The Drum Awards Festival - Official Deadline

-d -h -min -sec

The Drum Search Awards The Drum Awards Technology

Blueclaw and Free Super Tips: Growing the UK’s Leading Super-Affiliate to 3.7 Million Monthly Visitors

Author

By Awards Analyst, writer

May 17, 2018 | 10 min read

Blueclaw Agency won an award for SEO – Best Travel/Leisure/Sport Campaign in The Drum 2018 Search Awards. They explain the planning and processes it took to win this achievement.

By any measure, Free Super Tips is the most successful independent sports campaign we at Blueclaw have ever created (or even witnessed) in our ten+ years in the industry, going from thousands to millions of monthly visitors.

Transcending the sports sector to be the standout SEO success of 2017 and into 2018, the unprecedented uplift in thousands of key search terms, hundreds of thousands of new visitors and huge volumes of paying customers are all reasons why this campaign should win.

Blueclaw delivers a complete SEO strategy encompassing

  • On-site technical
  • On-site content strategy
  • Content marketing asset creation
  • Off-site PR-based link earning

…and more has shown that a genuine independent brand can outperform larger market rivals, to scale up massively and cost-effectively, to become a great example to all industries of the huge results that can come from a search strategy that performs on every level.

Overview

Blueclaw has worked with Free Super Tips for several years, starting our work when the site had several tens of thousands of visitors. Today, the site has millions of visitors per month, generating huge revenue for the young company.

When we initially began working together, our remit was straightforward - to cost-effectively lead SEO strategy across all fronts to deliver massively profitable growth.

As a sporting affiliate, Free Super Tips make revenue from on-site partnerships with other sports and betting brands and so to be successful, the site required high volumes of qualified traffic that would have an interest in partner offers – and be open to spending money with them.

Because of this, only the best possible traffic matters to Free Super Tips and their affiliate business model – and the cost of obtaining that traffic had to be much less than the revenue generated from partners.

Our strategy has focused entirely on profitable growth and integrated SEO strategies that measurably increase the most commercial rankings and keyword positions to take the company forward.

On-site SEO

The on-site technical improvements implemented by Blueclaw that have brought the website into full compliance with Google best practice has been a crucial aspect of ongoing on-site technical SEO.

A focus on mobile optimisation has reaped significant rewards. Sports betting can now be done on the fly whilst watching a match with friends, so mobile has been a key area of focus, delivering 255.61% more sessions in 2016/17 (up from 694,884) to 2,471,049. Mobile accounts for 79.65% of the total sessions on the website.

Free Super Tips is differentiated from the competition via an extremely tactical content marketing such as tips and match day predictions.

Day to day, Blueclaw’s SEO strategy sees Free Super Tips upload more than 200 tips and blogs per month, giving fans the content they crave, while also making sure the brand is understood by Google to be a top resource with timely, expertly optimised content.

Off-site SEO, Creative Content Marketing and Link Earning

More creatively, strategic, interactive and link-earning content marketing pieces have given Free Super Tips a competitive edge.

While many brands find it challenging to release any content marketing that gains links, the robust and proven Blueclaw process means that we are continually creating, developing, releasing and promoting content marketing to earn powerful top tier links.

One example is the Match Day Calculator - brand visibility while also earning top tier links.

Free Super Tips

This asset used original research to uncover the true cost of attending Premier League matches.

Resources like these present Free Super Tips as a brand that provides insight about the cost of football that is of interest to supporters everywhere, while also earning top tier media and topical sport links.

Example links for the Match Day Calculator – Yahoo News, Hull Daily Mail, DailyCannon, ArsenalVision, 90Min.com, Daily Star, Fresh Football...

Free Super Tips

Opening the Transfer Window capitalised on transfer window interest to engage players and earn links through an interactive, data-driven microsite. The strategy was to use utilize the asset to drive generic interest links and traffic to the content asset whilst also using our in-house expertise to create unique stories (utilizing the data we had sourced and analysed) for a variety of regional sites, driving traffic and links to the FreeSuperTips homepage.

Free Super Tips

Dribble Down Economics is a content marketing asset updated each year that compares and contrasts Premiership wage data with other big money industries such as film and music:

Dribble Down Economics
Dribble Down Economics

Team vs Ref capitalised on the bitter fan disputes on the level of refereeing bias in the Premier League to earn links through an interactive, data-driven onsite asset. The strategy was to use utilize the asset and its various news angles to drive niche specific links and traffic to FreeSuperTips’ website.

 Team vs Ref

Budget constraints

This budget is allocated to technical SEO, off-site SEO, PR and content marketing design, creation and build required to be an industry-leader in this ultra-competitive industry, and win thousands of new paying customers. The lion’s share of this investment is devoted to the time and expertise of the Blueclaw team who perform SEO consultancy, enact on-site SEO changes and create, design, develop and promote content marketing assets for the purpose of link earning. A limited media spend is available to jump-start engagement with content marketing assets on paid social and other channels.

