How to Advertise Crypto Now that it is Banned from Google and Facebook Ads?
It is not surprising that the recent boom in cryptocurrencies brought about a host of those wanting to exploit the confusion and unrealistic optimism surrounding this growing market. For a system that, at its very core (i.e. blockchain), relies on complete and absolute transparency, the crypto market is not always that transparent itself.
Even those who put in the necessary work, get comfortable with the terminology and the basic concepts, only have to look forward to the next challenge, i.e choosing between a staggering number of businesses. These businesses, legitimate or not, couldn’t have been around for too long, which means that you don’t have much to go on in terms of their track record and past performance. So, in a lot of cases, it comes down to you having to trust someone you don’t know, someone no one really knows yet, without a way to really hold them accountable for their performance or your investment.
The proliferation of scammy ICOs, fake crypto investment companies and other attempts of robbing people got too rampant to be tolerated. It even made two of the worlds largest advertisers of anything and everything, Google, and Facebook, draw a line in the sand and make crypto related advertising join the ranks of other potentially highly profitable, yet ultimately unfeasible endeavors like gambling and adult industry. In other words, despite the copious amounts of money they knew they could make and despite fully acknowledging the validity of the crypto industry itself, they decided that there are just way too many bad apples there for them to keep advertising businesses offering related services.
Facebook was the first to do this, in January 2018, when they cut the strings with their current advertisers’ binary options, cryptocurrency, and initial coin offerings, and prevented new ones from signing on. While they fully realized this would also reflect on the multitude of legitimate businesses advertised under the same umbrella, they made a salient point regarding their inability to effectively regulate advertising on a case-to-case basis. If it wasn’t already clear to everyone why they were right, even after the ban, some of these businesses managed to get through by relying on intentional misspellings. If these advertisers managed to get the best of Facebook’s system, even with the ban enacted, it’s not difficult to imagine what was happening before.
Google followed suit soon after (well, announced that they’ll be following suit as of June 2018) when, just two months later, in March, they also decided to distance themselves from everything crypto related. Like Facebook, they’re not denouncing the entire industry, but simply facing up to the fact that they don’t have the means to discriminate between scammers and legitimate businesses, and that the number of those scammers is simply overwhelming. Just a little bit later, in April, they also decided to remove crytpojacking extensions from their Web Store solidifying their stance on everything that has to do with this industry.
So what do you if you are a provider of legitimate crypto related services, and you’ve just realized that you can no longer advertise your services on two major promotional channels? Well, first you finish reading this article, and then decide if focusing on organic search might be just what you need to set yourself apart from your competitors, and especially from those just pretending to be in the same line of business.
Benefits of Organic
While there is a lot to be said in favor of focusing on organic search as opposed to paid, even when talking about standard, non-stigmatised industries; in this instance, getting the approval of crawlers is even more beneficial.
If nothing else, it’s a matter of public perception and proof of trust (not the one might be thinking about).
You see, even if you could advertise through AdWords or Facebook, most people are quite aware that you don’t have to do anything special to qualify for showing up in the ads – you just have to pay. There are no guarantees that you actually do what you claim to be doing, which is rarely a problem for businesses in other industries. However, with these bans in force, and with all the news regarding numerous frauds and fraudsters in the the world of cryptocurrencies, even if you were able to get an ad out, you can be sure that people would be apprehensive about how much they can believe what you are saying (at least until a reliable vetting process is developed).
This is where being found through organic search lends you more credibility than paid, even more so than it does for those operating within some of the more stable and established industries. While cryptocurrencies did become quite popular with people of all profiles and backgrounds, it is safe to assume that most people with a serious intention of getting into this market have at least a basic understanding of how search engines work. That is to say, they know that if you want to rank on the first page of Google, especially for keywords as contested as the crypto related ones currently are, you need to earn the trust of both people and the search engine.
To really get to the top of search results, you need endorsement from an army of readers who will keep coming back to your site, staying on it for long enough to indicate real interest, and promoting it to their friends or colleagues. You also have to earn the trust of all those bloggers and influencers you’ll outreach in the course of your link building campaigns as well as the trust of their readers. Finally, you also need the trust of a search engine that already made it abundantly clear how trusting it is when it comes to your line of work.
It boils down to this: if people see you are ranking well for crypto-related terms, especially when they consider how competitive that market currently is, they know how many people, businesses, and institutions have already had to have given you their approval in order for you to show up that high in the results. While this kind of credibility is welcomed by any business, it bears additional weight in this particular situation.
So, what kind of crypto SEO strategy could a versatile, experienced search engine optimization company formulate for your cryptocurrency business, and how exactly would you benefit from it? Read on to find out.
Step One: Keyword and market research
You know the ancient proverb, “To every Bitcoin, there’s an Ethereum”. Remember what we said about the general public having trouble differentiating between scammers and reliable, honest crypto investment advisors, payment processors or cryptocurrency exchanges? Well, we usually can tell the difference, and we know that you can probably do so 100% of the time.
