You never know what kind of challenges you will face as webmaster or what will take your learning to the next level in creating an effective SEO strategy.
Making a South African online gambling review site successful was one of the challenges that faced our SEO team recently. We received an order for a site that was targeting gambling terms in Africa. It seemed a pretty doable task, so we started with everything that usually work through in these cases.
Our experts ran through the usual set up steps with the client:
- Analysed the site requirements
- Researched the market place, then analysed the key SEO tasks using tools like Ahrefs, SimilarWeb, and SE Ranking (which is especially effective when it comes to the South African market).
- Created the site with WordPress (fast and easy, as usual).
- Developed a strong link building strategy, and implemented it.
Our usual strategy didn’t work. We had to modify it. In this article we will analyze our strategy step by step and share what we’ve learnt:
Stage #1 – The Essential SEO Tasks
First, we gathered the most important data using SE Ranking and other tools like Similar Web (all competitors’ metrics, competitors’ traffic sources, and their rates).
Analyzing competitor backlinks
Our experts analyzed the competitive landscape using Ahrefs paying attention to the number of referring domains, growth or decline in the domain number, and their backlink profiles at large. Then we also used the Backlink Checker by SE Ranking that provides additional, even more detailed info on backlinks.
Analyzing competitors’ content
We carefully analyzed the content on our competitors’ websites and collected data that could help us create better, more detailed, and helpful content.
Choosing the best queries
We ran keyword research and chose the best queries with SE Ranking Keyword Suggestion Tool, then segmented and grouped the queries using Keyword Grouper (in fact, we tried plenty of other tools but our experience showed SE Ranking had the best results for terms analysis related to South Africa.)
Stage #2 – Creating a Gambling Website
The site design didn’t matter so much. The content that was inserted was done so via WordPress to build the site. The only thing we should mention is that we customized it: our team decided that ignoring national specificities would be the wrong decision to take, so we added some specific details, in particular, asked designers to use the colors of the strong african national well known flags for better localisation.
Stage #3 – Creating Content
We then structured the site and hired professional writers to create high-quality content for bringing in new visitors. The process was pretty simple: we ordered 30 detailed reviews of South African casinos, text for the main page along with articles for common categories, and then we launched our new platform.
Stage #4 – Developing and Implementing a Link Building Strategy
Once live, we had to think about link building? We decided to use two simple techniques to focus on driving more traffic to the site:
Creating a Private Blog Network
First of all, we started to work on expired domains with quality backlinks. We used Domain Hunter Gatherer to find domains containing our keywords in their names and checked the number of backlinks these domains had. Simply put, we got the list of expired domains that met our basic requirements, chose the ones that seemed most suitable, and checked them manually. It was time-consuming but it was worth it—we bought 30 top-quality websites without spending a fortune on them. We redirected some of the domains to our website using a 301 redirect, and used others to build our private blog network.
2. Using crowd marketing techniques
Our previous projects have shown how effective crowd marketing could be, so we used these techniques when working on our gambling review site. We decided to use only old accounts with “good reputation” on social media and shared links in comments, feedback, and recommendations—this was supposed to be the additional benefit for us, and well, it worked pretty well.
Stage #5 – Encountering Difficulties
The site visitor behavior analysis showed that our strategy did not work as well as we expected. Users didn’t read the articles, and we soon realized that the “top-quality content” we ordered was actually “not so good.” It wasn’t delivering the desired results.
Here are the steps we took to solve the problem:
- We decided to hire local writers—it was not easy, but we found a few great specialists that could work fast and well enough.
- We translated all the pages into all local languages and implemented good old hreflangs.
- We got excellent results and went from very low traffic to the 10,000 visitors mark.
It was absolutely worth the effort—we got great content and that increased the site’s conversion rate significantly. Localisation is Queen, if content is still King!
Stage #6 – Overcoming Challenges and Making the Site Successful
As the title of this article suggests, we went from 0 to 10000 traffic, and now you know exactly how we did it. You can have top-quality rank trackers and keyword suggestion tools by SE Ranking, top link analysis tools by Ahrefs, and even a great tool to find high-quality expired domains for reasonable prices, but you should never underestimate the importance of localisation.
It is not overrated, and our case study here – shows it. We hope this short lesson will help other SEO and Affiliate specialists choose the right SEO strategy to reach their goals too!
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