SEO for sports website

Hello everyone! This is Alex Malov from BestSeoServices. Today we take a look at case study of search engine optimization for free sports broadcasting website.

Alex Malov

Our client placed an order in the summer of 2020. It was about development and seo of sites for further redirecting traffic to the bookmaker's website.

As an experiment, we decided to test various topics to attract organic traffic. Today we will tell you a story one of them - a site with free sports broadcasts.

Free sports broadcasts - SEO case

How did we come up with an idea?

Firstly, we have analyzed the bookmaker's website in order to find advantages and benefits. In particular, we have noticed that the bookmaker provides an opportunity to watch live broadcasts of football (soccer in USA) matches to registered users with a balance above zero. In other words, by making a minimum deposit (about $1.5), the user was able to watch live broadcasting of sports events for basically free. When we say «free», it means that the user could watch it for many weeks and months by keeping minimum required balance. So we decided to take advantage of this by dedicating one of the sites to free football broadcasts.

Why football?

In this particular country, where we decided to create and promote the site, football turned out to be the most popular sport. Considering frequency of the subject of free football broadcasts, our choice was determined.

We will not cover the creation of the site itself, because there is nothing complicated. I will only describe the architecture of the site. Basically, it is a three-step directory. The highest level is football leagues (competitions, championships), we call the first-tier pages. The middle level (the second-tier pages) is the football teams that compete in the football leagues. For example, if the highest level is the English Premier League, then the teams of Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal and so on will be in the middle level, which refers to this highest level. The third, lowest level - the third-tier pages includes the matches of these teams and is directly related to the teams from the second level - middle. For a better understanding, I will give a schematic representation of the architecture of a website for online football broadcasts.

It is the third-tier pages that bring us the main targeted organic traffic, since these are event-driven match pages. After all, football matches are searched by users directly before the event or at the time of the event. That is, if a match between two teams takes place on December 1, then this page will bring all the traffic on that day. Add 2-3 days, based on our experience, since many people then look for replays of broadcasts. After the event is completed and then after a few months, you can re-optimize this page for the same event of the next year. Thus, by next year it will have even more search weight and, accordingly, the ranking is higher.

The third-tier page is important , because on this page we implement a button «Watch for free» with a user's redirect to the event on a bookmaker’s site.

The second-tier pages will bring organic traffic based on team’s search. That is, queries that include the names of only one team. As an example, watch Liverpool matches online. Accordingly, the optimization of these pages should be as much about the team as possible - match calendar, results, news, photo gallery, any information about the team.

These pages are essentially listings that consist of the events of each team, that is, broadcasts of football matches.

The first-tier pages (Football Leagues and Competitions) will bring organic traffic related to competition-related searches. As an example, watch the Premier League matches online. The optimization and content of these pages should include tournament information.

Such pages are essentially listings of football teams that belong to a particular league.

The main page should contain all main sections, which briefly described, and also give link weight to the most significant events and tier pages. Also, do not forget about the blog section, where we post original articles with unique content. Google loves blogs.

So we finish our talk about the architecture of site. Let’s move to page markup

I will not describe page markup of the first- and second-tier, because we want to keep little secrets in our job. I will give as an example the markup of the third-tier pages, that is, the events (matches), bringing the main organic traffic. As a digression, I will only say that for general requests, for example, «watch football online», «watch matches online», «football online broadcasts» and others, we managed to bypass many well-known official sports sites with broadcasts in the ranking.

Optimization of sports events pages

Like Google, I really love Schema markup. And I am implementing it using j-son, because, as it seems to me, in this case there is less hassle than implementing it through microdata. Accordingly, all football matches were marked using Schema.

<script type="application/ld+json">
"@context": "",
"@type": "Event",
"name": "Live streaming of Tottenham Hotspur - Arsenal online for free",
"description": "Live broadcast of Premier League game Tottenham Hotspur - Arsenal. Watch the football match Tottenham Hotspur - Arsenal online for free on our website today",
"startDate": "2020-12-05T15:00+00:00",
"endDate": "2020-12-05T17:00+00:00",
"eventStatus": "",
"eventAttendanceMode": "",
"location": {
"@type": "VirtualLocation",
"url": ""

In order to minimize the time required to fill out data for each event (teams, date and time of the match), we came up with formulas and implemented them using a template. Automation saves tons of time!

<div class="one_trans">
<div class="container">
<div class="one_trans_teams">
<div class="one_team">
<div class="team_name">
<img src="//images/tottenham.svg" alt="Watch online [team1] for free" title="Watch online [team1] for free">
<div class="one_team">
<div class="team_name">
<img src="//images/arsenal.svg" alt="Watch online [team2] for free" title="Watch online [team2] for free">
<div class="date_time">

<a class="watch_online" href="/redirect_page">

Watch [team1] - [team2] match online for free
The football season is in full swing, but you can't always watch the game at the stadium? Tired of the monthly fees to subscribe to a sports channel? Want to watch football online for free, but the site with the broadcast is getting harder and harder to find? There is an exit!
The bookmaker [bookmakername] offers its players a unique chance to watch live matches online for free. Register on the website, make a minimal deposit and enjoy watching! Lifetime access to online broadcasts is possible by replenishing the account of [bookmakername] for only 1 Euro. For comparison, an annual subscription to a sports channel will cost you no less than 35-40 Euro. Watching broadcasts in [bookmakername], you will save your money, and you will get no less pleasure from watching!
Don't miss the match between the teams of [team1] and [team2], which will take place on [date] at [time]
Fund your account and watch football all year round!

And, of course, pictures are important to us. Google loves pictures very much. We add 5 pictures to each event. For each team, we chose 4 identical pictures for each game in order to save time. We change only one picture - the image of stadiums, where the matches would take place. In addition, although the 4 pictures remained the same, we changed the alts for each picture, using key words for each specific match. Since key words are very similar, we only changed the name of the teams in alts, achieving a unique description of each of the many hundreds of pictures on the site.

<img src="//images/Tottenham-Hotspur-1.jpg" alt="Match [team1] [team2] ">
<img src="//images/arsenal1.jpg" alt="[team1] [team2] watch online">
<img src="//images/arsenal2.jpg" alt="[team1] [team2] watch for free">
<img src="//images/arsenal3.jpg" alt="[team1] [team2] live broadcast">
<img src="//images/arsenal4.jpg" alt="game [team1] [team2] watch online for free">

Let's not forget about the canonical. Indeed, in the events of two teams, the match pages can be duplicated. That is, the match Liverpool - Arsenal will be not only in the second stage of Liverpool, but also in the second stage of Arsenal. In this case, we select one canonical page, and the second refers to it.


As a result, the site began to bring organic traffic just two weeks after the start of indexing. During match days, site was reaching more than 1000 clicks from Google search, not counting other search engines. The case was conducted in a country where Google has a competitor in the form of the Yandex search engine, which doubled the number of visits to the site.

In winter, due to the break for matches in the leagues of the selected country, traffic dropped slightly. But even more growth is expected in the spring.

Thank you for your attention. I hope the case will be useful for you!