• Tue. Jun 14th, 2022

Martyn Hannah: Stop link building, start writing

Martyn Hannah, director of Ghost Foundry, says US sports betting operators should redirect link building budgets to content creation.

I’ll get out of this right away. US online sports betting operators need to stop spending thousands of dollars a month on link building and invest that money in content.

Link building should be part of a larger SEO strategy, but it’s just not as important as it used to be when it comes to building authority and driving traffic to a website. website.

Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller had this to say about link building: “In general, I try to avoid this so that you are really sure that your content is self-contained and that other people can, of course, link to your content.

“We use links as part of our algorithms, but we also use many other factors. So focusing only on links is likely to cause your website more problems than it actually helps.

Google considers over 200 factors to determine site rankings, but the experience a user receives after clicking on a site is one of the most important.

The user experience is broken down into several factors including:

  • Click-through rate: Do users actually click on the page once their search result has been returned?
  • Time spent on page – if user clicks on it, how much time is spent on the page. The longer the better
  • Pages per session – do users then click on other pages on the site. Google wants users to click on a lot of content
  • Social signals – if users like or share content, it’s a good indicator that they are receiving valuable information

As you can see, content is the basis on which the above criteria can be met. There is no point in just ranking for a keyword or phrase, you need to be able to deliver what the user is looking for.

So while link building can quickly build a site’s authority, the influence of that authority on a site’s rankings seems to be diminishing in the eyes of Google.

This is certainly the case with links that have been secured on sites with a high domain rating but low number of site visitors – these sites are often built for the purpose of reselling links.

Google is really putting links back under the microscope and is now even looking at the number of clicks the link received to confirm its value – if no one clicks on it, it shouldn’t be there.

Additionally, Google regularly checks links to individual websites and, if it deems such links to be fake and inauthentic, removes them.

This makes the “investment” in link building a difficult area for online sports betting operators – many SEOs and marketers still believe it is the fastest and most effective way to rank .

Indeed, most are unwilling to trust Google and do what the search giant asks them to do, which is to focus on user experience and content.

I believe the reason is a lack of patience. In the US market in particular, there is a sense of urgency as everyone tries to take advantage of first mover advantage.

But to succeed today and in the long term, operators will have to play the long game, trust Google’s words and refocus their attention on content.

When it comes to the types of content to create, operators need to think big. Written, audio and video should all be part of the content strategy.

This includes news, insights, reviews, guides, interviews, data, analysis and more. Think like sports media giants like theScore and Fox Sports and follow their lead.

Of course, the content should be of the highest quality and provide the information, insights, answers and entertainment that searchers and bettors are looking for.

If so, users will stay on the page longer, click to other pages, like and share content. In short, they will have an excellent experience with an operator’s brand.

And of course, that’s exactly what Google wants to see from a website that ranks highly for specific keywords.

This is not hyperbole on my part, content marketing really works. One of our clients has been publishing two 600-word articles per month plus a 2,000-word guide per quarter for ten months.

During that time, they had over 9,000 page views across all posts created with an average bounce rate on each post below 10%.

They also rank on the first page for several business-critical terms and all without any proactive link building activity.

The content was linked but naturally and that’s exactly the type of backlink Google is looking for – when the content is unique and great, other sites want to link to it.

Operators should therefore stop spending thousands of dollars a month on link building and instead spend the money creating content that engages, educates and entertains.

Those who do will be in the best position to take advantage of the huge potential that the burgeoning online sports betting industry in the United States has to offer.