GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 16 - May 2011

By John Wright M any casino affiliates make mistakes on their websites — mistakes that could be avoided. Those mistakes could be costing you traffic or prevent- ing you from making the best use of your current traffic, resulting in lower conver- sions. Some mistakes are made by brand- new affiliates who are just starting their first gambling site. Other mistakes are made by affiliates who have been online for many years but are still doing some things wrong, which is setting them back. Here are eight common mistakes made by affiliates. If you’re guilty of any of these miscues, read on to find out how to make your site better, and earn higher commis- sions as a result. 1 Copied content Never copy content. Most of the top affili- ates have their content stolen occasionally and it doesn’t take much for them to tell your web host to close your account and to get your affiliate accounts banned. You can also be sued for copyright infringe- ment, as many website owners recently learned after posting Las Vegas Review- Journal articles on their sites. It’s not worth the headache; make sure you have permission and the right to post any con- tent you put on your site. 2 Banner and link overload Avoid turning your website into a banner or link farm, or visitors to your site will suffer from “banner blindness.” This does not mean that banners are not effective at all, but when some affiliates put their sites together they like to plaster their site with banners, thinking and hoping that this presents more chances for players to click on them. You definitely won’t earn more money this way and you will hurt your conversion rate in the process. A concept that can be just as damaging, but is less understood is link overload. Some affiliates think that having more links on their pages is another means of getting more clicks and sign-ups. Not only can this hurt your conversion rate, but it can also have some possible nega- tive effects on SEO as well. Many affiliates spend too much time thinking about how much money they can earn and not enough time thinking about their users. If you design your site with the user in mind first, then you will see the results later on when you collect your af- filiate commissions. A good discussion of howmany links a page should have may be found in Matt Cutt’s blog here: mattcutts. com/blog/how-many-links-per-page/ Have a look at the comments posted in the blog, including Matt’s response, which questions whether the site still offers a good user experience! If you are unsure if your site has too many or too few links, post your questions in the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) fo- rum at the GPWA. 3 KYC: Know your customer Many affiliates operate sites about online casinos but haven’t played in a single ca- sino. Do you think the user is going to get the best information from these websites? Although you don’t have to gamble for real money to know your gambling customer, doing so will certainly shape your review pages and also influence which casinos you will want to promote. Some casinos have complicated sign-up forms or make it difficult to make a deposit. Once you’ve played at a casino like this you certainly won’t want to send your players there. By doing a little gambling, affiliates can gain access to the retention efforts made by different sites. Once affiliates know which casinos give more attention to depositing players, they tend to send more of their traffic to these brands. 4 Link strategies and campaigns I had one new affiliate who built a web- site with good content but was about to quit shortly thereafter. The affiliate was discouraged at how long it was taking to get traffic. The truth is that without any links to your website it is going to be dif- ficult, if not impossible, to show up in any search engine. Download the seoquake. com toolbar and notice how many links top-ranking affiliates have. If you want a quick, valuable link to your gambling af- filiate website then the easiest way is to become a member of the GPWA (if you are not one already). You can read a great deal about SEO in the forum at GPWA. Additional recommended resources are other forums dedicated to SEO. There are many of these forums available, and one especially good resource is Digital Point Forums: “ Many affiliates operate sites about online casinos but haven’t played in a single casino. Do you think the user is going to get the best information from these websites? ” 53 The 8 most common mistakes casino affiliates make – and how to fix them