A 70% Increase in Conversion rate Within a Month due to Data-Driven SEO — a Case Study of the Football Website Sporticos
How did we increase the business value of organic traffic?
We achieved this by increasing the conversion rate by 70% in one month, thanks to Big Data analysis. Below, we present and explain each stage of the analysis which we’ve successfully conducted for the football service Sporticos.
Sporticos.com website presents football statistics, as well as the best types of results found on the internet in an accessible and attractive way. The website is visited by more than a million users every month, generating over 2 million visits. It is visited by representatives of all countries of the world and is most popular among users from Western Europe, Africa, and South America.
Our cooperation aimed to increase the visibility, search results, traffic, and revenues of the English version of Sporticos, making use of organic traffic.
- Sporticos.com is very complex — over 750 thousand pages are indexed by Google,
- most of the traffic is generated by visits on particular football matches from Google organic results,
- the traffic has a very different monetization value for each country,
- the website is available in 5 different language versions,
- due to legal restrictions, the content on the website varies depending on the location of the user.
What actions have we conducted?
We’ve conducted a data-driven SEO analysis using our own unique technology solution WhiteDog. Our tool analyzed a set of 78 155 keywords prepared by the client. The analysis included both the service itself and the verification of the position and placement of respective competition for the presented list of phrases. We considered the English-language version of the website and also the United Kingdom as the location.
Jakub Drozd, CEO of Sporticos
With the support of Whites, we have finally focused on a precisely segmented section. By very specific numbers, they showed us where we are, where our competitors are, and where we should focus in terms of growth.
The client defined the set of phrases. It included the following types of queries:
- Team A vs. Team B
- Team A v Team B
- Band A vs B band B prediction
- Band A v Band B live stream
- The prediction league
We have studied the frequency of occurrence of particular services in the TOP 30, TOP 10, and TOP 1 results.
Number of occurrences of particular websites in the TOP 30 results
Sofascore, Sporticos and Transfermarket were among the most frequently visited websites in the examined list.
Number of occurrences of particular websites in the TOP 10 results
When we checked only the TOP 10 results, it turned out that Transfermarket dropped in the ranking of websites from the 3rd place to the 12th place. It shows that this site has its indexed content responding to many phrases, but very rarely breaks through to the top 10 queries.
Number of occurrences of particular websites in the TOP 1 of results
In the case of the first position in the search engine, the competition was limited to 2 players — Sofascore.com and Sporticos.com. For a better illustration of these results, let’s see a chart of positions for Sporticos.com and Sofascore.com
Distribution of items for Sporticos.com and Sofascore.com
What conclusions can be drawn from the above data?
The data suggest that Sporticos is a leading service for defined positions, and the only player who’s still ahead is Sofascore. Also, Sporticos takes first place in 1 out of 3 cases. At the same time, the monthly number of organic visits from the UK did not exceed 70 thousand.
Do we misjudge the potential of the popularity of this category in the search engine?
Comparison of organic traffic in the UK 2016-2019
Fig. Source: Ahrefs
Quick verification with external tools (Ahrefs & SimiliarWeb) showed that Sofascore generates about 20 times more traffic from the search engine than Sporticos (on the British market). Of course, our client’s competitor was also gaining traffic for thousands of phrases outside of our analysis, which was because it covers a wide range of sports. However, we decided to look again at the phrases from our list.
We decided to divide the phrases into different categories. We were mostly interested in two groups of phrases (one containing the word prediction and the other live stream). Here is the distribution of positions for the most popular websites:
Distribution of the most popular websites for Live stream phrases
Distribution of the most popular websites for prediction phrases
The schedules presented above indicate that Sofascore is the leader in live streaming phrases, and sporticos.com is the leader in prediction phrases.
Phrases containing live stream are more often searched, as well as have greater business potential. (Explanation: one of the conversion points is an offer, where creating an account with a bookmaker gives the possibility to legally watch an online streaming of selected soccer matches).
We took a closer look at the results of the phrases which included live streaming.
Here we made further hypotheses and assumptions:
- We excluded Sofascore.com from the analysis because its strong representation would have a great influence on the results. As a result, we achieved a much greater diversity of domains for each position. This enabled us to eliminate the influence of domain factors in the analysis.
