Google Digital Garage: 13 things we’ve learned so far…
The partnership between BT Sport and Google has seen licensees across the country pick up tips to maximise their digital offering. Here are just some of the highlights.
We’ve been to Liverpool, Belfast and London (twice) as BT Sport's Google Garage events have gathered momentum across the UK. The came Edinburgh and Newcastle before heading to Manchester, Cardiff and Bristol for the remaining sessions.
At every step of the way we have met inspirational clubs and operators who are keen to understand how they can make more of the digital sides of their business.
From the technophobe to the social media whizz, there has been something new to learn at each event.
Here’s a taster of what the Google experts have passed on:
None of this stuff is as scary as it sounds, including this arachnid term. ‘Spiders’ are used by Google to index hundreds of thousands of pages across thousands of machines. They are looking for key words to help rank web pages.
2 Key words
You need these on your website and you need to use them in your social media. Think about the kind of things people will search for about you. Words such as ‘pub’ ‘beer’ and ‘live sport’ are a good place to start. Write out a list of key words that apply to you… go on… now, can you find all of these on your website or social platforms?
3 ‘Near me’ and ‘How to’
This is how a huge amount of search terms begin. The former is what many people are looking for on Google. The latter is the most common start to phrases typed into YouTube. Can you think ‘how to’ create content across your various channels to reach those who are searching for a venue like you?
4 Google Trends
This awesome little tool can tell you what terms people are searching for so you can apply them to your content. At Ulster’s Kingspan Stadium we discovered that ‘vodka’ and ‘hangover cures’ were searched for more in Belfast and Halesowen, than anywhere else. Who knew…
5 Be mobile friendly
Who doesn’t have a smartphone these days? The chances are that people will find you first on a mobile or tablet. This means your website needs to be ‘responsive’, that is to say that it needs to change shape to fit on the device your potential customer is using. You can test how mobile friendly your website is here.
6Reviews are good for you
TripAdvisor may well be the bane of your life but Google trusts it and other review sites such as Yelp. More reviews mean you are more likely to be found in searches.
7 Claim your business…
Whether you like it or not there will be information about your club out there on that big old, world wide web. It’s far better if you can claim some control over what appears first in searches. Claiming your ‘Google My Business’ listing is one simple way of doing this.
8 …and update it
You can improve your Google My Business page by adding in the facilities you offer. Do you have WiFi? Are you dog-friendly? Have you got easy-access toilets? Do you welcome away fans? Some of these may seem obvious, but the more you add the greater the profile of your business will be online.
9 1hr 48mins
That’s the average length of time someone from the UK spends on social media every day. Your members are already on there, so you should be too.
10 Don’t sell, inspire
Think of social media posts as conversational. You (probably) don’t give it the hard sell when a member walks through the door. Stick to a similar approach on social media so that your online presence reflects your business and your values.
11 When to post?
Think about your members (and potential members) and when they are likely to be online. The middle of a gripping Champions League game may not be best, but perhaps you can reach them at half-time or after the final whistle.
12 Measures of success
Don’t get too hung up on how many followers you have but do use analytics to measure how your posts have performed. What kind of content is generating engagement and impressions? See what works and plan a social media strategy around this.
13 Don’t post after five drinks
That tip was given to us by rugby legend and BT Sport pundit Brian O’Driscoll at the Belfast event. The point being that you need to be in control of what you are doing and think carefully before you put content online. Would you say what you are planning to post in a bar full of people? If not, maybe you shouldn’t be posting it.
Has this proved helpful? There is so much more to learn and there is still time to register for the next Google Digital Garage workshops.
Cardiff, Cardiff Arms Park, 22nd October 2018
Bristol, Ashton Gate Stadium, 23rd October 2018
Not only do the experts from Google present on an array of useful topics to help you navigate the tricky online waters but you can also take advantage or one-on-one sessions. This will give you the chance to speak to members of the Google team about issues specific to your business and even make changes to your digital platforms there and then.