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The untapped potential of SEO in iGaming

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The untapped potential of SEO in iGaming
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With Filip Podborschi, SEO Strategist at The Unit

From our experience in SEO in igaming, there are a number of areas where we see room for improvement and common mistakes which can be rectified. Let’s take a look at these facets of SEO one by one, with our best tips for how to make sure you can maximise your search ranking and drive more volume to your website.

Keyword strategy

The first thing operators should do in this area is identify the best performing keywords that result in higher search volumes on each post. It’s pages that rank rather than websites, so you need a different search intent on each page, and that increases the list of keywords you’re ranking for.

The way to do this is by checking the search volume, and then implementing the keywords according to SEO best practices, which means having primary and secondary keywords and adjusting repetition accordingly.

The common mistake we see here is that companies don’t go into enough depth when conducting competitive analysis; especially when they’re new to the industry. Identifying what exactly your competitors are doing regarding SEO is harder than it looks, and it’s an area where marketing agencies tend to be quite lazy. They may use some tools which will show the standout competitors by algorithm, but they won’t crawl for long enough to ascertain what services they offer and provide a comparison with their client’s service. You need to find out which sites could be ranking better than you, and why.

We also see issues with the ranking of sites based on the user’s location. For example, you may have a website that ranks well in Canada, and when I as a user based in Romania search for that category, I’m not going to get the same list of results as a user who is based in Canada. The best thing to do is use a VPN to gauge how your websites are ranking and performing with your specific audience in your domestic geographical area.

SEO tags optimisation

With SEO tags, which are essentially the page title and description you see on the search engine results page, the page title has the highest ranking power. Google will first check the page title to get an idea of what the page is about and what searches it is relevant for. It will then check the H1 and the content, and it may look through the H2 as well.

A common issue here is some websites have templated SEO tags, especially for the inner pages, so it’s more of a formula within the code to generate a random structure. It is very obvious they are templated and that the operator doesn’t really care about the length.

The key thing with tags is to make sure your pages have titles that don’t exceed the ideal length. This is a big mistake if you get this wrong, and it is very important to optimise your titles. SEO tags can be optimised around keywords. Once doing so, it is very important to prioritise your main pages. If you have 10 pages as part of the main menu, then you should optimise those, before optimising the inner pages.

Identifying duplicate pages is also important, as well as making sure meta inscriptions include CTAs; those inscriptions don’t impact rankings directly, but they do impact the CTR. You have to do that without being too spammy though, so it’s advisable to avoid words like ‘sale’ or calls to “CLICK HERE NOW”.

Headings

Keywords must be implemented in headings; especially in H1s and H2s. Make sure not to overuse H2s and keep them optimised for content value.

If we structure the ranking power of the elements that are bringing results, we would optimise with the page title first, H1 second, content third and H2s fourth. It is better to have five H2s with three of them being optimised around the same search intent that is highlighted in H1, than it is to have 3/10 optimised around keywords. Too many H2s will just confuse Google about your search intent. You can have similar search intent as with H1s, and also have H3s and H4s to highlight value to the reader.

Interlinking strategy

Interlinking between pages is often missing. I’m not talking about interlinking from the main menu, as every page has the ability for you to go back, but I’m talking about interlinking within content, which Google considers to be much more important, because it cares about the relevancy. Google will consider pages with high-quality content as a higher authority page.

Our advice would be to implement anchor links on both branded and non-branded keywords. You should make sure there is an anchor link to the parent page. For example, domain.com/blog is a parent for domain.com/blog/igaming-seo.

It’s very important to have child pages linking to the parent page, passing authority to the parent page. Having that interlinked structure will pass more authority to that parent page.

To explain that in a little more detail, let’s say you have a sportsbook page with 10 more child pages that reflect a particular set of sports. Having each of those 10 pages optimised so they have some authority and linking them to the parent page would pass authority to that parent page. Parent pages usually have a keyword with higher search volume, and passing as much authority as you can to the child page is very important. Too often websites lack content on child pages.

The future of SEO and experience needed

Going forward, we see AI as one of the most significant developments in SEO. At this point, we are not able to rank user engagement in AI, and it is important to keep yourself updated with how Google is reacting to this.

Google in time may provide additional options if you want to be eligible for a particular set of results in that environment. Keep an eye on what features it will offer and the types of websites. Google may consider implementing specific types of results for betting, such as displaying odds or a comparison of odds from three or four sites at the same time.

