EEG: Apparently the Brexit had no immediate effect over the gambling market. But it’s better to be safe than sorry, now that we know that things are about to change slowly but surely. What can the online gambling industry do to protect itself and its future?
If Brexit does actually happen and there is a growing argument to suggest that it won’t then the only real issues will be the freedom of movement between the UK and Gibraltar and the EU and this will only be an issue really in Gibraltar if Spain decides to act irresponsibly and mess around with the border. Arguably another long term impact will be on the EU’s view on gambling. It was the UK, helped by an Irish Commissioner, which led the charge for opening up markets and putting an end to State monopolies. Without the UK around the negotiating table there will be more chance for countries who like state gambling monopolies, like France and Germany, to ease up on free markets in gambling. I can’t see us going back to the bad old days of just state monopolies but things could possibly go backwards. What this means is that the online industry needs to get politically active and start lobbying to ensure there is no slippage. As for Spain and Gibraltar, I think a nuclear submarine in Gibraltar harbour will help
EEG: We already know that the United Kingdom has six jurisdictions that regulate the online gambling sector. What will happen to these?
So there is only one jurisdiction for the UK, the UK!. The Isle of Man, Alderney/Guernsey, Jersey are all separate jurisdictions and not part of the EU. Gibraltar is a separate jurisdiction and is part of the EU due to its inclusion in the Maastricht Treaty of 1992. Nothing will change for those jurisdictions who are not part of the E.U. For those who are, the UK and Gibraltar, as I said before it will be issues to do with the movement of people and the right to work that will be the issue but generally not big issues as there will be visas and work permits. Gibraltar has the most risk of life getting annoying and that is down to how childish the Spanish are and that seems directly linked to how badly their economy is, the worse it is the more parts of the Spanish government like to distract people with an attack on Gibraltar.
EEG: Those who own a license and are located in and outside of the UK can be called lucky, for now. How do you think companies that don’t have both licenses will do in the following period?
Europe, with the obvious exceptions is made up of nations who have point of consumption regulations for online gambling. Gambling was the first example of subsidiarity – which means that national law is considered more important than European law. There has never been any desire to make European wide rules. So at a regulatory level it would seem that not a lot should change. The only issue is if the EU decides to punish the UK for leaving. Arguably it could introduce tariffs or other regulatory (non-gambling) burdens. But for individual companies the issue will be about hiring and locating staff but none of these should prove insurmountable unless things get really bad. For those who don’t have licenses in the or in the EU it won’t be an issue unless you want to target either the UK or the EU as a market.
EEG: We’ve been hearing a lot about Gibraltar, as it has in the most sensitive position after the Brexit, regarding online gambling. There are around 3,000 people directly employed by gambling operators in Gibraltar, while approximately 1,000 jobs indirectly rely upon the industry. What will happen to them?
I think Gibraltar will survive and continue to flourish. The problem is, as I’ve said elsewhere, the border. What the Brexiteers forgot that the UK is a large reach and at its edges are borders that potential political flashpoints, Northern Ireland and Ireland and Gibraltar and Spain. With the EU they are open borders and this makes life bearable for the communities there. Close those borders and things have the potential to get nasty. I can unfortunately see British troops having to go back to both and that is never good.
EEG: Even though the UK is the sixth largest market for gambling in the world, as it spends $3.83 billions annually on games, betting is not seen as a strategic industry for the United Kingdom, unlike, for example financial services, life sciences or the creative industries. Can we anticipate a rise in this industry, specifically in the UK, or are we talking about a free-fall?
This is where I think the biggest impact of Brexit will be, the UK economy. Its already slowing down and who knows where it will stop. Britain is one of the largest economies in the EU so when it leaves it takes with it a lot of money that was spent in the EU. Once its out the UK economy will probably shrink and that means less money being spent on EU goods and services. So it will bring down the EU economy as well. All of which will mean less money for anyone to spend on gambling so the forecast is not good. But who knows, maybe leaving the UK will mean the UK economy booms (about 1% of economists think this) and we have seen a gambling boom. My advice, target new markets!
