SEO is about two things – rankings and visibility. The relevance of SEO has come under scrutiny in recent years but it’s making a comeback as a key part of marketing strategy, particularly in the gambling sector.
SEO is more complex than ever. It’s no longer just about link-building and keeping your blog updated. There is a whole host of other factors that come into play. Page speed, UX, content relevancy and your branding efforts all have to be taken into account when optimising your website for search.
We have compiled a list of some of the key SEO trends for the gambling sector in 2020.
Trend #1 Page Speed
Site speed has always had an impact on search rankings. If your site is slow then you’re generally going to have a high bounce rate and low time on site.
Page speed usually refers to how long it takes for content to fully display on each page. A poor page load time will harm user experience and affect indexation on Google.
If you’re keen Google Search Console users like ourselves you may have noticed a new addition to the Enhancements section. It now shows ‘Speed’ as a key component in search performance.
This report splits your indexed pages into ‘Fast’, ‘Moderate’ and ‘Slow’ sections. It also gives you tips on how to improve your page speed by linking to Google’s Page Speed Insights tool.
How can I improve my page speed?
There’s a couple of fixes you can make. First thing to look at is server response time. Server response time is affected by the software your server uses, the hosting provider you use and traffic flow to your website. Get in touch with your hosting provider to find out about the upgrades you can make. Secondly, you should also make sure your images are optimised for your site. You can use a plugin like Smush to compress your images and prevent your site from being slowed down by long loading times.
There’s a number of other improvements you can make, big and small. Users should have a fast and secure digital experience on your site.
Trend #2 BERT
Google’s BERT update (you might have read about it already here) is the biggest SEO update of 2019.
BERT takes into account the user’s intent when searching. This will be important for searches with ‘conversational’ language.
Content on your site must be easy to understand for users and Google. Technical SEO techniques are important here. Use structured data to optimise your sportsbook or casino for Google BERT.
Trend #3 Branding
Branding has become an important element for SEO.
Building a brand on social media, through sponsorship and other means, is just as important to SEO as traditional methods. Activity on social media is a form of link building in itself. Betting companies should have a presence across multiple media platforms. Create unique content for Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, YouTube and SoundCloud. You want to create a front of mind presence when people search for betting content.
Sponsorship is another great method of boosting your digital marketing performance. It builds awareness of your company and sends positive brand ranking signals to Google (particularly important with BERT in play). Sponsorship will also help with link building from local news articles and websites.
It doesn’t have to be at Premier League level either. Sponsorship at lower levels can be just as effective. Read a bit about how we get involved sponsorship here.
Trend #4 UX
UX should be an integral part of any website’s SEO approach. We have written before about how marketing and design teams need to work together to create a positive user experience for visitors to your website.
The more attractive and easy-to-use your website is, the more returning users and traffic you will get.
There are a couple of things you need to look at here, particularly for betting sites. Focus on a design that fits your SEO principles. Include appropriate H1 and H2 tags and optimise menus and functions for ease of use. For a sportsbook, your focus should be on creating a user path that makes it easy for a potential customer to register and place their first bet. Market selection and bet placement also needs to be taken into account.
Trend #5 Voice Search
It has been talked about for years now but it seems as if 2020 will finally see voice search optimisation become a key part of SEO. A recent report from Comscore suggest that 50% of all online searches will include a voice search in 2020.
Ok, voice search is not really being used to complete online transactions at the moment and that’s unlikely to change in 2020. Even if it is, it’s probably going to be used to do your online grocery shopping rather than place your next Lucky 15 bet but it’s something to keep an eye on.
Get ahead of your competitors by beginning work on voice search optimisation for your website.
If you want to find out how we can help you get your website SEO ready for 2020, get in touch by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is part one of a series of blogs where we will be looking at the key trends in the gambling sector for 2020. Keep an eye out for weekly updates in the run up to the New Year.