Why is SEO so important to new operators in the gambling sector?

There is a lot to consider in search engine optimisation, particularly when it comes to casino SEO and digital marketing for other gambling sites. The Internet is saturated with online casinos and bookmakers.

There are billions of dollars being poured into marketing to try and get gambling sites on top of search engine rankings to win new players and punters, and you’re the new kid on the block and need to both establish themselves and erode market share from established operators.

Casino SEO campaigns, if done correctly, can be extremely effective in achieving relatively low-cost traffic and ensuring a consistent stream of new registrations and depositing players and, in our experience, the most cost-effective CPAs.

For these reasons, your search engine optimisation campaign should be at the centre of your marketing activity if you’re involved in marketing a gambling site, especially when you consider the three main digital channels you can employ to win new business.

Search engines optimisation takes time and requires a strategic approach considering everything from the platform you’re going to use to what areas of the market you’re going to target. Let’s consider all the channels though.

Paid Search

Paid Search can be very effective in terms of acquiring new players, but because the advertising space is so competitive, so is the average cost-per-click (CPC). For the search term ‘live roulette’, Google suggests a top of page bid of approximately £116 per click. It’s not uncommon for operators to have 6 figure budgets for paid search campaigns on Google and Bing and they use brute force to carve out their position in the market.

In comparison, when SEO works well and rankings are achieved, we’ve seen equivalent CPCs of less than 10 pence a click (true story).

If you’re wondering how we calculate an equivalent organic CPC, we use Google Search Console to work out the difference between brand and non-brand traffic. We calculate how much traffic, on average, a site received each month before the SEO began and how much we’re recording now. We then determine how much additional non-brand traffic is received based on the current SEO fees and any other costs. Simple.

Social Media

Social Media is fantastic at creating relationships with players that can later convert. It’s not so good at immediate conversions as you must build an audience, and this can take time if you’re attempting to grow your audience organically. You can also look to implement a paid strategy alongside an organic strategy to speed things up. Again, in the gambling space, you’re up against a significant number of competitors, so you need to have a budget to gain any significant visibility.

So paid campaigns are great if you have a budget and more importantly the licence to operate and advertise in a specific territory. If you don’t then you’re not allowed to advertise unless you employ nefarious tactics, which we do not recommend.

So that leaves us with affiliates.

Affiliates

Affiliates can deliver some excellent results as they have websites established in important territories and can deliver gambling traffic but the fees of the most established affiliates are a problem for us. There is often a high set-up fee, CPAs and revenue share to consider when they deliver players or punters. Based on the average lifetime value of players it can take a long time (6-12 months) before new acquisitions deliver any sort of profit.

With affiliates, there are also some pitfalls to consider, such as how you manage their output and ensure that they are no acquiring players that would break the laws of the country you’re targeting or would affect the conditions of your gambling licence.

Search Engine Optimisation

So that takes us quite nicely back to search engine optimisation, which, as discussed above, takes a considered strategy and time but can deliver the most consistent, reliable and profitable traffic in the long run.

You need to work with a reliable iGaming SEO agency with a pedigree and experience in the sector, as the different platforms all seem to have unique quirks. In addition, some of the newest web technologies are great for UX and player experience but completely work against how search engines index pages (although we always seem to find a way around a problem).

The SEO strategy needs to consider the competition and what you will target in terms of searches. If the site is new to a market with no visibility or brand recognition, you’ll struggle to target the most competitive terms.

If you need help with your digital marketing strategy, then please get in touch.