EEG: Do you think tax-related issues resulting from Brexit could be a problem in the following period for the gambling industry?
As I mentioned before there is the chance that if the EU decided to punish the UK for leaving and also show the remaining members that its not worth leaving, they could impose tariffs on the UK apart from that I fear the biggest risk of a tax increase would be a tax raid on UK licensed online gambling operators to gain revenue as the UK economy weakens
EEG: Which are the states that will most likely be affected, and what states are more likely to feel a little to no change at all?
I’m afraid it really is too early to tell
EEG: Do you think that the EU could actually help this industry, lowering license taxes as a response to the situation caused by Brexit?
All gambling taxes and licence fees are set by national governments – VAT is the only one that the EU has an influence on. I can’t see them changing the ruling that certain countries have to charge it on gambling.
EEG: A good business practice is to plan for the unexpected. If you would have unlimited power over this industry, what would you change about it right now in order to make it safer?
I would make the industry’s senior management have to take an IQ test! I would also make every company have to join a trade association. There are too many operators who don’t realise that the industry can be switched off very quickly if it annoys too many politicians. It has to realise that the governments of Malta, Gibraltar, the Isle of Man and Alderney will bend over backwards for it as an industry as it is responsible for such a large parts of their economies. For the majority of countries in the EU and the UK gambling is an acceptable form of tax revenue and that is it. When that acceptance ends, these countries will change their laws and make the industry suffer. We need to do more and be seen doing more about social responsibility and not just about problem gambling. The gambling industry needs to be seen as good citizens and not just cowboys.
EEG: Is it likely that some companies could go bankrupt, or on the contrary, expect a rise of betting companies?
I think consolidation in the industry and increasing CPA costs will make more companies go bankrupt than Brexit
EEG: And lastly, who could benefit the most out of this situation?
Anyone running a visa company??
Steve Donoughue MBA- Biography
Steve Donoughue has been a management consultant specialising in the business strategy and politics of the gambling industry for the last twenty years. Becoming KPMG’s gambling consultant after working at the University of Salford’s Centre for the Study of Gambling, Steve has been a freelance consultant for the majority of his career, working around the world on both online and bricks and mortar projects. He has advised most of the major operators and suppliers, governments, trade associations and regulators over this period. Most recently Steve has advised the government of the Turks & Caicos Islands on overhauling their gambling laws and the Dutch Finance Ministry on Casinos Holland. Steve has spoken at, chaired and designed a multitude of gambling conferences over the years and has published many articles, mostly on UK gambling politics. Steve is the Secretariat of the UK Parliamentary All Party Betting & Gaming Group, a part-time PhD student at the University of Westminster where he is researching the history of the Gambling Act 2005 and in 2011/12, Steve was Special Adviser to the UK Parliament’s Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee inquiry into gambling.
Further details about Steve can be found at his website www.gamblingconsultant.co.uk
Valentina Dobre Interview – (EEGReport Magazine – Issue 4 – October 2016 – January 2017)
EEGReport Magazine: It’s been a while since you’ve started together with ROMSLOT the development of the “Responsible Gambling” program in Romania. What is the development of the project and what is the progress since our last interview
V.D.: Yes, several years have passed since then. Also, the program has a strong tradition of its own, as it was launched 4 years ago. The “Responsible Gambling” program was an innovative initiative for the Romanian gambling market at the time of its establishment, not to mention the fact that it was launched proactively. This premiere for the local landscape, the “Responsible Gambling” platform, was and still is a self-regulation program which was born from the interest for nurturing a responsible attitude towards the gambling actions among both operators and players.
The initiative grew in time and is currently developed by ROMSLOT together with Romanian Bookmakers association. The program has
now national coverage and psychology clinics in Bucharest, Cluj and Iasi, the 3 most important regions of Romania, but any person from Romania can receive specialized counseling though a free of charge HELPLINE. Besides this, it is important to remind that the persons with gambling issues also: beneficiate for free of online self-testing sessions, on www.jocresponsabil.ro, can have a free evaluation and counseling sessions at one of the program’s clinics, can read informative materials about responsible behavior in gaming halls.
