White label casinos: A branding and SEO perspective
Published 16th January 2017
Opting for a white label casino as opposed to creating your own from scratch is gutsy. If right about now, you want to point out, “but everything is done for you – just take it and make money already”, we’d like to stop you right there. While it’s true that owning a white label casino can generally save you money and more importantly time, it can also be limiting in many ways.
One of the most significant issues – the mother lode of all issues, if you will – is branding. Creating a unique feel for your white label brand is extraordinarily hard, because you have the same software, games and even promotions as other casinos. While on one hand it’s great not having to worry about the back-end system, the CRM programmes and the customer support at your casino, on the other hand you will need to wrestle for control of your own brand.
When you take a close look at what white label providers offer, cracks start to appear. For example, the CRM programmes offered are rather generic and the materials used in the CRM marketing materials are the same, with just minimal changes in colour schemes and the brands promoted. If a particular player is registered with three or even five of the brands provided by the same white label, chances are they aren’t going to be engaged at all.
Furthermore, when it comes to promotions, dozens of other sites will be running the same ones. That means matching banners, time frames, conditions and games will be featured at your casino, but also at a bunch of your competitors. Needless to say, this doesn’t allow you to customise your offer to players based on their needs, or to use a player segmentation based approach.
How can your white label stand out?
All of this, of course, begs the question – how can you make your particular white label casino become noticeable in the crowded market? Despite the hurdles we described above, there are some time-saving techniques that make differentiation, and subsequent success, quite possible.
Start by developing a rebranding plan based on where you are now and where you would like to be in future. This includes envisioning concrete goals of what you would like to achieve, setting up your target player bases and trying to segment your players based on the data you already have. More specifically, you should pay attention to the type of player you are attracting right now, then evaluate and decide whether you want to diversify or serve your current target group better.
To get a proper overview, request all of the CRM information from your white label provider and figure out which campaigns are the most engaging for your target group. Then analyse how user friendly your site is and take a look at statistics such as what devices your customers prefer logging in from and what their most active times of the day (and week) are. Outlining all of this will give you a good outlook on how to further structure your SEO, affiliate and CRM strategies. A great way to take all your efforts further and make your white label stand out is to develop a casino offer that players are usually on the lookout for. From a long-term perspective, this would most certainly increase your revenue as you will clearly differentiate yourself from the competition and from your fellow white labels.
We know that doing all of this groundwork can be a tall order when you’re busy with the everyday operations of your casino. However, having a concrete plan and a brand vision that you can convey to your provider will save you time in the long run. Not only will it make it clear for them how you want to position your brand, but it will also help them work out what resources they have to make available to you.
Renegotiate for maximum flexibility and impact
Some white label providers can (and most certainly will) resist your push for customisation and they have perfectly good reasons for doing so. Being part of a larger network of white labels can often mean that certain actions and options will only become available if the majority of operators request them.n For example, our own experience in pushing through a custom bonus offer for our players was highly tedious and required several bureaucratic steps to complete. What’s more, the process isn’t instantaneous and took upwards of a month. However, don’t let that discourage you. To build a much sturdier brand and achieve financial success, your job will be to find out to what extent they can accommodate the changes that you want. After all, you will need your provider’s help to implement the various changes that you put into your rebranding plan.
To guarantee that your provider is fully involved in assisting you, submit your earning projections to them as well. Make sure to point out how the requested changes will increase the bottom line for both parties and underline why their flexibility is crucial to achieving outstanding results. You should also consider the bargaining power a new marketing strategy gives and renegotiate your contractual clauses to your best advantage. This needs to be done to ensure that you can cover the costs of elaborate AdWords campaigns and affiliate marketing. Furthermore, to cut costs in terms of CRM, it would make financial sense to continue working with your provider at least initially, as this will keep software costs down.
Manage affiliate expectations correctly
There are a few more tricks to make your white label stand out besides branding, namely affiliate marketing. If you haven’t already, you should take firm control of your affiliate programme and manage the traffic that you attract towards your casino. While financially challenging, building a solid affiliate programme will give you access to a new player segment and it’s often cheaper than getting AdWords traffic.
To run a successful affiliate programme, you must be aware of your traffic – this includes the cost and the outcome of the price you pay for the traffic you are getting. Player lifetime value is a good estimate of how much you should expect to get out of a player. This metric will give you a historical
outlook of the existing players and a fair estimate of how far you can stretch the amount paid out. Don’t fall into the trap of overvaluing the traffic affiliates are providing based on their information — check their sites and make estimates based on the data you already have. Run a test on a cap of players to estimate the quality of the traffic, which will give you more bargaining power when communicating with affiliates.
