the website because their profit levels will change based on the rankings. You could even liken the customers who pick the clients based on their position in Google to ‘glory hunting’ football fans, and those that show brand loyalty anyway to die-hard fans of their teams! The ‘backroom staff’ at a club usually consists of a manager and his coaches and scouts. The manager is the Senior SEO who is ultimately responsible for taking care of the campaign, the juniors are both his coaches and scouts – carrying out the day to day work and ‘scouting’ for new linking opportunities.
The pages on a website can be seen as the players, as they are the most important part, just as players are to a club. They need to be nurtured and taught by the coaches; in this case they must be optimised and made the best they can be in order to achieve the results ‘on the pitch’. Everything comes back to the quality of the content and on-page SEO of your pages and website - links are important but they serve to further boost the pages, in the same way tactics and formations do. Ultimately it is down to the players/pages.
Usually in SEO a monthly report is produced, where the results and achievements of the last time period are communicated. This time period can be likened to a football match, where at the end of it you have either won or lost (made a return on investment or not), and the ‘rankings’ for the lucrative keywords show where you are in the league.
The tactics in a football match are the most important part, as these determine how well a team plays. They are set out by the manager in a ‘formation’.
- The goalkeeper is the well optimised website that holds up the entire team – if your site is great then the search engines will look favourably on you.
- The defenders are the great content on the website – again, without this you won’t rank well whatever you do in attack because you will leak more goals than you score.
- Midfield is the ‘authority links’ that you acquire, such as brand links, SEO press releases and premium directory submissions. These are a steady middle ground that bridges the gap between defence and attack.
- And the attack is made up of the high quality, targeted links that go for the keywords that will offer your company good return on investment.
Within the game, you can see each visitor generated as a “pass”, all of which leads towards the call to action whether it be a form being filled in, a sale or whatever, which is then called a ‘goal’, which of course is the ultimate aim in a football match as well.
These goals can lead to money being made, and therefore ‘winning’ by making a great Return on Investment, which the I-COM SEO team is dedicated to providing for your business.