The site texasholdemquestions.com recently approached us initially to ask about advertising and sponsorship on their site. A few back and forth emails later that discussion lead to me trying to help that site get to another level. Upon first inspection, the more I looked into the site, the more work I thought it needed to break out and not just be another poker website. Poker might have lost it’s shine since the 2011 Black Friday event but doesn’t mean the game is not popular.
This article is part of our Affiliate Website Critiques where I don’t just review a site but point out any issue I see where a change could lead to any improvement. That improvement could be more search traffic, improved quality of traffic, more conversions or simply more income.
The site for texasholdemquestions.com, which I’ll refer to as THQ, is a fairly basic site. It isn’t the most amazing site I’ve seen but I wouldn’t call it trash either but it definitely needs work. I think at least the concept of Texas Holdem Questions is a good one where Google seems to be rewarding content producers that take the time to answer questions. Actually many online marketers have known about this for a while but now it seems to be on everyone’s radar and it is probably why this site owner picked this domain and topic.
The site seems to have a very small amount of pages and posts. The site seems to be under 2 years old. The first thing I want to address is what is the site about and what should users expect to do here?
The name of the site implies that any of your questions related to the game of Texas holdem poker would be answered here. What seems to be the biggest sell right off the back is poker training. This is a totally different unique selling point (USP) than a question & answer site. On top of that, poker training is a somewhat serious topic so anybody that is considering hiring a poker tutor they might treat this similar to buying something on Amazon. That is, are there any reviews of this product or service? On this site there are none so why would someone want to pay for training, consulting or even a 1 year membership without knowing the credibility of the site? Even if this website had a lot of traffic, I don’t think these calls to actions will make any real conversions. Buying products and services is all about trust and this is a different territory of selling compared to being an information website and making passing sales through affiliate marketing. Perhaps if this site listed other poker training sites and rated them, would they be able to possibly win some trust of their readers.
That all said, I like the idea of selling poker training but in the world of poker, reputation is everything and if the site doesn’t have the poker trainer visible by name and picture then how are people supposed to trust buying anything here. I think this site would gain more in conversions on promoting online poker rooms through poker affiliate programs then it would through trying to sell any type of memberships or poker training. There are no type of peer reviews here and this is important.
I could probably spend a good few hours on a big checklist of things that should be addressed in regards to on-page SEO. For those that don’t know what SEO means that is search engine optimization of course. I do think the site itself needs more content on both blog posts and pages but also the pages that do exist I think could use even more content. The homepage for example has about 800 words and that isn’t a lot really. So I’ll just hit a few bullet points of some things I see wrong with the site:
- Thin content
- Not enough blog posts and pages
- Lack of questions
- Could utllize FAQ style rich snippets using Yoast plugin
I think today it is tough to have a poker site without any type of video but at least this site does have a YouTube channel with some videos. My problem with the videos is I don’t think they are optimized enough. For example their video called “Out of Position” is a very vague title for a video. Out of position could be in reference to playing sports, wearing inappropriate clothes or possibly playing poker. In this case it is about poker so the title is vague. If the videos don’t do a good job of SEO then that kinda reflects on many pages and posts of the website. That is we have short titles that don’t seem as compelling to click on and not helpful for being found by anybody.
Also the descriptions in the YouTube videos are very short so it is hard to expect these videos to rank well where they could be a source of traffic.
It is no doubt a valiant effort in making videos where many don’t even bother with it but there is definitely something to learn from this.
Off-Page SEO, aka Link Building
Using ahrefs.com to look at the site we can see that the domain rating is 8 and the URL rating is 21 which means this site doesn’t have a strong backlink profile. Inspecting the links further, we can see many links are directory links and they are not ideal for ranking or boosting the site. This site needs more links including more from poker sites and online gambling sites in general.
Building links in the igaming field is not easy and most sites are charging for this. There are still other opportunities for doing different types of exchanges for links or finding places where you can do guest posts or interviews.