SEO 2.0

Odds Scanner (Update May 2022)

Introduction

This document includes the complete strategic overview of Odds Scanner’s SEO approach moving forward. 

Business Model

As an iGaming affiliate company, our main objective is delivering high-quality players (gamblers) to our partners.

 

We are a performance-first company, which means that the majority of our revenue comes from affiliate commissions, not from display ads on our websites or any other source of revenue. 

 

Our business model is pretty simple, if we are paid €100 for every client we refer (each player/gambler), then we just need our expenses for acquiring that client to be lower than €100 in order to be profitable. 

 

The conversion cycle is very simple for an affiliate company like us:

 

  1. User visits on of our websites
  2. User than clicks one of our affiliate links (activating a cookie – so that new sales are attributed to us)
  3. User signs up on the partner website (from this time the user is “ours” – becoming a “signup”)
  4. User deposits on the partner website (becoming an “FTD”)

 

After this step we start making revenue, which depends on the deals we have with our partners.

First-Time Depositors (FTD) or New Depositing Customer (NDC)

If you look at the top companies in our industry, which are publicly traded, like Better Collective, Catena Media, XL Media, Raketech, Gambling.com and so on, a lot of them report on FTDs and NDCs as a key metric.

 

FTDs/NDCs are in practice the same metric, they vary very slightly based on time of signup to time of deposit, but in practice it doesn’t really matter.

 

FTDs/NDCs are a very clear indication of success in the iGaming industry. It represents the number of new players/customers/clients/gamblers that a company is generating for its partners

 

Because we are paid on a performance basis, in simple terms, if we generate 5 FTDs and we earn €100 per FTD, our revenue is €500.

Revenue Share (RS)

This is the most popular form of monetization in iGaming, where both the operator/partner and the affiliate company (us) are aligned.

 

Revenue share agreements mean that every time a player referred by us loses money, we take a cut of the net revenue (after fees, payments, and so on).

 

Revenue share deals are typically between 20%-45%.

Cost per Action (CPA)

This is also very common, typically companies that know their LTV very well prefer to pay CPA, as it limits the amount of money an affiliate partner can earn. 

 

Because of its connection to life-time value of the user, the amount of money paid by operators varies substantially depending on the market, value of the players acquired by the affiliate partner, and so on.

 

CPA deals may be as low as €30 to as high (very rare) €800.

Hybrid

Hybrid deals are simply a combination of RS and CPA.

 

Important: Generating an FTD doesn’t necessarily mean we are getting paid right way, there are several requirements to activate a commission, such as:

 

  • Value of deposits
  • Positive net revenue
  • Number of deposits
  • Amount wagered
  • Etc…

 

But this is irrelevant for us as marketers, we need to optimize for FTD generation and high-quality traffic, and let the business development team find the best way to monetize our efforts.

 

Quantity-Quality Relationship

As much as quantity, i.e. the number of FTDs, will be our main focus as marketers, it is also important to take into consideration that the value per new player can change a lot. 

 

You can have people that are only interested in signing up to new operators that offer free bonuses, for example, and those will always gamble less and lose less money, than users who are looking for “high limit casinos”. 

 

This is where SEO comes in.

 

With any kind of search traffic, we can control the intent – which allows us to have an understanding of the value of the traffic, but also the amount, by using search marketing tools related to search volume, competition and so on.

 

The largest iGaming affiliate companies in the world all use SEO as one of the main sources of traffic to acquire high-quality FTDs to their partners.

iGaming Products

iGaming is an industry which typically includes all online gambling products, with the main ones being sports betting and casino. 

Sports Betting

This includes all forms of gambling on sports or real-life events. Operators generate odds for events and outcomes, always accounting for a margin to ensure they are always profitable. 

 

Typically, users interested in sports betting are either gambling against the operator – Sportsbook, or they are betting against other gamblers/bettors – Exchange.

 

There are only 2-3 meaningful sports betting exchanges in the world, Betfair Exchange being the most famous one, this is because it’s effectively a marketplace, and you need a substantial amount of users betting against each other to make sure there is enough volume for the exchange/marketplace to profit.

 

Most sports betting products are sportsbooks, where operators accept wagers against their own cash reserves.

 

Because users are betting on real events, it is possible, but very rare, to make money betting on sports.

Casino

This is the recreation of the typically “offline casino” experience but on the internet. These are based on RNG (random number generator) games, which automatically give an edge to the house/operator.

 

Games include slots, blackjack, keno, roulette, bingo, and so on, as a result it is impossible to make money long-term playing the casino.

 

This also means that casino products tend to be quite profitable for operators, because all of the games are online and can be gambled 24/7/365, with as high or low limits as the casino is prepared to risk.

 

This is the most profitable product in the iGaming industry, and some affiliate companies decide to only promote casinos.

Poker

Online poker rooms have existed almost for as long as people have been doing transactions online. 

 

Poker is sometimes associated with casinos, but unlike other casino games, poker is unique in the sense that it is a skill-based game where players bet against each other, and not against the house.

 

Similar to the sports betting exchange, operators run poker as a marketplace and are only able to monetize by taking a percentage of wagers. Not as profitable as casino or sports betting.

 

Pokerstars is probably the most recognized online poker brand in the world, operating in 100s of markets globally.

Lottery

iGaming operators have created a gambling-type game that mimics real offline lotteries. Lottoland is one of the most recognizable brands that offer this type of product, where you can “bet on Euromillions” for example, without actually buying a lottery ticket. 

 

The game is exactly the same, you get the same prize as the “real lottery” but you’re not contributing to the original game.

 

It’s not a very successful product when compared to sports betting or casino, especially as the traditional lotteries have also developed robust online experiences for lottery players. 

Competition

The competitive landscape of SEO in this industry is quite unique. It’s generally assumed that the best value in the industry (not the highest volume) is in being very good at SEO.

 

Collectively, iGaming affiliate companies invest millions of euros in SEO every year, focusing on both organic projects – starting a website/brand from scratch – as well as non-organic – by acquiring smaller affiliate companies. 

 

Companies build networks of sites and brands across multiple markets, each company following its own strategy, especially when it comes to products that they promote as well as languages/markets that they operate in.

 

The large companies like Better Collective and Catena Media, for example, operate globally and have very much had an M&A focused approach when it comes to scaling their businesses. These companies end up having all kinds of websites and working pretty much in every country that matters.

Competitors

When doing research into different SERPs, in the majority of cases (and especially in very competitive markets), most websites will belong to these companies: SEO Team – Master Sheet (Updated Q2) > Competitors.

 

Some of these companies are publicly traded in the stock market, with some being worth €500M-€1B, while the majority being in the €10-€100M range.

 

These competitors aren’t SEO-only companies. None of the largest iGaming affiliate companies are, but SEO is generally responsible for 30-50% of their company values.

Best iGaming SEOs

The best companies that have succeed a lot with their SEO strategy organically (meaning they have not used acquisitions as a main growth strategy) include:

 

  1. Leadstar Media
  2. iGaming.com
  3. Finixio
  4. Kafe Rocks

 

These are companies that we would consider, “typical SEO affiliates” where they build almost exclusively commercial only sites, targeting high-commercial intent keywords, they are very aggressive with their strategy and get very good results.

 

Most of these companies have their portfolio online or it’s fairly easy to find their websites with some SEO research.

Strategy

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to SEO, and especially when it comes to being successful with SEO in iGaming. 

 

Different companies go with different routes, some more efficient than others, some more risky than others. 

 

A lot of the strategic decisions are based on what competitors that are very successful do, so it’s important to have a very good understanding of the SERPs for our most important keywords, and try to reverse engineer what is working in each market.

 

Our SEO strategy will serve two main goals:

 

 

  • Generating FTDs – at the end of the day, this is how iGaming affiliates monetize their marketing and content efforts. 
  • Generating Users – generating registered users on our websites, using our tools and learning with our premium content. These users are then marketed through our other channels such as email, push and SMS. 

 

 

Our websites and projects will always serve at least one of these purposes. In some of them, we are able to serve both, especially with our Brands.

