SEO is a standard within a number of marketing strategies through a myriad of industries, but has someone found themselves outside of the gaming and esports industries? There is a non-factor within new marketing verticals such as influencer marketing despite its immense potential to impact.
During the latest edition of the Gamactica Podcast, I got a chance to talk about the lack of SEO, or Esports SEO, that exists within the industry with Michael Ashford, CEO of The Game Awards.
In this article, I share some highlights and key insights that are affecting the fate of many Esports organizations.
What Esports can learn from sports and other industries
“I guess where Esports has been very pioneering there are also a lot of things that it can learn from other industries in the same vein,” he said.
“The big controversial one is the sports and Esports gear compared a lot. I’m a big fan of it because sports do very well with media rights and distribution deals. They do very well with sponsorships, two things that are absolutely pivotal and critical to the future of Esports. Those two things go hand-in-hand, they ensure everyone continues to be stable and everyone wins off the back of them. Esports as a term has really only been popular for 10 years. Before that you would just be OpTic gaming, people would just type in “optic” and their website would come up, their socials were there, everything was great and now there are probably 10,000 companies that all call themselves Esports something or another, and it’s a very different problem.
Doesn’t matter to OpTic, because OpTic is still a leading name and people still search for OpTic on Google. OpTic still comes up but it does matter to new businesses coming in.
“There are three waves to Esports”
You have wave one which is all the teams, the TOs, and the publishing companies.
Wave two is supporting services, people like ourselves, agencies, creative agencies, sales, and talent specialists.
Wave three is all the supplementary services under that, and that’s where that trickle-down comes down with publishers at the top and everyone in these waves underneath waiting to get paid. That is where wave three is so pivotal and why you hear stories of these companies trying to get in now that are very challenged because they’re not using proven techniques that work outside of the market to get into the market. They are trying to conform to the market that already exists, and you can’t take on an Esports Awards because we own that domain, we own that optimization, and we have seven years of history working with Google, YouTube, Amazon, we have even worked with Lexus. All these brands have given us that domain authority that is very hard to purchase now.” said, Michael Ashford, CEO of The Game Awards.
The advantage of domain authority in Esports
Ashford goes on to discuss the competitive advantage the domain authority provides them, especially as the Esports landscape continues to evolve and grow.
“So, if you were going to take us on as a competitor, you probably don’t want to go against that unless you’ve got a big, realistic search engine budget to go against us. That’s where marketing gives you that advantage, when you do marketing you put yourself in the eye of the consumer, you look at their journey, you understand their peeves, and you gain a finer understanding of what they’re doing.”
Ashford talked about the difficulties that face new entities, such as Esports teams face as they are entering a fiercely competitive space.
“If you’re a team that just got into this and you’re saying ‘I really want a big sponsorship to land on my doorstep’ like you have to be in their consideration and that’s what it comes down to. If I’m buying for one of the biggest companies in the world and I have a budget and I type in “Esports teams” or “successful Esports teams” or “biggest Esports teams” on Google, if you’re not on that list you’re already outliers from the consideration perspective because all of those other brands have long term domain authority” he said.
“The OpTics, The FaZe, the DSMs have done it for years and they’ll be the first stable thing that people see.”
Despite the proven data, SEO remains on the peripherals of the gaming, Esports, and content creation industries.
While platforms such as Twitch struggle to effectively scale the monetization of creators and their platforms, SEO continues to be an absolute need, a critical of conversation which eludes these spaces.
The Game Awards will be taking place on December 11th-13th in Las Vegas, Nevada, and will air on platforms such as Twitch and Twitter.
Anthony DiMoro is CEO of Gamactica. He can be found on Twitter @AnthonyDiMoro.
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