That’s one of the reasons why the first thing we do is have a nice, long talk with you about your goals, audiences you want to attract, and other businesses similar to yours that you consider actual competitors, in regards to keywords both of you, are retargeting, service quality, targeted market, etc. In other words, you tell us whose results, a way of operating or even just content you admire, and we get a clearer picture of where is it that you want to be.
Then we do our bit of research and tell you approximately how much time, work and money might it take for us to help you reach those goals. However, what might turn out to be even more important, we also tell you which other goals should you also be pursuing or completely replace your current ones with.
In practical terms, this means that once we have identified your direct and indirect competitors and checked which keywords they are targeting, we can suggest which other keywords you should pursue, which will, up to a point, guide the further development of your strategy.
While it’s not until later that we’ll formulate a complete content strategy for you, this initial phase also includes research into which types of content are performing the best, and whether there are content gaps, i.e. topics or approaches which deserve to be discussed and that the audience would be interested in, but which are not getting the coverage they deserve.
Step two: Online assets audit
We make a detailed account of where you currently are, and what needs to be done to create a perfect foundation for the rest of promotional efforts for your crypto business. We’ll take a look at, and if necessary fix, your:
- Onsite – from page loading speed and meta elements optimization to keyword mapping, inner linking structure, redirects and canonicalization, every aspect of your website is brought in line with Google’s recommendations.
- Backlinks – after a detailed analysis of your link portfolio, we make recommendations on which links you might want to remove, modify if possible (for instance by changing the anchor or the page a link is targeting), or even try to replicate. Once we get your approval, we will implement all the changes that we can with the authorization we are granted.
- Content – after we have reviewed the content on your website, and, again, checked with you first, we can optimize it by adding relevant keywords, expanding on it, making it more suitable for the audience you are hoping to attract, adding images, and basically, doing everything we need to ensure that your content is informative, accurate and engaging.
Step three: Promotion
Once step two is completed, you’ll have a site that search engines can crawl the way they are supposed to, and that the users can trust – if it’s a cryptocurrency exchange site, you’ll want the people to know that transactions are safe; if you are providing crypto investment consultations, you’ll want to clearly state your identity and credentials, and so on. It is then that you really want to show off, and we help you do that by putting you in touch with all the right people.
While offsite optimization methods mostly come down to different types of link building, there’s much more to it than just asking people to link to you. What we really do is:
- Identify reputable industry information sources, create content specifically for them and their audience, and contact them to see if they would be willing to publish it. Aside from getting the link equity and establishing relevance, this directly brings targeted traffic and helps you build brand awareness and trust.
- We keep checking what people need to know and make sure to provide them with answers. Sometimes we’ll formulate that answer as post that we’ll publish on your site and leverage it as excellent link bait, that will keep passively bringing in links to your domain; sometimes we’ll give the answers directly on the forum or community website where the question was asked, establishing you as an active and helpful member of the community; and sometimes, we’ll move the discussion to another, related website, benefiting both you and them, and perhaps, creating a lasting partnership.
- Depending on the exact part of the crypto market you are focused on, there are different directories, resource hubs, and other websites you might want to get your name on. We’ll find them, identify reputable ones and the ones best avoided, and do what it takes for you to be included in those that are worth the effort.
- Competitor backlink analysis – we take a more general look at your competitors during step one, so at this point, we have already identified the most interesting ones. That means we already know whose backlinks we need to meticulously go through until we’ve identified each and every one that might be suitable for you.
- When the fundamentals are covered, we move on to advanced strategies like broken link building, skyscraper method, and whatever else seems adequate. While other tactics (building guest post links for your crypto related website, or sifting through competitors’ links etc.) are most effective when done on regular basis, formulating and executing an advanced link building campaign can be done as needed, and can sometimes be more similar to growth hacking than traditional SEO.
Step four: Monitoring and reporting
Sadly, links, exposure, and even reputation, all have a shelf life. Sites that you were thrilled to get a link from a couple of years ago may have changed into something that you don’t want to be associated with, or have simply removed that link. While this is relatively common in any industry, cryptocurrency related businesses are (as long as the scammers abound), especially prone to sudden and catastrophic falls from grace. In other words, if one of your linking partners who you’ve put good faith in turns out to have been duplicitous, you’ll want to be able to immediately distance yourself from them.
That’s why we keep a close eye on your links, and aside from reporting on the ones you might want to to have removed or altered, we also send consistent marketing KPI reports summarizing every part of your campaign that you might be interested in.
By giving you full transparency and constant access to dashboards tracking your essential metrics and the performance of our campaign, we ensure that you can always take a quick look and decide if what we are doing is working for you, or if you want us to change our approach in any way.
What it comes down to
Even if the paid advertising channel was still available to them, providers of crypto-related services would stand to benefit quite a bit from SEO. Even if there was a way to instantly recognize scammers and those concerns went away, you still wouldn’t be in the clear. You see, with all the legitimate competition around, you couldn’t hope to get noticed without an immaculately technically optimized website, filled with expert content, written for carefully targeted audiences. Naturally, you’d also need a wide network of influencers as your link partners and everything else a well-conceived crypto SEO strategy is capable of doing for you. If you are interested in having us develop and execute one for you, don’t hesitate to contact us and tell us what you need.