Overview

The SEO strategy used is usually focused on two main areas of SEO:

 

 

  • Content – the selection of the right keywords, website structure and content structure.
  • Link building – getting links from high-authority websites.

 

 

Building the right strategy depends usually on how risky we want to be. So, when looking at content and links, we’ll typically have different strategies depending on the type of project (Brands, Partnerships, Parasite, and Niche), and the different markets that we operate in

Content

This is one of the most expensive and important resources and inputs in our SEO strategy. Covering all of the important topics in an efficient way is very important, in order to build a profitable SEO business.

 

Traffic is a vanity metric. As much as we like to see our total organic traffic go up, not all keywords are created equal, and having a lot of traffic may be a synonym of generating great results, but it may also mean spending pointless funds and time into high-volume and low-value keywords.

 

At the end of the day, it’s all about balance.

Keyword Research

When looking at keywords that are relevant to the products that we promote, we need to think about 3 main characteristics.

 

 

  • Volume – typically the higher the search volume the better. Once you find a query that is interesting for you, the higher this volume is the better as you have more people fulfilling your interest.
  • Intent – this is way more than just the typical evaluation of information, navigational, commercial and so on. You need to really understand what the user should be looking for when searching for a specific keyword, to better understand how to organize your pages.
  • Competition – this is an important part of evaluating a keyword to help you understand how Google is processing the query and which kind of SERP it is presenting.

 

 

The combination of these is what is going to help you make decisions on new content and content improvements.

 

A very important concept to understand is the value of the keyword, not what advertisers are paying for it, but the actual value of one user generated from a specific keyword. 

 

Getting 10,000,000 users per month from a keyword with virtually no commercial intent is not necessarily bad, for example. 

 

If we’re able to get the traffic with very little effort, it may be worth it. This is because long-tail traffic with no commercial intent which is somewhat interested in the macro-niche of the products that we promote, may result in FTDs as well, by focusing on display ads for example.

 

This is why huge live score websites are very successful at generating traffic and FTDs for gambling operators, they have millions of users every month, and even if a very small percentage converts, it’s still worth it.

 

So the effort and investment is a very important factor that needs to be considered.

 

Check SEO Team – Master Sheet (Updated Q2) > Content to have a better understanding of the value of each type of content.

 

This is a good reference from SEMrush for the types of “broad” intents of each keyword:

 

  Informational Navigational Commercial Transactional
Words included in search  how, what, tutorial, why brand names best, review, comparison  price, buy, near me
Features on SERP News
Recipes
Knowledge-panel
featured snippet
Fresh articles on the SERP
Site-links
Knowledge-panel-business
# of times domain in position 1 is present in top 10 positions
Local pack
Google Ads
Jobs
Review stars
Popular products
Shopping results

 

Types of Content

When doing SEO for iGaming, there are two main groups of content:

 

 

  • Reviews/Comparisons – these are all of the very commercially driven content pieces, like a page about a specific operator (Betano, Bet365, Betfair, and so on) or a page comparing a list of operators (Best Betting Sites, Best Casinos with PayPal, Best NetEnt Casinos, Sports Betting in NY, Football Betting, and so on). This is the most competitive content to rank but also the most profitable per user. 
  • CTRs vary between 25-50%.
  • Click-to-FTD varies between 2.5-10%.
  • Everything else – any kind of article or page talking about teams, players, competitions, news, tips and so on. A lot more volume and the long-tail traffic is very large, but the value per user is super low, because only a very small percentage click-through the offers on this type of content, so you need huge volumes to compensate.
  • CTRs vary between 0.5-2%.
  • Click-to-FTD varies between 0.25-1%

 

 

Because of this huge difference in value, some affiliates decide to focus almost exclusively on content from the first group.

 

There is value in both, it’s just a matter of finding angles to compete in both types of SERPs.

 

One important thing to consider is that the SERP CTRs for brand-related content are very low. You can never be #1 for a brand which is not yours, and you also have a much lower CTR due to the intent of that search. For non-brand comparison keywords, being #1 is always the target and in most cases you are competing with other iGaming affiliates.

Content Plan

The content plan is the foundation of each site. We always start a project by outlining the sitemap, typically following a framework that works for the largest companies in the world. 

 

Internally, we have opted to differentiate iGaming products into:

 

 

  • Sports – including any sports betting related product, including but not limited to sportsbook, exchange, and daily fantasy sports (in markets where it’s relevant).
  • Casino – including the typical casino games, like slots, blackjack, roulette, keno, but also we end up covering content related to poker and national/state lotteries. 

 

 

There is a lot of long-tail and informational content that can be done for sports betting, because of its relationship with real-life events. Promoting casinos is a lot more challenging, so we end up attaching close-enough sub-niches and products to make the casino-focused products more robust.

 

Our websites are usually either about either sports or casino, not the two together, however there is nothing particularly wrong about combining both products, it just depends on what we want to cover on our websites.

 

A complete iGaming website would typically follow the following structure:

 

  • Home
    • About
    • Contact
    • Responsible Gambling
    • Terms and Conditions
    • 404
    • Privacy Policy
  • Sportsbooks
    • Bet365
      • Bet365 Bonus
      • Bet365 App
    • Betfair
    • Betano
    • Betway
  • Betting Apps
    • Android
    • iOS
  • Betting Bonuses
    • Deposit 
    • No Deposit 
    • Free Bet 
    • Cashback
  • Betting Payments
    • PayPal Sportsbooks
    • Pix Sportsbooks
    • MBWay Sportsbooks
  • Sports Betting
    • Sports
      • Football
      • American Football
      • Tennis
    • Location
      • Brazil
      • Portugal
      • New Jersey
      • New York
  • Betting Tips
    • Football
      • Premier League
        • Manchester United vs. Manchester City
  • Betting Odds
    • Football
      • Premier League
        • Manchester United vs. Manchester City
  • Betting Calculators
    • Odds Converter
    • Accumulator
  • Betting Tools
    • Sure Bets
    • Value Bets
    • Dropping Odds
  • Betting Guides
    • How to Make Money Matched Betting
    • Football Betting Strategy for Beginners
  • Betting Glossary
    • What is a Parlay?
    • What is Asian Handicap?
  • Betting News
    • Manchester City Signs New Sponsorship Agreement with Betfair
  • Daily Fantasy Sports
    • Draft Kings
    • Fanduel
  • Casinos
    • 888 Casino
      • 888 Casino Bonus
      • 888 Casino App
    • Pokerstars
  • Casino Bonuses
    • No Deposit
    • Free Spins
    • Cashback
  • Casino Apps
  • Casino Payments
    • PayPal Casinos
    • Neteller Casinos
  • Casino Games
    • Poker
    • Blackjack
    • Roulette
    • Slots
  • Free Casino Games
    • Narcos Slot
    • Starburst Slot
  • Software Providers
    • NetEnt Casinos
    • Evolution Gaming Casinos
  • Casino News
    • MGM Launches BetMGM with Entain in the US
  • Lottery Results
    • Megamillions
    • Mega Sena
    • Euromillions

 

This is not necessarily the hierarchy that we would follow, as sometimes it makes sense to have different parent/children relationships, provide more or less depth in the sitemaps, include more pages that target similar topics but with different keywords, and so on. But it provides an overview of the main topics to cover.

 

Ultimately, we end up making decisions based on competition and what we want to achieve with the site. There isn’t necessarily just one strategy that works, each has their pros and cons.

 

Important: Choosing the right content and keywords is very important. When choosing to do a specific evergreen page we need to consider whether it will bring a significant number of users, a significant number of FTDs or if it’s just a nice to have page.

Cannibalization

When planning new content it is very important to take cannibalization into account. That’s why it’s important to have a very solid content plan and understanding of the impact of new content that covers topics that we already have on the website.

 

If we already have 2-3 main pages about a specific operator, if we start doing 5, 10, 15 pages about that operator that are evergreen, it can start cannibalizing our most important page.

 

Same goes with the commercial comparison pages.

 

When deciding the new content it is important to check the Brand Guidelines available here: Odds Scanner – SEO Guidelines as well as the rankings for the most important pages.

