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  1. #1
    thepokerkeep's Avatar
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    Default Building a successful site - standing out in the crowd!!

    Creating a successful gambling site in 2007/2008 is a completely different endeavor than it was three or four years ago. Gone are the days when you could throw a bunch of links on a page and expect the clicks to start rolling in. Today, we have websites and forums popping up on a daily basis. The competition is tough too, the tools available make it easy for anyone to build a professional looking site with no previous coding or design experience. To make your new site stand out in the crowd takes focus, patience, persistence and a ton of hard work.

    You need to set goals and have a clear vision for your portal;
    What product or market are you going to target?
    How will you market/advertise the site?
    Who are your prospective customers?
    What will keep these customers on your site once you've lured them there?
    Will your content encourage repeat visits?
    Where will you find valid content for your pages?
    Does your site encourage link clicking?
    Are your expectations realistic for the short, intermediate and long term?
    Do you have a hook?


    What are you selling? Is there a market for your product?
    Before you spend a ton of money and time building a site, make sure there is a viable market for your product. If you plan on promoting casinos or poker rooms, do your homework! The market has become very competitive and the customer base has dried up dramatically in the U.S. where more than half the money comes from. You may want to focus on a foreign market instead but that may bring on a whole bunch of new hurdles. Language barriers, local laws, etc can become major obstacles. Bottom line.... do your homework!

    Advertising your site!

    The first thing is to ensure you have your "title tags", "meta tags" and "keywords" loaded on your your site. Choosing your keywords and tags can be a daunting task and may require paying someone to optimize your site for you. Just make sure the ones you choose are relevant to what your site is offering. There are many folks here who can give better SEO advice than I can, so I'll leave that task to them.
    Optimizing a site is only the first step to getting the word out though, there are several other important jobs to be done. Link building is still the most effective form of advertising we have at our disposal. The problem is, the best links are of the non-reciprocal variety and they are the most difficult to attain. This is where the hard work really begins. You can beg for links from your major competitors (it's almost impossible to succeed this way) or you can go about creating your own. Here are a few ideas;
    Trade links with quality sites offering similar content.
    Buy links from the big guys in your industry.
    Or, be creative... write or buy original articles (about your product or industry) and self publish them on Facebook
    Squidoo
    Digg
    My Space
    Blogger
    WordPress etc. with back links and a biography attached. You can also sell these articles or give other websites permission to use them as long as they provide back links and copyright credit to you. Whatever you decide to do with these articles, they provide awesome exposure to you and your site plus they help validate you as a credible expert or authority in your field.

    Who is your customer?

    Knowing exactly who you're targeting with your site is critical. If you plan on reaching out to young men in their early twenties, you probably want a bit of flash, a hint of sexy-ness and more technology such as video or music. The way you write for this demographic would also be completely different than if you wanted to appeal to middle aged women for instance. Appealing to your market segment takes a lot of thought and research. Be wise when first designing your site, it can be quite expensive having to rebuild your site from the ground up because you aren't attracting the right clientele.

    Once you begin Attracting customers, will you be able to retain them?
    Having enough relevant, original content to entertain, teach, retain and convert your customer is one of the most difficult and time consuming chores for a new webmaster. Having a staff of writers or paying an expert to write for you is always a viable option if you don't have the knowledge or skill to write your own content. Make sure you sprinkle your keywords and phrases throughout the articles.
    Articles should cover a variety of topics within your chosen field and should vary in length and scope. Write for the beginner, intermediate and advanced student. Each article should focus on one topic. Including videos and/or photographs helps to retain interest and enhances the asthetics of your page. Graphics and charts also help to break up long stories and keep the reader interested.
    Adding fresh content on a regular basis, and letting your customer know when to expect it, is vital to ensure your customers will return periodically. This can be done by incorporating a blog or journal into your site or by ensuring a regular supply of fresh articles or news stories are available for adding on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

    Ultimately, you want to close the sale!
    You've got to lay out your content in a manner that manipulates the customer into making the purchase. Pay particular attention to the way your layout and content flows throughout the site. You need to lead the customer where you want them to go. Anticipate the questions they will ask and provide clear, honest answers in advance. Give them a variety of choices/products and point out the positive and negative features of each choice. Remember, an educated, well informed customer is a happy customer.
    Let's take poker as an example (since it's my area of expertise). Texas Hold'em is the game of choice by today's poker player. However, no limit hold'em can be brutally expensive for the novice player. So, while I write most articles on my site to appeal to the no limit player (since the majority of players are most interested in this game) I also write about "limit" hold'em. I point out how much easier it is to manage your bank roll and how much fun "limit hold'em" is to play. On my "poker room reviews" page, I describe the variety of poker games available at each particular site and explain the range of table stakes the site provides. I also let the reader know whether the site is best for ring games or tournaments. I give as much information as I can for each affiliate site and rate the room based on quality, size, support and trust. To gain the trust of my customers, I also blacklist sites that fail to meet my standards. Absolute Poker is a good example of such a site. I write scathing reviews about the blacklisted sites too, my customers love the fact that I look out for their interests.
    Let's recap the selling points...
    * create interest
    * instill trust and confidence
    * be honest
    * provide expert advice
    * give the customer what he/she wants
    * look out for your customer's best interest - put the customer first!

    Another thing that will help build customer loyalty and encourage repeat visits is to provide a means for your visitors to communicate with you and other visitors. A forum or chat room is always good for this purpose. There are many options available when it comes to choosing to add a forum to your portal. A couple of decent "free" versions are available from http://www.proboards.com/index.html and http://www.webringamerica.com/
    Just a word of warning... if you decide to go with a forum or chat room, be prepared to invest quite a bit of time there. A forum requires staffing to prevent spam and to enforce the rules. I personally think a forum is well worth the time and trouble. The interaction and friendships that develop are priceless and the atmosphere definitely helps nurture loyalty and open communication with your clients.

