This article is a guide to help any webmaster if they want to capitalize on the biggest sporting event in the world, the World Cup
. The World Cup 2014 in Brazil will be more than a major sporting event with the 2010 World Cup final drawing 700 million viewers alone. If you know anything about the betting habits of football fans, most of them bet with their heart and not with their head. The World Cup is personally one of my favourite sporting events to watch despite Canada not having a team good enough to win the tournament. If you are a fan of football (yes, the game you play with your foot and a ball, not hand egg) and you want to make some money this tournament as an affiliate then this guide is for you.
This article was featured in the iGB Affiliate Magazine
and you can apply the principles to other major sporting events and tournaments. If you need help selecting an affiliate program then find reviews of sportsbook affiliate programs here
The 3 main areas you will want to focus on are:
1. Technical Setup
2. Go Mobile
3. Geo Targetting
4. Content Marketing
5. Social Media
7. Selecting a Sportsbook Affiliate Program
Is it too late to start a site?
It is never too late to start a website. Never. There might be some sites that have a big head start or established betting sites that have dedicated content and sections for World Cup but there is enough traffic to go around. beteuro2012.org launched With only 1 month before the Euro 2012 beteuro2012.org was launched and did quite well for a brand new site.
1. Technical Setup
For a domain you probably would want something that explains what the site is right off the bat. Although there is a lot of discussions about the cons of using an exact match domain (EMD), if you are creating a site for the short term then you will want your visitors to understand what the site is.
I’m a big fan of Wordpress and many top affiliates are using Wordpress including e-sportbets.org and beteuro2012.org where the Bet Euro 2012 site was launched using Wordpress and created 1 month before that tournament began. If you can’t decide on a domain or content management system and you want to spend as little as possible then try Blogspot.com which is owned by Google and has a reputation for giving traffic and rankings without having to make as much of an effort as you would with a Wordpress site. Don’t forget to make sure your CMS and template is mobile friendly using responsive design.
Starting a website without a budget
If you want to launch a website without any investment at all other than your own time, you have many resources available. Google isn’t the only player in the game but lets face it, they are biased and are the biggest search engine around. You can launch a website, setup all your social media accounts and connect it all through a single Gmail account. Here are your tools:
- Setup your email with Gmail and run everything through this. Be sure to keep this email highly secure as it has control over everything.
- Once you have Gmail, you can do everything else and setup a blog in a few minutes getting your own blog URL and start writing posts and pages immediately.
- This is like Facebook but you want to get yourself setup as an author so when you setup blogspot, they will probably try to force Google+ on you and just go with it.
- Just add this as a widget on your blog so you can collect emails of your users, it is easy to do and every time you make a blog post, your subscribers will get an email and your widget.
- You might not need YouTube but it is a great tool to generate traffic.
- Just join all of them and add them as widgets on your blog.
- Join a few affiliate programs
to get some banners and links setup on your site so you can make some money from your traffic. Be sure to pay close attention to our section on how to select the right affiliate program!
: If you are buying a domain and planning to do hosting, be aware of your target audience. If you have a .ca domain to target Canadians then ideally you would want your hosting done in Canada whereas sites like GoDaddy are typically hosted in the United States. Also be sure to check your host would allow online gaming content as some like HostGator say they don’t.
2. Go Mobile
Sportsbetting sites are getting more mobile traffic and with so much mobile traffic you really need to make sure your site is ready. The best way to get a site mobile ready is through responsive design. There are plenty of Wordpress templates that feature responsive design. You can’t ignore the data and ask any sports betting related website what their mobile traffic is like.
The site isn’t even optimized for mobile although with a simple template it is fairly readable.
21% mobile traffic, 6.5% tablet
2% Other mobile OS
Last year for the month of March 2013 the stats were 26% iOS and 10% Android.
Almost 50% of the traffic to F1-Bettings is mobile traffic. Checking with a few other sites for the same time period of sites that are not mobile ready have less mobile traffic and this could be a result of not having a mobile formatted website. Regardless when your site isn’t mobile ready, the bounce rate increases for that mobile traffic and that means less conversions. When it comes to gambling, mobile phones are great for betting on sports, casino and maybe lottery. If you have targeted traffic already hitting your site then you’ll want to convert as much of that as possible and if you are not mobile ready, you might lose this traffic to someone else.