 

Important: Part of the SEO maintenance work should be to identify cannibalization and make decisions on whether to redirect, add canonical tags or keep the “less important” pages.

Content Templates and Structure

Having a solid content plan and the types of content that need to be done for a site, another very important decision to make is on how to structure content templates.

 

Content templates allow us to provide a very detailed briefing to SEO writers and editors. 

 

These should be developed considering 3 important factors:

 

 

  • Competition – the good thing about SEO is that Google tells us what it is looking for when ranking pages, by just looking at the SERPs, however it is important to know which competitors to pick. Just because a page is #1 it doesn’t mean that it has the most optimized content.

 

Sometimes competitors have sub-optimized content, but they compensate with aggressive link building. 

 

https://escoladaposta.com/betfair-review for example has ranked several times pretty well for a huge term like “betfair” and related keywords, but their content is not on par with other competitors, however they have over 40 RDs to that specific page with very aggressive anchors. They would rank nowhere without it.

 

Sometimes a website has so much more authority than competitors that they get away with below-average content. 

 

It is important to identify outliers in the SERPs when evaluating content, websites that “have no business” being in the position that they are in, due to lack of authority (take into account hidden links/PBNs), those are typically the ones that have the most optimized content.

 

 

  • Experience – understanding how we want to position our content, what we want to achieve, what we believe is more important for the user, how we can complete that page as much as possible. Look for other industries that face other competitive environments, how they structure their pages, elements that are included, and so on.

 

 

 

  • User Intent – think about the user intent, how do we answer their query as fast as possible while also keeping them engaged and reading our content? Users don’t want to waste time on a boring page, so think about:

 

 

  • Paragraph and sentence length
  • Bolds and italics for important concepts and phrases
  • Bullet points
  • Numbered lists
  • Headings and subheadings
  • Tables
  • Quotes

 

All of these content structures should be specific to a keyword or content type, and evaluating which are more important to go after featured snippets on the SERPs. Do the research!

 

Templates need to be as specific as possible. Sometimes a template will work for several different pages/articles, if they are close enough, but for the most important pages it is recommended to create one template for each page.

 

Traditional templates that we have developed typically would have a “Casino Review” template, and then the writers would adapt them. But if we want to take things to the next level, we need to be more specific.

Traditional templates were also too much focused on word count. We now need to focus on completing the topic at the end as much as possible, while keeping a good balanced sitemap and content plan. If we need 3000 words for a Betfair review, but only 2000 words for 1xBet, that is okay.

 

Specificities in the template also depend on their importance. For content that is very commercial and has a high conversion value per user we should consider an individual template.

 

Content templates should be developed for new content whenever we launch a new site or when a completely unique piece of content is planned for a project.

 

Important: Take cannibalization into account when developing templates. Make sure negative keywords are added to the briefs when needed and that your titles and subtitles aren’t competing with other pages or sub-pages.

Content Upgrade

This is part of the SEO maintenance process that we need to run for all of our content. 

 

Important: Content upgrades are not just about updating information to make it factually correct, i.e. an operator now accepts a new payment method.

 

Content upgrades should be planned and constantly revised:

 

 

  • Prioritize based on rankings. Take into account the historical rankings and cannibalization issues.
  • Look for quick wins. Do we have pages jumping rankings from #4-#10 regularly? What can we do to improve that page, there may be an opportunity to improve it and get better rankings right away.
  • Money making first. Look for pages that will get us a boost in FTDs when rankings are improved. As much as going from #5 to #2 for a keyword like “asian handicap” is good, it produces no actual revenue for the site. 
  • Don’t neglect informational content. As much as we have a “money-first” approach for SEO, we cannot neglect other pages that can drive significant traffic boosts that are relevant to our niche, especially with the internal linking from those pages that can also be of benefit.
  • Propose content mergers. Sometimes it is better to merge two pages than to try to rank them separately, overtime Google will tell us what it thinks over our content, and we need to adapt. Do not do this without senior approval.
  • Do you need support? Sometimes the SEO team is not able to work on specific graphics, tools or technology for a page. Consider making suggestions on things that would improve the quality of the page considerably, where other teams can help.

 

 

Important: We need to plan, propose, execute and report when doing content upgrades. The process needs to be documented, so we can measure the success of these changes. We should not be updating and upgrading content for the sake of it. Track which and when changes are made, so results can be tracked as well.

SILOs, Internal Linking and External Linking

We have opted for a pretty horizontal structure, at least for the most important commercial content, as it allows them to be “closer to the root”.  

 

This is also because there isn’t enough interest in the depth of information. More complex and deep SILOs are very useful, but only if it justifies having depth in the information. 

 

For the majority of our “SEO Content”, the focus will be on making the Top 20-30 pages very close to the root, and being careful in building depth on those key pages because of cannibalization. 

 

Having this in mind, we want to internal link as much as possible, where relevant across the website, taking into account the following:

 

 

  • Do not internal link with anchor texts that could impact cannibalization.
  • Focus on exact match and partial match anchors only, we need to be aggressive in the internal linking.
  • Avoid using the same internal anchor text more than once, unless it’s for the main name of the website you are on.
  • Understand where the 3rd party links are coming from and how to better use that “link juice” to funnel it to the most important pages of the site.
  • Link from extremely relevant parts of the content – if you are talking about the asian markets of Bet365 that’s where it makes sense to link to the asian handicap guide, for example.
  • Do not create a short random section at the bottom/middle of a page just to add internal links. It’s better to upgrade that content slightly to have a better distribution throughout the content to relevant pages, especially thinking about 5.

 

 

External links are important, but it is important to understand that we do not want to link to sites that will potentially compete with us:

 

 

  • Link to major publications only if they are news focused websites.
  • Link to official institutions/regulatory bodies.
  • “Link up” only. Only link to sites with a lot more authority than ours.
  • Do not link to sites in the same niche.
  • Link only when it is super relevant to do so, especially when stating facts and/or statistics not calculated by our website.

 

Links

Links are an inevitable part of SEO and can also become a very expensive resource. In the iGaming industry, like any other competitive SEO industry link building comes in all forms, and the ability to bring uniquenesses and high-authority is key to make our link building efforts as efficient as possible.

 

Ultimately, building links is our way to increase the website’s authority and relevance for our keywords. Different companies approach it differently, depending mostly on the risk profile that they want to take.

 

More risky strategies are typically more efficient at getting the results we want, but they have questionable long-term success.

 

Our link building strategy will depend mainly on the risk factor that we want to attribute to each project. 

 

From the beginning, we have opted for the same strategy and risk approach to pretty much all of our sites. This is not working as intended, because we have a pretty low risk strategy, which we expect to be very good for the long-term, but it’s inefficient at getting us quicker results.

 

Until now, we have only used two different risk strategies:

 

 

  • Low risk – low link velocity, low number of links, long anchor texts, pretty much no exact match anchors and huge variety in anchors. Used for the majority of our projects.
  • No risk – no link building at all. Used for Partnerships where link building is not an option.

 

 

We will have to change this if we want to be successful in a competitive market. We will create a different risk profile for each website, and run projects where we can be more aggressive and compete head-to-head with our competitors. 

 

In general terms, our link acquisition strategy is based on two main criteria:

 

 

  • Competitors – through competitor analysis, we need to make sure we’re able to get as many of our competitors’ links as possible. To make sure we are getting similar authority than they do.
  • Unique – get new unique links that our competitors don’t have. This can be done usually in 3 ways: negotiate exclusivity with publishers/websites, build a PBN, and very original content that attracts natural links.

 

 

In very aggressive industries like iGaming, getting natural links is pretty much impossible, especially if the websites are very commercial, so link buying is inevitable. 

 

We need to try to make the link buying process as “natural” as possible with the way we link, but we need to understand that it will always be pretty evident to a trained professional that we’re buying links.

 

This is a risk that all iGaming affiliates face. It was reported that XL Media in 2019/2020 lost more than $2M in monthly revenue after it was hit with a manual penalty from Google, and tens of millions of dollars in market cap.