More than that, as this responsible behavior is encouraged among all actors from our industry (be they players or the operators and their employees), the program also ensures training courses for the persons working in this industry, which are held by the program’s psychologists.
The fact that the program grew and offers a real help at national scale can be seen also from figures, as last year, the programs website was visited by almost 18.600 unique visitors who accessed the informative materials, or the auto-evaluation tests or read more about the program itself.
Besides this, the messages of the program and the encouragements towards responsible behavior when gambling were also disseminated through dedicated events, be they organized by the „Responsible Gambling” program or by other entities which invited the „Responsible Gambling” team to talk about the platform and about the best methods for approaching the gambling problems topic.
The positive results didn’t fail to appear. We can see that people take this subject more and more seriously and think about it. For example, last year, almost 1,200 persons called the HELPLINE and beneficiated of free psychological counseling (mostly men).
The fact that the program set the Romanian standards for responsible gambling and that it has a complex approach on this topic, through a varied range of services, is also shown by the fact that other players from the market followed the model and the idea of our initiative. This pleases us as it proves that the general interest towards a responsible behavior and for promoting healthy business approaches is rising. These positive signs are coming to the “Responsible Gambling” team from a newer segment of our market, as well: the online gambling sector, as we were approached by players active on this segment.
EEGReport Magazine: We’ve noticed that you have the support of many psychologists, including the most famous psychologist “DR. Cristian Andrei”. We can say you have a real team of specialists ready to give a helping hand to those that struggle with diverse problems. Tell us more about this team and what they managed to achieve until now in terms of providing a professional Responsible Gambling service.
V.D.: Our interest is to offer a real long term support to persons with gambling problems and to help them have a responsible, balanced and mature approach on the topic, to help them see that gambling is just entertainment and a relaxing activity, during which you have fun and spend quality time with other members of the community or with friends. For having a correct perception on this activity, balance is needed, like in any other segment of life, in fact.
To succeed in bringing a real and long term help to those having an issue, the “Responsible Gambling” program needed a strong team with specialists with various areas of expertise and with a vast experience behind. That is why, the platform has a national coverage and psychology clinics in Bucharest, Cluj and Iasi and an extended team of psychologists.
This network is coordinated by me along with a team of 3 experts with an extended expertise in various segments of psychology:
- Cristian Andrei who also has a degree in psychiatry and is specialized in treating similar problems in other industries as well (to have an interdisciplinary and cross-industry approach on the topic).
- Leliana Valentina Pârvulescu, who is psychologist and the “practical” coordinator of the program and has an extensive experience as psychologist. Also, Dr. Pârvulescu is specialized in innovative treatment techniques, is also sociologist and trainer specialized in, NLP, F.A.C.S and body language. Besides these, Dr. Pârvulescu is an expert in behavioral analysis and evaluation, nonverbal language and truth evaluation, just to mention some of her expertise segments.
- Psychologist Steliana Rizeanu, who is the “scientific” coordinator of the program, having a PHD in psychology in topics related with gambling problems. Also, Dr. Rizeanu is author of several books approaching this very topic.
This structure and team (which will continue to grow in parallel with the development of the program) makes us confident that the gambling related problems are approached and managed with utmost care and that the persons who enter the program overpass their issue and can continue their activity in a balanced and responsible way.
EEGReport Magazine: As the number of players rises, so does the number of problems. What are your plans for the near future in overcoming unexpected situations in the online gambling industry?
V.D.: As the market develops, the landscape becomes more complex it is true. But, in the same time, so do the opportunities, the interest of the local market for responsibility.
What I mean by this is that due to the various educative and communication actions, unfolded in the past years by the “Responsible Gambling” program, this topic was put on the public agenda, the interest for it grew, the model of our platform inspired others to launch initiatives or similar messages.
Also, another thing that encourages us, is that people started more to get in touch with us and to beneficiate by the assistance offered by our program.
