Client Strategy Document: Dundee Football Club

Dundee FC Client Strategy Report

Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Background
  3. Objectives
  4. Audit
    1. Facebook and Twitter
    2. Instagram and YouTube
    3. DFC Website
      1. Off-Page SEO
      2. Technical SEO
      3. On-Page SEO
  5. Content Development
  6. Analytics and Metrics

1. Executive Summary

We are Isaac Marketing Agency, offering creative digital marketing solutions to help you reach your goals.  Isaac aims to help Dundee Football Club’s (DFC) digital marketing thrive by contributing our knowledge and ability in this field of marketing.

2. Background

Isaac identified DFCs budget and resources as the biggest constraints concerning their marketing strategy. Only one person is responsible for DFC media and marketing activities with zero allocated budget. DFCs main stakeholders include players, fans, owners, coaches, sponsors and competitors. Their most valuable assets are their fans as their biggest income comes from season tickets – 3250 sold last season (www.dundeefc.co.uk, 2019).

DFC fans hold huge emotional attachment with the team, which we acknowledge in the marketing strategy. These fans are loyal, and their passions passed from generation to generation: “My brother played 3 matches for DFC… If Dundee United asked him, there would have been no chance, he wouldn’t have said yes. We are DFC fans” (Robertson, 2019). DFC is a part of you from an early age, attending matches with family and friends becomes a frequent activity.

3. Objectives

Isaac Agency recommends the following key goals for DFCs marketing strategy:

  • To grow the number of home supporting fans, by targeting an additional 1000 people. It is important to attain this goal in the next year in order to breakeven financially.
  • To increase DFC social media and website traffic, especially nurturing the emotional attachment with their fans. By doing so will attract additional sponsorship. 

The business objectives are further implemented through website and social media goals and metrics.

Business Objective Table Dundee FC

4. Audit

ISAAC Agency conducted an audit of DFCs social media platforms to identify and suggest recommendations for areas that can be enhanced.

1. Facebook & Twitter

Facebook and Twitter are DFCs most active and popular social media platforms with a total following of 12.8K and 42.5K, respectively. Issac found the majority of content was focused on match day promotions and live-score updates. Moreover, the channels advertised the clubs season and match tickets and DFC merchandise. The number of posts and tweets per day generally ranged between 3-5, with the exception of match days where up to 30 posts may be shared, updating fans of live match details.

Isaac discovered that some pages were not fully optimised; for example, the ‘Our Story’ Facebook page had empty links. Furthermore, on navigation of ticket portals the Facebook page featured these links under irrelevant headings, e.g. YouTube, and could be better signposted. Both platforms also display similar content yet do not make links or reference to the other official site; instead they use the link #thedee which sends users to another Twitter page where fans and DFC interact. Another finding when searching for DFC Twitter was an old DFC Twitter page which was still live and linked the new ‘official’ page. Further, although DFC Twitter is certified, their Facebook page was not. Having identified these problems, we here at Issac can work towards fully optimising these sites alongside the development of further content to get the brand certified by the end of the season.

2. Instagram & YouTube

Our Analysis showed DFCs Instagram is more frequently used and has a 10K following. We also found the images used were consistent and in-keeping with DFCs brand; and the share-ability of these posts allows a positive brand experience for followers to engage with DFC.

DFCs YouTube channel features 70 videos, however the last video was uploaded 10 months ago. The lack of content on this platform is reflected in only 2.1K subscribers, an especially low following compared to their alternative media platforms. YouTube is the second largest search engine worldwide and studies show consumers are more prone to watch this content longer and be more engaged (Hanson and Kalyanam, 2000). Hence, creating more video display content to all sites will likely increase page visits and enhance conversion rates. (Bruce, Murthi and Rao, 2017). Isaac recommends this channel is updated at least once a month to remain relevant. Positively, DFC YouTube effectively attached links to DFCs official website and other social media accounts, strengthening brand awareness.

Dundee FC Youtube Channel
Figure 1. Screenshot of DFC YouTube Channel
Source: YouTube

Accounting for the club’s budget, we recommend DFC maintains their current social media platforms, however focuses their efforts towards fully optimising these accounts and website. This would also help create clarity on platforms for navigating important links and portals that generate income for the club. Further, incorporating creative content, such as increased text and video display, will enrich user’s engagement and brand awareness.

3. DFC Website

SEO is an unpaid method of improving visibility and ranking of online content in organic search engine result pages (SERPs) (Grappone, 2011). As users tend to only click on the first five links displayed by the SERP (Peterson and Merino, 2003), with 92% of users not clicking past the first page, sites must optimise the search engine to gain a high-ranking position. 

