Michael Hageman, US Content Manager at Better Collective, and Victor Klein, one of the firm’s SEO Leads, combine to outline key information about one of Better Collective’s flagship US assets, including how it is ready to ‘scale out’ as more states offer online sports betting and why applying ‘dynamic CTA’s’ is the next step.
SBC: Can you start by giving a brief description of US-Bookies.com to our readers? How did it all come about?
MH & VK: US-bookies.com was launched just after the repeal of PASPA in May 2018 and strives to be the ultimate resource for bettors in the United States.
Here, we provide up-to-date information about regulated markets and legal news for states planning to regulate gambling. We also have in-depth reviews of all the licensed American sportsbooks. Our focus is to accomplish all this while being fully compliant in regards to federal and state-based legislations.
SBC: Is the site tailored for US sports bettors on a state-by-state basis?
MH & VK: On US-Bookies.com, you find information about sports betting targeting the USA, and every state. For example, the government of New Jersey clearly states that all gambling activities advertisements aimed at players from New Jersey must be by operators licensed by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission.
We had to make sure that a sportsbook in West Virginia was not accidentally promoted to a New Jersey user. Therefore, we created a dynamic website that interacts with users’ IP. This allows us to offer a tailored experience to each user, while remaining compliant with marketing guidelines and legislation.
The site should further include visuals elements that are mandatory in New Jersey. The state requires us to have specific logo and icons in our footer.
Therefore, our dynamic footer will present the right visual elements depending on the users’ IP, while the main content stays the same. Allowing us to show our articles in several states with the same piece of content, but with the right legal elements.
SBC: How did you design the website to allow for a ‘scaling out’ process as more states opens for online sports betting?
MH & VK: US-Bookies.com is a website that respects (potentially) 50 different state-based legislation and a federal based framework – all this while providing a top-class user experience for the users.
We launched a site for one country, but with 50 different sets of rules. And, as we are strongly dedicated to being a fully compliant sports betting affiliate, we have to make sure the information on the website is available across the entire country while respecting individual state-specific legislation.
To be able to do so, we created a dynamic website which offers American bettors the appropriate content depending on their IP (geotracking). With this technical solution, we are able to stay agile in an ever-changing legal landscape and effectively scale out relevant content as more states open up.
SBC: How do you use IP blocking to meet strict geo-location demands?
MH & VK: When a user lands on the website, the header menu will change depending on the IP. We detect the state and serve the user with relevant content and the available licensed sportsbooks in the state. In practise, clicking on “Sports Betting” in New Jersey or Pennsylvania will get you two different sets of header menus.
If you’re in a state that restricts any gambling content or content meant for other states the following happens when you land on a sports betting page:
We serve the user with a tailored landing page offering them to go back to the homepage and the Google user agent will see a 451 http status code; “unavailable for legal reasons. It’s the best solution for us to also clearly make Google understand why it can see content while crawling from certain servers in the USA and not from others depending on the location.
SBC: And finally, what is the next step for US-Bookies.com?
MH & VK: Dynamic CTAs is our next step: if you read a review of an operator available in several states, while being in one of those states, our CTA will change to provide you with the correct information.
For example, if a sportsbook has different offers depending on the state, a dynamic CTA on a single page will reflect that by detecting your IP and associating it with the state.
Therefore, when an operator launches in a new state, we can help new users reading an existing review to find the right information about the operator in their state. This allows us to have only a single review for major sportsbooks across different states and not create near duplicate content to have a review per state in which the operator is present.