PPC for casinos is a form of advertising where casinos pay to run targeted ads online that attract and grow their clientele. Read on for expert tips on planning, launching, and running a successful casino PPC campaign.
Here, you’ll find:
- What is PPC for casinos?
- What are the benefits of using PPC ads for casinos?
- 4 expert casino PPC advertising tips
- Requirements for all casino PPC ads on Google
- What’s the cost of PPC for casinos?
- Common PPC terms to know
- How to choose the right casino PPC agency
The last time you were looking for something fun to do, where did you go to find options?
Let’s be real: you probably Googled it.
Casino and gaming customers are no different.
If you want to drive more traffic to your iGaming site or casino, PPC for casinos helps you to stand out in the crowded online gambling marketplace. It puts you at the top of Google search results to increase targeted traffic.
What is PPC for casinos?
PPC for casinos is a targeted digital advertising strategy that promotes casino websites on search engines and websites within Google’s display network.
Pay-per-click (PPC) ads allow casinos to attract potential clientele by paying a fee whenever their ads are clicked. This approach enhances online visibility and drives traffic to casino websites.
Using PPC with search engine optimization (SEO) can speed up the results of your marketing campaigns.
What are the benefits of using PPC ads for casinos?
The casino industry and online gambling markets are growing exponentially. In fact, the global online gambling market was valued at more than $63 billion in 2022, and that number is expected to grow over 11% each year from now till 2030.
While that’s great news for casinos and iGaming businesses wanting to grow their bottom line, it also means there will be more competition. Those who want to stay ahead of the competition and continuously bring new people to their casino must add a PPC strategy to their marketing efforts.
Advanced targeting capabilities
Successful PPC ad campaigns allow casinos to precisely target their ideal audience online.
With targeting based on location, demographics, and search intent, casinos, and iGaming companies can reach more potential clients who are likely to play. This targeting results in high-quality leads, increased conversion rates, and decreased time to conversion.
Pay-per-click advertising places your promotional copy at the top of the search engine results page, allowing you to appear in the first few results. This can be challenging when using SEO strategies alone.
The higher you are on the search engine results page, the more visible you are to searchers looking for your services. PPC ads give you an edge over competitors who may rank in the top organic search results, but not in sponsored listings.
Measurable results and ROI
Not all aspects of your digital marketing strategy will be easy to measure and track, but PPC makes it easier to measure results and your return on investment.
Each platform has comprehensive PPC analytics and tracking tools that provide detailed reports on campaign performance. You’ll see important metrics like click-through rate (CTR), cost per click (CPC), and conversion rates. With this information, you can optimize your campaigns for the best ROI.
Here’s an example of how conversions, cost per conversion and conversion rate appear on the Google Ads dashboard:
4 expert casino PPC advertising tips
Now that you know the basics of PPC for casinos, let’s dive into casino PPC advertising tips from the experts at HawkSEM:
- Choose the right keywords
- Write compelling ad copy
- Create targeted landing pages
- Track and optimize your campaigns
1. Choose the right keywords
Keyword research is the foundation of any casino PPC campaign. To find the right keywords for your PPC ad campaigns, identify relevant keywords that potential customers may use to find companies like yours.
Using PPC keyword research tools can identify search terms with high search volume, low competition, and high intent to buy.
For example, “best online casinos” search term shows intent to buy — searchers are looking for where they can gamble online. According to Semrush, this keyword receives 6,600 searches per month in the U.S., which is pretty good.
The competition is at 63%, which is a little high, but not impossible to rank for with high-quality content (e.g., a listicle of the top online casinos and what makes them great).
But you don’t have to pay for expensive tools like Semrush to find keywords. Start with PPC keyword research for free using Google Keyword Planner. Type in the keywords you’ve brainstormed, and Keyword Planner will recommend additional keywords and show the average monthly search, competition, and bidding information.
Don’t forget to research long-tail keywords. They’re more specific and bring in highly relevant traffic at a lower volume.
For instance, “best casino to play blackjack in Las Vegas” shows a much higher intent. It appears the searcher wants to find a particular casino to play at, potentially soon. Semrush shows 90 monthly search traffic in the U.S., and the competition is only 6%.
A much easier search term to rank for.
Just avoid broad keyword match types, such as “Entertainment in Las Vegas.” Using them will drive irrelevant traffic to your site, which means you’re paying more for clicks that’ll never convert.
