Pay-per click advertising is a major channel for customer acquisition in the online gambling vertical (casino, poker, bingo, sports) – so big in fact that big clients spend millions of pounds each year on coverage of the most lucrative keywords they can bid on. Google also appoints these companies with their own dedicated account managers. iGaming advertising is HUGE and like everything digital, Google wants to control it.
Site owners / operators can use pay-per-click advertising on Google, facebook and other platforms to bid on keywords to bring them visitors which they hope to convert into RMPs/customers.
While many sites choose to bet on relevant keywords to their products and industry, Some gambling site even choose to bid on their competitors brand and product terms.
What this means is that gaming customers try to ‘parasite’ on the brands of their rivals, bidding on their brand names and product terms in a bit to ‘steal’ / appeal to their rivals customers by utilising clever, targeted advertising.
If the a company runs out of allocated pay-per-click budget for the day, screws up their ad-copy, placements, or bid amounts – this can be extremely costly.
Below are a number of interesting gambling-related PPC pay-per-click coverage observations from the UK search results- where online gaming merchants are (for one reason or another) simply leaving a lot of money on the table.
Their oversights = opportunity. Who says there is no such thing as a free lunch? :)
Let’s take a brief look at some of the gaps and failures of gambling companies using pay per click marketing in the UK, and the opportunities they present:
1. 32Red paying ~£14 a click for the term ‘PokerStars Bonus Code’
Any term with a cost-per-click of a staggering £14-16 per click needs to deliver. Don’t forget that it’s a risky business bidding on someone else’s brand unless you know exactly what you’re doing.
If you don’t want to completely burn your money (like 32Red), don’t try to target a customer who is already clearly (according to the keyword) in the final stages of a conversion funnel for another very distinctive product. Their user intent is to play on ‘Stars. They just want the best deal on their deposit. (Before you say – maybe 32Red are chasing the ‘bonus hunter’ – their bonus is an embarrasing £32, versus PokerStars’ $600 deposit bonus).
Understanding, and Using appropriate negative keywords on your ‘other brands’ PPC group will eliminate this issue.
If you don’t understand the different user personas which make up your customer base, and the vertical and players therein, it’s going to be difficult to filter out the customer types which fall just outside your desired target group – resulting in your gambling PPC campaigns containing keywords which certainly have demand (according to PPC search volume tools), but which lack relevance and which will burn a hole in your PPC account if left unchecked.
2. Display ad text reads ‘poker free rolls’ as opposed to ‘poker freerolls’
Lack of niche or domain information, or perhaps a typo makes this advert by SKYpoker look amateurish.
It’s hard to take a company seriously if they don’t even know their own product. People are looking for free poker games (freerolls), not sandwiches!
3. Where’s my brand? Smartlive, PokerHeaven, Bwin brand protection fail
Building a brand is what most marketers strive for. Brand means retention, and with new customers costing up to 5 times more to acquire than it costs to retain a customer – once you have established your brand, it’s important to protect it. What that means in practical terms is that your ‘shop’ needs to be open, and visible on the internet ‘high street’ of the search-engine results pages.
Some companies may suffer from budget issues, overspend, maybe they just don’t care or are planning on canning their products – regardless of reasons why, it’s interesting to see a bunch of the big names in poker are not even bidding on their brandnames and branded product names in paid search.
They have a poker product, I swear. I won $13,000 there one time! Maybe SmartLive is broke or stupid. It’s not a daily budget spend issue.
Once the biggest shark on the IPN network, seeming to undercut everyone’s deals and slash margins, now rumoured to be ‘moving shop’ to another Network from the dying IPN / Boss media network – PokerHeaven isn’t even bidding its own brand name.
BWin aren’t bidding on BWin Poker. Oh BWin, when will you learn how to roll?
A 5 minute look at some almost root branded PPC terms has revealed plenty of cheap options for getting specific targeted traffic types which can be converted into real depositing players.
Throw in some tasty CPA, hybrid or revenue share deals and look forward to a fat turkey this year.