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Paul Marshall is a Co Down man with a passion for building websites that benefit real people. He has come up with an extremely important site that does something essential very well and around the world people who are at all levels of the journey are getting real help for their rugby game from his website. We tracked him down to ask him about the site and about the power of the internet.

What is Rugby Union Rules & why?
RUR was created in 2008 as an easy online introduction to the rules of the game we love.
There are many straightforward questions out there that, although they may sound simple to us, really confuse people. The offside rule is a prime example. I saw many google searches for this but mostly scattered info available and I felt that I could provide a useful site with a summary of the main rules. It’s not going to be news for many seasoned players & fans but it is a useful service to the community

Where is the traffic coming from and where in the world?
This past week for example, about 75% of our traffic has come from the UK. Australia comes in 2nd with 6% and the USA with just under 5%. Ireland is about 3%. I’ve seen the US figures rise in proportion over the years, the sport certainly seems to be attracting more attention across the pond

What are the most popular searches?
Our most popular search is ‘rugby rules’. That phrase plus all search variations add up to about 90% of the site’s traffic simply because those are the words people are typing into Google. We are at the top of Google for Rugby rules and most/all rules-related searches We have a pretty slim keyword list but we have optimised the site well πŸ™‚

We do however see some odd searches coming through These are from today.
“Rugby causing divorce” or
“rugby equipment evolution + women”


Are there times of the year when more people are on your site?
Absolutely. We know our traffic patterns intimately and can predict busier times with a high degree of certainty. Currently we’re about a week or so from the 6 nations and I have seen the daily traffic numbers rise each day for a few days now, it’ll rocket next week. It’s quite phenomenal to watch. On a day to day basis, Saturdays are busiest days for us, obviously people are doing research or seeking clarification. We also see lunchtime activity during the week and Friday afternoons :). On a busy day, we serve many thousands of pages and presumably answer many questions πŸ™‚

How did you get to be top of google? Isn’t that difficult?
Yes and No. It’s not hard to get to the top of Google; but it IS hard to do it when there are many others in the same niche. Lets say it’s not hard to win a race when no-one else is competing. Pick your races well and winning is easy.

I’ve been building websites & publishing information online for 15+ years. I’ve been developing optimising skills for search engines for 5-6 years now for myself, friends and the occasional client. Studying search engine marketing has taught me a lot so I’m pretty good at getting web pages ranked…usually :).

Here are a couple of key tips for anyone hoping to rank a webpage / site
1. Deliver what you say you will – make your site/article focused on the visitor. Write it and they will come.
2. Keep it all simple. Keep the articles short and easy to understand, use tagged images.
3. Use your keywords in your first line and throughout your text
4. Apart from navigation pages, each webpage is about one thing only, right?.
5. Your Page Title tags should have your main keyword in it
6. Optimise! – use Search Engine Optimisation techniques like these so Google knows what info is where.
7. Get links back to your site.

#7 is the hard part.

I could go on all day…

Thanks for the chat and the tips Paul, very useful!

No problem Garry, I hope it provides an interesting extra angle on Rugby & helps a few of your subscribers sites up the rankings.

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