Besides this, the development of the online sector and their interest in approaching the “Responsible Gambling” sector makes us be hopeful for the future, as there is place for joining efforts and for promoting the responsible behavior principles both online and offline, for the overall benefit of the Romanian market.
EEGReport Magazine: Can you give us a statistic, or tell us more about how the Romanian gamblers, compared to other European gamblers, manage to overcome personal gambling problems? Are the Romanian gamblers overcoming these issues better than other countries?
V.D.: The most recent statistics on this topic are those offered by a national research conducted by GfK (research company) and ROMSLOT, in 2013. It was the first study on the local market ever done, proactively started by ROMSLOT, and shows us that, compared to other markets, Romanians’ the interest in slot machines is quite lower compared to other European markets.
For example, out of the total number of adult Romanians, only 3% played in the last year at slot machines. Out of them, only 1% played weekly. Compared to these local figures, according to international statistics, the number of people gambling in other European countries is 4 times larger, in Britain approx. 13% of the population was playing at slot machines in 2010.
One of the reasons for explaining these percentages is that, in Romania, playing the Lottery is a lot more popular, as approx. 20% of the population plays here, out of which 5% plays weekly at the Lottery.
Given the lower dimension of the market compared to other countries, the gambling problem phenomenon has, implicitly, a lower intensity. Nevertheless, this is not a reason to neglect its importance and risk potential.
That is why, the “Responsible Gambling” program approaches the gambling problems topics very seriously and continues its efforts of educating the market and of underlining the importance of having a responsible behavior both as a business and as a player. We are the first who militate for this durable business approach, as we believe that the market has to enter and to “play” in the “responsible profit” era.
EEGReport Magazine: Tell us more about your future projects and aims.
V.D.: As I was mentioning, we will continue to unfold communication and educative campaign and activities (workshops, conferences, participation at local and international events approaching the Responsibility topic) and to militate for promoting a responsible approach when conducting a business or as a player.
As the market develops and enters on newer segments (like the online gambling sector) we will stay opened and work with companies from the local market in order to grow our initiative and to meet the needs generated by these online and offline expansions.
EEGReport Magazine: Do you have partnerships with companies from other countries, or plans for a common platform involving similar projects?
V.D.: The core objective of our program is to expand our activities, counseling services and responsibility campaigns as much as we can, so that we can promote the “responsible gambling” concept and “responsible way of doing business” as much as we can, as far as we can. That is why, as I was previously mentioning, we are always open to collaboration and are currently investigating how we can grow this platform so that it can truly offer tailored help for players coming from various gambling environments (e.g.: online segment, besides than traditional offline gambling).
EEGReport Magazine: Helping gamblers that struggle with diverse problems is a very good thing, but preventing problems is even better. What should be done in order to prevent such problems in the future, rather than combating them?
V.D.: It is known that prevention is the best treatment. This is precisely why, a strong component of the “Responsible Gambling” program is focused on “education” and on having constant activities through which to transmit the messages regarding the importance of responsible gambling (from articles in the media, to workshops on this topic, to hosting or participating as speakers in conferences, both at local and international level).
In short, education and helping all actors from the gambling market realize the importance of responsibility and of having a sustainable approach is the key for having a healthy and successful business and industry.
EEGReport Magazine: And lastly, tell us about the vision of your company. Where do you see this company in 5 years from now?
V.D.: The greatest wish is to continue the directions started together with my colleagues and to develop at a larger scale the projects we initiated. To militate for a better legislative framework, which also takes into account the legitimate interests of our specific industry and to continue to promote the “responsible gambling” concept and the CSR principles.
Alexandre Tomic – Interview – (EEGReport Magazine – Issue 4 – October 2016 – January 2017)
EEG: We see the Virtual gambling industry as a new gambling industry in full development. How fast is it growing and how are people reacting to it?
