Nick Hill is the Sales and Marketing Director of EveryMatrix. He has been extensively involved for the past 14 years in the complex arena of managing, maintaining and overseeing the development and launch of a range of online casino, sports book, multiplayer and soft entertainment games and sites.
Most online gambling sites are still in the dark when it comes to providing valuable deep links and shareable content. Still, high quality link building is more important than ever in terms of page ranking.
Previous Google updates, including Penguin and Hummingbird, have already imposed penalties to websites that feature low-quality or duplicate content and make use of spam link building techniques and have prioritized long-tail keywords over short ones.
Beginning with April 21, 2015, Google’s new algorithm will drastically change website ranking, having a bigger impact than the Panda and Penguin updates in terms of search results. The new update focuses on one major criterion: mobile optimization. So if your website, landing pages, or blogs aren’t optimized for mobile, Google will penalize you. Google has recently unveiled a mobile friendliness tool that analyzes your website. If your website is not mobile-friendly, you can expect to see a drop in page rankings.
At the moment, Google also takes into account User Experience and social media presence when ranking a page. So if your brand’s social presence is unsatisfactory in Google’s eyes or if you frequently receive complaints and bad publicity, then it will more than difficult to get back on Google’s good side and regain its trust.
We all know that negative publicity can be disastrous for brand image and Google ranking. Once Google has penalized your website, it’s much more difficult than before to get back its trust and regain your previous rankings.
In order to build a long-term, viable SEO strategy, you need to obtain white-hat links, by targeting respectable publications from inside the industry. Guest posting should be part of your integral content marketing strategy.
Try to target only respectable publications who care about quality. There are plenty of low-quality websites that encourage guest blogging, but most of them ca do not care about the content you provide and are only looking to make a quick profit.
Feel free to try out different types of content, in various formats, and see what works for you. Original case studies, CEO features, success stories that provide an interesting view are more than welcome. Try to make your content irresistible by providing a quick solution to a problem or adding a new perspective on a popular topic. Whenever possible, encourage discussions among users and respond to comments.
For best results, your website needs to be rich in shareable content.
Which types of content get shared the most?
Besides high quality, engaging content, people love to share content-rich infographics, high-quality videos, mobile apps, surveys, and creative slideshow presentations.
When contacting publications regarding guest posts, be sure to explain why you want to contribute and how your articles can provide relevant, useful information. Attach an existing article to create a sense of urgency and make your pitch sound credible by including examples of your previous published work. Try to provide expert advice and demonstrate your worth in the industry, otherwise your content will likely be overlooked. If you don’t have anything new to add or can’t manage to prove your expertise, it’s probably better that you refrain from writing guest posts.
Of course, it goes without saying that you should avoid spam, keyword stuffing, and over-optimization and that you should never use the same content or similar content for guest posting on multiple websites.
How do you outsmart the competition?
Consider focusing on a particular niche or market segment that your competitors are not currently targeting and on long-tail keywords that go further than the usual “best online casino” or “how to make money with an online casino”. If everyone else is focusing on the general aspects of online gambling, you can dig deeper and provide real solutions to common problems. Keep in mind that long tail keywords account for 70% of searches, so your SEO and link building strategy should be built around them.
The top link building resources remain niche forums and directories, bookmarking sites, social media networks, blogging networks and media lists.
In terms of SEO ranking factors, the most important remain:
- High quality, relevant content
- Website optimization (mobile-friendliness, internal linking structure, short loading times, etc.)
- Quality backlinks from trusted sources
- High quality social media interactions
- User signals, including time spent on site, click-thru rates, bounce rates, etc.
To conclude, when going down the path of link building in online gambling, target respectable industry publications and provide valuable, original content that is relevant to the target market. Don’t guest post just for the sake of it, do it when you have something new to add and when you can prove your expertise. Also focus on building a strong social media presence, having a link-worthy website, and maintaining a positive brand image.