Sports Betting SEO

With legalised sports betting sweeping across the United States and more and more countries globally regulating the sector, Sports Betting SEO has never been more important.

SEO in 2019 is quite a bit different to SEO in 2010. This applies to sports betting sites. A large number of on-page and off-page variables contribute to your SEO rank.

However, many sports betting sites fail with their onsite SEO. This is the foundation of your SEO strategy. It must be considered “revenue critical” and be prioritised if you are to become a market-leading betting site.

Here are some of the important points that you should make sure you have covered.

 

Common SEO Mistakes made by Sports Betting Sites

  1. urls are not “readable” – The urls look like yoursportsbettingsite.com#ui=204524524524534535&hu=23423423452523452345 when they should be yoursportsbettingsite.com/basketball-betting
  2. One title tag and meta description for all pages. Yes, that’s right a surprisingly high number of betting sites do not have proper titles and meta descriptions.
  3. No structured data built into CMS template. Much of the page content on sports betting sites is feed based. This can be turned into structured data which will help get rich snippets featuring upcoming fixtures etc.
  4. No Brand or PR. In this day and age, most links to your site will come from affiliates. However, most well run sites will have similar affiliate link profiles (yes I know they are “no follow” links but with brand mentions etc. and given the sector profile your affiliate footprint does affect SEO). The key difference is your brand and pr. This can differentiate you through brand ranking signals. Basically, you want to get more people searching your brand term. This will give Google confidence to rank you higher on generic search.
  5. UX issues – This is a major issue. People have a low tolerance for poor UX in the betting sector.
  6. Too many subdomains.
  7. Unattractive pricing – Yes your trading department can impact SEO. Better prices mean a longer time on site which is a UX signal for google. Bad prices mean quick bounce backs to the search engine which is really bad for SEO.
  8. Product – If you don’t have a good product SEO will be difficult as user metrics will suffer.

SEO Approach

There first thing you need to do is answer the two questions below. Clarity on both answers is key to successful SEO (and marketing as a whole).

Define your brand – how are you positioned?

What is your content strategy?

Generally, there are six distinct areas for sports betting SEO.

 

  1. Market Pages
  2. Event/Tournament Pages
  3. Sport Pages
  4. Betting Education Pages
  5. Free Bet/Promo Pages
  6. Blog/News Event Preview Pages

 

SEO Sports Betting for Market Pages

These are pages that contain specific betting markets such as first goalscorer or over-under markets.

Typically these contain content from a feed with teams/competitors and odds.

Opportunity:

Include specific text 200+ words on relating specifically to the two teams.

Structured data of the market.

Ensure that odds are included in the title and description. Example: Page Title: Liverpool v Man City First Goalscorer  Odds.

SEO Sports Betting for Tournament Pages

World Cups, Premier Leagues, Cheltenham, The Superbowl and Conference Championships are all tournament pages.

These pages should include popular markets or races in a prominent position.

Also, structured data for “events” should be used.

Essentially these are a level up the hierarchy than market pages. So, a similar approach is required.

Opportunity:

Include specific text 800+ words on relating specifically to the two teams.

Structured data for key races/fixtures.

Ensure that odds are included in the title and description. Example: Page Title: Premier League Odds – Current Round of Games.

 

SEO for Sport Pages

Sport pages and a level up from events. The approach to these can vary but generally, we would suggest you include relevant events and a description of top markets. These should involve an FAQ component that can be included in structured data.

 

Opportunity:

Include specific text 800+ words relating to betting on the sport in question.

Structured data for key races/fixtures.

Ensure that betting is included in the title and description. Example: Page Title: Football Betting – Live Betting Great Odds.

 

SEO for Betting Educational Pages

A number of sports betting sites have been very successful ranking for educational style pages. For example, Asian Handicap Football Betting.

The page should include FAQ structured data along with detailed information on what the market is and how to bet.

Internal links should also be used.

Opportunity:

Include specific text 800+ words relating to betting on the sport in question.

Structured data for FAQ.

Ensure that the title and meta description are correct.

 

SEO for Free Bet/Promo Pages

Now, this is one to think about. Do you want to rank for free bet terms?

Talk to BI and Trading and see if they do. Ranking for these terms could actually cost the business. So there are two options. However, remember the matched betting sites will find you anyway.

 

1) Rank as normal

2) No index

 

If you opt to rank as normal then include “offer” structured data on the page.

Like “Betting Education” pages you need to have a substantial amount of content.

As a result, we recommend including offer terms and conditions on the page as well. UK sites have to do this anyway as UKGC requirements.

 

SEO of Blog/News Preview Pages

We recommend using WordPress and Yoast (or similar SEO plugin) for this. Quality of content for this is key and the social reach of authors can make a difference.

So, if the preview is good you may get backlinks.

The key is to increase interaction after the article has been read. A great way to do this is to include interactive banners and contextual widgets within your post. These will provide up to date odds and the ability to easily place a bet on a relevant market.

 

Conclusion – SEO Sports Betting

We have only scratched the surface. The following topics deserve articles in their own right.

  1. International SEO for different territories.
  2. Leveraging sponsorships and outreach for brand mentions and links.
  3. SEO automation and AI.

However, the core focus. Step one of the program is onsite SEO. Get this right and you will be well on the way of increasing traffic.

Remember, the ROI of an SEO program for Sports Betting is massive. Especially if you can cross-sell to Casino (outside Germany).

Start measuring the value of traffic on two criteria.

a) The value of customers acquired

b) The saving SEO has delivered versus Paid Search

All in all, you should prioritise SEO above most other development requirements.