Source: Internet Vikings

The ‘circle of control’: Protecting your brand traffic from the ‘piggybackers’

Why do I have potential customers searching for my brand but not ending up on my page? The answer, explained Internet Vikings CEO Peter Ekmark, may lie in brand traffic protection.

“Having worked with major igaming B2C brands in both regulated markets and developing markets for almost 15 years, I have faced a multitude of digital marketing challenges,” said Ekmark.

“Put simply, traditional digital marketing does not protect your brand traffic from others ‘piggybacking’ on your ATL-investment to get more hits on their own pages. You need to secure your online brand visibility.”

It is fair to say that the last 15 years for Ekmark, including significant periods with Unibet, Jackpotjoy and William Hill, have shaped his interest in online brand protection.

This culminated in the launch of Managed Brand Protection for Internet Vikings in August of last year – a service set up to help operators retain search traffic pertaining to their brands.

At the time, the service was highlighted as especially relevant for highly saturated affiliate markets such as igaming and e-commerce, something which holds even more significance six months on as online traffic continues to go through the roof.

Growth for online traffic in the current climate – with so many stuck at home or just used to spending more time online – might be considered easy, but for Ekmark there is a ‘catch’.

“Online growth is there for all to see, but it can be fortified if you complement it with above the line brand marketing investments,” he said. “And there is a catch to the current growth opportunity – you must not just settle for just increasing your organic brand traffic. 

“If you don’t take proactive measures to protect your brand search, others will piggyback on your brand marketing investment and your traffic. You could end up paying CPAs for search traffic pertaining to your brand.”

This idea of overpaying CPAs through an over-dependence on affiliates was explained by the CEO as part of a recent webinar for iGaming NEXT on taking advantage of the ‘surge of online activity for digital branding purposes’.

A concept he kept coming back to was keeping the ‘circle of control’. Here’s what it means.

Ask yourself, what happens when someone comes across your brand via a paid marketing campaign, wherever that might be, and ‘Googles’ you as a result?

The user is presented with a search engine results page (SERP). It is at this point that operators are unwittingly giving away traffic their marketing investment deserves.

Ekmark uses an example for online casino operator Casumo, where eight of the top 10 listed on the Google SERP for ‘Casumo’ in Germany were for affiliate sites, with some of these even offering better bonuses than Casumo itself.

Inevitably, in this situation, Casumo was losing out because those users who would – with the right brand traffic protection strategy in place – have come directly to the operator, might instead have arrived via a third-party affiliate site for which Casumo is then charged. 

Ekmark explained: “We are talking here about traffic you made a marketing investment to get. With our service in place, you will not only have a bigger portion of the real estate on that SERP, so you will control more of the top ranking positions. This will increase your search share and your organic traffic.”

“We build brand protection sites for operators, allowing them to downplay affiliates and other actors from the top of their search results. Affiliates are very good at SEO and ‘piggybacking’ on your brand. But your traffic should belong to you, and we know how to ensure that.”

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