There are plenty of Wordpress themes that are free AND have responsive design. Just go to wordpress.org/themes
and in the search type ‘responsive’ and you’ll get more than enough themes that are mobile ready.
3. Geo Targeting
If you are working with sportsbooks then you will definitely want to do geo targeting unless your audience is a specific language like Italian then maybe you can get away with not needing to geo target your ads, banners and links. If your site is in English then it makes sense that you will get US, UK and rest of world traffic and some sportsbooks don’t take players from all countries with some examples like Canada, Australia and United States to name a few. The same goes with a language like Spanish with so many countries speaking the languages, not all sportsbooks are available to players in Spain for example. Portuguese? Again you have Portugal and Brazil for traffic possibilities and you might want to focus on sportsbooks that are stronger in certain countries. Another example is Sky Bet, they are very strong in the UK but only take players in UK and in Ireland so your rest of world traffic would be wasted if you sent them to Sky Bet so in this case geo targeting would make the most out of your traffic.
When you implement geo targeting you are preventing your site from sending traffic to betting sites where players won’t be able to signup.
Tip from Dealer Dan
on geo targeting
“Geo-target. A US Bookie who you can get a landing page and some sort of free bet or promo offer with. A big UK bookie who has special deals and promos such as Bet365 and Paddy Power. Come World Cup time, these guys are like Amazon for conversion/retention”.:
A geo targeting plugin that works with Wordpress is from Epikmedia.com
. Use bonus code gaffg to get $10 off (I seriously don’t get any commission from this).
4. Content Marketing
Your content needs to attract the right user and sell. You don’t want to get into the mistake of spending too much time talking about the match without talking about the betting aspects of the match. So what type of page and topics can help you attract the right users and convert?
Match Betting Tips/Odds
World Cup News
If your content isn’t focused enough then you might have a possibility of attracting a lot of traffic but traffic that doesn’t convert as well. A common mistake is writing match previews and hoping that the users that found your page through a search engine would be kind enough to click on your banner. Sure there might be other strategies to take this type of traffic and try to pull a sale from it but it is essentially swimming against the current and maybe your time is better spent doing something else. There will be a lot of people watching the games but not all will be interested in betting however the ones that are interested will be your easiest conversions.
So you can write content about the schedules, team profiles, player profiles but this is the type of content you might have a harder time converting and you should at least ensure you have your core content covered especially the content that is going to help you attract the right converting traffic and also give you a chance to convert it on your website as well.
World Cup news might be interesting to read but try to understand what will convert better, world cup news or world cup tips? Someone searching for world cup odds, tips or betting are going to be the type of traffic you will want to get.
: Remember around the world online gambling is still growing and there are a lot of people out there that are still learning how it works. Guides and instructional videos are always a great way to attract these new players and to win their loyalty and trust. Also sportsbook reviews are just as important and make sure your review suits the needs of your audience.
Tip from Dealer Dan
“Lots and lots of content. Even if you don't rank for the primary keywords, you can still get longtail. Look at every possible bet and write an article on it. Think about other shit people will be looking up, and cover it. For example even something as simple as "What time is the England game on at?" and you can target that keyword. In addition - mailing list. Hook them up for the future - my BetEuro2012 site has a couple k mailing list users I can hit come World Cup.”
Niche & USP
To follow up with content marketing, what is your niche, what makes your site special as in it’s Unique Selling Point (USP)? Is your site about tips, a betting guide to the world cup or focused on a team like England? What about a focus on mobile betting or maybe focus on other countries and markets? One aspect of betting that always attracts the right type of crowd is providing tips to your users. If you can provide tips for your users then you have a means to attract and convert users. If you aren’t experienced at providing this as a service then maybe you want to search for a partner that knows sportsbetting inside out to help with content and providing analysis of the games.
Tip from Dealer Dan
“Odds comparison between the sportsbooks works wonders.”
