13th March

Rebirth of a Star

A right turn towards SEO focused lead generation

The iGaming industry in Malta boomed in the early 2000s and this opened up a passage for different companies to look at the country as a new up-and-coming location for a base of operations. This market contributes over 12% to the Maltese GDP and its growth seems to be unaffected by outside factors. The growth of the gambling affiliate market is directly proportional to the expansion of the iGaming business. At first glance, this might seem like an untapped goldmine but shining some light on the matter one will come to realize that the competition in this area is very high due to the over-saturation of sites promoting different casino operators. Therefore it’s easy to assume that starting from scratch would be an arduous journey.

Early days of bitpokerstar

The progress of bitpokerstar is the topic of discussion when it comes to traffic generation. In autumn of 2017, the website was created as a piece of a large affiliate project which in all honesty not enough time was ever invested with regards to research and preparations. We populated the site with original content but after some time the team decided to focus on other assets leaving bitpokerstar in a state of limbo.

Summer of ’18

Previous affiliate campaigns taught us a very important lesson – do not start your online business without knowing everything about it. In the Summer of 2018, we decided to dedicate more time and effort to focus on the problem at hand and start building the business back up again with hopes of achieving better results and become a successful affiliate brand.

We dedicated around 4 weeks of heavy research before we actually started to implement changes. Our determination into making this work led us to search every nook and cranny and find all the possible data we could, every piece of information could be useful in enhancing what we already have.

We filled up many spreadsheets with raw data about potential competitors, market research, product research and historical data from Google Analytics. We have also been preparing for the biggest brainstorming session yet which was the creation of user personas.

After several sessions, we managed to create three types of user profiles that are generating traffic to our site. The 3 types of profiles were speaking for 85% of our visitors and for the first time we knew exactly who is inputting what, into the Google search.

SEO Research

Running a paid campaign in the gambling niche would drain our budget instantly so we had to push organic search traffic to the maximum. The first challenge we had to overcome was finding a good keyword to generate more traffic. Finding the wrong keyword would generate, if any, low-value traffic which would never convert.

Trying to find the perfect keyword by digging through endless spreadsheets filled with crucial metrics, monthly search volumes, keyword difficulty, clicks per search, top ranking pages and so on is probably the most time-consuming process out of all.

After hours of searching we finally found it, the keyword which was perfect, the monthly search volume to difficulty ratio was excellent. Now we began to make progress, we are ready to take it to the next phase.

Content Revamp

We started converting the content by firstly performing thorough competition spying, and shortlisted key features from the top 30 Google search results. We went into a lot of detail to get the utmost information, for example: word count, number of pictures/media, subheadings and meta descriptions were analyzed.

A couple of days later with careful rewriting and placing of keywords in a strategic manner, properly formatting the article and having it internally linked, we created a fully optimized article which was ready to be published. At this point, we were ready to move to phase three.

Off-page SEO Campaign

The real competition is within the Google search result pages, if you do not have a good off-page SEO campaign in mind, your content, even if it is the best piece of writing out there, will become irrelevant in the over-saturated sea of similar content.

With regards to off-page SEO, backlinking is of utmost importance – without it, we would have never managed to climb up 30 positions in search results. By our calculations we had to acquire approximately 20 backlinks pointing to our revamped pages, this is because the competition for Google’s first page is a tight and difficult one so backlinking is imperative.

In addition, to be fully compliant with Google’s guidelines we’ve put a lot of effort in diversifying backlink sources and implementing carefully crafted anchor text circulation. Natural backlink profile is one of the most important ingredients in your successful SEO recipe and unnatural links to your site are the most common way to be penalized by Google. The consequences of receiving a manual action can be devastating, some of the ramifications can include: losing organic search visibility, traffic, and revenue. Thankfully, due to our ability and expertise in crafting strategies we never crossed paths with such a huge and disastrous problem.

The Results

Just after a few weeks, we’ve started to notice very exciting movements from our main keyword. The first big leap came with the acquisition of high-quality dofollow backlinks from our partners websites. Shortly after we started a white hat outreach campaign and it brought upon us more positive position changes. With the significant SERP climb, organic traffic grew substantially and after only 3 months we saw a 93% increase.

The main goal was to increase the number of high value leads generated purely by organic traffic, and the results were staggering, conversions rose by almost 70%.

Organic traffic growth is essential for a website to sustain itself and eventually have a farther reach. But beware! – SEO techniques are prone to change, therefore your search marketing experts should be constantly researching and updating your website.

ANCHOVY. dedicates a whole team in growing and maximizing our SEO capabilities in order to create valuable content and websites that will not drown in and become invaluable in the ultra-competitive market. A lot of time is put into keyword research, backlinking strategy, content campaigns, and many other areas to provide and acquire the best outcome.

Author
Remi Ziemlinski

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