2. Write compelling ad copy
You have a few seconds to capture a searcher’s attention on Google. The best way to grab eyes is to write high-quality PPC ad copy that’s engaging and interesting.
Also, ensure the copy is specific to the keyword you’re targeting. For example, if someone searches for “sports betting in Ontario,” and your ad has general copy like “best online gambling,” the user may click on a competitor’s ad that’s more relevant to their search.
Here’s an example of a casino PPC ad that uses the keywords in the copy, making it the most relevant for the user:
“Best payout” is in the ad copy, letting the search engine user know that this ad aligns with their search and is worth checking out.
3. Create targeted landing pages
Your job isn’t over once someone clicks your PPC ad. You need a targeted landing page optimized for conversions.
The landing page copy should align with your ad copy, offering a seamless transition from ad to page. This page should be focused on one, clear call-to-action that aligns with the user intent of the target keyword.
For example, if your ad offers a list of the best online casinos, then the landing page should have a table, chart, or blog-style post listing the top online casinos.
Don’t use your home page or a general site page instead of a targeted landing page. They’ll either bounce away or get distracted, click through to another page, and leave before converting.
Your landing page design should be easy to navigate and clearly show what to do next to convert. For instance, “Click here to get started with blackjack” (on a landing page listing the best online casinos for playing blackjack).
4. Track and optimize your campaigns
Tracking your PPC campaign performance allows you to detect flaws so you can make changes to optimize your ad spend (aka get more relevant clicks that convert, so your ad spend is worth it).
At HawkSEM, we use ConversionIQ (CIQ) to granularly track every step of the buyer’s journey.
“ConversionIQ helps us understand what aspects of a campaign work and where to make changes,” says Sam Yadegar, CEO of HawkSEM. “We use this information to optimize towards a higher ROAS month over month and year over year.”
Tracking with CIQ gives us more insights into the client’s target audience, allowing us to take that data and use it across marketing channels like SEO and social media. That’s how we help clients further scale their digital marketing while maintaining profitability.
Requirements for all casino PPC ads on Google
You must meet certain requirements before you can run PPC ads with Google Ads. For instance, the legality of casinos and gambling varies from place to place, so Google has advertising policies to ensure no one breaks laws with their advertising.
Google states, “We support responsible gambling advertising and abide by local gambling laws and industry standards, so we don’t allow certain kinds of gambling-related advertising.”
Google allows Gambling PPC campaigns if they comply with the following policies:
- The advertiser has received the proper Google Ads certification
- Gambling ads target approved countries only
- The landing page contains information about responsible gambling
- The ads never target minors
There may be certain restrictions, depending on which countries you target with your PPC campaigns. Read the restrictions for the countries you plan to run ads in before running ads to ensure you comply.
Gambling-related content allowed on Google Ads
Here are examples of gambling-related content that’s allowed under the right conditions:
- Offline gambling: Allows promotion of physical, real-money gambling activity or establishments, such as brick-and-mortar casinos in Las Vegas.
- Online gambling: Allows promotion of online, real-money gambling, such as online casinos, bingo or slots sites, and online sports betting. Google Ads also allows you to promote sites containing or linking to online gambling-related content like educational materials and promotional products (e.g., vouchers).
- Online non-casino games: Allows promotion of any Internet-based game where money or other valuable items are paid or wagered for the chance to win real money or prizes. This includes fantasy sports, online chess tournaments, and “match-three” video games.
- Social casino games: Allows promotion for online simulated gambling games where there’s no opportunity to win anything of value. Social casino games with the chance to win real money or prizes or sites promoting real money gambling destinations aren’t allowed.
Applying for certification
To use Google Ads to promote your casino, first, look at the Google Ads policy and country-specific requirements and confirm that you meet them. Then, apply for certification.
Privately licensed operators in the countries permitting online gambling content will fill out the online gambling application form.
Casinos that operate in countries where Google Ads only allows state-run entities to advertise will fill out the contact form. On this form, you’ll mention you’re applying for certification to advertise as a state-run gambling organization. You’ll also include a website URL.
Social casino game operators will use this contact form to submit their website or app for certification. Be ready to include your Google Ads customer ID and the country group you want to target.
Those targeting multiple countries must submit separate applications for each country.