A.T.: There is a great deal of interest around the virtual gambling industry, as there is around virtual reality in general. People have been waiting for virtual reality to become a truly viable option for the last thirty years or so, and now that it’s finally starting to get there, it’s understandable that people are eager to get their hands on it and give it a try. However the high costs are undeniably still an issue, as players need expensive equipment to run VR software, so most of the people who have played in our VR casino so far have been playing in 3D and not getting the full VR experience, meaning that it’s hard to tell at the moment.
We have however taken the VR casino on the road to industry shows and conferences. We took two sets of VR software and neither was ever empty; in fact people were queueing up to try it out. We have always had an extremely positive reaction from those who have tried it – players, the media, and industry professionals alike.
EEG: What are the current games that are available until now, and what other games can we expect in the near future?
A.T.: VR is going to be huge. There is so much choice already for VR games, and it hasn’t even reached mainstream acceptance yet. On Steam alone there are already more than 500 games, allowing users to fight robots, create art and machines, play sports, take a look around shops, explore abandoned buildings, dark forests and undersea worlds, protect castles from invading tribes, go out into space, and a great deal more.
While we can’t speak for the other VR games currently in development, we are hoping to one day improve the experience inside our VR casino by creating fully immersive VR slots. At the moment the setting is VR, but the slots themselves are still 2D, and players still play sitting in front of a screen. What we would like to do is create an environment in which players are surrounded by the features of the slot, with the reels in front of them but the actual background, animated characters, and other features of the slot all around them.
EEG: How do you think Virtual Gaming will affect people that never walked into a real casino, but still have a curiosity towards it?
A.T.: I think the fact that a truly immersive casino experience is now available to play from the comfort of a user’s own home will certainly pique people’s interest and make them more curious about trying it – not to mention the fact that they would do so using VR, a technology which a lot of people have been looking forward to trying since the 80s. Obviously it can’t replace the experience of going into a casino in real life, but perhaps people who try it in VR and feel that thrill of seeing others winning and winning themselves might then be more likely to give it a go in a real casino.
EEG: Suppose I’m willing to try a virtual casino. What are the things I need in order to get in there and gamble?
A.T.: You would need a high-spec gaming PC and a pair of virtual reality goggles. SlotsMillion’s virtual casino is currently compatible with the Oculus Rift goggles and we are working on becoming compatible with the HTC Vive in the near future as well. Theoretically, players could also use Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear, but at the moment we have no plans to make our application compatible with these devices as, considering that they are low-end, it would dramatically affect the quality of the experience and we are dedicated to offering our players the best.
EEG: Do you think that one day maybe, virtual reality will completely overrun reality, and maybe move absolutely all of the players into the virtual world?
A.T.: I think it’s a possibility. Virtual reality is that immersive – it’s incredibly easy to lose track of time and will become even more so as the technology improves and any side effects such as motion sickness become less of an issue. Business especially may find a place in the VR world – within the casino we could certainly work from inside, having meetings, supporting players and schmoozing with partners, affiliates and clients. We might one day spend longer inside the VR world than the players, and ultimately what started out as a game will eventually start to look like a new, revolutionary way of doing business. Gaming certainly isn’t the only industry with business uses for VR, though; education, medicine, the military, retail and many more are already starting to use VR to improve the services they offer, both to their staff and to their customers and users.
The more technology encroaches onto our daily working lives and the higher the amount of people who work in technology-based industries, the more likely it is that we will become accustomed to spending our working hours inside the VR world. VR could really revolutionise the business side of things as well as the player experience. The possibilities are endless, and it would be a shame not to explore and exploit them in every possible way.
One day it will be almost impossible, or at least very hard, to distinguish reality from the virtual world. The only way we will be able to tell that we are in a computer generated simulation would be because we will hold on to the memories of our real lives – and we could even eventually remove this capability. But what if the game became so immersive that we couldn’t remember who we really are? In that instance it may even be difficult to tell which of our realities is the virtual world, and which is in fact the real one.
EEG: How could we satisfy the people that turn their backs at the virtual reality, saying that you can’t have a real drink on the house, or that virtual body language isn’t the same as the real one?
