Facing the challenges of SEO now and in the future

SEO, often one of the more nebulous aspects of online casino gaming, was given a thorough airing on the last day of SBC Events’ inaugural CasinoBeats Malta Digital courtesy of a dedicated session focused on cost-effective SEO strategy.

The afternoon panel, sponsored by Safe Affiliate Programs, comprised Lee Beirne, head of SEO at Ladbrokes Coral; Lisa Sjo, specialist at Betsson; Maria Sayapina, commercial product lead at Raketech; and Great.com founder Erik Bergman. Taking on moderating duties was Martin Calvert, marketing director of ICS Digital.

The brief for the panellists was to address some of the myriad opportunities and risks associated with SEO, as well as offer insight and practical tips on the specific onsite and offsite SEO strategies that casino brands must use and, of equal importance, the common SEO techniques that arguably belong in the past.

Kicking off the session, Bergman said: “The question is what is new in SEO, what is happening right now and what do we need to do now and what will change over the next year? And I think a much more interesting question that is asked very often is what will not change in the next year – what will not change in the next 10 years?”

He also urged delegates to think 10 years ahead rather than take a shorter term view. “This will show that you are in it for the long-haul,” he added.

Sayapina moved the discussion onto content and ways in which the industry should focus their efforts, adding that it should still be a big priority when considering SEO strategy. “It’s such a cliche to say content is king,” she stated. “But I’ll repeat it over and over again, because if you have bad content you can do anything for the site but long term you’re not going to survive this game.”

Advocating less of a knee-jerk approach, Beire advised more of a wait-and-see strategy for SEO. “I try to focus on what is happening in the next month, purely because we don’t know how Google are going to react,” he said. “As soon as there is a core algorithm update everybody – I like to refer to them as ambulance chasers – changes everything about their website. 

“And it’s like whoa, slow down. You’ve got no idea what changed. Just let the dust settle and then look at what’s changing. I see so many people changing their content from 500 to 5,000 words and they’ve got no idea about incremental changes. Just slow down, don’t jump as soon as Google shouts.”

Sjo, meanwhile, urged delegates to think about SEO as a factor that should be included in any website strategy from the ground up, not at the end of the process. 

She advised: “SEO should be part of building – building from the very beginning. It is the foundation of how you create the product – how you create the branding, what kind of products you have, how you build up your product as a whole. I think we need to look a little bit forward to that as well to challenge what comes next instead of taking a step looking back.”

CasinoBeats Malta Digital, delivered in association with Gaming Malta, takes place from 30 June to 2 July 2020 and features 40 virtual exhibitors, numerous networking opportunities, 130 leading speakers, and countless business opportunities for 3,000 senior decision-makers from operators, suppliers, affiliates and other industry stakeholders.

Alongside the exhibition, networking and conference, all delegates also gain access to the full range of entertainment on offer, including free-play slots, daily competitions and a selection of prizes such as iPads and cash.

Find full details of CasinoBeats Malta Digital, including information about how to register and the discounts available on company group passes, at the event’s official website: https://sbcevents.com/casinobeats-malta-digital/.

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