How Good is Your Football Team…Organically?

With NFL Playoffs around the corner many of you know how good your team is on the field, but what about in the search engines. For those of you who lack a love for football you can use your site/brand as an example and see how popular your brand is in the search engines.

Many of us in the search marketing industry gauge our success on specific rankings and referrals that lead to conversions. Often, clients or even yourself may itch to know how popular your brand has become in the search engines or how you fare from a brand perspective versus historical time periods. I thought I would take this opportunity to show you some tools we use to gauge online search volume success, and in the spirit of this season see how my favorite football team is doing in the process. I am using the Kansas City Chiefs as an example…and hoping I am not reprimanded for eliminating Vizion CEO Mark Jackson’s beloved Dallas Cowboys.

The first step in assessing your brands popularity in the search engine’s is to take a stop by Google’s Insights for Search. While this does not indicate popularity in Yahoo and Bing, with Google’s large market share this paints a fair portrait of search behavior.


As you can see, I have chose to view web search volume for the query of Kansas City Chiefs since 2004. I have narrowed the segment to the United States>>Sports>>Football. This allows me to see the common interest level of the term as well as it’s growth compared to the Football industry itself. As you can see after a few terrible seasons, this year’s much improved team is commanding a much larger volume of searches in Google. Insights for Search also provides additional data such as the states of highest search volume, (Kansans surprisingly search this term more than Missourians). Other important data offerings include top searches relative to my query as well as current rising searches.


Next, go out to Google and search your top few searches found above and as anticipated you should see your URL.

Now, take your URL to Alexa’s Site Info Tool.


Here you will find a wealth of data on the popularity of the site. This ranges from overall site traffic rank, reach,  and time on site to name a few. Also important to our analysis is the search analytics data which shows in the last few months the site has become quite popular but has recently tamed down a bit, (cough…San Diego game).


We can also see the percentage share of top search terms as well as behavioral elements such as recent percentage increases and decreases for popular terms. Alexa also provides an insight into the type of traffic that is searching on the site. The large majority of visits to this URL are men in the 35-44 age group. Additionally, Alexa also provides clickstream information to let us know what percentage of traffic came from a search engines as well as what sites visitors left the site to visit next.  Lastly, before leaving Alexa take a look at Related Links. Here you can see other links such as competitors which are related to your domain through Alexa’s data compilation of visitor streaming. The competitors you see here are usually comparative to the one’s you just saw in the up or downstream as well.

Now that you know who your audience is comparing you to it is worthwhile to see how they fair in popularity.  We found our long time on-field rival the Denver Bronco’s to also be a threat online. We will now take a look at Compete’s Daily Attention. While this is not solely organic you can look at this data to see trends per time periods.


The data in the adjacent graph shows that in the 2010 pre-season Denver reported stronger attention to their site but this reversed shortly into the regular season. It has remained very close over the last few months and recently Denver reported a spike, this likely to them firing their teenage head coach Josh McDaniels. Ultimately, the Chiefs domain slightly beat out the Bronco’s site in average daily visit time on site over the last six months. Compete provides a great deal of competitor domain information but lacks in the detail of information pertaining specifically to search traffic.

Now that we know how popular our brand is, I mean team, we have identified our online competition and their popularity, we can take a look at how much traffic they are pulling from Google. For this we step over to SEMRush.

SEMRush provides us with competitive data as it relates to Google  Search. Looking at the graphs below we can see that The Chiefs site was fairly competitive in Google with the Broncos until the beginning of 2010.  Bronco’s traffic and amount of referring keywords increased by quite a bit. This specific data does include some Paid referrals for the Bronco’s as they have monetized their site but this is still a small number compared to the organic search dominance of the Broncos who recieve twice as much Google traffic from twice as many organic keywords.




In conclusion, despite the recent revenge win by KC to counter the mile-high city blowout earlier this season, when we look online, the Kansas City Chiefs have grown their online popularity quite a bit this year but have a long way to go in the world of search as they trail the pack in the AFC West.

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How Good is Your Football Team…Organically?” Comments

  1. It's always important to know how your brand is doing in the online space, that way you can take steps to improve as needed. These are examples of some great tools for measuring. Great use of NFL teams to get a point across..and with that I say GO PATRIOTS!

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