UK Online Betting Companies - Digital Marketing Benchmark Report, Q4 2023

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The Q4 2023 benchmarking report for UK online betting companies has just been published. Learn how the top 12 UK online betting companies perform across the digital space. 

The latest Q4 2023 benchmarking report for UK Online betting companies has just been published. It covers the largest 12 national online betting companies, including Paddy Power, William Hill, 888 Sport, Coral, Bet365, BetVictor, Boyle Sports, Betfair, Betfred, Betway, Sky Bet, and Ladbrokes.

Online Betting Logos

The research gives an inside track on who is winning the biggest share of voice online, and quantifies the gaps, risks and missed opportunities for other online betting companies to increase brand awareness, generate online bets, and secure digital growth. The report highlights year-on-year digital performance, plus winner and loser comparisons across 20+ online performance metrics and quantifies the gaps, risks and missed opportunities for online betting companies.

To see a preview and contents page of the Q4 report, click here. To get a copy of the full report and the key takeaways, please complete the enquiry form or schedule a callDigital Benchmark Report - Online Betting - Q4 2023 - Cover

Q4 2023 Winners Leaderboard

For a glance into just 6 of the metrics we evaluated these top 12 online betting companies on, check out our quick-look table below; 

Online Betting W&L Oct23

Continue reading for further detail on this quarter's top and poorest-performing online betting companies, or request a copy of the report for the full review.

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What The Industry Research Report Covers

The 70+ pages of research benchmarks each brand based on 50+ metrics and indicators of successful digital strategy, including organic visibility, domain authority, paid media ads, conversion performance, technical performance, site speed, universal search, content, social ads, accessibility, and mobile performance.  

Driving Optimal ROAS from Paid Media Channels

Some of the leading players in the space are high spenders on paid media channels such as Google, Bing & Facebook - but have a poor or sub-optimal conversion improvement strategy. Without an optimised, sophisticated conversion strategy that maximises the conversion rate, the return on investment is unsustainable or will underperform. Scaling spend on paid media is not achievable unless the conversion rate delivers optimal performance in the sector. Some in the space have paid media spend levels from 30k+ per month but dedicate minimal resources and budgets to conversion testing.  Given the cost per clicks on ad networks will continue to rise, we recommend spending at least 10% of your paid media budget on ongoing conversion optimisation testing schedules to ensure your paid media ROI maintains long-term viability, competitive advantage, and sustainability.

Technical Website Compliance

Savvy digital marketers know that having a technically sound website is an essential component of a successful fully integrated digital strategy - plus a site capable of maximising conversion performance. Trust is essential for online betting companies, so a well-performing website that doesn't lead customers down dead ends is essential for giving a positive experience with the brand at every touchpoint.

In our last report, we took note of William Hill's concerningly high level of 4xx errors, as the site returned 11,147 in our crawls. In Q4, William Hill has reduced this to only 140 errors. This is a remarkable improvement that must be commended. Boyle Sports now has the highest volume of 4xx errors with 352 4xx errors, remaining consistent with performance in Q2 and Q1. 

Site Speed & Conversion Rate Performance

When 62% of consumers are less likely to convert if they have a negative mobile site experience, ensuring that your site is quick and easy to load makes a significant improvement on your overall conversion rates. As with ensuring users are not led to 4xx errors and prevented from reaching key pages, online betting companies will want to ensure their sites are fast and accessible, in order to minimise frustration with users.

In Q2, Betway was the only online betting company surpassing the 'okay' benchmark of 50, with a score of 53. In Q4, Betway has seen this score reduce to 43, though this still places the site in joint first position. Paddy Power has seen its Q2 score of 2 reduce to only 1, indicating serious challenges in its user experience.

Building Competitive Advantage with Domain Authority

Domain authority is an essential metric for measuring the effectiveness of SEO performance, and helps create a reliable overall gauge of how effective your site is at achieving organic traffic, i.e. ‘free’ traffic that isn’t gained through sponsored ads. Online betting companies can look to collaborating with sports publications in order to build their authority and expand their backlink profile.

Domain authority is considered average between 40 and 50, good between 50 and 60, and excellent above 60. ‘Good’ DA score depends on the competition level of the industry. Online betting company domain authorities remain high, with Betway still leading the way with a DA of 85. Though the lowest DA still reaches 71, online betting companies should still be looking at digital PR strategies in order to gain valuable referral traffic, in addition to keeping their backlink profiles maintained.