A.T.: Of course there are aspects of VR gambling that can’t quite live up to the real thing – it would be unreasonable to expect a game to do so. At the moment, VR isn’t meant to replace the experience of gambling in a real casino, but instead merely make it more accessible to those who perhaps aren’t able to visit real casinos often, or provide a more social and immersive experience for those who had previously been limited to playing online. As the technology improves, it will start to feel increasingly realistic and that immersive feel will be all the more present. In the future, however, we would like to use AR to add an extra layer inside the casino, and this is where users may start seeing the benefits of VR over real life, as the AR aspect would facilitate a much more personalised experience – including personalised offers and bonuses, for example – which may make players feel more valued and welcomed inside their casino.
EEG: Let’s talk about the legal aspect, do you think that strong regulations or laws could appear to restrict Virtual Gaming? And that it might keep this industry from developing?
A.T.: We were expecting when we sat down with our regulator, the MGA, to have to make a lot of changes and adjustments in accordance with their laws. However, they were very helpful, and it was great to see that they were open to the development of new technologies within the gaming industry. We have not had a lot of problems with regulations so far, and I think that’s a very good indication that the gaming industry is ready for a revolution like the one virtual reality is expected to cause.
Of course there is the fact that due to app store regulations we are unable to use the VR casino as a bridge between the worlds of social and real money gaming, as we had initially envisioned doing. The likes of Apple, Android and Oculus tend to restrict the displaying of real money gaming in their stores, which means that we are unable to use the VR casino as an acquisition tool for players and rather keep it as a retention tool for the players we already have.
EEG: What is the first thing you would improve in the Virtual Gaming industry at this point?
A.T.: Since virtual reality in the gaming world is still such a young industry, it’s quite difficult to answer at this point. Clearly there are elements of the technology that we still need to work on – side effects such as motion sickness for example – to make the experience as immersive as it has the potential to be, but that is sure to improve as the technology develops, so at the moment it’s more a case of wait and see.
EEG: Do you think hacking could interfere with this virtual gambling world? If so, how could we prevent that?
A.T.: I think it’s extremely likely that hackers could interfere with the virtual world, and the results could be terrifying. Think of the situation in the movie Surrogates with Bruce Willis, where a virus was created that was capable of destroying users’ virtual and real bodies both. The damage would not be quite that bad, of course, but the consequences could be much more severe than they currently are when hacking occurs, because the level of immersion inside the virtual world would be much higher. In this video, we can observe the confusion that occurs when a hacker tries to break into the user’s account – her reality starts to collapse and she has to start again from the beginning.
This is not something to take lightly, so we obviously need to do our best to prevent this from happening, as we do today. However no matter how many measures we take, we always have to be aware that hackers’ skills grow alongside the development of technology. It’s already crucial today to protect ourselves, but given that the stakes will be even bigger in the virtual world, we have to try even harder to outsmart the hackers. It’s the same good guy versus bad guy game of today, just on a higher level.
EegReportMagazine-SEO article – (EEGReport Magazine – Issue 4 – October 2016 – January 2017)
Perhaps you already heard about the latest(and also the last)Google Penguin Algorithm update, which is aimed at decreasing search engine rankings for websites that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines! Follow these tips and make sure that you stay out of the Penguin 4.0’s radar!
What if you don’t know any SEO (search engine optimization) tips&tricks that will get your site all the way to the top positions? A lack of SEO practices can leave your website in a dark corner, which means no one will ever know you even exist, no visitors, no cliks which leads to no sales!
The truth is – that Search Engine Optimization ain’t no rocket science, getting to know and to master the subtle nuances takes time and effort, but the reality is you don’t need to spend years to learn the basics to optimize your website properly! We hope that you’ll find this simple article helpful in getting started with your SEO endeavour!
First thing’s first, what is SEO?
There are way to many definitions of SEO, but organic SEO nowadays is all about getting free traffic from Google (the most popular search engine in the world). (tedd a snippetet)
It’s also very important to understand what search engines are looking for?
To be very precise there are 4 main elements that search engines look at when determining which website is the most relevant and should show up in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages):
1, Content: the content must be relevant to what the user is searching for?