 

It’s fairly difficult to recover from a manual penalty, especially when it’s targeted at link building, because when you disavow all your “manipulated” link profile, you’re left with virtually no authority, so you can’t rank.

 

Moving forward, with the launch of a new type of website – Niche – we’ll use a very aggressive approach for this kind of asset, which allows us to grow faster, while understanding that the lifespan of these websites won’t be the same as our Brands and Partnerships

Types of Links

Information on different types of links that we have been building can be found on this sheet: Link Building – Strategy Update SEO 2022.

 

99% of our current link building strategy has been around Fixed Link Placements and Sponsored Articles. While this is necessary to check the first criteria identified above (building links that our competitors have), this is not enough and lacks scalability in certain markets where there aren’t many high-quality opportunities.

 

Moving forward, we need to continue exploring other types of link building campaigns, which we are already using successfully to build links, but also work on processes for new strategies.

Fixed Link Placement

This is a very efficient way to build links, where we buy a banner or sitewide text link on a specific website. This typically comes from a high-authority page that is somewhat relevant to our content, but the downside is that we typically need to pay a fixed fee every month/year for the duration of the agreement.

 

Where applicable and economically viable, we can continue using the link strategy, but it’s pretty easy to identify in a manual review.

 

Selection of where to link from typically is based on niche and authority, while taking into account where our competitors have built links from.

Sponsored Articles

This is the type of link which we have built the most, as we continue to scale and want to acquire more links, we’ll run out of unique opportunities that match our quality guidelines. The alternative is to either stop buying from the same sources or repeat with new articles.

 

For now, we’ll prioritize new unique opportunities to buy links, and not waste time and money on getting links from the same websites again.

 

Our preference should always be to create our articles instead of letting the publishers do them.

 

One improvement that we need to consider is working on getting the articles and sections even more relevant to the links that we’re building, even without changing the “aggressiveness” of the anchor texts.

 

Important: Buying from the same publishers/websites with the same target website is possible but subject to approval, or unless we get them naturally.

Niche Edits

Niche edits make use of the same contacts and outreach that we do for Sponsored Articles, but without having to order new content. 

 

A lot of the publishers that we work with may approve niche edits on existing posts, which is good because we can select articles that are already relevant to our targets, filter by traffic and existing RDs to those URLs, and not have to worry about ordering new content.

 

Doing this with the right publishers can be quite efficient, and sometimes cheaper than the Sponsored Articles.

Digital PR

One of the most difficult ways to generate links, but it’s the one that gets us the most credibility and trust. 

 

By creating the right content and link bait campaigns, with a well-thought out promotion strategy we can acquire very high authority links organically, which are not possible to buy or are simply too expensive. 

 

Part of the content strategy of each website will include creating link bait content for the SEO team to promote and generate links for our projects.

Link Reclamation

Sometimes websites mention our brand or cite our websites without linking to the source. It’s important to monitor these mentions and run regular campaigns to convert them to links.

 

Another type of link acquisition strategy which we have used over the last couple of years, this is effective for post Digital PR efforts but also as our brands grow, we need to build processes to regularly run link reclamation campaigns. 

Broken Links

As we build more websites and launch in more markets, there may be opportunities to run Broken Link campaigns. 

 

This is a strategy used by highly professional teams that are not only using broken links research to find new content opportunities to then request links, but also to look for competitor’s that have links to broken pages, and reach out to the websites linking to them.

 

Typically this strategy is more useful for informational content, and where the original links were gained naturally, but it can be an effective way to build links “for free”.

Wikipedia Links

A lot of our competitors have been successfully placing Wikipedia links on existing pages that are related to gambling.

 

Wikipedia works in an open-source collaborative way, but it’s very difficult to place links on pages and make edits if they are done from a new profile.

 

Several agencies have farmed or bought trustworthy Wikipedia profiles which they then use to sell Wikipedia links from.

 

Even though they are all “nofollow” links Wikipedia is generally regarded as one of the most authoritative and impartial sites in the world, and having several links to our websites from Wikipedia provided a level of trust that some competitors don’t have.

 

We’ll use Wikipedia in two separate ways:

 

 

  • New Pages – as our brands grow, like Odds Scanner and Sambafoot (already has a Wikipedia page for the award), we may be able to secure a brand page on Wikipedia for those sites. 
  • Niche Edits – editing existing Wikipedia pages with more content where our sites can be a trusted source, or by simply linking from existing content on pages that we’re interested in.

 

Website Merger

This is a very expensive strategy, which is working very well in the industry. Typically, this means buying an informational website, or a website that complements in some way one of our Brands or Niche websites, and simply merge it completely, redirecting all of that link equity, content and authority to our domain.

 

Some examples of this strategy include:

 

 

Looking at the before and after of the individual sites, you’ll see a very significant rankings increase across the board, not only do the pages of the original site get better rankings, but also the pages of the merged site. Overall, the combination is positive for “both sites”.

 

There are, of course, unsuccessful mergers, it’s about finding the right opportunity and angle for the acquisition and merger of these sites.

301 Redirects

Website Mergers are by default redirects, but they involve migrating an entire site to another one. 

 

What some affiliates have done quite successfully is buying expired domains that have a lot of links and historical authority, and do straight redirects to a landing page on their site.

 

We have done this with bicho365.com and mistercasino.net, for example, but there are countless of very successful examples in iGaming and other competitive industries.

PBNs

Private Blog Networks have a pretty bad reputation in SEO, but they are really just a network of sites that are controlled by the same entity, with the goal of building and controlling links. 

 

We have some PBNs active and are planning to add more very soon, by focusing exclusively on very high authority domains, building relevant sites on them, growing to a moderate level of long-tail traffic, and linking to our sites.

 

That way, we can control the links very well, we own them lifetime, and we’re able to create a lot of relevancy for our sites.

Testimonials

This is a great opportunity to get some free and organic links to our websites. This is especially good for our brands.

 

You’ll find a lot of competitors getting links from affiliate programs, software providers, payment providers and so on. 

 

Sometimes, it’s a matter of being creative. Finding cheap tools with high-authority sites that we can buy for €100/year, and negotiate right away a testimonial on their home page.

 

Sometimes, it’s finding tools or companies that we already talk about, but don’t get paid, and find a way to leave a testimonial on their page.

Link Quality

The quality of the links that we build is very important. When evaluation quality, we’re typically considering three main characteristics:

 

 

  • Authority – how much authority, link equity, does the site that we’re getting a link from actually have. This would be a straight measure of their PageRank/Domain Authority/Domain Ranking, whatever metric you want to use.
  • Trust – how much trust does the site have, this could be seen as a variation of Authority , but we’re looking for the quality of the links of the site we’re getting links from, essentially going two levels up. 
  • Relevance – how relevant to the niche is the site that we’re getting links from. This is very difficult to get in the iGaming industry, we’re constantly looking for creative ways to link from different niches.

 

 

Because of the industry that we’re in, we have to give way more weight to Authority/Trust than relevancy. It’s unlikely that we’ll get a gambling site to link to us, unless:

 

 

  • We own that other gambling site. Huge companies that have several successful projects interlink to each other.
  • We partner with a site. For example, if the affiliate program website links to our website, or if a software provider in the industry works with us.

 

 

Quality typically has a direct relationship with price, whether it would be paying more for a sponsored post, or having to invest a lot more into content producing for a Digital PR campaign to be successful at acquiring high-quality links. 

 

It’s important to respect the quality guidelines for each project outlined in the Odds Scanner – SEO Guidelines

Link Velocity

There’s a constant discussion on how fast you should be acquiring links. There isn’t a one-size-fits all approach here. 

 

The speed should ideally be directly related to there being a “reason” for those links being generated, this would be the “ideal and safe” scenario. 

 

In theory, natural link acquisition is an exponential graph, with very low growth in the beginning, but then accelerates almost to infinity after a while. This is because in the early stages of a site, no one knows the site, no one links to it, as the site starts getting traction, it starts being a reference and a source of information to other sites, and more and more links start coming in. 

 

That’s a reason for sites at the top to continue remaining at the top if they do a good enough job and stay relevant, they’ll keep getting more and more authority. 

