Digital streaming and on-demand programming have grown exponentially over recent years. Sling.com (Sling TV) is a streaming services site that emphasizes access to live and local TV programming. It has become a favorite of millions, saving consumers hundreds per year compared to traditional cable providers that charge fees per boxes used and the number of HD channels.
The convenience of Sling TV access using media players such as Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, Google’s Chromecast, and any other smart TVs, make the change tenable, offering almost universal access to subscribers with all channels delivered in high definition. Less revealing is how little emphasis Sling TV has placed on critical keywords, on-page optimization, and external sites to their advantage.
Analysis of Sling.com
Though Sling TV has established itself as a well-rated television streaming solution, the Sling.com website can greatly benefit from higher search ranking, supporting the review of site optimization parameters as well as external factors. While understanding the goals of a streaming service provider is to gather and grow their subscribers, a review of Sling.com revealed several problems.
First, when searching for “Sling TV,” “Television streaming service”, and more detailed searches such as “ESPN streaming” or “FOX streaming,” Sling.com did not command authority, losing out to sites that simply shared their opinions of all streaming providers, including Hulu, Amazon Video, and YouTube TV. This reveals an underlying problem, where perhaps, the industry has grown faster than the ability of providers to make sense of what is most critical competitively.
Sling.com has not taken advantage of using keywords in their META data. Rather, they rely too heavily on the strength of their offers, on-page content, and their depth of channels and programming to make the consumer connection. Though “streaming” appears 6 times on the home page and “local channels,” which appears 7 times, specific channels, such as ESPN and FOX appear 3 to 4 times more.
KWFinder.com, a 3rd-party app for keyword identification, reveals what people are searching for in relation to the site’s domain, which, surprisingly is well in the range of hundreds of thousands of searches and over a million per month. These search trends reveal actions that can be taken including which 3rd-party referring sites may be of value for back-links, co-branding, and advertising opportunities. Sites such as CNET.com, Clark.com, DigitalTrends.com, PCMag.com were easily identified as potentials (KWFinder.com, 2020), while Dodson (2016) reveals how “building a digital footprint and earning online credibility” (p. 7) is key in developing domain authority.
Sling.com is also severely light on content, offering almost no information about the organization itself. These areas are opportunities for internal links, revealing an inside look as to how Sling TV works, what is their value over other providers? and how Sling TV is the best solution for any streaming media device or smart TV because of live TV access. Today, consumers of media are more informed than ever, which indicates that they may prefer their money is best spent with a company that is less elusive and who can explain service satisfaction more readily.
Consumers of media tend to prefer organizations that best meet their needs and align with their personal values. Considering how the media streaming market is continuously expanding, Sling.com could lose traffic, market share and revenue, which may lead to new front-runners and preferences for local and on-demand content. As traffic patterns decrease, so does the value in emphasizing conversion over SEO excellence. By improving their SEO performance by conforming to specific standards, Sling.com can elevate their web rank while educating subscribers, thereby reaching a stronger bond with the company.
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Dodson, I. (2016). The art of digital marketing: The definitive guide to creating strategic, targeted, and measurable online campaigns. (1st ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.