How to Attract More Football Traffic
How big is the business? According to a report from SportRadar, soccer betting constitutes as much as 70% of the the $1 trillion sports betting industry. (That estimate includes both legal and illegal wagering.)
With staggering numbers like this, grabbing soccer traffic would seem to be as easy putting up a site and waiting for good things to happen; but of course it’s not.
We recently chatted with Zoltan “Hawkie” Tundik from EuropeanSoccerStatistics.com to find out how soccer affiliates can start drawing in more traffic and cash in on this global phenomenon. Here are a few of his thoughts and tips.
Focus on Soccer
Sports betting affiliates, like all gambling affiliates, generally do better when they’re able to establish themselves as a quality information sources for a very specific niche. So unless you’ve got a massive staff and resources like they’ve got at sites like Sports Book Review and Vegasinsider.com, Zoltan suggests sticking one sport:
In my opinion it is better to focus on one sport so you can really be an expert in one niche. Attracting visitors and players for 10-15 different sports is not that professional, unless you are a huge sports agency with hundreds of employees.
Fortunately, worldwide soccer provides enough action to keep affiliates in content and players all year round as Zoltan explains:
You have the domestic leagues, Champion’s League, Europa League and in every 2 year the World Cup or EURO Cup. The first 3 leagues come at a yearly cycle and each year brings different excitement; and the level of play keeps improving monthly…So, focusing on only one sport is better than having a huge amount of sports niches which all have their so called ‘surprises’.
Be Ready to Get Social
Sports fans of all kinds are serious social media users and soccer punters are especially active. Zoltan says as much as 70% of his traffic comes from social sites, mainly Facebook and Google + and he’s just scratched the surface as to what he can do with Twitter.
The good thing is that you can really improve the experience of a visitor via the traffic brought through social media due to the deeplinks that guide the visitor to the right landing pages. Adding links from a head to head compare to a social media is easier than having to find readers of an article.
And, as always, the key to success isn’t just to put it all out there and hope for the best. You always need to include plenty of interaction in your social media strategy.
Nuanced Mobile Strategies
Mobile optimization is a big deal in every market segment but it’s especially important for soccer affiliates. Zoltan told us that mobile optimization has both increased his mobile traffic by 200% and improved his overall SEO situation. But, once again, the build-it-and-they-will-come approach is not the most effective strategy.
Since most of the events happen in the weekend it is best to build the strategy of attracting the mobile users by adding the news and links really early in the morning or in the afternoon. The data has to be really fresh and that is when internet access is dominated by mobile or tablet devices. (See Figure A). So having a daily dose of news that is accessed in the the right time is a good strategy to build a base of players for each upcoming weekend.
In world where punters are live betting from the booth at their favorite pub or sports bar, giving them the opportunity to easily access your content via mobile devices is especially important.
Standing out in the crowd is tough for any website but it’s particularly tough when you’re in an ultra-competitive market like soccer wagering.
If you want your site to be a destination you’ve got to have content that adds value to the wagering experience; especially for those readers you know will actually be betting.
To that end, Zoltan has developed a proprietary algorithm that predicts match outcomes. While this data heavy approach is a bit more than casual fans are looking for, Zoltan says it’s solid gold for hardcore punters who like to dig deep:
I wasn’t looking to get rich out of this by getting as many visitors as possible, show bulk data and convert everyone. I focus on getting quality players that will deposit and use their accounts weekly, not just deposit to get a free bet or an XX amount of bonus.
Zoltan is planning on adding even more value for his readers by adding more general soccer content (player news and gossip), as well as selling tickets to top matches. It’s a strategy that puts the end-users first and makes ESS a site they’ll want to return to week in and week out.
Soccer wagering sites need to establish their brand – great content; in-depth data; whatever – if they want to compete.
The more they can get their name and value proposition out there in front of readers via social media and quality SEO, the more likely they are to grab a slice of that massive punter pie.