 

This effect largely depends on markets, competition, SERPs and so on, so it needs to be evaluated case by case.

 

iGaming affiliates have an advantage in the sense that most of the large publishers try to stay away from gambling. This is an interesting phenomenon, since most affiliate SERPs are full of huge publishers doing “best” “top 10” “review” type content. 

 

So we’re typically competing with other affiliates that have similar resources than we do, or at least can’t leverage a network of 10 global publishers to create competing content. This is also why iGaming companies started collaborating with large publishers, to leverage their authority to rank faster.

 

When it comes to deciding how fast to build links we need to consider:

 

 

  • Do we have a clear justification? Are we getting natural press coverage to a story, are we doing anything out of the ordinary that is sparking attention from multiple places? A lot of links could be justified then.
  • Do we just want to increase authority gradually? What’s the fastest way to get to a place where we can compete with our competitors, without links looking too unnatural?

 

 

One of the issues with link velocity is the lack of the ability to keep up with the pace of link acquisition, that’s also why sometimes we slow things down.

 

If we get a huge influx during one year, and then we are out of options to continue link building at a similar rate, the slower pace is not a positive sign of authority, as we may lose relevance in the SERPs.

 

Pros and cons need to be considered when deciding how fast we want to build, we should always avoid not building more links, but we should also not build just for the sake of building.

Link Monitoring

This is a crucial step in running a professional SEO department. We need to keep record of all the links that we build manually, but also the links that we get organically.

 

Sometimes links expire, so we need to renew them. Sometimes publishers make changes to their sites, and our links are dropped.

 

We need to build systems to track how many and which links we’re buying and proceed with clear processes to keep those links active.

Link Building Reporting

Building a clear reporting is also part of the SEO strategy, links that we have gained, links that we have lost, total links that were built, statistics on DR, traffic and so on, dates they went live.

 

All of this is important for us to keep track of the results that originated from the link building activities.

Technical

Technical SEO is much more than having just a fast website. There are very important components that need to be considered and that are important for an effective SEO strategy. 

Sitemaps, Architecture and Crawlability

The decision on the sitemap of the site and architecture is something done in coordination with the Content department. Different companies opted for different strategies, and this varies substantially from project to project. 

 

As mentioned in this document, when it comes to architecture we have opted for a very flat hierarchy in some cases, especially for the more commercial content.

 

This is also the option taken by the smaller affiliate websites that are built for “FTD generation” and not necessarily a larger brand with several sections of the website.

 

Depending on the project, we’ll have to opt for flatter or taller structures, also taking into account what the importance of certain sections is, and how we want to deal with crawlability and indexation. 

 

For sites like Sambafoot or Odds Scanner, where we generate 100s of new pages every day for each individual game, we need typically slightly more robust structures in those cases.

 

It is crucial for the technical team to evaluate the performance of all types of pages and following the guidelines suggest improvements that can be done at all levels of the architecture:

 

  • Parent-children relationships
  • Internal linking
  • URL structure and slugs
  • New vs. existing pages

Speed Optimization

Speed is hugely important from a UX perspective. Users have less and less patience for sites that don’t function correctly or don’t respond fast enough to their requests.

Improving speed is crucial and it’s a constant challenge between the SEO and Development/Tech team. 

 

Sometimes the tech stack has not been used correctly or not picked correctly, which limits the ability for sites to run faster.

 

Other times there are physical limitations on what we can do, based on how complex a site is. Sites with a lot of user interaction, like Odds Scanner and Sambafoot will have more and more, depend a lot on JS, which is typically not ideal for the search engine.

 

What we try to always do is have a static component with written content, which “never” changes, and use dynamic elements that aren’t as relevant from a bot standpoint to interact with the user. 

 

When the actual written content is the most important thing, and there aren’t as many interactions, we can opt for a cleaner tech stack and development setup to make sites load faster.

 

More than making huge structural changes (even though suggestions are always welcome!), it’s important to track discrepancies on a project-by-project basis. Pages that effectively are built the same, inside a specific website, but are responding or loading at different speeds. These are hugely resulting from bugs in that page that can be fixed and improved.

Broken Links and Redirect Chains

Building processes and having a system to track broken links is a crucial part of technical SEO. As sites grow, pages are redirected, we need to avoid having too many broken links.

 

Additionally, it’s important to keep track of pages that aren’t generated or published correctly, which are returning several errors.

 

Understanding how each website is built and how users interact with them is important to quickly diagnose issues and suggest improvements and fixes.

Orphan URLs

Depending on the website, having orphan pages may not be a problem. For smaller sites, even the less important pages should not be orphaned, as a rule of thumb. 

 

Checking the guidelines of each project is essential, and having a clear understanding of the objectives of the main and supporting pages is crucial to making efficient decisions on whether to adjust orphan URLs.

 

Code Structure and Minimization

Similarly to Speed Optimization, the decision on how to structure the HTML, CSS and JS on a page will have an impact on the performance and crawlability of pages.

 

Understanding how different pages that serve different purposes are built is essential to make suggestions that the Development team may consider implementing.

 

Websites that are very simple, with minimal user interaction will typically already be better structured, but there is always room for improvement, by reducing the number of parent-children relationships, using less JS, and so on.

 

For more complex solutions, which require deeper HTML structures, suggestions on improvements should be made with that in mind. 

 

Constant coordination with the Development team is essential here, and in a lot of situations making large structural changes may negatively affect the overall project, so making sure that the workflows and approvals are being followed is very important.

Meta Data

From a prioritization standpoint, we need to pay very close attention to the optimization of our Meta information that is visible to the user.

 

Our ability to compete in the SERPs depends heavily on our ability to make users click our page and not our competitors’.

 

The actual text and information should be dealt with by the Content department of the SEO team, but it is important that we have the right information without errors which need to be regularly checked and controlled by the technical SEO team.

Schema

Correct use of schema needs to be documented and improvements need to constantly be made to increase our exposure in the SERPs.

 

Using the correct schema for the right keywords can help us:

 

  • Secure positions in the explore and news section of Google
  • Secure positions in the featured snippet
  • Secure larger SERP entry with reviews, FAQs, pricing and so on.

 

Recommendations need to be done to help us improve our impressions and CTR on the SERPs.

Redirects and Canonicals

Sometimes as sites grow, the structural and architectural decisions prevent us from being flexible, and as a result we can run into several issues, with cannibalization, duplicate content, too many pages, lack of relevance and so on.

 

The ability to choose to redirect to certain pages or opt for canonicals is an effective way to control for such challenges as sites grow.

 

Websites will have their own guidelines on this, but in principle, the technical team should make suggestions on Redirects and Canonicals use if it will help our ability to get pages to be crawled more often, if we have new pages that we think are more relevant to the user, and so on.

Image Optimization

Building the necessary processes with the Design, Publishing and Development team is important to make sure that we’re using the most up to date technologies when it comes to image optimization.

 

Things to consider when making suggestions:

 

 

  • Image format – can we use a format that reduces the number of assets that need to be loaded? While also reducing the size of those images without reducing quality? SVGs, WEBP, and so on. 
  • Image minimization – are images being reduced and cleaned up to avoid unnecessary information to be added to the image file? Making sure we have the smallest possible size without compromising the quality.
  • Image naming and tags – making sure that images are uploaded with meaningful names and appropriate titles and alt-tags are added.
  • Image rendering – making use of lazy load technology where possible, to avoid the site to load images that are not visible to the user, especially for functional assets that have no impact on SEO.

 

 

With large websites with hundreds of thousands of pages, like Sambafoot and Odds Scanner, it is important to consider that there are a lot of images with errors, particularly 404s.

 

These need to be tracked, fixed, and find patterns where larger problems can be adjusted for the long-term.

Multi-Language and Multi-Location

Part of the challenge with global websites is how to approach multiple languages and multiple geographies.

 

Some companies approach this in completely different ways, sometimes on a website by website basis, others at the company level.

Traditionally, we were interested in running one domain per market. This is a fairly easy solution, as we just need to map every page per domain, it’s a lot of work, but doable. 

