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World Cup SEO - When To Start An SEO Campaign

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Paul Martin

Director of SEO (Australia)

Whether you like it or not, the World Cup is now in full swing and will engulf everything from TV adverts to newspaper headlines for the next month throughout the world. On the back of all of this interest, search engine queries for surrounding terms will inevitably increase exponentially over this period, providing a goldmine of traffic that anyone optimising a related website for, would donate their England vs. Germany World Cup final match ticket to get a piece of... But now it’s too late for World Cup SEO this year; so when exactly should you begin to optimise a website to maximise your gain on these one-off traffic driving events?

Well, it all depends on when exactly the search volumes hit the critical point whereby it will become profitable to have an optimised site to attract this increased traffic. For this data, we’ll turn to Google Insights. Let’s take a look at the term ‘World Cup 2010’: The trend shows that pick-up began tentatively in March then really took off throughout April. However this is a term that you would be very unlikely to be competing for directly, so let’s imagine your website delivered breaking news on the World Cup and you were optimising for the keyword ‘World Cup News’: The trend here is slightly different with pick-up growing steadily throughout April followed by 2 spikes; presumably when the World Cup teams were announced in May and as the World Cup kicked off in June. Alternatively, you may run a betting website that is looking at cashing in on the millions of people on the hunt for the best odds on how many times Emile Heskey will miss an open net or when Robert Green will next let a ball trickle past him. In this case you may be looking at implementing SEO for ‘World Cup Odds’: I think you can probably see a pattern forming here. So with this in mind, and the fact that these terms are extremely competitive, you should have been looking at starting your Would Cup SEO sometime way back in November 2009 to allow for it to mature in time to capitalise on the period when the growth in search traffic began. By the time your target market is thinking about searching on these keywords, the moment has long passed for optimisation. You need to be one step ahead of the game and (if you excuse the pun) always keep your eye on the ball! With this said, I’d pencil in December 2011 for some serious SEO work for the London Olympics, or in the shorter term, how’s about getting on with some cricket related SEO for the next Ashes series in November 2010!