Five SEO tips to conquer the French market in 2011

The online gaming market in France has been on a constant uptrend

IT IS NO SECRET that with the recent European gaming legislation, the online gaming market in France has been on a constant uptrend. To reach 'top of mind' positioning within French target audiences, online gaming companies should endeavour to reach top positioning on search engine results locally, increase their presence on social media platforms and ensure they speak the same language as their target audiences.

France, generally being a very competitive market, has offered fantastic opportunities for online gaming companies in 201 о and the market promises further growth in 2 011.

By way of example, blackjack-related search terms were up 20 percent year-on-year over Christmas (2010 Vs 2009) and casino-related search terms were up ten percent year-on-year over the same period. Due to the competitiveness of the French market, it is important for online gaming companies to be up-to-date with the most recent trends in search. In France, Google has 95 percent dominance, around six to seven percent more than in the UK and, thus, the general algorithmic considerations are the same. The key is to implement a localised strategy to link building and identifying opportunities, as well as being up-to-date with some of the following top tips to be 'found' and 'liked' by the French consumer in 2011.

1. Personalised search engine and website cultural optimisation

One of the next big SEO trends in 2011 will be customised Internet research. Especially for a sophisticated and competitive online market such as France this is a fact which needs to be taken into account. One good example of how to perform personalised search engine

optimisation is localised SEO with Google addresses. With Google maps and geo-tagging being an important component of Google's search strategy, listings with Google Places will more likely help businesses appear in the first page results of a user's customised search.

But not only should online gaming businesses make sure to appear on top of the search results list, it is also important to ensure that they speak the same language as their website visitors.

To ensure online gaming businesses seeking a multilingual online presence understand their target audiences and their needs, Oban Multilingual has developed the cultural multivariate testing tool Global Maxer. Through the use of experimental design, this tool allows for substantial improvements to increase the conversion rates (such as unique visitors to sales). For example, we have found that the French show a much higher response to certain website layouts in combination with large call-to-action buttons than in Germany or Italy, for example.

2. Localised keyword research

Localised keyword research is essential to discover the nuances in French search and localised linking strategies. Rather than translating English search terms into French, it is more important to determine the most popular search terms that French people actually use.

As mentioned previously, France is a very competitive market in terms of SEO. The promotion of online gaming is still restricted for many providers, except for state-licensed entities. The long-standing French businesses (PMU, Franзaise des Jeux) have an advantage but they are not used to spending significant amounts on SEO. This opens the door to competitors with large budgets such as http://www., an informative website with freerolls (also present on Facebook) which pays for its online traffic.

Due to these restrictions, other French online gaming companies have to find alternative ways to appear on commercial links. They use misspelled words as well as automatically created poor translation.

See image i for some examples based on the word 'Casino'. In the first example, a 'Greek' letter has been inserted and in the second example, the 'C has been separated from the rest of the word.

3. Social media optimisation (SMO)

More than ever, have we reached the point where any business will need to look into optimising its websites for Facebook, Twitter, et al. Not a surprising trend given the phenomenal success of these social media platforms. According to a recent study released by ComScore, Facebook has even outperformed Yahoo! and is now the third most visited site in France behind Microsoft (second) and Google (first).

Recently conducted research showed that to date, Facebook has over 20 million French users, of which, 13 million play online games on social networks. Major shifts like this should be reason enough for any online gaming company to reconsider the optimisation of its websites so that links are increasingly shown on social networks.

Major search engines have already launched features which link individual search results to social networking platforms. To name some examples:

Bing has a market share of three percent in France and has integrated Facebook's 'Like' button right next to links posted on its results pages. Users who are connected to their Facebook account and use Bing at the same time will also be able to see who of their friends 'like' which particular link. This is especially beneficial to create what we call in Marketing, the 'me too effect'.

Google has a market share of 95 percent in France and has launched the Google Hotpot, a feature that allows users to rate and recommend links related to online search results.

It is recommended that online gaming companies ensure that their website links are represented on various social network platforms relevant to their particular topic. The more their links will be shared, 'liked', or 'tweeted' by the French, the more they'll profit from searches on Google or Bing. Plus, the online gaming companies that generate friends, fans, followers and a link to their corporate website will gain more and more importance. Ultimately, this will have an impact on their SEO in terms of reputation and authority, particularly in relation to their individual industry.

4. Website optimisation for mobile SEO

Let's face it - Smartphones have conquered the world. This is a proven fact and users love them especially for their ability to connect to the Internet in an instant.

According to recent research, 13.5 million people in France used their Smartphones and Apple iOS to play video games in 2010. This trend has prompted French online gaming companies to create special applications for Smartphone users. The tendency seems to head towards sports bets, with offering mobile applications for their online bets, as well as online poker. Some mobile poker application providers include, and

The growing amount of mobile applications allows more and more people to conveniently surf the Internet using their mobiles or Smartphones. Therefore, it is highly recommended that online gaming companies optimise their websites for mobile SE0in20ii. It might also be worthwhile to consider the creation of a mobile application.

5. Optimisation of online videos

Who does not know YouTube nowadays? YouTube is the most used site for vide© sharing in France with over 34 million people watching more than five billion videos year on year. Other popular video sharing platforms are Dailymotion. Group TFi, Microsoft and Yahoo!.

It is important that online gaming companies do not underestimate the importance of YouTube. In fact, search engines such as Google and Bing attach high importance to pages incorporating videos. So it is advisable to consider creating a video tutorial and post it onto the websites as well as on YouTube. YouTube is certainly the place to create a real buzz in 2011.
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