 

So previously for Mister Casino we had:

 

  • Mister Casino Portugal – mistercasino.pt
  • Mister Casino Brasil – mistercassino.com.br
  • Mister Casino España – mistercasino.es

 

There is nothing wrong with this strategy, it spreads the risk a bit per domain, especially for very aggressive projects, but you lose the combined leverage of having all markets under one single domain.

 

We have opted for having large brands under one domain, where sub-folders are used for language or market (this is project dependent). And smaller projects or niche sites, we can run independent domains.

 

This will also provide guidance on how aggressive we can be for each type of project. 

 

The ideal scenario, from an SEO standpoint would be to run a sub-folder for every match of language and location. But this is not very practical in some situations, especially with content that is done at scale. 

 

If you take the African continent for example, where you have several countries where English is the primary language. 

 

We should probably consider doing a sub-folder for each commercial page:

 

  • /ke/sports-betting
  • /ke/1xbet
  • /ng/sports-betting
  • /ng/1xbet

 

But redoing all of the news for example, which are related to football in general, would make no sense. 

Audit Reporting

Establishing regular audits and reports is important in making sure that we’re maintaining our projects appropriately. 

 

There are too many individuals and teams interacting with each project, causing sometimes SEO issues in the process.

Having these regular checks, ensures that the quality of the work done by the SEO team is being evaluated, but also the work that all of the team across the company are doing.

Others

E-A-T

There is a lot of discussions on what Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness actually means, as affiliates and companies in this industry we try to simplify it and add elements to our website that provide background and information on a real-human writing the content:

 

  • Author profiles
  • Author biographies
  • Links to author social media or blogs
  • References from T1 media outlets
  • Editorial guidelines
  • Fact-checking guidelines
  • And so on…

 

Our E-A-T practices need to be reviewed and reinforced. An evaluation of the elements and processes that are being followed need to be reviewed and adjusted.

Ranking Monitoring

Monitoring rankings for top pages is very important, especially when we’re actively working on websites on a daily-basis.

 

Currently most rankings are being tracked on AccuRanker, but the process needs to be revised, especially as we grow.

 

 

  • Page importance – track most important and relevant pages from a commercial, traffic and brand standpoint. Avoid small keywords unless they are important.
  • Documenting changes – making sure changes are tracked and documented, so we can keep track of when those are made and which impact it had.
  • All projects – through the definition of the top pages, it’s important that all websites and projects are being regularly tracked.

 

Projects

Having a clear understanding of our competitive environment and the overall strategic elements that are important for our SEO strategy is how we then come up with how this global strategy is reflected on the actual projects and websites that we run.

 

Individual guidelines are provided on each individual website, but it’s important to understand the strategic decision between each type of project that we have.

The current status of each project/website can be found here: Odds Scanner – SEO Websites Status.

Brands

Brands are the backbone of the long-term strategy of the company. These are websites and projects that we build, acquire and/or grow with the objective of lasting over several years, with several product developments, intensive marketing efforts and so on.

 

Building brands is very challenging, as it’s usually not just about being a competent SEO company. It’s more than just serving content to users, especially in industries where content is pretty much a commodity, and there are diminishing returns to creating truly unique content every single time.

 

Building tools, interfaces and experiences that matter to our target audience, with an attempt to use that user base to monetize with iGaming offers.

 

As much as building brands is challenging, if done successfully with SEO in mind, they produce huge returns over the long-term. 

 

Websites like gambling.com or oddsscheker.com benefit from building a gambling brand over several years, which allow them to pretty much “rank and will”

 

This is how building a brand, and being recognized as the authority in a niche helps the long-term success of a project.

 

What we need to do is make sure that as we’re building products, as we’re creating more and more personalized experiences to users on our Brands, that we don’t neglect SEO, and more importantly encourage as products are being developed.

 

As a result, Brands will have less aggressive SEO strategies, focusing on the long-term sustainability of the projects, while understanding that we are in a very competitive industry and we can’t simply follow what Google says, we would go nowhere.

Partnerships

Partnerships are medium to long-term projects which provide us with a significant ranking advantage if done correctly. 

 

These became popular with e-commerce affiliate companies, running coupon websites on large media publishers:

 

 

There are affiliate companies that focus exclusively on this, by establishing an infrastructure of the coupon product and scaling that to multiple publishers, typically in a revenue share agreement.

 

Large iGaming companies also started working with companies like ny.com, nypost.com, telegraph.co.uk, and so on, bringing their betting and gambling content to these brands and as a result monetizing much quicker.

 

Some examples include:

 

 

We have also taken this approach and it’s a strategy that works quite well. Expensive to get started, but if executed correctly can yield very good results. 

 

We’ll use partnerships to enter new markets, solidify our position in existing markets, and in doing so we can generate quicker results and at the same time help build our brands.

 

The goal with partnerships is to essentially take all of iGaming commercial and information content to a partner’s website, sign a long-term commitment and produce unique SEO-focused content for these partnerships.

 

This is Parasite SEO to the next level, with a formal agreement and a long-term commitment to generate results, preference to renew contracts and so on.  

Parasite (New 🔥)

Parasite SEO has been around for ages, SEOs have tried to exploit the authority of domains as a way to rank faster. 

 

The principles are similar to a Partnership, but it has no long-term impact. These are quick wins that last up to 6 months. What’s interesting about this is doing several of these on a regular basis for all of the markets that we operate in.

 

This is a big opportunity that is currently being explored by several affiliates, generating significant results. 

 

We need to establish a system for prospecting for opportunities, creating highly optimized commercial content, and publishing them on DR90+ websites.

 

We have done a successful pilot with TecMundo, where our content ranked very well for about 3 weeks, always between #1-#2 for the most important keywords.

 

If you search for the main comparison keywords in all competitive markets, you’ll see countless examples of this. “Betting sites”, “best sportsbooks”, “online casinos”, and so on…

Niche (New 🔥)

Niche sites are all projects and websites that are very targeted to a sub-niche of the iGaming industry, where we’ll have less worries about the long-term sustainability of the project and we can be more aggressive with our SEO strategies.

 

This type of project we’ll run them, in most cases, like a purely SEO project. The SEO team will lead the entire project from start to finish, with very basic products and focus on highly optimized content and aggressive link building.

 

These projects will most likely last 2-3 years maximum, some won’t be successful at all.

 

Our goal with the majority of these Niche projects is to follow the SEO strategy of a very successful SEO-only company, Leadstar Media.

 

  • 150-500 page sites, 99% commercially driven.
  • EMD and PMD domains.
  • Exact match anchors from high-authority sites and pages.
  • Very simple sites that load super fast.
  • Very good copy and UX for the intent the websites serve.

Markets

Brazil

This is our core market. We expect Brazil to always be responsible for at least 50% of the company’s revenue and SEO efforts. At the moment, it is much higher, but the goal should be to continue to grow in Brazil, while also going after other markets.

 

Currently, because of the recent regulatory changes in North America, and Brazil waiting for regulation, the larger iGaming affiliates haven’t started investing heavily in the country. 

 

This means that the current competitive landscape is much less competitive than it will be 2 years from now. We need to be prepared for such changes over the next few years.

 

As such, we need to build a “win-all” strategy for Brazil. This means that we’ll have to use all types of projects, with more websites than in any other country.

 

We need to look at highly competitive markets like the US, where Better Collective, Gambling.com, and Catena Media have taken up most of the market share, and employ a similar strategy for Brazil.

 

This means primarily:

 

  1. Having solid brands that are built with SEO in mind (examples include: https://www.actionnetwork.com/, https://www.vegasinsider.com/, and https://bookies.com/
  2. Having partnership with large media publishers (examples include: https://www.nj.com/betting/, https://www.miamiherald.com/betting/, https://nypost.com/tag/sports-betting/)
  3. Having niche sites targeting specific sub-markets (examples include: https://www.empirestakes.com/, https://www.playny.com/) – this is used in the US for individual states, but we can take a more niched approach with a website about “betting apps” for example.

 

Between all of these, plus some Parasite SEO, we’ll have way more websites than there are positions in the first position of Google, but this will ensure that we have a chance at having 3-4 websites in the first page for every keyword that we’re interested in.