What’s the cost of PPC for casinos?
The cost of PPC for casinos varies on several factors, such as the size of your campaign and whether you hire in-house or outsource your PPC management.
If you decide to work with an agency, you can expect to pay between $1,500 to $10,000 per month for PPC management. Some will charge a flat rate, while others charge a percentage of your ad spend (e.g., 10-20%).
Think it’d be cheaper to hire an in-house PPC manager? Doing so could cost you roughly $72K annually, plus benefits. And let’s not forget the team they’ll need to support them — aka several more salaries and benefits packages.
When you go with an agency, you get an entire team, plus the advanced tools they use to manage and optimize campaigns. Their expertise is a major plus, since PPC campaigns are all they do day in and day out — can’t say the same for in-house teams that juggle multiple responsibilities and projects.
Common PPC terms to know
Here are the terms you should be familiar with when building PPC campaigns:
- Local PPC: This type of pay-per-click advertising focuses on targeting customers in a specific location using geotargeting and local keywords.
- Clickthrough rate (CTR): A metric measuring the number of clicks your ad receives. Determine CTR by dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions.
- Cost per click (CPC): A metric that measures how much advertisers pay each time someone clicks their ad. To find CPC, multiply the bid price by the CTR. (Here are some tips on how to lower CPC.)
- Conversion rate: The percentage of users who clicked on your ad and completed the desired action—whether that’s to make a purchase, download a lead magnet, or something else.
- Call-to-action (CTA): Part of your copy designed to get users to take a desired action. Examples: “Buy now,” “Call us,” “Download the guide,” and “Book a consultation.”
- Click-to-call: A Google Ads extension allowing users to call you from the ad with the click of a button. Set up PPC call tracking to measure how many calls come from your PPC ads.
- Geographic segmentation: Segmenting your audience by location-based characteristics such as city, region, climate, or language.
- Retargeting ads: A form of PPC advertising that displays ads to people who already visited pages on your site.
Google ads makes it easy to track many of these metrics for your PPC ad campaigns. Here’s an example of what reports show:
How to choose the right casino PPC agency
PPC management is no easy task, so many companies hire an agency for ongoing PPC services. Hiring a PPC agency makes the most of your ad budget because you have experts who can optimize campaigns for the best return on investment.
Here are some things to look for when hiring a PPC agency.
PPC is their core focus
Many digital marketing agencies offer multiple services, including PPC management. But it doesn’t mean it’s a core focus or specialty. When hiring an agency, ask them to detail their approach to PPC strategy, management, and optimization.
For example, PPC is HawkSEM’s core competency. And that’s clear in how we approach PPC campaigns.
Our team takes a performance-driven approach to PPC for casinos, aiming for the optimal ROI. We create custom PPC campaigns and track them closely to ensure a positive ROAS. Also, a senior strategist closely manages the campaign, so nothing’s ever left on “autopilot.”
Has a history of results
Another important thing your PPC agency should have is case studies and testimonials that show a history of getting results for their clients. Look for specific numbers showing clear results over generalized statements about past client results.
HawkSEM has a history of getting solid results for our PPC advertising clients. And we’re not shy about it. You can look at any of our case studies to see how we’ve helped companies across industries increase traffic and conversions with pay-per-click ads.
For example, we used our PPC strategies for small businesses to help Grayson Living increase its sales by 279%.
Knows how to fit PPC into your marketing strategy
Pay-per-click advertising is just one part of your digital marketing. There are many moving pieces to an online marketing strategy, such as SEO, content marketing, and social media marketing. So choose a PPC agency that can use PPC to complement your entertainment marketing plan.
HawkSEM is both a PPC agency and an SEO agency, so we use organic and paid strategies to amplify your online presence and increase conversions. If you’re looking for a PPC consultant to build a holistic marketing strategy for your casino, then reach out to us today.
PPC advertising can drive more traffic for casinos, iGaming companies, and other gambling services. With a high level of competition, casinos can use this advertising strategy to stay ahead of competitors.
However, the nature of the gambling industry means facing unique challenges with PPC advertising. The specific advertising policies casinos must follow across PPC platforms can make running a successful PPC ad campaign tricky.
But when you work with an experienced PPC agency like HawkSEM, you don’t have to worry about the little details.
If you’re ready to get support with your casino PPC advertising, reach out today.