iGB Affiliate 55 Feb/Mar - Page 15

TRAFFIC it makes total sense to rank the websites people actually want. Wouldn’t you? The overall picture Google can now interpret websites better than a human being. They can understand what an editorially justified link looks like and they are using engagement as a driver for rankings. Once you add everything up, you’re basically left with a couple of choices: 1. give up on SEO 2. build satisfying websites I vote for option number two. Why? Because if you build a website users want, you’ll convert better, making more money and as a collateral benefit, Google will rank you. Change your mindset Instead of asking ‘how can I game Google to rank better?’…Perhaps you should ask another question of yourself... ‘How can I satisfy users and make a profit?’ Why change the way I think? Survival?! If you’re an iGaming affiliate, the economics of paid media don’t really stack up in your favour. So, ultimately you’re going to be reliant on cheap traffic. And that comes from natural search or social. Since social isn’t my thing, I’m not going to go there. How to be satisfying It’s best to start from the top and work one’s way downwards. The first question is; ‘what is satisfying?’ In the case of Google, the answer is really simple. Somebody has a question (search query) and they want an answer which satisfies them. If you’re an affiliate, there are different groups of questions: ●●Transactional: ‘free bet offer’ / ‘online casino’ “Google’s AI-driven RankBrain makes sense of ambiguous search queries, meaning that websites don’t have to be as well “on-site optimised” as they were in the past, as Google can understand the inference and meaning of content, much like you or I.” ●●Informational: ‘how to turn decimal into fractional odds’ / ‘betting tips for football league’ ●●Navigational: ‘name of operator/ affiliate’ / wherever a user knows where to go, but doesn’t have the domain name. Transactional Within these three categories of key phrases, transactional is where the money is. For those of you who know the site freebets.com, you’ll see a superfast, but rather ugly and basic website that just gives free bet offers. It’s very satisfying to a user, because it does exactly what it supposed to. Another great example is bigfreechiplist. com, which just has hundreds and hundreds of casino-related offers. If a user wants a free bet or a casino bonus offer, these websites are extremely satisfying. Informational You’ve heard about content marketing? It’s not something I particularly like, because I think a lot of it’s rather misguided, as giving a user helpful information takes you quite ‘far’ away from getting them to join an operator. However, so many affiliates are fixated with the idea of giving comprehensive reviews about particular offers. This is also content marketing, because in theory a user trusts an affiliate to give them helpful guidance on joining an operator. In my experience, users are a bit smarter than we think. They don’t know that you’re going to promote the bookie who pays you the most money, but they do notice that every single review kind of looks the same and typically gives 9.5 stars out of 10 for nearly half of the operators. That’s not very helpful or satisfying to a user. OLBG.com to their credit have pushed the boundaries on content marketing further than just about any affiliate. They are taking a lifetime view on the customer, going from offering a huge number of free bets through to crowd-sourced and vetted tips to the punter. The clever part is how they think about lifetime value. But not everyone is OLBG… Navigational In many respects, navigational searches are very commercially driven. If a user does a brand search and they are not yet registered with that company, there’s an opportunity for you. Very often, operators don’t advertise their free bet offers very well, and all it takes is an enterprising affiliate to rank somewhere on the bottom half of page 1 for a brand phrase. A user doesn’t care where the free money comes from, as long as they get it, and affiliates are smarter about advertising an operator free bet than the operator. An affiliate can provide great user satisfaction and make a load of money. What would I do? I am in an odd position. I am both a casino operator, running a bitcoin casino, and an affiliate, who owns clubcall.com Clubcall is a sport content website and so falls into the ‘informational’ bucket. If you check out the site, you’ll see that it’s very basic, but quick. We have a relationship iGB Affiliate Issue 55 FEB/MAR 2016 11