Casino SEO Is Dead and Robinson & Associates Announces 3 Reasons Why Gaming Properties Should Not Focus On It
For years, gaming properties have been pushed to do casino SEO (search engine optimization) and pay-per-click advertising to drive traffic to their website. In 2014, that is a catastrophic mistake, Robinson & Associates, Inc., announced today.
“Casino SEO is dead,” said Martin R. Baird, chief executive officer of Robinson & Associates, Inc., a casino consulting firm to the global gaming industry. “Key words no longer matter. Casino reviews at online review sites are far more important.”
Baird offered three reasons for why casinos should stop focusing on SEO.
SEO Is Like Living in the Past. Casino marketing directors and key executives probably remember being pressured to get their property’s website found by Google and Yahoo, Baird said.
“You were told to throw marketing money at casino SEO so your site would be found by your customers when they typed in the appropriate key words,” Baird noted. “You may have hired outside services to promote your site so you were listed in the top 10 search results in Google. That is now a waste of time, energy and money. SEO is the past, not the future.”
Key Words No Longer Matter. At one time, Google looked for specific words in a website and, if it found them, decided the site must be important, Baird said.
“Thus, Google used these words to identify a site and rank it,” Baird explained. “This is very logical, but people gamed the system and Google had to make changes. Thus, key words went out the window. Casino marketers know that Google is always making changes to its algorithm and they also know what that means – what worked yesterday may not work today.”
So-Called Casino Review Sites Matter More. As a result of its most recent changes, Google now uses a variety of so-called review sites to help decide which sites to direct people to, Baird said.
“This means that if a casino is five miles away and it has a 2-star ranking on sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor or Yahoo, Google search results will show this casino lower than one that is 20 miles away but has a 4+ rating,” Baird said.
“These reviews mean your website that you spend hard-earned money on and time driving to the top of Google search with great key words and links could be falling daily if your casino is generating negative reviews,” Baird pointed out. “Google is valuing reviews above key words and that makes it really difficult to make the top of the search results. Also, a casino’s reviews on other sites directly affect a customer’s buying decision. Eighty percent of people have changed a buying decision based on poor reviews online.”
Baird also noted that most casinos still use comment cards.
“They’re using comment cards to collect customer feedback at a time when guests under the age of 95 are more comfortable using their smartphone or iPad to post a review online,” Baird said. “They don’t want to hunt for a pen and fill out a comment card that they assume no human will ever see or respond to.
“Until casinos embrace technology to help them proactively solicit real-time customer feedback, they will be stuck trying to post follow up messages after guests have ranted online.”
The time that was spent on casino SEO over the past few years is becoming less valuable by the minute, according to Baird. “Casinos that want to be found by new customers need to embrace new tools and solicit customers to share their feedback,” Baird said. “It won’t be long before the competition catches on, too. Casinos need to utilize this hidden opportunity to get found online and generate new guests for their property.”
Martin R. Baird is a casino consultant and chief executive officer of Robinson & Associates, Inc. For 20 years, Robinson & Associates has been dedicated to helping casinos improve their guest service so they can compete and generate future growth and profitability. A Boise, Idaho-based casino consulting firm to the global gaming industry, Robinson & Associates is the world leader in casino guest experience measurement, management and improvement. Recently, it announced Simply Share, a real-time customer feedback platform that makes it fast and easy for casino customers to share their experience directly with casinos instead of posting comments online at social media sites.
For more information, visit the company’s Web site at http://casinocustomerservice.com/simply_share.htm or contact Lydia Baird, director of business development, at 208-991-2037 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read about a variety of topics at Martin Baird’s blog at http://casinocustomerservice.com/casino_news.htm/, including casino-related articles, casino customer service training, mystery shopping, casino reputation measurement, casino training, service gap analysis and more. Robinson & Associates is a member of the Casino Management Association.
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