SEO Within the iGaming industry

In recent years, the world of iGaming has totally exploded, reaching a total worth of £31.23 billion by the end of 2016 – and that’s expected to reach £57.73 billion by 2022. The non-remote gambling sector has also seen a modest increase since 2014: arcades, sports betting, bingo and casinos have all seen an improvement regardless of the arrival of the shiny-new and oh-so-convenient online gambling realm.

Remote gambling, however (this includes everything that doesn’t reside within four walls, such as online casinos, online bingo and betting websites), has seen a monumental increase. Since 2014’s new legislation, the UK remote gambling sector alone has increased more than three times, coming in at over £4.7 billion in revenue at the end of 2017. Did you know that 11% of global internet traffic comes from online casino players? Check out the infographic below to see how quickly the industry is growing.

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Now, you would assume that non-remote gamblers have made the move to online services to cause this massive increase, but the non-remote industry has also seen an increase, with bingo being the only non-remote gambling sector not to see an increase. This shows that the online gambling community not only appeals to current gamblers wanting to embrace the digital new-age, but it is a more appealing method of gambling for those people who have never gambled before.

The growth of the mobile gaming market has also played a huge part in this, expanding by a huge amount in recent years and being the only gaming platform not to decline. The mobile gaming market is also the fastest growing by a long way, making up 43% of the global gaming market at more than £35 billion; nearly a 20% increase from last year.

SEO challenges in gambling

Securing links is difficult at the best of times, but digital marketing challenges in the gambling sector are only behind porn and pay-day loans. This is why it’s so crucial that content that relates to iGaming is incredibly high quality and very linkable – so that an outlet that would usually not be willing to host something related to gambling on their website, will happily link to and share the content. Essentially, the content must be so worthwhile and so rich, that the fact that it is linking to iGaming sites doesn’t matter. It is finding crossovers and valuable connections with the industry that will help aid its visibility on a search. Successful link building is adding so much value to a story, that publishers simply cannot fail to link to your website when covering it.

Since Google introduced their new RankBrain algorithm in 2015, they now not only penalise black and grey hat SEO tactics, but your white-hat strategies need to be more targeted and more relevant than ever. Google’s new artificial intelligence gathers and processes information daily, making the page rank more specific and stricter for lazier SEO techniques as an industry grows. It’s the quality of the links and who you’re linking to and from that matters, not how many you can get in there. “Content is king” is an old SEO mantra that I’m sure everyone’s getting sick of now, but it’s become even more crucial since the new Google update, proving that it really is quality over quantity.

This has been known to be an issue for some digital agencies. Online gambling key-phrases are arguably some of the hardest to rank for on Google. Increasing a website’s search engine rank isn’t easy when most of the websites that you approach do not want to work with you because you’re an online casino, poker site, sports betting website or some version of a gaming website that deals with money. On top of this, the iGaming market is incredibly competitive; due to legislation on advertising and marketing within the gambling sector, vast amounts of money are spent by companies in the industry to remain visible and relevant.

Reaching out to the world

At ICS-digital, we work with the world’s largest blue-chip iGaming clients. And when we produce content for our vast international publishing network, some bloggers and websites simply aren’t phased by linking to iGaming because the quality of the content is so worthwhile.

A huge key to success is making sure you’re contacting the right influencers for who you want to target, and this becomes even more of a challenge when working in over 50 countries in over 60 languages. But a thorough international publishing network doesn’t happen overnight: when we outreach to publishers, it is crucial to understand the international and cultural differences. It may sound straightforward, but we have such great success and such a strong publishing network down to our native speakers on the team. Our publishers don’t want a poorly machine-translated email or broken Spanish when we’re catching up on the phone over new content. This is why having fluent speakers to speak to international publishers is so important but often overlooked; outreach is about creating relationships from the ground up – don’t make it harder than it already is.

This is the case even more so when it comes to iGaming. Understanding international markets and nuances help us outreach and expand our publishing network, and because the quality of content is always so high, we continue to work with new clients in the iGaming industry and expand our publishing network. It may sound like outreach 101, but it’s so important to pitch as a fellow journalist and writer, not just a sales exec at another agency. Give examples of your high-quality content and most importantly, why your content will bring value to your readers.