 

🇧🇷 Long-Term Goal (2 years): 10,000 FTDs/month with SEO (approximately 15x)

United States

This is the second market where we’ll be making a significant investment over the next few years. It is a market that is regulating state-by-state, with over 15 states already licensed or pending licensed market launches. 

 

Currently, one of the most, if not the most competitive SEO market in iGaming. All of the large public companies are investing heavily in SEO through organic growth and acquisitions. 

 

We are currently live in the US through a partnership, which means that a percentage of our revenue goes to our commercial partner, but we intend to be fully independent by the end of the year. 

 

For 2022, the plan is to go with brands and niche projects, but eventually work on partnerships for 2023:

 

  • Brands – Odds-Comparison.com (to be redirected to Odds Scanner US once we’re fully independent) and Mister Casino.
  • Niche sites – websites targeting specific states with EMDs or PMDs.

 

🇺🇸 Long-Term Goal (2 years): 2,500 FTDs/month with SEO

India

We see India as being 3-5 years behind Brazil in terms of mainstream interest in online gambling. It’s already a very well established market, with major operators accept Indian players, but one where regulation and local legalization is still none existent. 

 

It’s probably a more valuable market per player than Brazil, with the potential of being much bigger due to the size of the population.

 

We will start investing into this market considerably, as the third most invested market in 2022, with our Brands, Parasite, Partnerships and Niche

 

🇮🇳 Long-Term Goal (2 years): 1,500 FTDs/month with SEO

Portugal

Originally the main market for the company, but has rapidly been outgrown by other more interesting markets, with much higher potential.

 

Portugal is a fully-licensed and legal market, with stable growth, but because of its level of maturity and lack of new entrants in the market, it’s not an amazing market for affiliate companies. 

 

However, there is still good long-term value and we’ll continue with a moderate level of investment into Brands and Partnerships in this market.

 

🇵🇹 Long-Term Goal (2 years): 750 FTDs/month with SEO (approximately 15x)

France

A very similar market to Portugal, but with much higher player value due to being a richer country with higher income levels. 

 

It’s a mature market with a lot of betting interest, but with lack of innovation and newcomers in the marketplace. It’s also a very tax-intensive country, so operators are reluctant to invest a lot into it. 


Additionally, online casinos are also not legal, which are typically a very profitable cross-sell for operators. 

 

We have decided to invest moderately in France through a betting section on Sambafoot, on of our Brands, due to its authority in the country.

 

Moving forward, we’ll continue to invest in Sambafoot’s French publication as well as launch Odds Scanner in France.

 

🇫🇷 Long-Term Goal (2 years): 500 FTDs/month with SEO (approximately 15x)

Spain

Originally one of the most interesting markets for the company, but due to political pressure became very regulated.

 

It’s still an interesting market which we’ll be exploring more over the coming years, and especially interesting as our SEO and marketing efforts are easily leverageable for other high-growth Spanish-speaking markets.

 

For the foreseeable future, our entering in the market will be through our Brands only.

 

🇪🇸 Long-Term Goal (2 years): 500 FTDs/month with SEO

United Kingdom

A very mature and highly regulated market, but with a huge interest in betting. The UK has faced political and social pressure to continue regulating the industry with more advertising and marketing control.

 

We will leverage our Brands that have authority in English (several links and brand signals in English-speaking countries) to launch betting content and monetize those products.

 

Potentially, also explore Parasite in this market, with so many potential publications that we can work with in English.

 

🇬🇧 Long-Term Goal (2 years): 500 FTDs/month with SEO

Mexico

A market which we are still testing, but one that we expect to grow in the future. It’s a fully-regulated and legal market with both sports betting and casino, but with a clear dominant operator in Caliente. 

 

We are currently live with Brands and a Partnership, we’ll be looking to continue developing a content and link building strategy, as we also close more commercial partnerships.

 

🇲🇽 Long-Term Goal (2 years): 500 FTDs/month with SEO

Italy

A very mature European market with great interest in products similar to what our Odds Scanner website offers. 

 

We’ll have a very minimalistic approach to Italy, by launching a complete Odds Scanner product, and eventually grow with more projects. 

 

For now, we’ll focus on Brands only.

 

🇮🇹 Long-Term Goal (2 years): 500 FTDs/month with SEO

Others

Other markets that we’re looking into entering, to leverage our domain authority and marketing efforts include:

 

  • Canada
  • Germany
  • Nigeria
  • Kenya
  • Australia
  • Colombia
  • Peru
  • Chile

 

This allows us to leverage the multi-language team which needs to be proficient in English, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian and German and tackle several international markets. 

 

🌍 Long-Term Goal (2 years): 2,000 FTDs/month with SEO

Workflow and Methodology

Because we’re present in so many markets with so many projects and websites, we need to establish clear workflows and work methodologies to make sure the team is efficient.

 

This is something that we’ll need to develop as a team, understanding how to balance the projects that are just internal to the department and ones where we need to coordinate with other departments.

 

The SEO Team – Master Sheet and Odds Scanner – SEO Guidelines will be essential to knowing what, how and when to tackle certain projects, but the day-to-day activities will not be regulated by any of these documents (more information on the Next Steps section of this document).

Sitemap

The SEO team needs to see the sitemap as the foundation of our work. This is currently being kept on CPM, but it may need to evolve either on CPM or on Google Sheets.

One thing is creating the initial sitemap and content plan, but another is keeping track of changes, tracking URLs, meta information, content that has been published, edited, UX improvements and having a full visualization of the entire site in a single place.

 

It will be important to work with the Development team, making suggestions on systems that we could build to track all of this better.

 

Understanding that the sitemap is our starting point to all of the work that we do, both on-page and off-page, is very important, we need to keep good track and documentation of them.

Guidelines

The guidelines for each project are available on: Odds Scanner – SEO Guidelines. This is the document that will regulate what the SEO team needs to do for each individual project, the rules of that project, things that can be changed and things that can’t. 

 

All of this is related to the Strategy points outlined in this document.

Website/Project Owner

We are going to introduce a PO/Website Owner who’s going to be the main stakeholder for the project. 

 

This is someone that is going to be following the SEO strategy across all inputs and reporting on the progress of the project.

 

This will ensure the proper execution of the plan that will be developed for each individual website.

Coordination

Coordination and communication is essential, especially when dealing with a channel (SEO) where small mistakes can be very costly.

 

Understanding the hierarchical structure, decision making and approval process is important to avoid starting to execute on items that need to be evaluated.

 

New ideas, improvements and implementation are welcomed and encouraged, but it’s important to respect the generic framework which has been defined at the company level: Odds Scanner – Project Management Process.

Between Departments

Understanding which tasks and projects require coordination with other departments. This allows for better planning from the beginning, ensuring that a department is ready to onboard this project and sets aside the necessary resources.

 

If you are working on improvements, changes, a new website, and that will have an impact on other departments, this has to be formally proposed in order to be communicated from the beginning.

Between Teams

Inside the SEO department, we have currently established 3 main teams, which are further explained below. 

 

Similarly to the cross-department projects, communicating effectively with the other team members that are responsible for other areas of SEO, is very important, especially when they’ll have to be involved in part of the work that is being done for a project.

Reporting and Documentation

Building any scalable and efficient organization is about documenting and defining processes. SEO is no different and it demands constant reporting and documenting in order to compete at a professional level.

 

Important: Part of the next steps is to establish appropriate reporting for projects, items to include, how frequently they should be done, and so on.

Tools

ClickUp

We have been using Trello as the main tool to manage tasks and projects. With the recent change to ClickUp, where cross-department projects are already being run, we’ll be moving everything over to ClickUp. 

 

The goal is to document and register all tasks that are needed, formalize the request and delivery of tasks on the platform so we can all have a better understanding of the resources that are needed for internal and external projects.

Google Sheets

Fundamental for the day-to-day activities of the company. Having a full picture of a specific project, organizing a series of subtasks, analyzing the performance of a website, the use for Google Sheets is unlimited and highly recommended as it provides a clear picture of the work that is being done and needs to be done.

