We’ve long since established that content relevancy and user intention should be at the forefront of all onsite content strategies. But, keeping up with ever-changing reader habits and behaviour can be challenging at the best of times.
Thankfully, content creators have a number of tools at their disposal to help piece together exactly what it is their target audience are looking for at any given time. Google Trends is a commonly overlooked, and free, offering that can visualise changes in user interest and intent over a set period of time.
We’ve identified four trends within iGaming that both operators and affiliates may look to leverage when devising their next content strategy.
Google searches for ‘online casino’ have tripled within the last five years and doubled within the last twelve months. Not only does this trend support findings that the demand for online casinos has increased, the rise in interest also goes hand in hand with the higher number of online casino platforms competing for customers. Being able to stand out from the crowd is, therefore, more important than ever. This is where targeted online content production comes into play.
Analysis of the top UK casinos has shown that a successful platform must provide customers with the following features: promotions and bonus schemes for new and loyal players, a 24/7 customer service and a help section, and a unique, on-brand experience. To exemplify the latter, 888casino offers an £88 bonus, Voodoo Dreams asks its customers to cast ‘Spells’ and gain ‘Spirit Points’ when using bonuses, and Casino Gods features the Olympian gods not only on its homepage but also within its ‘divine welcome’ bonus.
In such a crowded marketplace, the diversification doesn’t end there, with some other criteria including variety or uniqueness of bonus schemes, a particularly high number of game providers, additional slot games, a free helpline, a VIP club, information on the highest winnings at the casino, awards won by the casino, an overview of the available games for non-registered users, and - last but not least - a blog section.
Recent years have also seen operators and affiliates that focus on particular payment methods (e.g. blockchain and crypto) as well as on new technology (e.g. VR) in order to be different.
While customers might not be blown away by a 24/7 customer service or a fancy theme anymore, knowing which features users value will no doubt help determine a content, conversion and retention strategy.
It might not come as a surprise that people have been searching for the term ‘online casino’ more frequently since the beginning of the national lockdown in March (see Figure 1). Now is the time for online casinos to recognise the potential, but also the demands that come with, the higher-than-usual number of potential players. In order to create positive relationships with new customers now, online casinos might want to consider improving the user-friendliness of their platform.
New players should ideally have access to unique how-to-play guides and similar introductions to the games offered on the platform. By expanding on their blog section, any potential gaps of knowledge can be accommodated for. At the same time, the customer service section can be adapted to provide help for free during the first weeks after registration. Both measures will not only improve the new customer’s experience, but also provide operators with important USPs, which can and should be signposted front and centre of their website.
Search trend analysis has shown that the number of searches for ‘slots’ (Figure 2) and ‘live slots’ (Figure 3) has risen exponentially since the start of the UK’s lockdown. Apart from ensuring that a casino’s slot content - meaning both games and game descriptions, but also additional resources such as related blog posts - is online and optimised for a higher number of potential visitors, the request for live content should also not be overlooked. The wish might not come completely unexpected, considering lockdown life has decreased the social aspect of everyday life for most of us.
Having been first introduced by Playtech in 2019, live slots are not regularly offered by online casinos, and operators with these or similar products in their catalogue will find themselves with the perfect opportunity to highlight it on their platform. However, even if an online casino does not currently offer live slots, the ability to capitalise on user intent still exists. This may, for example, be by putting together informative introductions to these games and pivoting to point players to similarly interactive products they do offer.
For instance, live roulette might have very different gameplay but still involves the sought-after social aspect. It is crucial that online casino providers not only recognise their consumers’ demands but also respond to these in a constructive and informative way. Offering in-depth content that corresponds to players’ current interests - i.e. live slots - will position a provider as a valued source of information.
Google Trends reveal that the terms ‘online casino’ and ‘GTA casino’ have experienced a similarly upwards search volume since March 2020 (Figure 4). The interest in the two seems to have increased in a similar fashion, which is reflective of the wider entertainment industry’s increased audience at present. Indeed, ‘GTA casino’ has not seen such interest since Rockstar announced that Twitch Prime members would receive free and immediate access to Grand Theft Auto Online’s Casino Heist.
The fact that this new attention towards online casinos is mirrored by the wider entertainment industry opens new possibilities. Realising that online casinos do not exist in a vacuum but are closely related to other entertainment products is the first step towards creating content that appeals to a wider target audience. This begins with slot games that centre around TV shows or films, but does not end there.
Going back to the ‘GTA casino’ search trend, a blog post on the topic as well as a comparison between the GTA and ‘real’ casinos would allow for both GTA and casino players to find a valuable source of information via the online casino. By creating content that goes a step beyond the purely casino-focused one, operators might attract a previously overlooked audience.
Recent months have shown just how quickly customer demands can change within the online casino industry. Users‘ needs should not only be met but exceeded, and by producing content that recognises, anticipates and is ideally tailored to the current state of mind of their target audience, an online casino will be able to stand out from the competition.