The industry has come a long way, and it’s safe to say the bar has been raised. To put it simply, today’s sports betting sites and online casinos need to adhere to a high standard if they want to compete.
That said, there are still some common mistakes that online casinos make. And even if some of them are becoming less common, we still find operators are cutting corners when it comes to executing certain strategies. So, without further ado, here are 7 mistakes that online casinos and sportsbooks should avoid so you can be more aware of them in the future too.
1. Overlooking the importance of UX design
Let’s start by talking about one of the most obvious things – what your website looks like and how it functions. First impressions last, which is why you should put serious thought and effort into how you design your product.
You need to consider both aesthetics and functionality, which is why you need a competent team of both graphic designers and UX designers. It’s crucial that your brand’s voice is reflected in the overall design, and that your site is intuitive, user-friendly, and works well on all devices.
2. Relying too much on CPA deals
Many operators spend a lot of money on CPA (cost per action) campaigns.
However, if your brand identity isn’t adequately developed, and you don’t have a solid brand and content strategy in place, such campaigns can become a waste of money. Chances are you’ll get swarmed by bonus-happy customers looking for a quick freebie without ever returning to your site – especially if your campaign is centred around an unusually generous offer.
Therefore, you need to carefully choose to whom you direct these campaigns and have a solid plan for how you’re going to follow up the traffic and retain new customers.
3. Offering several products but not doing all of them well
This is one of the most common mistakes that online casinos make. In fact, there are quite some operators offering a subpar sportsbook, bingo or poker product alongside a full-fledged casino.
The idea is, of course, to reach out to a broader demographic at a lesser cost, which might seem like an appealing strategy. However, you need to ask yourself the following question – why would anyone be interested in sports betting, bingo or poker play on a subpar platform when there are so many specialized operators to choose from?
One might argue that expanding into new verticals is a way to cross-sell and diversify the product, but the truth is, it can also be an efficient way of diluting and undermining a brand.
In summary, if you’re going into a new vertical, do it well. For instance, an established online casino going into the sports betting industry should strive to launch a competitive sportsbook from the get-go. Of course, there will always be teething pains, but once you’ve got the ball rolling, you quickly need to figure out how to become a better online sportsbook.
4. Not localizing your product selection
So, is there a golden formula on how to become a better online sportsbook or online casino? Well, as we’ve already mentioned, you need to make sure your product is competitive, aesthetically pleasing, and user-friendly.
When those things are taken care off, there are a few other essential things to keep in mind. For instance, you need to allocate marketing budget for decent bonus offers and make sure your product selection and promotions are tailored to each market.
A simple “£100 Premier League Betting Bonus” doesn’t cut it anymore, especially when you’re targeting German players. Not only should it be a “100 € Sportwetten Bonus” (it’s important where you put the currency symbol), but you also want to target what German punters like – and that is the German Bundesliga, sorry PL fans.
You need to get creative to get ahead of those who are still doing the same old bonuses that some bonus hunters still love, but the majority grew tired of.
Players from different countries have different preferences, and you must take these differences into account. To give you an example, you probably want to make sure that Premier League matches are at the forefront of a sportsbook aimed at UK players. And if you’re looking to capitalize on the Latin American market, you’d probably want to make Campeonato Brasileiro Série A matches a prominent feature on your site.
Furthermore, slot trends can vary a great deal from country to country, and knowledge of these trends is crucial when creating campaigns and choosing what games to promote on your site.
For instance, Book of Dead has proven to be very popular amongst German players, while NetEnt classics Starburst and Gonzo’s Quest seem to be undying favourites amongst Swedes. A thorough analysis of the data in your backend systems will give you very valuable information as to what slots you should promote in each market.
5. Not using analytical tools to understand your audience better
Knowing your audience is key – which is why you need to analyze the traffic data of your site.
You need to know where the traffic is coming from and how much time people spend on your site. You should also dig deeper and find out even more about your audience. You can keep track of age, gender, location and your customers’ interests and preferences.
All these variables will give you a clearer picture of your core audience, and in turn, allow you to create better localization strategies.
6. Cutting corners when it comes to customer support
The customer is always right – right?
Well, we all know that’s not always entirely true. Nonetheless, that’s the message your brand should always send out. In other words, you should never cut corners when it comes to customer support.
For some reason, many operators don’t prioritize customer care. And one of the most common mistakes we see are brands entering new markets without equipping their customer support team appropriately. For instance, a player might log in from Sweden or Germany to find that the site only offers customer support in English.
Another common issue is the opening times. An online casino or sportsbook might boast about 24-hour support, which then turns out to only be available in specific markets. And that’s a sure way to signal that certain players aren’t prioritized.
One might argue this isn’t a big deal since most players are more than capable of communicating in English, and while that’s probably true, you still need to consider the underlying message your brand’s sending out to customers.
Furthermore, the most trustworthy iGaming websites are fully localized in every market. They don’t cut corners when it comes to localization and have chosen this approach for good reasons. Investing in your support team and making sure players can communicate in their native language will surely inspire trust among players and serve you in the long run.
7. Not being consistent in your communication
The days when a hefty bonus offer would suffice to win players over are long gone. Today’s brands need a much more refined strategy to cut through the noise and attract new players and retain existing ones. And albeit a hefty casino bonus will always catch players’ attention, a well-communicated brand identity will have players remembering your brand and make your campaign more impactful.
If you look at some of the industries’ most successful brands, you’ll soon realize they’ve all put big efforts into communication. And to be frank, many times their bonuses might not be the most generous ones around.
To put it simply, these days your iGaming brand needs a brand identity, a brand voice if you will, and that voice needs to be heard everywhere possible. That’s why you should make use of social media and other platforms.
That said, it’s equally important that you stay consistently active on these platforms once you’ve started using them. A Twitter or Facebook account that’s been inactive for weeks doesn’t signal that your brand is ready to engage with customers.
Why branding and localized content matters
The importance of good content in the iGaming industry can’t be stressed enough. And high-quality iGaming content and localization are critical aspects in all things we’ve talked about.
Firstly, you need to consider potential linguistic challenges in your UX design so that you won’t have to make compromises when entering new markets. For instance, restrictions in character count can be a real problem when translating a page from one language to another. Such restrictions are also often an issue when it comes to localizing text messages or emails for campaigns and creating on-site notifications. And content obviously matters a great deal when you communicate with players.
The truth is, most online casinos and sports betting sites have a very similar product selection. And once you’ve matched the competition as far as game selection and site infrastructure goes, it’s your voice that distinguishes your brand and makes all the difference.
At the end of the day, customer loyalty is heavily rooted in trust, familiarity and identification – all of which can be directly attributed to engaging content and localization.
How did you like Sebastian Scheplitz’s blog post “7 Mistakes That Online Casinos and Sportsbooks Should Avoid”? Let us know in the comments if you have anything to add, have another content idea for iGaming blog posts, or just want to say “hello.” 🙂