Sept 2023#Cases#GameFi

How to Attract High-Quality Traffic and Increase Deposits in a Down Economy under Strict Ad Moderation

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Authors

Oleg Kalugin

Senior Manager, Performance

Alexey Sidorowich

Partner

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1835
6 min

 

After leading platforms left the CIS advertising market in 2022, many companies faced the problem of attracting traffic and sales. However, the issue can be solved by applying an integrated approach that combines SEO, paid traffic, and reputation management.

Challenge: Attract Deposits Worth Tens of Thousands of Dollars In a High-Risk Area

In this case, BDC Consulting’s client was an iGaming company that ran into user acquisition difficulties. After Google and Facebook left the target market, iGaming traffic fell by 70-85%, and the flow of new registrations almost dried up.

Moreover, the dummy sites (satellites), aka fraudulent copies that steal traffic,  invaded the search results for branded queries. Passing themselves off as official websites, they directed users who pressed the registration and other navigation buttons to other iGaming sites.

The campaign’s goal was to find new quality traffic sources, convert them into real deposits, and find effective approaches to combating fraudulent sites. Having made the initial analysis, we proposed and confirmed the following KPIs for 9 months:

  • 7,540 registrations;
  • 2280 deposits;
  • $525,000 deposit amount.

End result: in nine months, we attracted 2,955 deposits amounting to almost $1,678,277, increasing our KPI by 300%. At the same time, the ROI of the Paid campaign alone was almost 3,000%.

How We Did it

Choosing the tools

Based on the team's experience in the iGaming industry and other areas that advertising platforms classify as high-risk, we have chosen the following traffic generation tools:

  • Paid (paid ads);
  • SEO and search result monopolization – publishing different forms of optimized content to force out competing sites;
  • Reputation management.

1) Paid 

We launched campaigns in banner ad networks, as well as targeted and context advertising. At the same time, we used several forms of paid promotion.

  • Cloaking is a method of using different content depending on users that follow the link. It allows you to bypass site restrictions, in particular when advertising iGaming platforms.

We used cloaking to run context ads for branded queries and common keywords associated with iGaming.

  • Contextual advertising - purchasing advertising impressions in search results and tadvertising networks.
  • Paid social – promotion of creative content made by influencers through context ads in social networks.

9-month paid campaign results

Platform

Registrations

Deposits

Deposit amount, USD

Local social networks

433

288

347,164



 

 

In 9 months, we achieved 433 registrations and 288 deposits worth $347,164, spending $15,044.62. The average deposit was $1,205, and the cost per deposit was $52. Thus, the ROI of the campaign came out as 2,207%

At the same time, almost the entire volume of new deposits was received thanks to contex advertising using cloaking, and the result more than doubled the KPI. A programmatic campaign was also used as a test, but it did not prove to be effective in generating immediate results (deposits).

We plan to continue working to gain deposits (including new GEOs) by scaling campaigns in context advertising, as well as by testing new platforms and placement formats.

2) SEO and SERM

SEO site network results for 9 months

Platform

Registrations

Deposits

Deposit amount, $

Grid of branded sites

6597

1702

924 484

Other sites: reviewers, competitor brands

2827

730

396 208

In 9 months, we generated 9,424 registrations and 2,432 deposits totaling $1,320,692 while spending $30,045. The average deposit was $543, and the cost per deposit was $12.

Our goal was to monopolize search results making sure that official information about the project prevails and gets the maximum share of traffic. We used a combination of tools to achieve this goal more efficiently.  

Optimized sites

To monopolize the search results, we created nine new websites with unique content for the project and optimized them for the SEO purposes. We were to monopolize search results using this technique.

Promotion through link building

After analyzing competitors’ sites, we developed a paid links' strategy to promote the newly created pages packed with key queries. For each of the nine sites, about 2,000 various trust links were purchased, including comments, profiles, crowd links, etc.

SERM (reputation management)

Since the iGaming industry is associated with the risks of losing money and negative feedback, it needs to be constantly monitored. The negative feedback is also formed by users who were deceived or lured by satellites to other sites not connected to our client.

To form a positive reputation, the following techniques were used:

  • Adding company profiles to special directories;
  • Article publishing (a total of 54 articles appeared in the media);
  • Posting fresh reviews regularly;
  • Creation and promotion of pages that led to the real client’s website.

Fighting against fraudulent "dummies"

After filing official complaints, three platforms were blocked, and several disappeared from the top 20.

SEO and SERM results

The number of negative brand mentions in the top 20 decreased from 21.43% to 10.45%. The total share of positive mentions accounted for 66.5%; neutral mentions accounted for 18.5% (the remaining 4.5% were the results from the “Other” category). Before the campaign, the “negative+other” indicator was 21.5%.

At the same time, the number of the top 6 appearances of selected queries came down to 7.3% (44 out of 600 results), which is considered a very good SEO result.

3) YouTube

Platform

Registrations

Deposits

Deposit amount, $

YouTube

654

235

10 420

YouTube was chosen as one of our experimental channels as a source of shareware organic traffic. The mechanics of attracting players through videos using a branded promo code allowed us to attract deposits in the amount of $10,420, while the costs of generating one deposit came down to about $2.

Results and Insights

Highly Effective Tools 

  • Comprehensive SEO promotion. We selected and clustered key queries, then wrote 15 articles on relevant topics.
  • Paid links. This strategy allowed one of the websites we created to get into the search results for the target query.
  • Tracking brand mentions in SERPs: it allowed us to assess the tonality of informational background and identify negative results needed to be repressed.
  • Accelerated indexing of newly posted materials.
  • Complaints to the Search Engine and authorities about the fake sites: three resources were blocked.
  • Regular publishing of positive reviews on the top 20 websites.
  • Domain change: we noticed that the ranking of one of our newly created sites suddenly dropped. After we copied and moved it to a new domain, ensuring high rates of behavioral factors, the website returned to the top 10.
  • Publications in the media. In total, we posted 75 articles: 54 during a SERM campaign (forming a positive online reputation) and 21 aiming to monopolize search results.
  • Promoting videos on YouTube.

Insights

1. Brand traffic through context advertising and SEO promotion, along with YouTube, are the most effective tools for attracting users and deposits.

2. When working with projects from areas that are subject to strict search engine moderation, it is essential to use the so-called "gray targeting" techniques - cloaking, keyword substitution, etc.


Project promotion when dealing with ad moderation (for crypto, iGaming, etc.) requires a comprehensive approach, careful planning, and constant optimization. If you want to raise the position of your brand and monopolize the search results, contact the BDC Consulting team, and we will be happy to share our experience.

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