To offer you more exposure and get more traffic, have exclusive offers for players of certain affiliate sites. However, getting an exclusive deal set up will prove challenging at times and some white label providers have specific limits on what they can accommodate. That’s not to mention the fact that it can be extremely challenging to align the terms and conditions of the offer with the white label provider’s compliance team.
All hands on – SEO tips for white label casinos
Once you’re got branding and affiliate marketing issues in hand, if you then get SEO completely right, you could have a white label casino brand that takes off and generates good profits for years to come. Let’s see how you can optimise your search engine efforts in just a few quick steps. When you install a WordPress shell on your website (such as www.gowin.co.uk), you will be aiming for lots of organic visitors and high conversion PPC visitors, in other words, success.
Pros of choosing a WordPress shell
- You will have full and total control of your site
- You will be able to make great PPC landing pages and perform better overall at PPC marketing
- You will make optimised SEO landing pages to target more relevant keywords
- You will get a more variated link profile
Cons of choosing a WordPress shell
- Your customers will have to complete an additional step in order to play on your casino (e.g. clicking on a ‘play now’ button or similar)
As you can see, the pros clearly outweigh the cons. However, many would ask if they should no-index their casino and only have the WordPress shell indexed? The answer is two-pronged. If you are planning to have the same content (including text and pictures) on your casino sub-domain and WordPress, then you should no-index. However, if you have unique content on your WordPress site, then it’s best to leave it indexed in Google and simply put a dofollow link from your sub-domain to your main casino domain.
The importance of Analytics and Search Console
Next, you have to remember to implement Analytics and Search Console on both your casino and the WordPress site. There are several reasons for this, but here are some of the most important ones:
- Analytics on both sites will give you an indication how many players drop off between your WordPress site and the casino site;
- Search Console will let you know about the most common errors on your page and will refresh to check almost every day;
- You will be able to see the keywords that your site ranks on in Search Console.
Creating a blog on your WordPress site
We all know how the saying goes – content is king. So when it comes to creating a blog on your WordPress site, always put it in a sub-directory rather than sub-domain. That’s because Google treats sub-domains as a completely different entity and your white label casino site will not benefit from getting links. On the other hand, by having the WordPress blog in a sub-directory (e.g. yoursite.com/blog) it will.
For an expert’s view, we’ve looked to the blog of Matt Cutts, a software engineer who previously headed up the web spam team at Google and is now working for the US Digital Service. “My personal preference on subdomains vs. subdirectories is that I usually prefer the convenience of subdirectories for most of my content. A subdomain can be useful to separate out content that is completely different. Google uses subdomains for distinct products such as news.google. com or maps.google.com, for example. If you’re a newer webmaster or SEO, I’d recommend using subdirectories until you start to feel pretty confident with the architecture of your site. At that point, you’ll be better equipped to make the right decision for your own site,” writes Cutts in a blog entry.
How to rank a landing page on your WordPress shell
Now that you’ve made a WordPress shell on your white label casino site, it’s time to get some visitors and rank it. Here is how we suggest you should go about doing that. First, let’s just assume you want to rank on the keyword ‘casino with free spins’. So you create your page in WordPress, using the slug (URL) /casinowith- free-spins/. The full URL is now yoursite.com/casino-with-free-spins/.
Second, you should write approximately 500 words of unique and relevant content, plus add a few related videos or images.
Third, create a catchy and optimised title for your page, including a related keyword. For example, ‘Casino With Free Spins – No Deposit Free Spins At Our Casino!’ – the title should be around 50 characters long.
Fourth, write a meta-description for your page and include as many related keywords as you can, but don’t forget to always start with your main one. For example, ‘Casino with free spins at our casino. No deposit free spins at a realmoney casino. Get 30 or 50 Starburst free. Spins on our mobile casino today!’ – the length should be around 155 characters.
Lastly, publish the article to your site and start link building. This can be done by using anchor text directly on the keyword and slowly switching to broader matches and long tail anchor text. If you’re curious about how to easily find related keywords, simply type your main keyword in a search engine and scroll to the bottom.
White label casinos present an amazing opportunity to those who want a low cost option of entering a new market, so long as you invest time and resources in creating a strong brand that sets you apart from your peers.