1. Off-Page SEO

Off-page optimisation is the most valuable aspect of optimisation, and accounts for 60% of the site’s perceived value by consumers (O’Connor, 2009). 

Keywords refer to actions outside of a company’s website taken to increase their ranking within search engine results (Dick, 2011). They are a compiled list of words or phrases utilised to connect users to the site through search engines (Odden, 2012; Mallon, 2012). 

Dundee Football Club’s Top Ranking Keywords
Table 1. Dundee Football Club’s Top Ranking Keywords
Source: Moz.com,2019
Summary of Ranking Keywords for DFC Website
Figure 2: Summary of Ranking Keywords for DFC Website
Source: Moz.com, 2019
DFC Top Ranking Keywords
Figure 3: DFC Top Ranking Keywords
Source: Moz.com, 2019

Table 1 shows DFCs website rank highest in searches for ‘Dundee Football Club’, stated in a variety of ways. However, rank 45th for ‘Dundee’ (fat head). Figure 2 and 3 suggest DFC’s keywords are efficiently optimised in certain areas (e.g. specific keywords), however we recommended DFC furthers their effort in optimising more general keywords (e.g. ‘dundee’); allowing search engines to recognise high performance, and generate consumer trust and click rates. Additional recommended strategies are creating pay-per-click adverts to improve click through rates (Kritzinger and Weideman, 2013)

It is also important for DFC to consider the total inbound links. These backlinks act as a ‘vote of confidence’ for the site, and allow increased exposure and consumer trust (Otero et al., 2014). Our analysis found DFC had a total of 68.8k backlinks, most of which were from newspaper sites, e.g. The Guardian (The Guardian, n.d). Although favourable, Issac feel we can further improve this potential and aim to grow backlinks by around 15-20%, to be on similar or higher levels than competitors. Moreover, we wish the grow the range of ranking keywords to include more generic Dundee terms. However, it is important to monitor the source of inbound links, and whether they are trusted or spam; spam backlinks can lower a site’s ranking and lead to penalties (Jansen, 2007). 

Dundee FC Domains and Inbound Links
Figure X: Linking Domains and Inbound Links of DFC
Source: Alexa.com, 2019
2. Technical SEO

Technical aspects have a significant impact on the viability of a website, and also promote a more user centric site (Dover and Dafforn, 2011).

Isaac discovered DFC had favourable response times, the majority (98.81%) being less than a second. However, further investigation of the response time 5-6 seconds, found delays to be related to the ticket portal link. As this is a main feature of the page and also a key conversion metric, this is the most significant response time to consider. Isaac will prioritise these corrections quickly and effectively

Dundee FC Website Response Times
Figure 4: Response Times of DFC Website
Source: ScreamingFrog, 2019

DFC mobile site displayed slow ratings concerning response time. Issac can improve this by completing a few easy steps; for example, deferring unused CSS, enabling text compression and efficiently encoding images (Chaffey and Smith, 2013).

Dundee FC Mobile Web Response Times
Figure 5: Response Times of DFC Mobile Site
Source: ScreamingFrog, 2019

Isaac also analysed response codes, and while most codes were successful (93.57%), we feel they can be further improved. By rectifying the response codes that have client errors, site optimization will enhance.

Response Time Dundee FC Website
Figure 6: Response Times of DFC Website
Source: ScreamingFrog, 2019
3. On-page SEO

On-page optimisation refers to the webpage content activity that allows it to be recognised by search engines. Efficiently optimising on-page content will lead to improved ranking and decreased bounce rate (Fishkin, 2012).  Bounce rates are the number of single-page visits to a site.

Dundee FC Bounce Rate Comparison
Figure 7: DFC’s bounce rate in comparison to DUFC’s
Source: Moz.com, 2019

According to Song (2013) bounce rates of 41%-55% is average, whilst 70% is considered critical.  figure 7 demonstrates DFCs bounce rate is critical at 70%, whilst their competitors are sitting at 38.90% (below average).  To decrease bounce rate, the page should be efficiently optimised and encourage user engagement.  According to Bruce et al (2017), using visual elements, such as images and graphics, is an effective method of increasing engagement.  Figure 8 shows DFC’s site content breakdown.

Dundee FC Web Content
Figure 8: DFC’s Website Content
Source: ScreamingFrog, 2019

DFCs webpage consists predominantly of text (96.4%) and only 1.6% images; the recommended structure for a webpage is 25% images to 70% text (Sobal, 2018).  Therefore, it is recommended that a higher quantity of visuals and graphics are used on the landing page to increase conversion rate and decrease bounce rates.

The analysis also found the meta description of the DFC site was missing. This was an immediate red flag. Here should be a description below the main title with a 54-character limit and is something Isaac can easily manage.