Betting Trends & and Knowing Your Customers
In the world of sports betting it helps to understand the trends of the sport and habits of your users. When it comes to an event like the World Cup there is a lot to absorb. Remember most players bet with their heart and not with their head so that probably represents the majority of the gamblers out there. This means you will see a lot of people either betting for their favourite team, favourite player or will just be betting on the favourite to win regardless of what return is available for them. Players will naturally respond to betting offers as well as this is what sportsbooks will offer to get users to not only signup but make a deposit. The other aspect of betting customers is they like to make money so this is where if you have a decent tipster service available you can get some followers and within this section of traffic, of course players will follow a tipster but often deviate from the recommended bet as sometimes it involves betting against your own team to make a profit.
So what are the trends and favourites going into the world cup?
Lionel Messi plays great for Barcelona but Argentina doesn’t seem to translate this into success. Current odds are at 4/1 to win the tournament.
England is great at inventing sports and it stops there. English fans will bet loyally on their team but they don’t seem to win much in the tough games. Current odds are 33/1 to win the tournament.
Brazil are the host team and have won the most titles so they are 3/1 favourites to win the tournament and is probably not a great bet.
Spain won the last 3 major tournaments, expect a lot of people to just bet on the winning team, odds of 7/1.
What else can players bet on?
- Top Goalscorer
- Group Qualification
- To Reach Finals
- Group Winner
- Every match
The amount of betting options players will have will be immense and relaying this information to your users can help make the conversion process a lot easier. You can pick exact scores of matches, who will score and it really never ends.
5. Social Media
Social media intimidates a lot of people including experienced webmasters and most of them are still not using social media to it’s full potential. Most webmasters are using it like a spam tool and still don’t understand the purpose of it. So let me summarize the important takeaway points of social media and how you need to wrap your head around it.
Capture your audience
- Think of social media follow buttons like email subscribe buttons. We know email marketing is important because if people signup to your site in anyway, it means they are interested and it gives you a chance to get them to come back to your site if they forgot about you and these days it is easy for users to forget who you are when your competition is fighting for their attention. So what you want to accomplish with your social media buttons are to get people to follow you. It is easier for someone to just click a ‘like’ or ‘follow’ button than it is to put in a name and email address. If anything these social media sites like Facebook are in some aspects becoming another alternative to email marketing. If you get traffic to your site, you want to make sure you have a chance to get them to come back to it in any way possible and social media will be that tool.
Search & Traffic
- Yes social media sites have their own search engines and algorithms and people do use them. On top of this, some social media profiles and content can also appear high in Google search itself. So if you do it right, you can attract some real people with social media.
Make Quality Posts
- This goes for your website content and the stuff you post on social media whether Facebook or Twitter or any of the rest. If your content has an interesting article then people don’t mind liking the article or better yet, sharing it. If your content is shit then it just won’t get shared. Same thing for your posts. If you spend more time posting links than something worthy of a comment or discussion then expect no interaction with your users.
A few tips on each Social Media Profile
- Choose a compelling title for your Facebook fan page. If your title is just a brand name that doesn’t get a lot of searches then people might have a hard time finding you there.
- If you post any links, use the tool to shorten then. Try to make your posts worthy of it starting a discussion and also understand what hashtags (#) are for and what using @ does as well in your tweets. If this doesn’t make sense, find a beginners guide to Twitter so you do it right. Lots of people will be talking about the tournament on Twitter.
- Some might not call this social media but it is. If you make any videos, you’ll be far ahead of the game. If you want a lot of traffic and discussions then you can produce videos on topics ranging from Bet365 Review all the way down to posts like ‘Why England won’t win the World Cup 2014’ if you want to really get a lot of traffic and heat up the discussion.
- This is still a quiet place to be but maybe it will heat up and it is a tool that could generate some traffic to you.
Video Tips: If you are going to make YouTube videos, be sure to put a link in your video description and add some original text to your videos, this will help the video get more search traffic in Google and in YouTube searches.
SEO can be another intimidating topic but I will aim to keep it short and simple. If you follow the other guidelines I’ve listed in this article then the SEO work shouldn’t be too complicated either. So let me summarize SEO just like I did for social media:
- The more content you have, especially quality content, the easier it will be for you to rank in search engines for various keywords. Producing quality content takes more effort than just writing generic boring reviews. You can easily find out who your competition are and you can see what content they write about. If you have something of value to offer then this is your USP, which in turn becomes your content. Remember content can be in many forms whether as text or better yet, as a video.
