How to Create Content to Match Search Intent for Sports Fans


Sports fans today have more information at their fingertips than ever before. This can make it challenging for media companies, sports leagues, sportsbooks, streaming companies, and more to stand out and capture their attention.  The first step in Fan Engagement is visibility — and it’s harder than ever.

Here are four ways to reach fans with the content they want, when they want it, by understanding their intent:

The Power of Long-Tail Keywords

Ah, the Search Demand Curve. It’s been around for years, but it’s still as powerful and relevant as ever. If you’re creating sports content (or any content), the Search Demand Curve is one of your best friends. It helps you understand what your users are searching for and identifies opportunities for new content.

Broad search terms, like “NBA playoffs,” sit at the top with high volume but low specificity. These are called “head terms.” The sweet spot lies on the tail end of the curve, with long-tail keywords. These are more specific searches, like “impact of three-pointers in the NBA playoffs over the last decade.”  While each long-tail keyword has a lower individual search volume, collectively they make up a significant portion of online searches (around 70%).  By creating content targeting these long-tail terms, you can ensure your content reaches sports fans looking for specific information. This could be anything from a standard game recap to an in-depth analysis of a surprising upset.

Use Intent to Craft Personalized Experiences

Understanding individual fan preferences is crucial for long-term engagement. By analyzing content performance, you can tailor future content to different fan profiles. This could include casual fans seeking basic updates, data enthusiasts craving in-depth statistics, or even sports bettors looking for insightful analysis. By creating fan profiles for your users, you’ll be able to create content to drive conversion and increase engagement.

We know that online searches are often informational. And roughly 70% of those searches utilize long-tail keywords, which indicate a more focused search intent. By connecting your fan profiles with this search behavior, you gain a valuable opportunity for audience segmentation. This allows you to tailor content that directly addresses the needs of your fans, maximizing value for both them and your business.

Create personas for your sports fans to craft the perfect experience.  There are not a lot of free persona tools, but we recommend creating between 4-6 personas for your sports fans. Identify the sports fans’ pain points, and the value your content will solve for them.

Understand When Fan Interest Peaks

The best way to capture fan attention is to be ready when their interest peaks. This means having content prepared for a variety of scenarios, from expected events to unexpected Cinderella stories. By anticipating these possibilities and creating content in advance, you can be the first to deliver the information fans want at the moment it matters most. 

Enter Google Trends, your other best friend for understanding user intent by analyzing online search interest over time. 

For Example: In the 2023 PGA Championship, World Golf Ranking (WGR) #3,580 professional Michael Block, who is the club pro (in common terms: golf instructor) at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, California, shocked everyone, climbing over 3,000 spots to WGR #577. He also finished 15th in the tournament. You can see how search interest for Michael Block spiked in the image below, but Data Skrive articles were published for interested fans even before his popularity spiked. Having content ready for these types of scenarios allows you to stay on top of the latest stories before everyone else.

Source: Google Trends

It’s very hard to be ready for everything that happens in sports. And if all of this sounds overwhelming, we understand. Unless you have a massive team of reporters covering every possible scenario or outcome, anticipating everything is impossible. We recommend you start small. If you want to expand or need to create content at scale within Google’s new content guidelines, call in the experts

Reach Your Fans When It Matters Most

Given the nature of fan engagement today, creating helpful and useful content at scale is necessary to maximize engagement and drive conversions. Sports fans want content all year, and personalization is the foundation of a strong engagement strategy. However, doing this at scale, which is critical to driving engagement, has become more difficult with Google cracking down on spammy and low-quality content with their latest update in March 2024. 

If you’re creating more sports content, trying to scale up your sports content creation, or want to gut-check the sports content you’re creating, we recommend doing a self-assessment on the quality of your sports content in accordance with Google’s Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness assessment – E-E-A-T.

Tying It All Together

Creating an immersive and personalized fan experience is incredibly hard. A successful fan engagement strategy hinges on understanding what drives fans online. Here is a recap of the four ways to reach fans with the content they want, when they want it, by understanding their intent:

  • Understand what sports fans are searching for by analyzing the types of keywords that are driving traffic and engagement. Prioritize creating content for long-tail keywords, as those are the most valuable search terms, comprising 70% of online searches.
  • Understand who your sports fans are, so you can tailor an experience to their unique needs. Create fan profiles or personas to craft content that speaks to them and their search behaviors.
  • Understand when search interest peaks to have content ready when it matters most to maximize engagement and conversion. Google trends is a great way to analyze and track when a sports fan’s interest peaks. 
  • Understand that creating content at scale is necessary in today’s fan engagement landscape. Use EEAT to assess whether your sports content is helpful and useful to drive the best results for sports fans.

The fan engagement landscape is changing every day. Fans are interacting and consuming content all the time across channels and multiple devices. Understanding the fan’s intent and matching that with helpful and useful content will be the largest step to creating the content that sports fans crave to drive engagement for your business.

About Data Skrive

Data Skrive is transforming the way sports fans around the world connect with their favorite teams, players, and brands. Our technology enables personalized experiences for every sports fan across the globe, and we power some of the biggest names in sports, media, and betting.  Combining our breadth and depth of sports knowledge with content tailored to individual needs, we nurture fans during every window of interest to maximize engagement. For more information, email us at For press inquiries, email

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