- The presence of live stream is the main distinguishing feature: adding live stream several times is not enough – it is important to use other related (co-existing) words.
In our analysis, we paid a lot of attention to the distribution of the tag to the first factors. In the beginning, we checked how many times the words from our pool (live, stream, live streaming, streaming, watch, online, video) appear.
Average values for particular positions
The chart shows that the highest positions contain an average of 2 or more words, and in the case of further positions, this frequency decreases. Sporticos is more like a service from position 11-20 than a top 3.
Let’s break it down into separate words
The occurrence of the word live
In the case of live, almost all services have the word live in the first place of the Title tag. (over 99%).
The occurrence of the word stream
In the case of stream, the frequency of occurrence in the Title is lower, and the differentiation is mainly for the first position (50% of the results) compared to the lower positions (about 20%).
The occurrence of the word online
It’s worth noticing that not all the phrases from our list differentiated the results, e.g., the occurrence of the word online did not differentiate the results.
Does the distance of keywords from the Title matter?
One of the SEO rules says that the greater the distance between a word and the beginning of Title, the less meaning it has. How did this apply to our analysis?
The median chart for phrases containing live
The chart for all the results shows that the closer the word is to the beginning of the title, the greater the chance of it appearing in the results. However, the differences are not significant. In the case of Sporticos, this correlation is the opposite and is because our client’s service more often reached the top positions for longer phases (from the long tail of the query).
Does the length of the Title tag affect the position in the search results?
Number of words in Title tag toward the position
As you can see, in the first position, there were on average shorter results (12 words) than on the other positions (16-17 words).
Analysis of page content
According to our hypothesis, the co-existence of related keywords can have a positive impact on the main phrase on search engine rankings. Therefore, we analyzed for phrases containing live stream or other keywords (watch, online, video, live streaming, live, streaming, streaming).
The frequency of occurrence of these words in the search results on particular positions (average values)
We can see that for top positions, the occurrence of keywords is much more frequent. In the case of Sporticos, there are significantly fewer of these words.
And what was the frequency distribution of the most important words for this group, i.e. live and stream?
The median for the number of occurrences of the word live against the position
The median for the number of occurrences of the word stream against the position
The graphs show that in both cases, more frequent use of keywords took place in the case of the highest positions in search results. In the case of the median, TOP 1 values for Sporticos were above for live and below for stream.
Selected and implemented optimization recommendations created based on the analysis:
Based on the analyses, we created a set of recommendations for optimizing Sporticos for phrases containing live stream, e.g.:
- Shortening the Title tag,
- adding the word stream to the Title tag,
- adding a live stream phrase to the end of breadcrumbs in the desktop version,
- change of the anchor text in the link of the summary page of the daily transmission from TV to live streams,
- improvement of the content describing the live streaming proposal on the match website for many locations (the description is not visible in Poland).
The changes were implemented for all language versions on 28 April 2019. The effects exceeded our expectations – precise changes gave us the effect we had hoped for – and the website improved its position in the most important business category of phrases, thanks to which we were able to significantly increase the value of organic traffic.
1. Comparison of organic traffic – 9% May 19 vs. April 19
blue line – May 1, 2019 – May 31, 2019
red line – Mar 31, 2019 – Apr 30, 2019
2. Change of Sporticos position for live stream phrases – April 2019 vs. June 2019
3. Comparison of traffic on live stream phrase
blue line – Apr/May 2019
red line – Apr/May 2018
4. Increase of conversions (new users) May 2019 vs. April 2019
Jakub Drozd, CEO of Sporticos
In our prior SEO activities, we wanted to cover too many threads at once, which unfortunately resulted in scores below our expectations.With Whites, we set the playing field carefully and focused our efforts exactly there. After just a few days, the results showed that the shot was accurate.
The presented effects are just the first positive signals. The definitive conclusions can only be drawn based on a longer period. The analyzed data inspired us to engage in further SEO activities aimed at long-term strengthening of the phrases which contain live stream. We will be implementing them successively in the upcoming months.