Bingo Games – best of breed
With the plethora of online bingo sites currently available (Which Bingo currently lists over 110 for UK
alone) what is it that attracts players to one bingo game site over another?
play bingo, bingo uk
How do players looking for a bingo game, find those well established or newly released sites? Once players
have found a particular bingo site, new or old, what makes them want to sign up or continue playing? What
makes a particular bingo site the best bingo game site online?
Bingo online – the search goes on
Of course online bingo is found on the internet. “Where else”, you may ask! Well, many advertisements are
starting to appear on a regular basis in national newspapers, advertising boards and television. With sites
like 888 and mansion also appearing as sponsors of sports teams, it seems that site owners are finding new
ways of promoting and attracting new players, increasing the advertising audience, but causing a new
headache for governments. Many of the advertisements that are being seen (particularly in newspapers) have
been in breach of the advice issued by the UK government on gambling advertising. Ahead of the new UK
Gambling Legislation (which is to be implemented from 2007) the gambling commission has issued
guidance aimed at remote operators.
Online searches still count for around 80% of natural site discovery. Keywords being searched for by
players have not really changed from the outset, with the obvious words still being used. Below is a list of
the typical words and the amount of times they were used in the past 90 days (figures obtained in July 2006
from Dogpile and Metacrawler).
Bingo - 1654 searches
Online Bingo - 470 searches
Bingo Games – 180 searches
Internet Bingo – 74 searches
Play Bingo – 53 searches
Free Bingo – 50 searches
Site owners are still using these keywords within their site design, with only a few attempting to find niche
markets with key phrases such as “Win Big Cash Prizes”. There is an obvious reason for this. Bingo online
is what it is. It does what it says on the tin. The difficulty for a player is to try to find newly released sites
when there is a cat and mouse game going on between search engines and competitors. The problem is made
more difficult for the site owners by the fact that search engines like Google seem to reveal similar results
each time the word “bingo” is entered, even though it may be entered within a phrase, and alongside other
words such as “games”, “sites” or “play”. This never allows recently released sites to gain exposure and
limits the immediate availability of the variation of sites available to the public. The key for a player is to
search a little deeper and perhaps use phrases which are not typical to the same results. The more words
used in the keyword setup for the site, and then in the users search, the easier it will be to find the site.
Sign-up – your bingo site needs you
First impressions last, so when someone first discovers a new bingo game site the look and feel is most
important. Most bingo sites adopt a fun-based graphics approach. This is in keeping with the fact that bingo
is a fun game to play. The majority of sites use software provided by development companies such as Parlay
or Playtech, and that makes it difficult to adjust the game window design specifically for each site.
The trick is to try to balance the fun approach to graphics with a professional and quality look. This allows
players to feel that the design has been well thought out, and that it is being run by a company who knows
what they are doing. Even the top sites have made glowing errors in site design, using dodgy colouring, little
attempt at professionalism and bad structure of site. Aside from a good logo clearly identifying your brand,
it is important to use only a limited set of colours, achieve a balance between text and graphics and change
the content on a regular basis. This helps attract new players and also keeps regularly players interested.
There is nothing more off-putting than visiting the same site over a period of time to see the same homepage
graphics and text as the previous months before. That can lead to players feeling that the site is being
Software and Playability
Except for the various pattern match games that are commonly used in American, bingo is bingo. There are
no differing strategies to work out, and no need to spend hours learning how to play before joining in the
fun. This is what makes bingo games easy to adopt by players and easy for operators to run. The software
should therefore be easy to use and simple to play, in keeping with the game itself. Of course nice little
features like being able to select your auto-dauber icon and perhaps create a character representation of the
player all adds to the fun, but the basics should be simple, neat game windows and no annoying bingo
callers. The speed of the game can and is often adjusted.
Proprietary game software is easier to manage in terms of graphics, gameplay and features etc; as the site
does not have to rely on the development company for updates or changes. However, with software
provided by developers (though more rigid in terms of updates and likely to be similar across many sites)
you can be sure that the product will have gone through advance tests, and is likely to have been audited and
approved by a licensing authority. Parlay, Playtech and Chartwell are to name a few who provide bingo
With the numbers of UK bingo sites available, site owners are using various methods in order to attract
players to their site. Offering sign-up bonuses, loyalty points and free money are a few ways of attracting
new players. But these marketing strategies will mean nothing if the site itself is unattractive, the software is
dated and the chat rooms offer no opportunity to enjoy the community spirit that is so important in online
What keeps you coming back for more?
Of course attracting new players is the single most important factor in establishing a new bingo site and
achieving continued growth. However, once the site is launched, loyalty plays a big part in maintaining a
healthy bank balance and popularity of the site. Without the loyalty, particularly of VIP players, a site will
soon discover the difficulties in operating and maintaining a respectable bingo product, and the numbers of
players signing up and the total value of jackpot will soon diminish. Sites can enter into an ever-decreasing
circle, a catch 22 situation, without a healthy number of players, no healthy jackpot, without a decent
jackpot, no new players and so on.
Of course many of the newly released independent bingo sites can boast a healthy bank balance, as most
new bingo sites are bankrolled by wealthy businessmen who want to grab a piece of the bingo pie.
However, without an established liquidity of players, most independent sites have to rely on the quality of
the brand and a precise and effective marketing strategy if they are to remain as a competitor in the ever
increasing online bingo market.
The alternative for a newcomer to the industry to join a network of already established bingo sites. This
allows them to enjoy the benefits of player and jackpot liquidity. St Minver’s site, the International Bingo
Network, shows a list of white label media brands that have entered the world of online bingo games. This
allows names such as Virgin and Yahoo to benefit of established healthy jackpots and players, while
achieving the benefits of an already established brand and in-house marketing strategies.
Community plays its part
So the best bingo sites must take care to implement all the above mentioned elements. They must make their
site easy to find. Produce nice graphics, with attractive and easy to use software. Implementing loyalty and
promotional offers are important. They must do everything to ensure that you find the game fun, provide
customer service 24 hours and ensure that their jackpots are at a good level and “winnable”. A site
advertising, for example, £100,000 in 35 calls gives you little chance of winning, and doesn’t help towards
making the site the best.
However, the single most important factor to the best site is having a good friendly bingo game community.
Bingo is a social game, providing a chance for people to get together and have a chat, while enjoying the
thrill of a win. The chat rooms in online bingo are the most important element in continuing this social
aspect. Bingo at home is fun. Bingo at home alone is not. Be sure to view the numbers online and join in the
chat rooms before you decide to part with your well earned cash.
Mickey Mouse Nail Art