 

It’s recommended to use Google Sheets over offline Excel spreadsheets as it is much easier to share information with team members and departments.

Google Docs

Great for documenting and easily sharing proposals, preparing final audits, reports, documentation and processes with the team. 

 

It’s recommended to use Google Docs over offline Word documents as it is much easier to share information with team members and departments.

 

In a lot of cases, it’s also recommended over doing nice presentations, especially for internal use, where it’s much faster and easier to follow a well structured document.

Google Data Studio

Great tool for visualization and grouping of data and information from different sources. It is a tool which we have not fully explored, but which can be very well used as support for the reporting information that is collected and presented.

SEMrush

Great tool for competitive research, traffic estimation and analysis, keyword research, backlink monitoring and overall a very complete marketing tool. It clearly lacks depth in non-SEO focused areas, but it’s a very good analysis tool.

Ahrefs

Preferred tool for SEO, complete SEO suite with research and analysis, competitors, organic traffic, positions and more. Competing tool to SEMrush with different approaches in some sub-tools.

Screaming Frog

Very good tool for sitewide audits and analysis. Currently running on a VPS which allows for more scale and 24/7 crawling. 

Mangools

Solid tool suite for SEO, it’s an addon to what Ahrefs and SEMrush already provide, but slightly different visualization and ability to research.

Google Search Console

Essential tool to evaluate the health and status of each project, communicate with Google important sitemaps, evaluate ranking and traffic trends, investigate errors and issues, and so much more.

Google Analytics

Currently the main traffic analytics tool for all projects of the company.

SE Ranking

Rank tracking, integration with Google Search Console, Analytics, and tracking the status of all of the link building done for a website.

Slack

Internal communication and quick discussions between individuals, teams and departments. Our main day-to-day chat tool.

Gmail

Main internal and external communications for email. Integrated with several tools that we use on a regular basis for SEO activities.

Comunique-se

Great digital PR and clipping tool for the Brazilian market. One of the most comprehensive databases with journalists and editors from major federal and state publications in the Brazilian market.

BuzzStream

Great tool for mass outreach, with solid customization features, ability to integrate several emails, integration with other tools for internal metrics, follow up and more. 

 

Currently being used for all campaigns that are integrated with our Google emails.

PressHunt

A useful tool to build a list of journalists and editors in multiple languages and publications around the world.

Others

It’s important to consider other tools that may provide us more insights, more ability to better optimize the work we do, better and integrated solutions for SEO, and so on.

 

Making recommendations of new tools is recommended when they add real value over the toolstack that we already have.

Team

Departments

The department is currently split into 3 core teams, which are outlined below. This structure may change as we grow into more markets and if we decide to organize teams by language/market rather than SEO expertise.

 

An organizational structure will be provided soon, to clarify this structure and how that combines with the entire company’s structure.

Content

This team will be responsible for all content activities related to SEO as well as making SEO improvements to content delivered by the Content Marketing & Social team.

 

  • Analyze competition from a content perspective
  • Conduct keyword research and topic analysis
  • Create topical maps and guidelines
  • Create and ensure SEO brand guidelines
  • Create content templates
  • Control final content quality
  • Develop content upgrades
  • Lead and order content updates
  • Order new SEO-driven content
  • Mapping and reporting of content updates

 

This team will be comprised of the following main roles:

 

  • SEO Content Managers – responsible for ordering new content and upgrades, defining content templates, reporting, and so on. 
  • SEO Content Analysts – responsible for creating content templates, researching competition, providing suggestions on new content and upgrades.
  • SEO Editors – responsible for revising and doing the QA for all of the SEO content produced by the team.
  • SEO Writers – writing the content based on the specifications provided by Content Managers and Editors.

 

Some of these roles may be fulfilled by freelancers/contractors. More roles and seniority levels will naturally be created as the team grows.

Link Building and PR

This team is responsible for all link building and digital PR activities of the company.

 

  • Prospecting of paid link building opportunities in all markets
  • Outreach to paid link building opportunities
  • Main paid link building database
  • Create new content orders for paid placements
  • Coordinate content placements
  • Prospect organic link building opportunities
  • Outreach to organic link building opportunities
  • Build and manage relationships with mainstream and niche media publishers
  • Reporting on paid link building activities
  • Reporting on organic link building activities
  • New link building opportunities (through Wikipedia)

 

This team will be comprised of the following roles:

 

 

  • SEO Off-Page Manager – responsible for overseeing the different link building campaigns, approving off-page content and link placements, vetting new link opportunities, QA of all link building activities, and reporting.
  • SEO Off-Page Specialist – responsible for preparing content for link placements, prospecting and outreaching to publishers, coordinating placements.
  • Digital PR Specialist – responsible for preparing digital PR outreach campaigns, preparing outreach messages and releases, coordinating with other departments on launches of campaigns, clipping.

 

 

More roles and seniority levels will naturally be created as the team grows.

Technical

This team is responsible for all technical SEO activities of the company, auditing and overall reporting.

 

  • Run periodic technical audits on all websites and projects
  • Prepare technical suggestions and adjustments
  • Conduct pre-approved technical adjustments
  • Prepare and combine monthly project and website reporting – content, traffic, rankings, technical, and links. 

Currently the team comprises of Technical SEO Managers only, but more positions will be created as the team grows.

Squads

We’ll be introducing the concept of Squads as the department grows. More information will be provided soon, once it’s justified. 

 

It’s expected that for larger projects, members from different SEO teams will be put together to tackle specific challenges, which will form squads inside the department, and potentially, across different departments.

 

These will be based on:

 

 

  • Markets – creating a squad for a specific market that we’re targeting.
  • Website – creating a squad for a specific website and project that we have live.

 

Objectives

This document outlines several strategic and operational objectives. The information provided along with the supporting documents and sheets are a foundation for this next phase of the SEO department. 

 

We’ll be creating a complete SEO structure inside the company, with the individual SEO teams growing vertically and horizontally.

 

Defining the next steps will help us establish clear objectives for the department, team and websites that we manage. 

Planning

Part of the next steps for the SEO department is to go through a planning phase for all of the websites that we hold in the portfolio.

Top Pages

Redefining the top pages for each website which will be added to SEO Team – Master Sheet (Updated Q2) (WORK IN PROGRESS) > Top Pages.

 

These are pages that are going to be prioritize based:

 

  • Value of the type of page
  • Commercial relationships
  • Objectives for each site
  • FTD growth
  • Ranking difficulty

Detailed Growth Plan

Developing a growth and business plan for each website that we hold in the portfolio until the end of 2023. This will be delivered in two steps:

 

 

  • Projection Sheet – this is using the template on TEMPLATE.com – Business Plan. Each site will have its own spreadsheet based on the keywords that it will be targeting, growth for those keywords, traffic, FTDs, as well as an estimated budget for each.  

 

 

 

  • Business Plan – a document with the main outline of the strategy that will be used for each site, the main targets and objectives, a summary of the budget and expected results.

 

 

These will be developed with the main stakeholders for each individual website. The goal is to have an idea of what we’re going to do with each website, clear deliverables and budget so we can then report on a regular basis on the performance of each website.

Processes and Documentation

Part of growing the department in an efficient way will be about making sure processes are documented in a proper way for all team members to understand the requirements of all tasks and responsibilities.

 

An outline of the processes are being documented here to be fully rolled out into their own individual documents: Odds Scanner – SEO – List of Processes.

 

Additionally, we’ll also prepare a template for reporting on the performance of each site, including but not limited to:


  • Impressions
  • CTR
  • Traffic
  • Affiliate Clicks
  • FTDs
  • Rankings
  • Link Building
  • Content
  • And more…

Execution

We can’t stop everything to plan and document. We need to keep executing, so we’ll be running the planning and documentation in parallel with continuing to execute at the best possible level.

ClickUp

Moving to ClickUp is a next step as the entire company is being onboarded to that platform.

 

There will be a dedicated SEO Space for the team to manage internal projects, but also connect to other spaces related to cross-department projects.

Resources

List of resources linked in this sheet: