SEO Lessons from the Rugby World Cup 2007

In SEO, The Digital Marketing Blog by EloiLeave a Comment

This weekend has been very high in excitement for fans of Rugby, as the final stages of the [tag]Rugby World Cup[/tag] took place in Cardiff and Marseille. In Marseille, England managed to beat Australia -undoubtedly one of these best teams in the World- and in Cardiff, [tag]France[/tag] held off the World’s top team New Zealand by beating them 20-18. both games were very tight, and both winners only took it away by 2 points.

Being Franco-British, Saturday was delightfull for me, especially after I ended 2nd in a 500+ poker tournament! Good news all round.

So what lessons can we take from these incredible events? That the French will undoubtedly win the Rugby World Cup? For sure, but [tag]SEO[/tag]s can take so more valuable lessons from this weekend than the fact that France is the best nation at Rugby…


This year’s world Cup is in Paris, France, not Paris Texas! via flickr

1. Fear the challenger

In sports as well as in SEO and in marketing, the biggest and strongest brand name will not necessarily perform the best. Neither New Zealand nor Autralia (huge names in the Rugby world) managed to play their standard of rugby when faced with teams who knew what game to expect. Monitoring your competitors’ progress is almost as essential as monitoring your own. Original and creative ideas will produce much better results for your link building and PPC campaigns than copying what the competition does.

2. Timing

In the same way that you plan and deliver marketing campaigns through natural search or PPC, it is important to remember that timing will be crucial to maximise the effects of good advertising. France decided to keep their two best players off the pitch during the first half, and then hammered the [tag]New Zealand[/tag] defence in the second half with the efforts of Chabal and Michalak.

Content is all about the way you deliver it. If you are building a new website, you don’t want to place all your best content on it and leave it there to attract people, you need to entice them instead by showing them there is a growth curve, both in terms of community and quality of content. That is France and [tag]England[/tag] did, and their opponents were not able to cope!

3. Home and Away

Sorry Ozzies, but (this is not about the hit TV show H&A) next time you host the World Cup, you will probably have an advantage, but for now, you and New Zealand will have to play in cold Europe! When playing at home (even thought France were playing in Cardiff, they are hosting the World Cup) you gotta remember your advantages and use them. It can be a huge supporter base, a certain weather, or keywords you have acquired a low CPC for as a result of using in your campaign for over a year.

England and France were obviously in their element on saturday, and took advantage of it. However, there are a few things to remember if you want to penetrate a new market and win over there. First of all, remember to check the competition when you arrive in a local market: when targetting the spanish-speaking community with your new adword campaign, the first thing to do is test your keyword against the competition: you might wonder why no one is bidding on a term that seems pretty generic to you, until you ask a local who answers that it’s a popular saying for “bull droppings”. Ouch!

Link building will share similar characteristics. You might discover that certain communities respond better to your link building requests, as they receive less on a daily basis…

Next week, we will look at the lessons learned from France winning the Rugby World cup. (Hopefully…)

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