    Be a realist.
    Set realistic goals. Take baby steps. Plan and execute. When something isn't working, make small changes and study the effect before making another change. Figure out what works and go with it. Don't be afraid to be different.

    The hook!
    Stand out in the crowd! Offer something unique! Find your hook!
    In my case, I have a good friend who just happens to be a professional poker player. This friend is also an author and has appeared in a major movie. My friend needed a place to do some writing and promote his new book. We made a deal, he writes for my site, I sell his books. He's my hook!
    Having a published Vegas poker pro in your pocket is an extreme example of "the hook". It could be as simple as providing a unique service or product. It could be something like opening your business in a new geographic market (China comes to mind). It could be in the approach you use. Having a "hook" will definitely help you succeed in a very competitive industry, it could even be the difference between success and failure.

    I know there are many other webmasters here who are capable of adding to this advice, I encourage them to add their comments/suggestions.

    Best of luck with your new enterprise,

    The Pokerkeep
    Terry - The Pokerkeep
    President / CEO - Gambling Affiliates Union

    Casino Affiliate Programs
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    Email: admin @ thepokerkeep.com



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    Fortune Palace (2 December 2007), jackpotcasinoguide (29 November 2007), mamary (6 January 2008), Vrindavan (27 March 2009)

  3. #2
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    jackpotcasinoguide is offline Private Member
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    Default

    Great advice. I remember back in 2001 when I had started. I didn't know where to turn, then I found this site!

    The GPWA will always be in my heart for helping me get to where I am today!
    Blackjack Guide - Learn how to Beat the Online Casinos playing Blackjack. Over 20 Custom Blackjack Strategy Cards.
    First Online Casino Directory - Find out strategy, rules, and tips on how to win at all the casinos games.
    BlackjackGuide.NET Link Exchange - Please exchange links with me.

  4. #3
    thepokerkeep's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for the reminder - I forgot one very important thing.....
    Make sure you add the GPWA button/seal to your site!
    Having their logo on your pages adds instant credibility!
    I even display a button in my signature on my forum.
    Terry - The Pokerkeep
    President / CEO - Gambling Affiliates Union

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    Email: admin @ thepokerkeep.com



  5. #4
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    ioc
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    Default

    Thank you for the good article. This brings us more useful information on how to build a successful gambling site.

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    ck8795 is offline Private Member
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    Default

    Very nice article poker keep...just to add optimizing your pages is as important as content. You can buy as many links as you want and I see a few sites that do take this route and fall short when it comes to the serps. make sure its all relevant to the page you are working on, dont forget your htags, keywords, secondary keywords....bold a couple of things...but make sure the article still stays as natural as possible

    This is my own personal opinon here but do not go with proboards ever. Those forums rank so low its unreal. You are restricted to what you can do, emails are seen as spam and blocked by most providers, no sitemaps, bad URL's, you cant optimize, not to mention if they close your forum on you for whatever stupid reason you breached in their T&C's your files are gone. Godaddy $7 a month hosting...get a free forum for simple machines....add a blog on wordpress and you now have your self a website/forum at an expense of $84 a year.

    Dont be afraid to help your neighbour - The may be your competitor but the favours do get returned in more ways than you will know
    Last edited by ck8795; 5 December 2007 at 10:13 pm.

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    Default

    Pokerkeep,

    No question a very good article. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and time with all of us.

    greek39

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    ChrisB is offline Private Member
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    Default

    Good article. Please could you, or anybody, expand or explain how you "publish" an article on Facebook?

  11. #9
    thepokerkeep's Avatar
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    Default

    Facebook is not your best choice for publishing articles. It is easy to do though, just set up your account and post the article on your wall. Or you can place an ad in the marketplace as well.

    Squidoo is a great choice for posting articles. Membership is easy and only takes a minute.

    There are other sites I use, I'll post a list when I have a little more time.
    Terry - The Pokerkeep
    President / CEO - Gambling Affiliates Union

    Casino Affiliate Programs
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    Email: admin @ thepokerkeep.com



  12. #10
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    Default

    Add Google Webmaster Tools: LINK
    You can submit unlimited articles through this open source tool.
    When folks download or link to them, you gain credibility and one way links.

    Blogger is great.

    Squidoo is one of my favourites.
    Here is a list of relevant Squidoo "groups"

    http://www.squidoo.com/groups..onlinepoker

    http://www.squidoo.com/groups..playpoker

    http://www.squidoo.com/groups..homepoker

    http://www.squidoo.com/groups..blogs

    http://www.squidoo.com/groups..online-games

    http://www.squidoo.com/groups..card-and-board-games


    Wordpress
    is another option.

    The choices are endless. Spaces, My Space, etc all provide backlink potential.

    Facebook has thousands of groups. search for relevant ones, join and post short stories, upcoming events or reviews with links to your site.

    Just remember to provide well written, informative and honest content where ever you publish and make sure you give yourself credit for the work as the author. Embed your links within the body text and in the signature line.

    I allow other webmasters/forums to use my copyrighted materials as long as they link to my site and attribute the material to me at the end of the article.
    Last edited by thepokerkeep; 6 December 2007 at 6:10 pm. Reason: added groups
    Terry - The Pokerkeep
    President / CEO - Gambling Affiliates Union

    Casino Affiliate Programs
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    Email: admin @ thepokerkeep.com



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  14. #11
    Ziggy is offline Private Member
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    Default

    Very kind of you to share your experience with us all.

    Kudos,

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    itay is offline Public Member
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    great article, I always like to read interesting ones.
    Itay

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    mgcasinos is offline Public Member
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    Default

    Thank you for the good article and the SEO for the gambling site.

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