Organic Performance – Mobile & Desktop

A strong organic performance is strategically important as it ensures your site ranks above competitors for key, transactional keywords. When 93% of your customers won’t go past the first page of Google, your absence or lack of targeting for essential keywords will cost you conversions. We've seen traffic fall across many of the sectors that we specialise in, as consumers are cutting back on treats and luxuries during the cost of living crisis. However, with betting companies potentially being a secondary source of income for lucky, or strategic, punters, online betting companies may buck this trend.

In Q4, all but three online betting companies are achieving year-on-year traffic growth. The biggest growth has been seen by BetVictor, which has secured a 79% increase in organic traffic since 2022.

Universal Search Opportunity

Google Universal Search Results is an evolving opportunity to make your pages visible on a SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Universal results often appear before traditional listings and are eye-catching for users. Universal search results refer to rankings on a SERP that are not the traditional ‘blue line’ Google link, and a brand can appear for universal search results without being strong in standard rankings. As trust is key for online betting companies looking to win new punters, 'reviews' are a smart way of quickly building recognition and faith in their brand. However, results such as 'image pack', used with images of sports fixtures, may be more attention-grabbing from the SERP.

'People also ask' results remain the most widely-appeared for Universal Search result, with Paddy Power retaining its top position with 5,100 appearances. 'People also ask' results are an opportunity to answer queries potential customers may have and usually indicates a strong performance on longtail keywords too.

The Longtail Keyword Opportunity

Longtail keywords are often considered high intent and potentially more likely to convert as a searcher is being more specific. Optimising for longtail keywords also puts your content strategy in a strong position to rank for brand-new search terms as they enter Google’s index. Online betting companies should look to target their most profitable longtail keywords, indicating a strong will to bet on upcoming sports fixtures or other events.

Paddy Power is still ranking for the most longtail keywords overall, as well as ranking for the highest volume in the top twenty positions. With only 283 appearances for longtail keywords in the top three, BetVictor still has the most urgent need for improvement, and should be looking to its 849 keywords ranked in positions 4-10 as the quickest way to optimise for, and improve, overall longtail keyword performance.

Facebook Adverts

With the number of Facebook users in the United Kingdom (UK) forecast to hit over 42 million users by 2022, it is not surprising that companies have jumped at the opportunity to advertise on the social media platform. Facebook’s UK digital advertising revenue has been estimated to have breached 2.6b GB pounds in 2019. Online betting companies can use Facebook ads to drive brand awareness around big sporting events and other betting-opportunities, reminding users of the opportunity to place a bet, or advertise special rates and offers.

We've included examples of Betfair's recent Facebook ads below. Betfair has used vertical format video and images to capitalise on as much screen space as possible, and to seamlessly fit into organic 'Reels' content on Meta's platforms.

Betfair Facebook Ads October 2023

Top Social Shares & Content

When it comes to social media and on-site content strategies, it is important to release content that has a longer shelf life. An article is considered 'Evergreen' if it has maintained its relevancy to an audience for longer. It's great for your brand engagement, but great for Google too, who will recognise content which achieves traffic over a long period of time. Online betting companies can look to creating content around sporting events in order to increase brand exposure - even sharing non-betting related content that links to events users can place bets on will increase content shareability.

Looking at the favoured platform for online betting companies, Meta is the preferred platform for almost all companies in our report. However, 888Sport is most prevalent on Reddit, indicating users are linking to 888Sport in more in-depth conversations than you'd typically see on typical social media platforms

Website Readability & Accessibility

20% of people in the UK have a disability – 2 million of which are people living with sight loss. In addition, 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women have some degree of colour vision deficiency. When websites are not designed to meet these needs, brands lose customer interest as they turn elsewhere.

Online betting companies are typically great performers when it comes to accessibility, with no company seeing more than 13 errors, alerts, or contrast errors on-site. BetVictor is showing the highest amount of alerts, with 13, with most of these coming down to small text in some areas.

Get the full 79-page Q4 2023 report

To get a copy of the full report, please complete the enquiry form. If you want to talk to us about accelerating your digital performance, please call us on 01543 410014 or schedule a call with Mike Movassaghi

Photo by Inês Ferreira on Unsplash

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