Author: Sebastian Scheplitz
Looking back at the topics that ranked highest in Google searches over a year is always fascinating. It’s also fun observing what was the first thing on people’s minds when they do a Google search.
It’s practically a look at society’s zeitgeist. You want to know what a society is all about? Just look at its search results.
And, based on the past year’s search results, we can see astounding growth in searches for iGaming related terms. You’ll be surprised at just how many people searched about gambling one way or another last year.
The iGaming industry fared no different from most other industries that struggled in the wake of coronavirus. But the air is bullish. After all, the pandemic brought in droves of new punters, gamers, and gamblers online – at record levels.
One thing remained the same for most people worldwide – the COVID-19 pandemic left them with no choice but to turn to the internet to search for answers to their questions, comfort for their fears, and direction as to what happens next.
This led to a massive sea change in how the “new normal” has impacted people’s online behaviors and habits irreversibly – and the emergence of the following trends in the iGaming industry.
This video will give you a glimpse of how these changes will shape the iGaming industry this year:
The Exponential Growth in Popularity of iGaming in 2020
Central to that is the millions upon millions of potential customers who are just starting to discover the universe of online sports betting and gambling.
Longtime patrons of brick-and-mortar betting shops or casinos have been forced to find an alternative way to enjoy their hobby as their beloved casinos had to shut down.
This, in turn, led to a massive surge in growth in the worldwide iGaming industry, expected to grow from €48.7 billion in 2019 to €55.1 billion in 2020.
For iGaming brands and content marketers, the numbers represent a boatload of opportunities as the global market grows exponentially while also proving that the industry is pandemic-proof.
The fact that a large percentage of Google search queries last year had to do with gambling, sports, and video games is proof positive that the iGaming industry is set to continue enjoying leaps and bounds in its growth even in the face of uncertainty.
It is also essential for iGaming brands to research trending keywords related to the industry as they are a good barometer of what will become popular iGaming trends in 2021.
It’s an insight into your market’s collective thought process that you can incorporate into your content marketing strategy.
Some of the top trending online search trends that came up in 2020 were the following:
- The ongoing popularity and continuing appeal of sports despite lockdowns
- The continued shift to online gambling
- The inexorable rise of Valorant as the second-most trending keyword in 2020 and its viability as an esport
- Why translation and localization is going to be important for iGaming brands to focus on as part of their content marketing strategy
That said, let’s take a look back at the top trending search keywords related to the iGaming industry in 2020 – as well as how they may turn out to become popular iGaming trends in 2021.
The Ongoing Popularity and Appeal of Sports in 2020
Despite the lockdowns that effectively abbreviated practically all sporting events (and eventually having some leagues playing behind closed doors), the ongoing appeal of sports remains undeniable.
After all, sports remain one of the primary leisure activities for people in this increasingly online age. The proof is in the pudding.
The most-searched term related to sporting events in 2020 was “Champions League,” which accounted for 68 million searches based on maximum monthly Google search volume, per SEMrush.
This figure dwarfed that of the Super Bowl by 127% at the height of the event. On the other hand, searches for “Super Bowl” in 2020 amounted to 30.4 million searches on Google.
As far as sporting events are concerned, while the “UEFA Champions League” ranked first in terms of maximum search volume last year, tennis emerged as one of the year’s breakout favorite sports to watch.
Three of its biggest tournaments made it to top sports events of 2020. However, this surge in interest may be attributed to the fact that virtually all professional sporting leagues postponed their seasons in response to COVID-19.
Interest in sports personalities was also evident – SEMrush unveiled the most-searched athletes out of the top 5 ranked sporting events. All of them were the top talkers during their respective tournaments, such as Neymar, Patrick Mahomes, and Rafael Nadal.
Another notable keyword searched was “NBA” with 43.9 million searches, despite an abbreviated 2020 season that saw its conclusion being played out in an unprecedented isolation zone dubbed the “Bubble.” It was also an unprecedented success for the league – to the tune of a cool €1.2 billion in revenue.
“BBC Sport,” on the other hand, hit 35.5 million searches last year. What’s remarkable is the inexhaustible demand for sporting action – it’s not going away. There’s just too much money to be made.
As the world slowly returns to some semblance of normalcy, we can expect interest in the biggest sports events of 2021 to intensify further – and for enterprising iGaming brands and marketers to plan for and make the most out of.
The Continued Shift to Online Gambling
The shift from brick-and-mortar to online gambling is inevitable in the face of the current pandemic.
Meanwhile, the online gambling industry is mushrooming at a growth rate of 13.2% from 2019 to 2020 as land-based gambling establishments close down due to pandemic restrictions, turning on a fresh, new set of customers who found other ways to pursue their hobby.
This was made all the more evident when you consider 5% of the total Google search results by category pertained to gambling terms.
Meanwhile, online gambling keyword growth during the heat of the COVID-19 outbreak in the UK saw remarkable year-on-year search volume growth for the following iGaming-related keywords:
This is further exemplified by the mere fact that “Livescore,” a type of service many a punter would have spent countless hours on, registered 58.5 million searches last year.
Live scores are services that provide real-time information about results from sporting events across the globe. These are free and mostly popular among sports betting enthusiasts, as they allow them to aggregate the matches they are tracking and cover a wide array of sporting events to bet on.
Live score providers often partner with sports betting and online casino providers, share information about odds, and provide predictions powered by said operators.
And of course, we can’t forget to mention how “Bet365” accounted for 35.5 million searches in 2020. Bet365 is an iGaming provider based in the UK featuring sports betting and casino games.
The Rise of Valorant
One of the most notable keywords that made waves in 2020 was “Valorant”. It was, in fact, the second top trending overall search keyword of the year based on the previously-mentioned SEMrush report.
That’s right! A 2020 video game and esports title was responsible for 24.9 million monthly search volume last year.
That’s remarkable considering it was the only video game-related keyword on the list, demonstrating the Riot Games first-person shooter’s meteoric rise to prominence with a massive global reach. This finding only removed any lingering shadow of a doubt.
With the company’s massive esports cash cow League of Legends and the rising popularity of Valorant, Riot Games doubles down on growing its esports business – representative of the fact that esports is going to be a go-to-market for years and years to come.
The Importance of Translation and Localization for Brands in the iGaming Vertical
One of the keywords that accounted for the largest number of Google searches by topic in 2020 was “translation”. Translation and its related search keywords (including its different translations) totaled 13% in this category.
Put together, what this means is that, in total, people are Googling for translations more than Amazon.
One of the consequences of such competition is a more narrowed-down messaging to different target audiences. With the record number of potential players making the shift from offline to online in droves, iGaming operators are fighting tooth and nail to get a piece of the pie, particularly for the non-English speaking markets.
When iGaming brands address a specific target audience, translation and localization allow them to tailor their content marketing strategy and their resulting content – from advertisements, long-form guides, and videos to promotions.
Therefore, a good translation and localization plan for international markets that iGaming brands are targeting is one of the best iGaming SEO strategies for 2021 – hands down. The potential is too great not to.
2020 was an interesting year for the iGaming vertical – and it only stands to grow exponentially from here on out.
In spite of the pandemic situation, iGaming brands have reason to be optimistic for 2021 and beyond. The online paradigm shift is changing the industry as we speak, and Google’s top trending keywords of 2020 prove it.
From what we observed, the popularity of sporting events is still going to fly high up in the air, and the fact that there was a massive increase in several online gambling-related search terms last year proves that iGaming’s future is looking so bright, we gotta wear shades.
How did you like Sebastian Scheplitz’s blog post “The Top Trending Keywords in iGaming for 2021”? 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.” 🙂