Bringing live scores and key match updates to the web. Boosting traffic by over 400%, and increasing video views by 50% in time for the World Cup
Following the successful launch of the talkSPORT EDGE app, DSKY were brought on to the talkSPORT web team to help identify areas for change and improvement.
The website had been relatively untouched for a number of years, and as a result, page views and video views had been gradually dwindling. Our task was simple, we had the autonomy to look into all aspects of the web business and identify areas which could be improved to boost the core KPIs of talkSPORT.
We followed the DSKY methodology – exploring potential areas of improvement which hit the low cost/low risk/high value criteria. Here’s how we got on.
The first step was to explore how the site was performing in terms of core business KPIs: Page views & Video views
Our involvement in the website coincided with the fast approaching 2022 FIFA World Cup. As talkSPORT were using the same platform as other titles within NewsUK, there was an opportunity to set up some time with these other news titles (e.g. The Times) and establish whether there had been any recently implemented web tech (that talkSPORT didn’t yet have), which performed well from them and which we could replicate.
As the other titles were on the same core web platform, we could confidently reproduce the same solution in a shorter timeframe – as the development had already been done and we could avoid any risks/issues that had been discovered during implementation.
One of the first areas we looked at was the autoplay functionality within the Brightcove video player. Following some quick internal conversations – it transpired that this was powered by a 3rd party plugin (IRIS.tv) which connected to the brightcove video cloud. We knew that the implementation of this had substantially lifted video views, and following a quick discussion with the Head of Video at NewsUK – he confirmed that if he could choose any video related feature as his number 1 success – IRIS autoplay would be the one.
It turned out that not only did we have the insight and tech knowledge to integrate this same 3rd party plugin in a matter of weeks- but also the wider NewsUK contract with IRIS allowed us to use it at no additional cost to the business – something which had not been realised until DSKY came on board. Not bad to deliver the top recommended video tech across titles – no extra cost, low risk, and quick to implement.
We very quickly were able to define the requirements to integrate IRIS with Brightcove and WordPress – and we were able to launch this before the start of the 2022 World Cup.
We also explored areas of the site which were underperforming in terms of page views.
As a strong brand in the world of football, talkSPORT had an extremely underwhelming match centre. Not only this, but DSKY had identified the fixtures/results/league tables section of the site as being a severe drain on development resources due to the existing tech solution. Regular issues with the match centre were causing incorrect data to be displayed, and developers were being called upon to fix issues on the fly with ever increasing regularity.
As well as being a poor user experience, DSKY did some SEO analysis of the match centre pages, including competitor analysis. It was clear that from an SEO perspective, the talkSPORT brand should have been attracting far more search traffic to these pages, and when compared to similar and even smaller competitors – there was a potential to drive millions more PVs per year if our UX and SEO strategy was improved.
Given our work on talkSPORT EDGE, we already had the data services as well as the front end (as the Android app was built using web tech). We had a real opportunity to solve a lot of the process and UX issues with the talkSPORT.com match centre, by re-using the talkSPORT EDGE platform and tweaking it to be web optimised. We also explored some case studies from other news titles where microsites had been created via a 3rd party – and then integrated onto the main website, allowing full 3rd party control, and minimising any dependencies. So the proposal was that via Checkd, we could build a microsite for these match centre pages, and integrate into the main site in just a matter of months.