GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 16 - May 2011

5 Conversion and calls to action Conversion is a topic that seems to be least understood by many smaller affili- ates, while it is an area where superaffili- ates excel. On all of your pages, whether the home page or a casino review page, you should be able to explain to users how they got there and what you would like them to do. Of course you want them to click on your banners and links and make a deposit! But does your design and layout help this process or hurt it? Some affiliates will write a blog post talk- ing about a casino but at the end of that post will fail to put a banner there or even a link for the blog reader to visit that ca- sino. Also, pages that are very long might lose a user who has reached the middle of the page without seeing a call to action. You can help the conversion process by al- ways giving users a way to get where you’d like them to go. Don’t confuse this with placing banners and ads all over the place, but be aware of what users are doing when they visit your pages. 6 On-page SEO Some affiliates don’t know where to start when it comes to on-page SEO, and nobody can blame them. SEO at times can be intimidating for new webmasters, and it is difficult to find all the right in- formation in one place. The good news is that top-ranking affiliates are easy to find in the search engines, so you know they are doing something right and you can learn from it. Aside from their link campaigns most of these affiliates do the basics right for on-page SEO while others make many mistakes along the way. I will discuss a few items for your pages and rank the level of importance of each. Page titles [high]: Use the H1 tags to in- dicate what the article is about. URL structures [medium]: Keywords in the URL are more helpful than a bunch of code that is unreadable to the user. For ex- ample, is better than Descriptions [medium]: Fill this in, and in 150 characters describe what the page is about. Keywords [low]: Many sites leave this blank but it helps to have it. H1, H2, H3 tags [high]: H1 is what the page should be about, H2 is less important and H3 is lesser still. You should make the H1 titles part of the page title. Images [low]: Blackjack-table.jpg is better than file006.jpg, and always use alt text. Content [high]: If your page title is 32Red Casino Review, then the user should ex- pect to see those words somewhere in the content. A quick way to determine if a website has done its on-page SEO correctly is to view the page source, which will reveal all of this data. A short summary of common mistakes: Stuffing in too many keywords in page titles, or using the same keyword on every page. Using whatever URL structure is provided by the content management system. Descriptions: make sure that they are there! With content, all sorts of mistakes can happen, but if you want to rank for a key- word or phrase the reader must be able to see that in the content somewhere. My final comment on SEO: If you want to try to get a page to show up in the search engines for a keyword or phrase, ask your- self, “Is this what the user is looking for?” A good example is when affiliates put “on- line casino” in their home-page title tag when their site is an affiliate site. If users searched for “online casino” would they be happy to land on this site? If it isn’t what they were searching for they will leave im- mediately. Also, some affiliates will put this keyword phrase on their page titles even when the words aren’t mentioned anywhere on their page! A good resource for all webmasters is the Google SEO starter guide: gine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf • • • 7 Out-of-date information If you’re not keeping your website up to date, you’re making a huge mistake. Think of it like car maintenance; if you don’t take good care of your car then it will lose its value a lot faster (and of course, end up costing you money!). The top-performing affiliates usually have updated content, and from an SEO point of view, this will help you as well. For example, if a casino changes their sign-up bonus from 200 percent to 50 percent and you don’t up- date this information on your page, not only is your website neglected but your users might be more than a little disap- pointed that your information wasn’t up to date. You can bet that they won’t ever return to your site for more of your help or information. Take care of your website. This is good for the user, and the search engines will rec- ognize this as well. 8 No USP: Unique selling point (or proposition) Most gambling affiliate sites don’t have any USP at all: there is nothing unique about their site that makes it stand out above the competition. With the recent Google Panda update, sites that don’t have original or unique content are going to be pushed farther down the rankings. Some affiliates think the epitome of a good USP or niche is a no-deposit casino-bo- nus website. Well, there are hundreds of these, and if you are going to start with a site like this you should ask yourself what it is that makes your site so special and worthy of appearing on the first page on Google for this keyword. If you offer your users something fresh, new and different, you’ll be one step ahead of 95 percent of the affiliate sites out there. JOHN WRIGHT John Wright has been working in the online gaming industry since 2002. He is the editor for the Gaming Affiliates Guide ( and also offers affiliate coaching. 54 The 8 most common mistakes casino affiliates make – and how to fix them