Meta Description for DFC Website
Figure 9: Meta Description for DFC Website
Source:Google.com/ Alexa.com, 2019

5. Content Development

As stated above, DFC should make more use of image and video content on their webpage, as well as social media to make it more engaging for users.  This could include highlights from recent games, manager interviews and interviews with players; other teams such as Motherwell currently do this and have found it increases user interaction based on site views.

Video content advertising is found to be effective as it combines online advertising with the emotional engagement of video (Tucker, 2014), and can increase traffic by 157% (Key, 2018).  As mentioned DFC have a YouTube channel, however have not updated it in over ten months. Issac therefore recommends that DFC regularly update their YouTube channel and links these videos directly to their webpage. This would assist in creating emotional engagement, and allow users to share videos on multiple social media platforms; this would also help to create valuable inbound links.

One of the objectives is to engage with DFC fans and create more engaging content. Thus, we recommend that DFC should share fan stories on their website to make fans feel like they are involved in the experience. Additionally, placing content on their community page of their webpage, or linking their community Facebook page to the other sites would increase engagement through evoking emotion of current and potential fans.

6. Analytics and Metrics

Websites engage in analytics and metrics to collect, measure website data and any advertisement activity to assess the journey of their customers. This particularly concerns the origin of website traffic, user navigation and engagement/interaction, as well as why and how the consumers eventually exit the website. Since the beginning of the digital economy (for further information please refer to our blog posts) data analysis has become an essential factor in the success of organisations (Kim, 2009)

At Issac we want to help DFC utilise analytics to leverage offers to increase value to customers and for DFC, while simultaneously enriching consumer experience. To do this however, we strongly recommend all components are integrated into Google Analytics both directly and through Google Tag manager for aspects such as DFC Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram (Sen, 2005)

Issac have highlighted three main objectives for DFC alongside associated social media and webpage metrics. Concerning the growth of DFC as a brand certain metrics and KPIs would be considered (Germann, Lilien and Rangaswamy, 2013). First, we would measure any social acquisition, particularly likes and shares, and where they get shared, to understand on-site user engagement and the stream of consumers on DFC sites. Traffic sources would also be assessed which would include specific KPIs, such as new sessions and session durations. Concerning increasing ticket sales, Conversions would be set up on both the click through of the ticket portal and on the completion of a ticket purchase (ecommerce conversion). Finally, for increasing customer retention, we recommend a variety of different metrics to be analysed and considered in situ. Key KPIs here would be: behaviour flow, Bounce Rate, Traffic Sources and Exit Pages.

References

Bruce, N.I., Murthi, B.P.S. and Rao, R.C., (2017). A dynamic model for digital advertising: The effects of creative format, message content, and targeting on engagement. Journal of marketing research54(2), pp.202-218.

Chaffey, D. and Smith, P.R., 2013. eMarketing eXcellence: Planning and optimizing your digital marketing. Routledge.

Dover, D. and Dafforn, E., 2011. Search engine optimization (SEO) secrets. Wiley publishing.

Fishkin, R. (2018). SEO: The Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization from Moz. [online] Moz. Available at: https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo [Accessed 22 Nov. 2018].

Germann, F., Lilien, G.L. and Rangaswamy, A., 2013. Performance implications of deploying marketing analytics. Internat

Jansen, B.J., 2007. The comparative effectiveness of sponsored and nonsponsored links for Web e-commerce queries. ACM Transactions on the Web (TWEB)1(1), p.3.

Kim, L., WordStream Inc, 2009. Integrated web analytics and actionable workbench tools for search engine optimization and marketing. U.S. Patent Application 12/412,856.

Kritzinger, W.T. and Weideman, M., 2013. Search engine optimization and pay-per-click marketing strategies. Journal of Organizational Computing and Electronic Commerce23(3), pp.273-286.

Peterson, R.A. and Merino, M.C., 2003. Consumer information search behavior and the Internet. Psychology & Marketing20(2), pp.99-121.

Robertson. G. 2019. Interviewed by Nina Wolfslast, 10 March                   

Sen, R., 2005. Optimal search engine marketing strategy. International Journal of Electronic Commerce10(1), pp.9-25.

Song, Y., 2013. Exploring and exploiting user search behaviour on mobile and tablet devices to improve search relevance. Proceedings of the 22nd international conference on World Wide Web. pp. 1201-1212

The Guardian. N.d. Dundee | Football | The Guardian. [online] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/football/dundee [Accessed 19 Mar. 2019].

www.dundeefc.co.uk, 2019. Accounts – Dundee Football Club – Official Website. [online] Available at: https://dundeefc.co.uk/club/accounts/ [Accessed 20 Feb. 2019].

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