SEO: iGB and Blueclaw assess the 'no deposit' search market

15 October 2015

The 'no deposit' search market won't produce quick returns but it can work in the long term, says Blueclaw director Luke Ormerod.

The fact that operators are also focusing marketing efforts on accumulators or enhanced odds also explains why affiliates are concentrating their search efforts on those terms. 

Can 'no deposit' search terms work for affiliates? Working with multiple affiliates in the sportsbook sector has given Blueclaw  a clear understanding that ranking for search phrases with 'no deposit' in the search term just won’t pay, well in the short term anyway.

We asked Andy Clark, managing director of www.thatsagoal.com, his opinion of 'no deposit' traffic and the value it represents to his company.

“The major problem for affiliates is that ‘no deposit’ related search phrases rarely convert into cash players. Often it’s punters who are taking advantage of quick offers but still end up using their favoured operator anyway.” 

So can 'no deposit' search terms even make affiliates money? “Yes eventually, but this can take up to six months," Clark says. "One occasion comes to mind: I sent over 200 sign-ups from Cheltenham races to a large operator and I’m still waiting to see a return!”

He adds: “Once the player has signed up to an operator it's in that operator's hands to convert the punter into a cash player.” Is it worth it then? “'No deposit' traffic can work but affiliates must understand the quality of traffic is generally lower. Eventually you do see a return, but it’s a long term investment strategy for affiliates.”

We decided to take a look into the 'no deposit' sector to see who’s winning in this specific search niche. The style of search terms is a massive indicator of a huge long tail search market.

We only looked at the top 100 searches with relation to search volume but in reality, there were over 1700 different search phrases with 10 or more searches per month on average.

Interestingly, three super affiliates dominate the top three positions. Operators will appear in the search market but ultimately, they will get the traffic in the end anyway.

Usually we would agree that such a high market share for any affiliate must be producing some great revenue. Sadly, this is not the case. However, having a large search presence will help affiliates maintain a level of brand integrity and in turn increase their brand searches.

Interestingly, Google trends confirm that the 'no deposit' market is actually in decline.

In contrast certain markets are going up fast.

In common with most online markets, the search trends are often driven by offline advertising and media. Recent adverts from operators have changed, with a decline in adverts mentioning no deposit and a huge rise in accumulators, enhanced odds and mobile betting spearheading their TV advertising campaigns.

One affiliate recently asked us: “Is there any value in pushing my marketing budgets into the 'no deposit' niche?” Simply put, no, not if you want a quick return from your SEO budget. That said, there are free marketing channels which are still as active as ever for the no deposit market.

This data provided by Topsy shows the 'no deposit' social market on twitter.com is, if anything, on a gradual rise.

Therefore it's worth asking if affiliates are using social media to their best advantage to capture low value traffic for free?

Simply tweeting out your 'no deposit' tweet continuously and hoping the hashtag will push it into the right area just won’t work, you need your audience to engage with your content and share to their audiences.

To be able to market no deposit betting terms for free you must build your audience and ensure your written copy reaches the right eyes. One website that is good at engaging with its audience is www.betandskill.com.

Simple but useful event review pages with specific match or race topics clearly resonate with the target audience, helping build up a healthy amount of followers to target ‘no deposit’ tweets too.

In summary, just targeting the ‘no deposit’ betting niche using SEO and PPC alone will not return any investment quickly. Affiliates can target these channels using a multi-channel approach through social media to enhance their page’s success.

Under no circumstances are we saying the ‘no deposit’ sector won’t make affiliates money, but affiliates must be aware that ‘no deposit’ punters are a longer term investment from a SEO and paid search perspective.