SEO Checklist for Poker Affiliates
Poker affiliates are licking their chops at the prospect of legal online poker in the United States. With a flood of new players in the works, and some serious competition for them, now is great time for poker
With legal online poker on tap for the American market, poker affiliates are licking their chops in anticipation. Before the floodgates of American players opens up, we strongly recommend that poker affiliate sites step back and conduct an SEO audit on their US facing sites.
Here are a few step-by-step instructions for getting in tune with the latest Google search engine marketing techniques that can keep you on top of the page rankings.
Conduct a Link Audit
Any well-established poker site is going to be full of out of date links to bonus offers, tournaments and new stories. Before going after all those poker-hungry American players, you’ll definitely want to get rid of all that dead weight.
There are plenty of good link checking tools on web and number of them are free to use. We like BrokenLinkChecker.com but they’re hardly the only one that’s available.
From an SEO perspective dead links are a pretty serious matter. Google favors sites that are active and authoritative. Search bots that hit a lot of dead ends are going to send back some not-so-nice reviews of your site to the mother ship. But don’t just fix broken links because Google wants you to.
American poker players are going to have lots of options when it comes to choosing an online poker room. A well maintained site that’s free of broken links sends a message that your site is worth working with.
A lot has changed in the SEO world since American players were fenced off. Thanks to Google Panda and Penguin updates, the kind of keyword-stuffed, low quality content that once assured top page rankings just won’t cut it anymore.
Now is a great time to go back over your site and remove any content that’s not up to snuff. It’s also a good time to come up with a long term content plan that helps you establish credibility with players in all markets. Think about the kind of content you would want to read and that’s exactly the direction you should be heading.
No one wants to read meaningless articles that are little more than an extended call-to-action.
Think Big, Act Meta
When you step back and think about it, good SEO is series of small actions that add up to a single positive result; a top page ranking. That’s why every link name, file name and alt description is so important.
Poker affiliates need to get into the habit of tagging and describing everything on their site that they possibly can. Remember, search bots can’t describe a picture unless you help them. Whether you’re using WordPress or Blogger, you need to spend some time writing good SEO-friendly descriptions of every graphic, and video, that goes up on your site.
Choose Your Partners Carefully
It’s the morning after for link exchanges and a lot of poker affiliates aren’t too happy with the partners they’re waking up with. Best practice SEO on Google relies heavily on organic, not paid, links. If you went a little overboard on link exchanges in the past, now is the time to review those partners.
- Contact sites that aren’t up to your standards and ask them to remove links to your sites.
- Start building up new, high quality, link exchanges with other reliable sites through guest blogging and other modern link-building methods.
- Don’t forget to tag questionable links with a “no-follow” tag to avoid association with them.
Looking for more SEO information? Take a look at our SEO Checklist for Affiliates.
Keep it Simple
Don’t let a design obsessed web developer talk you into a site that you really don’t want or need. Over the top graphics and other flashy (no pun intended) bells and whistles look great in the office, but that’s not who you’re trying to impress. A graphic-heavy site that loads slowly is an SEO burden you don’t want to carry.
Take a look at the simple, but effective, design at PokerStrategy.com. It’s right to the point, emphasizes a call to action, and loads up quickly. That’s minimalism at work.
Stay on Top of SEO
Not everyone who signed up to be a poker affiliate is crazy about the idea of becoming an SEO expert, too but it kind of comes with the territory these days. Of course you don’t have spend your days poring over the Matt Cutts blog, but staying current is the bare minimum.
Try including sites like SEOmoz, Quicksprout.com, and, of course CAP in your daily Internet diet. Knowing all the latest technical details isn’t as important for most people as just keeping abreast of trends.
SEO isn’t nearly as complicated as it might seem and if you want to stay in the race for American players, it’s something you’ll definitely want to stay on top of.
What SEO tips do you have for poker affiliates? Let us know about them on our SEO Forum.