Paid advertising is a large component of a business’ marketing plan. For iGaming brands, implementing the right business strategies for affiliate programme and brand growth is crucial for player acquisition and retention. Through different forms of online paid advertising, including pay-per-click (PPC) ads, brands can better achieve their targets.

PPC ads are among the top methods of paid advertising, made popular by service providers such as Google. Whether aiming to increase site traffic or convert visitors into depositing players, our two-part blog will highlight best practices for PPC marketing and ad optimisation that iGaming operators can implement to strengthen current marketing strategies. The first part is available below and part two can be accessed here.

PPC on Google Ads

According to StatCounter, Google held nearly 93% of the search engine market share worldwide in 2019, a statistic determined by usage across desktops, tablets and mobile devices. This is important for PPC specialists looking to maximise their reach.

But what is PPC anyway? PPC is a marketing method where advertisers bid for an ad placement on a search engine’s platform. So, when a user searches a keyword related to the advertiser’s campaign, a sponsored ad may show up in the search results. Think of it as renting a space on Google and competing with other businesses for the top spot. This spot is earned through a combination of factors including relevance and quality of keywords, creative copy and landing page quality. Keyword match types are another parameter that control the search terms appearing on a search engine’s results page (SERP). These can all be managed on the Google Ads platform.

While display and app ads are also prevalent, search ads are popular due to their capacity for capturing user intent. Focused on fulfilling a need or service, search ads yield a return on investment (ROI) because they solve a problem for the consumer. Building a winning PPC campaign involves selecting the right keywords, A/B testing and more, which we’ll explore in part two of this blog.

For iGaming, PPC is relevant as it feeds into applying best practices to avoid Google penalties. Both operators and affiliates can establish dominant positions on a range of keywords by using a tailored strategy based on vertical, budget and objectives. Sportsbooks for example, can benefit from building PPC campaigns around sporting events. For casino operators, advertisers can leverage special offers and bonuses in their ads. Ultimately, the strategy for keyword selection would require regular data review.

The conversion funnel relies on continuous tracking and monitoring of your site’s key performance indicators (KPIs) like impressions, clicks, registrations and deposits. Therefore, ad copy is crucial because it needs to be customised for each search term, thus responding to the consumer’s needs. All in all, those who take a holistic and integrated approach to PPC advertising will be positioned for strong campaign performance with a higher converting audience. Discover how connecting your Google Ads Account to the Income Access platform can provide access to additional metrics of value.

According to eMarketer, the dominant players in the PPC world are Google and Facebook, owning 36.2% and 19.2% of the market share in 2019, respectively.  Those numbers are expected to remain similar moving into 2020. On the iGaming advertising side of things, last month Google updated its policies surrounding gambling and games. The changes will allow operators to run adverts in select US states as well as Colombia, Kenya and Nigeria. Complete beta testing of sports betting ads will also be permitted in select US markets. To learn more about key Facebook marketing strategies for online gaming operators, check out our latest blog on the subject.

Obtaining a Google Ads License

To advertise on Google, operators and affiliates must first be certified by the search giant, which has an ads policy for both offline and online gaming ads promoting specified offers and products. This includes bonus codes, odds calculators, online lottery tickets, bingo/slot sites or apps, sports betting and more.

Brands expecting to create iGaming-related ads should apply as a first step, as well as familiarise themselves with the list of country-specific restrictions. The benefits of obtaining this license are extensive because without it, brands are prohibited from running paid ads. Furthermore, brands can avoid being penalised, which can result in ad blocks, gaming websites being flagged and a suspension of their associated Google Ad account. For support in applying to the proper Google Ads Certification, please reach out to our team of experts.

In the second and final part of this blog post, we’ll break down the approach to determining a strategy and budget for PPC marketing and ad optimisation. We’ll also highlight the benefits of implementing these strategies in a broader marketing mix. In the meantime, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.