2, Performance: how fast is the websites load time and does it work properly?
3, Authority: is the content relevant and useful enough to link to and do other authoritative websites use it as reference or do they cite the information that’s available?
4, UX (User Experience): how does the site behave an look? Is it easy to navigate trough, doest it look safe? And doest it have a healty bounce rate?
The true purpose of SEO is to help users who are looking for you find you. In order to do that, you have to match the content on your website to what people are trying to find. It’s not about traffic, it’s all about figuring out what your goal is, and then optimizing for keywords that bring in visitors who want the same things.
Keyword Research / Content Research
One the most important SEO factor next to good and relevant content is a good keyword research. Most of the SEO experts still use the keyword research today as a tactic of identifying terms and phrases to use to optimize pages on a given website, the act of keyword research nowadays implies much more than a simple keyword research. In order to know what and how to do here are some examples of dont’s:
– don’t choose keywords that are to generic or to broad
– don’t choose keywords without enough traffic
– don’t choose keywords that are not relevant to your product or business
– don’t try to rank for one keyword at a time
Avoiding these mistakes you can find keywords that:
– have a really high search volume (keywords or keyword phrases that are often used by your audience to search for your type of business or product)
– with low competition level
– are relevant to the content of your website
You should also do a little research on your competitors, to see what are the keywords or keyword phrases that are getting traffic to their website!
After you’re done picking the right keywords, it’s important to start crafting on your content. All search engines have bots, that automatically will crawl your website and try to find out what it’s about and then deciding which keywords each of your web pages should rank for. The bots can be influenced by strategically optimizing your website content for certain keywords. It’s true that keywords are important, so you better make sure you’re writing for your visitors first, and then for the search engines bots where you can. All of your website content needs to highly relevant, fresh and engaging, if not you won’t have a chance in converting your websites visitors into those highly desired customers.
When you’re writing your content you should focus on:
– Titles: write eye-catching titles that catch your visitor’s attention from the first glance, you have one shot to make a great first impression.
– Keywords: use relevant keywords that will help you bring people to your website.
– Quality: you must have unique and quality content, your visitors came to your site searching for information or for a solution so make sure you’re delivering the best possible solution or information for them.
– Links: make sure you link to quality sites that confirm what your website is all about, this will make other websites to also link to you.
– Length: if you’re looking to get links for your content then make sure you create 500+ word long posts
– Freshness: you need to add new relevant content on a regular basis, this could also be a in a form of a blog.
Don’t forget to optimize your code
The bots of the search engines don’t just read your website’s text, they also read your website’s code. With a well optimized code you have the chance to rank your website high in the search engines:
Your URL structure has to be friendly and clean, otherwise search engines will have a hard time crawling them and in this case they won’t be able to properly index it, which means you will not rank in the search engines.
Keep this things in mind if you want to achieve an SEO-friendly site URL structure:
– your URLs should not contain extraneous characters ( $ @ ! * % = ? )
– Numbers and letters should only be used in URLs.
– do not use underscores, the search engines prefer dashes.
– shorter URLS usually rank better than longer ones.
– sub-domains can rank better than sub directories.
The way you cross-link web pages will make a big impact on your rankings. Here are some good tips when cross-linking your web site:
– keep the number of links on each page under 100.
– links within your content usually carry more weight than links within a sidebar or in a footer.
Each of your web pages needs to have a unique title tag that describes what that page is all about. A title tag is the main text that describes an online document. Focus on the title tag because this is what people see in search engine results when they’re searching for your service or product. The title tag also shows up in posts shared on social media sites like Facebook, so next to including your main keyword in the title you also have to make it enticing enough to convince people to click it.
When you write your title tags, make sure you:
– add your keyword in the tille
– include a unique title tag for each page
– make sure you keep your title tag between 42 and 60 characters, including spaces. To make sure your title is properly displayed, try not to go over 60 characters.
Meta description tag
The meta description needs to summarize the content on your page, the reason for this is that this will show up in search engine results together with the title tag.
