The Importance of Your Sports Website Design
Let’s start by making sure your perception of what makes a good sports website is aligned with the realities of what people want from a modern website. One thing that hasn't changed over time, it isn’t just athletes interested in visiting your website, it’s the whole family. Moms and dads, friends and neighbors are all interested, particularly when one a youth athlete close to them works up to become a star athlete!
This might shatter your preconceived notions about creating the perfect sports website for youth athletes at your sports organization. But make sure you do your research and think through your web users and the information they are looking for, before you dive into creating your sports website.
Technology is evolving quickly, and what audiences wanted a few years ago is quite different now. One thing changing the most is clients want a more personal experience, especially those unable to attend games in person.
With this in mind, let's look at why a modern sports website is so important, plus four tips for a better visitor experience.
Most clients, being sports fans, are interested in looking up sports data and statistics when they visit sports websites. This should become a top content goal for you. Make sure you are including updated stats for your athletes and competitions, and that these statistics are easy to digest.
Make sure you have the most recent statistics posted for players since parents and fans will want to see these first. Provide an easy search system to look up historic stats, and consider categorizing by player as well. This will give your website a vast archive available for clients.
Keep in mind that the majority of your website visitors are likely to be using a mobile device, so making sure they can find old or current stats while on the go is crucial. In addition, live-streaming is becoming more popular in sports (particularly on Twitter), and this will only increase mobile searches for sports statistics.
Remember all those compelling sports images you used to look at in Sports Illustrated? Those haven't gone away, and sports fans are constantly searching for these online. Just like in print, images on your sports website are worth 1000 words, or more! High quality, professional sports photography, whether taken yourself, or paid for through licensing, is crucial to your website design.
Capturing an action shot from your own team, or while covering a major-league team, is essential. This is the true soul of sports, and you need to make those photos high quality every time. It's no secret that many major-league sports teams open Instagram accounts for this very reason. They let pictures tell their story, and engage fans. Let your website do the same thing for your clients.
Using extra white space and minimalist UX has become best practice in sports web design. A common reason for this is increased mobile use, but it also makes it fast and easy to find information.
With data, photos and videos being the crux of your content, you want to present it in a way that's easy to read, and eliminates clutter. This easy to digest method of design keeps athletes and parents coming back and increases the likelihood of your content being shared with a new audience.
- IN THE ACTION
Everyone wants to be a part of the action. Website visitors want to feel engaged with your business and athletes. Provide personalized content for them, including behind-the-scenes training videos or game film. Parents love to find stats and videos of their young athletes, and will likely share the content with others, bringing you more web traffic!
Another huge opportunity, which you don’t want to miss, involves creating a community forum for client engagement. You're seeing more and more of this on social media, so use it as a way to bring people to your site. Providing a live chat portal or message board for client interaction generates valuable conversation to keep your sports website flame going.
Keep in mind that some of your visitors, or potential visitors, may not have the ability to come see events in person. Make sure they can feel engaged with your brand and business through your website!