Make your sports group more discoverable online: SEO tips from OpenSports

Use your OpenSports group to drive new members to your group and boost SEO!

This post was inspired by a new OpenSports member who created a pickup basketball group in Dublin, California and asked me the question, “Are OpenSports pages found by Google search?

You may not realize it yet, but OpenSports is a very effective marketing tool. Not only can you use some of the following tricks to boost the ranking of your group on Google, but we also have built a whole suite of tools that will allow you to generate a lot of buzz about every game you post! Your events will be full in no time and you will be spending less time than ever doing all of the cumbersome administrative legwork (like chasing people around to collect cash or worrying about no-shows)…. 🙈.

Here’s the key:

Get your group to rank highly on Google searches for “pickup soccer/volleyball/basketball/whatever sport your group is” in your area, because of course, Google search is a great source for new members especially if you rank between #1 and #3 for “Pickup [SPORT]” in your city.

Here’s how:

1. Make sure your Group Name, Group Description, Event Titles and Event Descriptions contain strong keywords

  • I named my own OpenSports group “Toronto Pickup Soccer Group” and it ranks on google’s first search page in Toronto, for “pickup soccer” because the title and description contain the location (Toronto) and correct search terms (pickup soccer). I have an organic growth of members in that group of about 8 new members per day on average! That really adds up over time!
This group name attracts about 8 new group members per day in Toronto! You can see how the Name of the group and Description of the group helped it rank higher on google’s search engine results!
  • Notice that the first few sentences of my group are welcoming and indicate a clear call to action, so that people browsing through google know that if they “join this group” they will get notified about games whenever I post them!
  • We’ve also found that ensuring that your event titles and descriptions contain the keywords that potential new members search for such as “Weeknight coed pickup soccer game in Atlanta” to be helpful at boosting your ranking in search engines.

Take home point: Keywords are an important ranking factor for search engines. Use keywords and keyword phrases correctly if you want search engines to rank your content high!

2. Share the link your OpenSports group in different niche communities on platforms like Reddit, Facebook groups, Instagram, and local classifieds like Kijiji.

  • The more clicks and traffic your group gets from different webpages, the higher it will rank on google!
  • Tip: Try to add an image with the link to your group, like a picture of people playing. Using visuals tells people that this is real and it’s something I want to be a part of!


Online pages that list local events

Before we had much of a following for our Toronto pickup soccer group, we would post on BlogTo, a local source of news, entertainment, and weekly events. People would follow the link and sign up for pickup soccer games directly from that post!

Reddit sub communities

Posting the link to a pickup soccer game on a Subreddit channel called “Things to do in Toronto”

3. Invite several members to your OpenSports group and post events!

  • Make sure you convert all of your current members over to OpenSports. If you start off with a base of 30+ members who are frequently visiting your group to join games, your ranking on google will skyrocket quickly.

4. Embed your OpenSports upcoming games widget onto your website

  • Again, more clicks and traffic to your OpenSports group (even if its through your own website) = higher ranking!
Chicago Fire Rec Soccer (CFRS) embedded the live updating widget of their upcoming events on their website at

In sum, the most cost effective tactics you can use to market your group, are things that will essentially bring more clicks to your group. I cannot stress enough how important it is to make sure that your GROUP NAME, description, and event titles are succinct and contain keywords that local players looking for your sport, will search!

Let me know if you have any questions :-)

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