When you’re getting started with your online casino business, you need to remember one important thing — people need to be able to find you.

If you were setting up an offline casino, that would be easy enough. You’d simply make sure you’re located somewhere near a place where lots of people who want to gamble pass by — the Vegas strip, Atlantic City … or possibly next to a freeway in the Midwest.

But when you’re online, you can’t just set up a website and expect people to find you. And that’s where your search engine optimization (SEO) becomes important. With great SEO, you can conquer the search engine results pages. Without it, you’ll be sitting alone in front of your computer, scratching your head, wondering why you’re not getting any traffic.

We’ve assembled 10 essential SEO tips for mastering your keywords. Follow these, and you’re on on your way to dominating the search engine results pages:

1) Do your keyword research. Make sure you’re finding the right terms for your niche. Places to check are Google Trends, Alexa, search results on Bing and Google, and tools such as WordTracker and Google’s Keyword Tool.

2) Make sure you know the related terms to your primary keyword. Google’s Wonder Wheel is a great place to find this information. To use it, just do a Google Search and pull down the wonder wheel ( you’ll see it by clicking ‘More,” then “All Results” on the left.)

3) Use your keywords in the copy on your site. You should be using your keywords in about 2-4 percent of your site’s body copy. Any more than that, and it will appear to search engines that you’re keyword stuffing. And that could lead to your site being penalized for overuse of a keyword.

4) Use long-tail keywords. Don’t just target “poker” or “casino.” It will be tough, if not impossible, to compete for those terms as a beginner. Stick to long-tail keywords (3-4 word combinations) that have less competition. If you check the Google Keyword Tool, you’ll see that “Play Poker Online” has fewer searches than “Poker.” But it also has less competition (Poker has 328 million results. “Play Online Poker” has 17 million.), which means you could make it to page one much faster, if you’re doing everything right.

5) Use your headings correctly. Make sure you’re using your keywords in the page titles, meta-descriptions and HTML headings (H1-H6). Optimize, but don’t overuse your keywords in these areas.

6) Write your title and meta-description tag with the reader in mind. These tags are pulled by Google to form the block of text that users see about your site. Use your keywords, but write the copy with the reader in mind. What would make you click through and visit a site?

7) Stay focused. Have you ever heard the quote: “A person who aims at nothing is sure to hit it”? That’s also true with your keywords. You need to focus, aim and throw in order to hit your target. Make sure you’re targeting no more than 3-4 keywords per page and make them as related as possible.

8) Make the most of your images. Images are a great way to add interest to your site. In addition to making your site look more polished and professional, they help explain your subject for readers who are visual learners. In addition, you’ll want to make sure you’re using the alt-description and alt-title tags of each image, providing useful descriptions of the image that also include your keywords.

9) Keywords belong at the beginning. Google will have an easier time of figuring out what your keywords are if they’re at the beginning of paragraphs, early in your content, in the front of your headline, title tag, and other places.

10) Don’t over-optimize. Yes, you can have too much of a good thing. Don’t forget you’re creating your content for people to read and enjoy. If you’re only focused on keywords, and cramming them into every possible location on your page, you’re going to have a tough time getting your readers to come back to your site. And if you’re having trouble writing content that’s keyword-focused, just forget about it. Write content that’s appealing to your audience, and then go back and lightly sprinkle your keywords into the content.

Keywords are just one piece of the puzzle

And finally, remember that your keywords are only one piece of the SEO puzzle. You’ll also want to make sure you’re developing a site that’s easy for Google to spider, that your link structure is correct, your hosting provider is great, and your site loads quickly. We’ll cover more about those topics in future articles.

What SEO tips do you have for those who are starting an online casino business? Please leave them in the comments below!

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