DEVELOPING A MOBILE iGAMING STRATEGY


iGaming no longer means ‘online’... it means digital. Mobile strategy development for start-up affiliate businesses.


THE QUESTION USED to be “How many people own a Smartphone?” Now, it’s rapidly changing into “How many people don’t?” Smartphone usage has exploded in recent years, with an estimated 43.8 percent of the UK population owning one at the end of 2011, and Ofcom predicting that six in ten Brits will own a Smartphone by the end of 2012.
As an affiliate, there are three main areas that you need to focus on:

• Usability
• SEO
• Mobile-friendly gaming sites

How does this relate to mobile gaming?

Business developers within the gaming sector are now past the point of just considering mobile strategies but need to be effectively implementing them NOW to maximise potential consumers from this sector. Simply transferring a desktop campaign to a mobile isn’t the most effective way to gain an audience. Affiliate marketing can be much more effective on a site that has been created specifically with mobile handset resolutions in mind, rather than merely the same site used for a desktop campaign.

Usability

Any successful affiliate campaign rests on recruiting as high a value consumer as possible through your sites and, therefore, it is vital that the mobile platform makes it as easy as possible for the consumer to convert on your site. Mobile users access content in a different manner from desktop users. An effective call-to-action for a desktop user may be overlooked when seen on a mobile, therefore, it is important for affiliates to prioritise content for mobile users and present it more effectively. By producing what is essentially a stripped-down version of the main website, the functionality of a mobile site can become quicker, simpler and easier to navigate. It is important to remember that everything done on a mobile is done using only one digit. Simplicity is key. All this will ensure that it is as easy as possible for the user to convert. With the current range of Smartphones on the market all using slightly different displays, device detection is also an important part of any mobile strategy development. A mobile site designed for an iPhone, for example, may display correctly and prove lucrative, yet it will display differently on a Blackberry or Android, thus rendering any campaign focal points ineffective.

As mobile display is different from desktop, it stands to reason that the advertisement spaces an affiliate promotes will also be different. The desktop layouts of banners, textlines, skyscrapers, etc, will need to be different in order to cater for this and maximise impact through a mobile.

How does the best practice for SEO relate to mobile iGaming for affiliates?

With the growth in Smartphone users in the UK, it’s not surprising that there has been an increase in search queries from mobile devices with volumes expected to overtake those coming from desktops by the end of 2013. As mentioned previously, text-rich advertisements and banners are more effective on mobile devices, due to the way they are displayed. Research has shown that mobile users will use search terms in a different manner from desktop users and, therefore, this needs to be incorporated into the SEO strategy. A typical mobile searcher will use on average two or three words when performing a search query - much less than a desktop user. In terms of a mobile campaign, longer tail keyword phrases are going to prove less valuable at this moment in time. Another important consideration is to include location with highly competitive phrases to take advantage of localised listings.

How does mobile usability effect affiliate business?

The ultimate goal for any affiliate business is to deliver revenue from its traffic and, therefore, loyalty to any one company isn’t as important (although this will depend on deal types agreed with providers). When working within a desktop landscape, an affiliate business needs to be selective about the type of site that it sends its clients to. If the site is poor, then the affiliates are going to make less revenue from conversions so, as a consequence, it is wiser for them to send their clients to sites which are more effective converters.

The same concept applies to affiliate companies working within the mobile sector. If a desktop campaign has been simply transferred to a mobile, the model will not prove effective for affiliates. For example, a flash skyscraper advert on a desktop can be an effective call-to-action, but mobile users may not see it correctly. Adverts need to be text-rich, or in the form of mobile friendly banners to prove effective. Affiliate companies are more likely to refer clients to bookmakers with mobile specific banners as these display differently. Gaming companies such as bet365 have strong mobile sites and affiliates are more likely to promote these.

The next hurdle is deciding what sort of campaign an affiliate should run. Currently, a significant 12 percent of all gaming- related PPC clicks come from tablets or Smartphones, which is not to be ignored. Even with the suggestion that Smartphone searches are set to overtake desktop within the next two years, this 12 percent figure is set to rise further throughout 2012.

Latitude is already seeing a marked increase in mobile CPCs as the landscape becomes more competitive, although the click-through- rates for mobile PPC adverts are as much as ten percent higher than on desktops.

We hope this helps any affiliates in planning their forward thinking approach to ensuring you are considering your mobile campaign in 2012.
 
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