- Don’t get me wrong, quality first over quantity but we have to remember the basic principles. Quality content takes hard work, and writing and producing more articles also takes work. This is where most webmasters stop because most people don’t like to work unless they see an instant return. If you have a website that has a single page then you can’t realistically expect to do well at all. When you look at websites that tend to rank well you will find that not only do they have quality content but they have lots of content. Lets put it into perspective: There are 48 games in the group stage alone, there are 32 teams in the tournament, there are probably over 50 sportsbooks you could review. If you did an article on those games, teams and sportsbooks and spent 1 hour producing an article that is 120 articles there alone. Less pages = less search traffic
- Links are probably the most controversial aspect of SEO right now and everyone has an opinion of what a good link is and what a bad link is. Without going into too much detail or advice on what to do or what not to do, you will need some links to get more search traffic. There are plenty of companies out there that will not only sell you links but promise #1 rankings, you will most likely want to avoid the ‘too good to be true’ offers. There are lots of ways of getting links without having to pay for it and your focus on links as well should be on sites that could represent traffic. Link building can be a whole other topic but if you want advice on link building you can ask me directly.
7. Selecting a sportsbook affiliate program
If you are new to the gaming industry then you will want to do some research and know you are selecting the right sportsbook. Not all sportsbooks are created equally so you want both a sportsbook that treats your players good and one that also earns you money in the process.
- Affiliate Guard Dog (AGD) first and see if the program has their terms and conditions reviewed. Many affiliate programs have
Terms & conditions
- Read the terms and conditions of the affiliate program. Most of this is summarized at AGD but you want to pay attention to a few important details like do they have a minimum player quota or performance clause? Do they pay out commissions if your players try their casino? Many players like to play at the casino and this is a big commission opportunity. Some sportsbooks like Paddy Power don’t pay commission if your players venture off to the casino. Remember when the tournament is over, your players could play something else so be sure you are getting the most out of your sportsbook
- Terms and conditions are not good enough. Find other webmasters who are happy with an affiliate program who are happy with their commissions. There are some sportsbooks that have great branding but a horrible reputation when it comes to tracking.
CPA vs Revenue Share
- Some programs that have quotas you might want to work on CPA or are unsure about the program’s stability in the future especially when it comes to upholding an agreement. Some programs have closed their affiliate programs or retroactively changed the terms and conditions so when this happens it makes CPA look more appealing.
Target Audience - Do they match your target audience? Not all sportsbooks accept players from all countries so you want to see if they accept players from your country or language.
: Find other popular or top ranking websites that promote sportsbooks and see which bookies they like to work with. You could try asking them which programs they recommend and why or just post in the AGD forums asking for recommendations.
: Many affiliate programs don’t have terms and conditions suitable for new affiliates that include things like quotas and performance clauses. For sporting events which are usually time based and seasonal, these types of clauses are not good for you so understand this before sending traffic to a brand that might not give you the best ROI.
Conclusion: The Game is 90 Minutes and Germany wins
If you love football then making a site for betting on sports should not only be easy but fun. Producing the content shouldn’t feel like work and if you set things up correctly then you can make some very good money from it too AND you will have an excuse to watch every game of the tournament and feel productive about it. The content should write itself and all the major online sportsbooks will be making offers and promotions to help get more betting activity and this is more converting content for you to work with. It is never too late to start a website especially for the World Cup. If you have questions or need some help you can get affiliate coaching from myself from Gaffg.com or from Dealer Dan from AffiliateBible.com.
My Pick Germany
Why most players are tripping over Brazil, Argentina or Spain, I think this tournament will belong to the Germans as they have been strong in 2010 and 2012 tournaments where their previously young stars are now very experienced and hungrier than ever. Their midfield is just as strong as Spain’s and their strikers and defenders look better. They are probably the most complete team in the tournament and although they are considered a bit of a favourite, the pressure won’t be as high on them as the other 3 teams especially the host nation. 2 underdog teams I think you will hear a lot of in the tournament are Belgium and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Cristiano Ronaldo can carry his team on his back and could rack of a lot of goals in the tournament. Argentina are proof that you still need good coaching and all-star players are not good enough to win, just look at what David Moyes has done with Manchester United. Look out for Ghana and Uruguay in the tournament as well.
A few sites that are in on the action this summer: