Link Building that Actually Improves Rankings
It’s part art, part science. Link building is tough because doing link building the right way means doing good personalised outreach. It means creating and/or sharing valuable content people are actually happy and proud to link to.
Rank top of page for 2 very competitive keyword “online casino” and “mobile casino”.
Top of page for both “online casino” and “mobile casino” – AMAZING RESULTS!
Strategies and Tactics
- Claim unlinked mentions by locating brand mentions via ahrefs and collaborated with web masters to add brand links to the spin palace site.
- Reclaim broken links via Link Explorer in MOZ. Connect with webmasters to get the links updated. Add a 301 redirects to links that can’t be updated.
- Reclaim recently lost links and engage with webmasters, creating a relationship to try identify why:
- did a competitor approach them with better content
- is the webmaster doing a site update…
- Submit to high quality directories that are relevant to the casino business and have a good page authority (also great for local SEO!)
- Guest post and build editorial connections:
- Authentic game reviews
- Tutorials around how to play poker etc
- Showcase how to increase odds of winning with in depth analysis and data
- Use the Skyscraper Technique to quickly find link worthy content that has performed incredibly well and reproduce it with even better content, then also reach out to the people who covered the original content and ask them to link to our improved resource.
- Create infographics that shout “share me!”. Infographics that worked well for this project were Poker related: “Train Your Brain to Play Poker Like the Pros” and “Pre-Flop Ranges”
- Review sites that mention competitors but not us, by simply doing a Google search +betfair -spin. Great for finding new opportunities from web masters that are already interested in the casino industry, whilst also gaining an insight into what competitors are doing!
- Identify questions that are being asked and add answers to the blog
- Help a Reporter Out (HARO) – share data insights into the gambling industry such as characteristics of a professional gambler
- Be the first to report on big winners and share these stories with high authority news sites. One famous story “Afghanistan veteran, wins big on a 25p casino bet” – also great for PR!
- Sponsor local events including football teams, poker events and meetup events
- Participate in local events such as charity runs. A great way to gain some high authority links whilst having fun! I got sponsored to do the Silverstone Marathon!
- Work with Universities by taking part in research projects related gambling. We got involved in
- “Age differences in gambling behavior”
- “Examining Gender Differences for Gambling Engagement and Gambling Problems”
- Offer Scholarship funding and reach out to colleges and universities that list current scholarships.
Review Technical SEO
Whilst link building is great for demonstrating trust and popularity to Google. It is also just as important (if not more important) to ensure pages are relevant, quick to load and user friendly.
- Setup of Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools to gain valuable insights to the sites performance and features including URL inspection, search results and coverage. Find and fix crawl errors and review coverage
- Setup for Google Analytics to view data and insights about performance including bounce rates and average time on site.
- Generate and submit a sitemap to help Google (and Bing) to crawl all pages
- Create a Robots.txt file to tell search engine crawlers the pages and files to access.
- Migrate to HTTPS encryption to gain extra trust from Google (and users)
- Check for duplicate versions of the site in Google, and add a redirect to teh desired version “www.spinpalace.com”
- Fix broken internal links to improve user experience
- Improve site speed, and fix any problems such as high image sizes etc
- Use concise Title tags and descriptions. Replacing duplicate and missing tags, and making sure new tags are keyword specific but also include a CTA to entice users to click (Increase CTR).
- Optimise header tags, particularly H1, to quickly tell both Google and the user what this page is about.
- Use descriptive and SEO friendly URLs, keeping them short, including the main keyword for that page “/mobile-casino/” | “/casino-games/blackjack/”
- Improve page content to ensure it is SEO friendly, BUT not keyword stuffed. Whilst it is incredibly difficult to rank a page for “Tomb Raider Slots” with absolutely no mention of Tomb Raider Slots on the page, having the keyphrase on every header tag and unnecessarily repeated in the content is bad for the user (will increase bounce rate) whilst also likely to trigger a penalty for over optimisation.
- Improve internal linking to help pass link juice and improve user experience
- Ensure images use ALT tags to help with relevancy, telling google this is an image of a tomb raider slot game will help Google to acknowledge this page is related to Tomb Raider Slots
- Find and fix keyword cannibalization issues, combining pages targeting the same search term (with same intent) to maximise performance and avoid competing against ourselves in the SERP
- Review existing content, ensuring it is seo friendly:
- Includes the targeted keyword
- uses LSI keywords such as “gambling”, “gaming”, “jackpot”, “chips”, “blackjack”, “slots”, “roulette”, “dealer” and “deposit bonus”
Improve UI and UX
Personally, I believe link building will only take you so far. That been, to the first page of Google. However, if the user experience is poor, the website will very quickly find itself back onto page 4, usually within a week or so.
Provide Good User Experience
- Ensure the website is easy to navigate and consistent
- Make content easy to understand and engaging. Using bullet points to help users quickly find what they’re looking for
- Improve sites loading speed. Users will stop engaging if they’re having to wait for images to load etc.
- Make sure the website is responsive and mobile friendly
- improve website security, https a must!
Backlink Profile Analysis
Ensuring we had a natural backlink profile was also critical to avoid penalties. In-depth knowledge of back link analysis was also critical for quickly identifying negative SEO, which is the practice of using black hat and unethical techniques to sabotage a competitor’s rankings in search engines.
- Backlink acquisition rate over time
- Look for a disproportionate amount of links from “spammy” CTLDs
- Review anchor text profile, ensuring a good mix of branded, eaxt match, partial match and hybrid anchor texts
- Look for backlinks from the same C‑Class IPs (we had a lot of these due to link buying!)
- Check how many root domains are pointing to us, ensuring a good percentage are from high authority websites
Please note, tactics mentioned above are from 2014. Therefore, some of them will no longer work.