With all these issues, it is vital to have the relevant experience on board, particularly when it comes to the skill of conducting very in-depth competitor analysis, and this is something The Unit can provide. Conducting competitor analysis is something we have done across several industries, and not just in igaming. The main strength you can have with SEO is to know your competitors inside out, and those skills can be adjusted based on your needs.

Industry News

Biggest iGB L!VE on record opens in Amsterdam

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The 2024 edition of iGB L!VE, the last to be held in Amsterdam prior to its 2025 relocation to London, opened today (17 July) with attendees participating in the biggest edition of the show on record.

A sustained level of international interest has seen iGB L!VE registrations increase 40% year-on-year with industry professionals from 121 nations heading for Amsterdam.

Delegates will have access to 300+ exhibitors and sponsors occupying over 21,000 square metres of gross space, up 35% on the 2023 figure.

The iGB L!VE Conference Program features 50+ speakers across 21 sessions. Built around four core themes of: Markets and Convergence, Player Engagement, Building for the Future and Protecting Your Business – headline sessions include a live masterclass on ways to engage players in the world’s hottest online casino markets, innovation in slot game design, navigating cyber threats in the aftermath of an attack, the role of ESG in boosting M&A valuations, parasite SEO, surviving the search bar squeeze, link localisation in Spain and LatAm, and how affiliates should respond on player protection.

iGB L!VE got off to a dynamic start with Michel Groothuizen, the chair of the Dutch regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) making the opening address. The appearance was Michel Groothuizen’s first in front of an international igaming audience following his appointment as Chair of the KSA effective 1 July.

This was followed by a Keynote delivered by Sam Sadi, CEO of LiveScore Group. Sadi who has worked across the sports media and betting industries for more than 25-years presented how to drive growth through media partnerships and convergence.

In a number of ‘firsts’ iGB L!VE is hosting the ASCEND Women & Allyship Meet-Up, a new year-round mentoring and leadership initiative aimed at supporting women early in their gaming careers. The show will also witness the launch of the iGB LaunchPad which provides a platform for five trailblazing start-up businesses and the first Sustainable Gambling Zone showcasing the industry’s latest thinking and approach to safer gambling.

 

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Industry News

Nederlandse Loterij Appoints Arno de Jong as its New Chief Customer Officer

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Nederlandse Loterij has appointed Arno de Jong as its new Chief Customer Officer.

De Jong has been with Nederlandse Loterij since 2016, serving as the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). Prior to this, he held roles such as Director of Reader Market at AD NieuwsMedia and Marketing Director at De Lotto, the organisation that merged with the Nederlandse Staatsloterij in 2016 to form Nederlandse Loterij.

In his new role, De Jong will be responsible for customer strategy, the gaming brands and the comprehensive commercial policy of Nederlandse Loterij. As CCO, he will also join the executive board of the gaming organisation, which currently includes CEO Arjan Blok and CFRO Jet Roos-van Aerssen.

Alexander Pechtold, chairman of the supervisory board of Nederlandse Loterij, said: “With Arno de Jong as CCO on the executive board of Nederlandse Loterij, we place an even greater emphasis on our players at the heart of the organization. This ensures that we remain leading and distinctive in the future – both digitally and in-store. Arno’s entrepreneurial and creative spirit makes him the ideal person to guide Nederlandse Loterij in its desired progression.”

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Betsson Receives Highest Possible ESG Rating, AAA, by MSCI

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Betsson AB announced that it has been awarded an AAA rating by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) ESG Ratings, an upgrade from the previous AA level. The AAA rating is the highest possible and confirms Betsson’s dedicated efforts in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices, which form a part of running a profitable business long-term.

Pontus Lindwall, CEO of Betsson AB, said: “Receiving the highest ESG rating from MSCI is a testament to Betsson’s dedication to ethical business practices, responsible gaming, and sustainability. These are constant efforts that span across the entire business as we are continuously striving to improve.”

Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) ESG ratings measure a company’s resilience to long-term ESG risks, helping investors identify ESG risks and opportunities within their portfolios. Ratings range from AAA (highest) to CCC (lowest) based on a company’s exposure to and management of industry specific ESG risks relative to peers. Rated companies incur no costs for the rating. MSCI’s methodology ensures unbiased and independent assessments, maintaining the credibility and objectivity of the evaluations.

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