The iGaming industry is not only one of the most competitive industries you can work in, but also one of the most complex due to the number of laws and regulations surrounding the products and services.
One of the more popular digital marketing models in this vertical is the “Four Pillars” model, these pillars being:
Brand and PR activities.
However, from experience, I don’t believe that this model will stand the test of time in terms of the modern SEO landscape.
Pillars imply four separate areas. However, some aspects that fall under technical (e.g., site speed) also play a part in the customer experience.
According to Statista, the global online gambling industry is set to grow in value from $51 billion in 2018 to $59 billion in 2020.
Given that the online market is increasing by almost 20 percent across 2018 to 2020, it’s only natural that more competitors will enter the market in various guises, as either providers or affiliates.
That being said, there are a number of new technologies and opportunities that both casino websites and casino affiliates can take advantage of in 2019 to improve organic performance, increase customer acquisition, and increase the number of important first-time deposits (FTDs).
Voice Search Opportunities
Google’s first foray into voice search came in 2010, but it was a cumbersome alternative to text search that required users to take a number of additional steps.
This did, however, lay the foundations for subsequent voice technologies and search integrations, as well as for Google updates to help pave the way to the voice search landscape we know today.
One of the more important updates that helped move voice search along, the 2013 Hummingbird update.
Hummingbird can be summarized as a major Google update that changed how Google interpreted the intent and meaning behind search queries, also referred to as semantic search.
It emphasized natural language processing, meaning that interrogative search queries, long-tail search queries, yielded more relevant results.
Voice search isn’t anything new, but given the increased accessibility and ownership of voice-enabled smart devices in the past 12-months (including speakers and other IoT devices), voice search now presents more opportunities for online gambling websites.
Being able to adequately provide answers to a variety of gambling-related questions cannot only introduce your brand to new customers, but also act as a customer service tool.
Understanding the Market
Latest figures estimate that 41 percent of smart speakers owned globally are Amazon Alexa devices, with Google Home holding a market share of 28 percent (but with a much higher growth rate).
This is important, as Amazon Alexa uses Bing as its default search engine, combined with the fact that Bing is the default search engine on Windows devices (such as the Windows 10), the voice search market is a lot more competitive in terms of Google versus Bing than traditional search.
This means that you need to pay more attention to Bing from both a technical and content perspective in order to become more competitive across a large number of voice search enabled devices.
Given the market share of the Amazon Alexa, you could also build a business case for developing an Alexa Skill, and bypass the need to compete for certain queries by having users install and use your skill.
Matching Content to Voice Queries
Microsoft voice search data has shown that voice search queries can be on average 7 to 8 words in length, with shorter 1 to 3 keyword strings (more concise searches) yielding better results.
From experience, longer search queries often contain more information and are often interrogative, question-based phrases.
Producing focused content around key sporting events, or general content and guidance around casino games, you can not only grow brand exposure to new customers, but also provide a service to existing customers and retain them.
If your customer asks their Alexa device “In poker, is a flush higher than a straight?” you want Alexa to respond with “According to [your brand], a flush is higher than a straight, but lower than a full house, four of a kind, straight flush, or royal flush.”
This reaffirms to your existing customer that you’re an expert, and to a potential customer provides brand exposure.
You should also be grouping together common questions in a FAQ format, in HTML, on topically relevant pages.
By doing so you’re creating a “content hub” with main content to directly answer and satisfy the query, as well as supporting content to further add value.
This won’t only make you more competitive for voice queries, but it will also give you benefits in traditional search as well.
It’s also recommended that you implement Speakable markup on your content. Even though this is still in beta, it will likely become wholly supported in time, so it’s good to get this in the development queue and implemented and get ahead of the curve.
Or, alternatively, this structured mark-up can also be implemented on the edge, through Cloudflare Workers on legacy platforms and systems.
It’s also correlative that voice search performance ties in appearing for featured snippets. 99.58 percent of featured snippets come from a page that ranks in the top 10 for the query in “traditional search.”
So it goes without saying that in order to be competitive in voice search, your SEO efforts need to be well rounded on the whole.
Mobile Page Speed
Page Speed, regardless of which of the four pillars you categorize it under, is important for technical and customer experience reasons.
Voice search is almost exclusive to mobile, and other voice search enabled IoT devices, meaning that your content needs to not only be mobile optimized, but it needs to load fast on mobile.
Studies have also shown that mobile bounce rate is coming down as mobile user experience (and load speeds) improve.
If a user is trying to be conversational with a device and making a voice query, they’re going to want an almost instant response.
It’s also important that your website, on the whole, is mobile friendly, especially now the majority of websites are in Google’s Mobile First index.
In-Post Image: Pexels
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