Meta descriptions are HTML attributes that provide concise explanations of the contents of web pages. While it won’t help you rank higher in the search engines, a well-written meta description can have a huge impact on whether users decide to click through or not.
When you write your meta description, make sure you:
– include your keywords
– write a different one for each page
– includes a call-to-action that convince people to click
– stay between 100 and 150 characters, including spaces
Heading are used to visually break up the content of a web page into sections (from a usability point of view) and to tell the search engine spiders what that page is about. These come in a specific order. H1, H2, H3, H4, and so on, with H1 starting the page as the main heading. Your headings should also contain keywords that are relevant to the content on your website.
A sitemap is like a road map for search engines. They give the bots directions to all of the different pages on your website, so you better make sure they find everything. There are two types of sitemaps: XML sitemas and HTML sitemaps. The difference is that XML sitemaps are created for the search engines and HTML sitemaps are created for your visitors.
After your XML sitemap is created, you should submit it to Google Webmaster (Search Console) and Bing so that the major search engines can crawl and index your web site.
In order for search engine bots to properly index images on your website, alt tags need to be added to each image, in form of a brief description. For example, if there was an image of a “casino logo”, I would tell the search engine that the image is XY’s casino logo by using an alt tag. Also make sure your image names are relevant to the image. The picture of the casino logo would be called thenameofthecasino.jpg instead of image6.jpg.
The next step would be measuring the effectiveness of your SEO efforts and see how your website is performing. How many visitors per month is your website attracting? Which are the most popular pages? How much time are they spending on your website? These are a few of the things that you can uncover by using an analytics tool, make sure you set up your Google analytics now so you can start collecting data right away.
Google Analytics is the best choice because it’s free, easy to set up and use, and provides loads of useful information about your visitors’ behaviour on your website.
Google Webmaster Tools (Search Console)
The Google Webmaster Tools (Search Console) allows you to go more in depth and see things like:
– who is linking to your site
– what search terms are sending visitors to your site
– whether your site has any issues that need to be fixed quickly and so on
If you have a WordPress website, you should install an SEO plugin to help you optimize your content. One of the best plugin is Yoast. Why? Because it’s completely free, easy to use and packed with powerful features. The Yoast SEO plugin will help you meet all of the recommended SEO criteria while you become comfortable writing keyword-optimized content for your website.
The robots.txt file includes a list of commands, like: allow and disallow, that tells web crawlers such as the Googlebot which web pages it can or cannot retrieve. If a URL is disallowed in your robots.txt files, that URL and all its contents won’t appear in Google search results.!
Links are still an important ranking factor and continue to be a great indicator of what content is important but also relevant. It’s very simple: the more websites that link to your website, the higher your webpage will rank! from a search engine’s point of view, the more trustworthy, non-spammy sites are linking to your website, the more authority you must have on the topic. Nonetheless it’s not about getting thousands of links really quick but about getting quality and authority websites to link to your website.Before you start building or earning links you need to know the following:
– links from related sites are worthier than links from non-relevant websites
– content links are more effective than links from a footer or sidebar
– create great and purposeful content, that is useful and engaging so that people want to link to it and share it with others too
– promote your content in order to reach the right people who will be motivated to link to it and also share it
– build relationships with influencers in your niche and convince them that your content is of a high enough quality to share
– avoid links from spammy or irrelevant websites
– Site wide links tend to hurt more than they may help
– don’t buy links
– do not use reciprocal links (I link to you and you link to me)
The most effortless way to get links is to see who links to your competition and contact them by email telling them the benefits of your website compared to your competition. You can also submit your website to directories, general ones or more relevant ones to your service or product. Getting on social media sites like StumbleUpon or Digg won’t just drive you a ton of traffic, they will also increase your visibility, which improves your chances of getting linked to. Search the web for citation of your brand or company name and turn thhem into links! Try guest posting on highly authoritative and relevant websites.
If you follow these advice’s and tips, your traffic from search engines will increase. You just have to be patient as it takes time for search engines to crawl, index your website and start ranking it.
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