SEO affiliate marketing 2020: be holistic!
Published 7th January 2020
The below article is a piece contributed by SPUDO, a casino & sports betting affiliate network.
The days of blackhat-SEO strategies, stuffing pages with relevant keywords, and building tons of PBN-links towards your money pages certainly are gone. And thank you, Google, for that!
Digital marketers and publishers working within the igaming industry will, in 2020, more than ever before, need to be looking into taking a more holistic approach. Not only to the content they write, the brands they promote, or their own brand but to their business models in general. Why, you ask?
Before I dig into it, let me just introduce myself:
My name is Patrick, and I work for the Danish-based company Spudo. In Spudo we work on making it easier to run traffic to multiple igaming brands. The igaming brands can connect their campaigns to our platform and hundreds of SEO, SMS, Facebook, email & native publishers can then access them - including you if you sign up. Spudo has done all the administration work for you - one invoice, one payment, one affiliate manager, one tracking platform for hundreds of igaming campaigns. The easier administration makes my job as an SEO manager a lot easier, so I can focus on what I’m good at - running traffic.
On October 1st 2019 came the latest big Google update: BERT
The BERT algorithm (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) is a deep learning algorithm related to natural language processing. It helps a machine to understand what words in a sentence mean, but with all the nuances of context.
Google called this the most important update in the last five years. Looking at this from a bigger picture than on-page SEO, we understand why this is so important. Google is evolving its algorithm towards a direction of reading language over pixels and written words. Also, we need to add to the equation, the effect of SERPs resulting in almost 50% of all searches on Google being 0-click searches, due to the fact, that the users are provided with the answer for their search directly from Google. Voice-searches are the other big thing we need to start thinking more of. In the US it is estimated that by the end of 2020, almost 50% of all searches will be voice searches. Almost 50%!
This brings me back to why we need to take a holistic approach to our business models in 2020. Firstly, when it comes to providing value for our customers, we also need to adapt to their language.
As seen in the image above, question-based answers, are due to more voice searches beginning to affect the keyword-rankings in Google. "How do I", "where can I find", "when is the best time to". One approach to this could be creating question-based FAQ's that match the user searches, while also looking to snatch the SERPS. Looking at the image beneath, you will see that voice searches also result in more longtail keywords.
Secondly, we should learn from the BERT update, that moving into 2020, we will need to think of our websites as brands more than websites. This was also one of the big topics on the CMSEO 2019 in November, in Chang Mai, Thailand. It relates to Googles "E-A-T", shortage for expertise, authority and trustworthiness, which was a big focus for Google in their Medic-update back in August 2018. This brings me back to why we need to take a holistic approach, not only to our SEO but our business models in general.
Creating brand-awareness to google, simply can't be done just by typing words and finding cheap links. Google takes things into account such as social media existence, verified GMB (Google My Business), citations, complete about and contact pages, and legal pages. Building local, keyword-relevant links, are also one of the methods towards creating brand-awareness to Google. Thus also meaning links as well as brands, shouldn't be 100% commercial = Nofollow links matter, because they are making you look realistic.
So rounding this up, I have one single learning experience to share with you. Taking a holistic approach, also means we must notify our strong and less strong areas of expertise. Are you working with digital marketing, Facebook marketing or maybe you are an expert in creating valuable twitch videos for online casino players or sports betting companies? No matter your area of expertise, I'm certain there are areas outside of your expertise as well. Bringing that holistic approach to not only what you do at your company, but also how you do it, means that you are often better suited, outsourcing or partnering up when it comes to the areas outside of your expertise. This is also the reason behind the existence of a company like Spudo. Spudo does not solely focus on connecting marketing agencies with brands worldwide. Through our scalable tracking platform, we have created a transparent working environment for marketers and brands, making sure that live statistics, commission, compliance rules & payments are on point each day. Hereby we are saving our partners within the Spudo-network tons of time reading data, collecting and structuring payments, and hours of communicating back and forth with the igaming brands.