Main objectives

Free Super Tips are an incredibly competitive and dynamic industry, with a need to compete for the attention of sports fans who demand up to the minute news, high quality content, accurate insight and genuine passion. The key objectives for Free Super Tips are to -

• Increase search visibility across the widest possible range of profitable keywords – especially across mobile

• Benefit from a scalable, sustainable and qualitative strategy that continuously delivers the best traffic from visitors who will convert

• Apply content-driven SEO strategies that amplify the brand and increase customer engagement, as well as achieve SEO success

• Continuously monitor and safeguard the link profile of the brand in this time of explosive growth, and to neutralise any ‘negative SEO’ attempts by competitors

Strategy

Free Super Tip’s commitment to providing football fans with the best possible tips, stats and betting opportunities has seen it reach site traffic in the millions.

The target audience is the traditional, informed betting customer who is on the lookout for tips, reviews, previews and insight to inform their bets. This type of customer is extremely discerning and is not interested in insubstantial content – they require rich, upto-the-minute insights as well as content that adds to their enjoyment of and passion for sport.

As a result, Blueclaw’s strategy is focused on maximising SEO visibility for the great content the Free Super Tips site generates, each and every week for hundreds of sporting fixtures.

Free Super Tips follow a segmented strategy to attract traffic from different types of customers – whether it be avid gamers looking for ongoing insight, sports fans who want to make the games more exciting and engage in banter with other fans or those who want a single match day tip for a specific game.

Over time, the site has become a go-to resource for experienced sports enthusiasts, as well as those who are new to betting and are searching for compelling tips, game previews and authoritative opinion that rivals any major sporting news site.

Ultimately the strategy is making sure Free Super Tips has all the right answers for FST’s ideal customers – and that site content is perfectly optimised, structured and promoted to make sure that these answers and insights reach customers through search engines.

Results

Results including evidence of effectiveness prior and post campaign. When discussing figures, tell the judges what the actual figures were, rather than just using percentages (increases). This will add credibility to your submission and give the judges a better understanding of your successes.

With over 3000 top ten rankings for the site, Free Super Tips are unambiguously the sports and leisure success story of the past year, reflected in traffic, engagement, search positions and revenue, and an epic example of a challenger brand beating household names.

Key results: Ranking keywords From 768 ranking keywords in January 2016 to over 15,000 in January 2018, Free Super Tips has experienced massive increases in visibility – targeted towards the right traffic.

With a peak visibility of 26,000 keywords in mid 2017, the Blueclaw team crafted a strategy to refocus on the most important commercial terms to maximise the financial performance of the site – resulting in a continually falling bounce rate, an extra two minutes of average dwell time and continuous new customer acquisition.

 Team vs Ref

With site reconfiguration in late 2017, FST’s results from organic SEO are on track to outperform previous years of epic growth with a future-proofed SEO strategy.

Sessions: 170% increase YoY to 3,772,776 sessions per month from 1,396,304 sessions

= 2,376,472 extra sessions per year – a huge jump in traffic that is a huge achievement in organic SEO terms but, most importantly, is a financial game changer.

Quality of Traffic and Site Status as Super-Affiliate

The quality of Free Super Tips traffic is shown in the level of repeat visits (81.80%) and the number of clicks to affiliate partner sites. In January 2016 there were 260,992, in May 2016 it was 316,138, in September 2016 it was 446,842.

By January 2018, this number hit over 570,000 driven by our organic SEO strategy.

In sports affiliate standards, this is phenomenal growth that speaks to the robustness of the strategy, and the ability of the brand to adapt to the changing landscape.

Our campaign has created more than just visitors – it has created customers, brand ambassadors and social followers. FST is smashing the expectations of an affiliate site - Alexa has FreeSuperTips.co.uk as the 18,477th most visited website globally.

Keywords and Rankings

The website ranks for tens of thousands of keywords with over 3,000 of those keywords appearing on page one of search engines – around 1,200 keywords appear in the top three positions, with serious growth on hyper-competitive terms such as ‘free bets’ winning top quality traffic.

‘Free bets’ is one of the most competitive terms in the sector, attracting the most profitable traffic. Even in the face of competition from multi-billion pound company’s our SEO strategy has seen Free Super Tips achieve a 214% increase year on year for this term alone.

Other vital keyword positions include: ‘football tips’ with 33,100 monthly searches at number one, ‘football betting tips’ with 22,200 monthly searches at number one and ‘betting tips’ with 18,100 monthly searches at number two.

Scale of Traffic
Scale of Traffic
The Drum Search Awards The Drum Awards Technology

Content created with:

Blueclaw

From SEO, PPC and CRO through to content marketing, and social & PR, Blueclaw delivers a wide range of integrated services – but so do other digital...

Find out more

Free Super Tips

Free Super Tips is the home of free sports betting tips. Get free bets to follow our football tips and accumulators.  

Find out more

More from The Drum Search Awards

View all

Trending

Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +