With today’s launch of EA Sports’ FIFA 14 in the US and Friday’s launch in Europe, I thought it would be particularly relevant to analyse how building your ‘Ultimate Team’ on FIFA can actually draw a lot of comparisons with creating a successful Digital Marketing Strategy.


source: Flickr

On a personal note, I love football. I love playing football, I love watching football, I love talking about football and I especially love playing FIFA videogames. I don’t know what it is about it, maybe it’s because I’m British and the sport is part of our heritage, or perhaps because I played and watched the game from an early age, but whatever the reason it’s certainly a central theme in mine and millions of people’s lives around the world.

What I like about the videogame in particular is how it’s always challenging, especially when playing in ‘Ultimate Team’ mode. The premise of this is that you are given a set of low quality players to begin with and in order to purchase player ‘packs’ and obtain higher quality players (i.e. build an ‘ultimate team’), you need to hone your skills and win against the opposition to earn coins.

I can see a lot of parallels between this and creating a website which you want to rank in Google – particularly the fact that you have to start small and build your profile over time to get results. In the game you also need to have balance and synchronicity between players in order to improve team chemistry, in the same way that it’s important to have a well-balanced marketing strategy.


source: Wikimedia

The better your team gets and the more games you win, the more challenging your opponent i.e. the higher you want your target keywords to rank, the harder it becomes. This is also tricky when your opponents have been playing the game a lot longer than you – older sites are likely to have more associated trust, along with a higher number of relevant links and will generally rank higher. With the right strategy though, it’s definitely possible to rank highly and defeat more established rivals, like when Greece beat Portugal in the final of the European Championships in 2004.


source: Flickr

It’s the competitive element of FIFA that I particularly enjoy though: winning a match against your friends or random opponents over the internet is a great feeling and I try to replicate that feeling of winning as often as I can, which also applies to my online marketing work: our goal at Smart Traffic is to help our clients beat their competition through providing them with the best SEO techniques available.

Below I have outlined the most important digital marketing ‘players’ for your site to compete in Google search.

The Referee – Google


source: fotopedia

Google is the referee in the sense that they control the game and enforce the rules of fair play. The referee’s role is to be aware of what’s going on at all times in the same way that Google is always aware of information on the internet through crawling sites. If you break the rules in football then you will be punished, in the same way that if you use techniques outside of webmaster guidelines (also known as link schemes), then your site can be penalised and your keyword rankings will drop. If this does happen, then here is my handy account of removing an unnatural links penalty.

The referee often influences the outcome of matches depending on the decisions that they make, in the same way that Google will decide whether or not your site deserves to rank higher than your competitors.

Goalkeeper – Onsite Factors