Mobile is now a huge driver of revenue and growth in the online gambling sector, but it’s not an area without its challenges. Our Mobile App Gaming Report has highlighted some of those challenges, and here are our top five findings.

Mobile now accounts for almost half of the online gambling market.

Mobile applications may once have been seen as a supplemental offering for mobile gaming brands, but it is clear that they are now a fundamental part of any successful gaming brand.

Mobile gambling has grown from 29% in 2013 to 43% in 2014 – clear indication that gaming brands need to invest in optimising their mobile assets and applications, as well as strengthening their brand presence across mobile platforms.

With half of UK households now owning a tablet device, and 63% of adults owning a smartphone (an increase of 20% since 2013), there is a clear market opportunity for brands to cultivate a highly loyal and engaged audience.

Gaming brands have to work hard with Android, but the potential is huge.

The Google Play store has a blanket ban on all real-money gambling applications, meaning that gaming brands have to work extremely hard to target the Android market.

Whilst the route to app discovery is relatively simple for iOS users, the process is much more complicated for the Android platform. This process largely involves organic search, requiring brands to optimise their mobile search campaigns, and their mobile landing pages, to drive app downloads and engagement.

But the rewards are most definitely worth the effort, with Android users representing a significant, and largely under-served, proportion of the market. Those brands that have been quick to embrace this approach, including early adopters such as William Hill and Paddy Power, are now reaping the rewards from their investment in organic mobile app campaigns.

Don’t dwell on vanity metrics.

Whilst lots of brands focus on download statistics, these tell just a fraction of the overall picture when it comes to your mobile app strategy.

Around one fifth (22%) of mobile apps are abandoned after download, so your download report is likely to be reporting on a significant number of non-revenue driving users.

Download numbers have their value, and are a key signal for many app store algorithms, but instead focus on more meaningful metrics, such as ongoing engagement and user revenue.

A small number of high value keywords are driving revenue.

Mobile search is a very different market to desktop search, with a significantly smaller long-tail market.

Because of the difficulties in text entry on small screen devices, mobile searches are dominated by a small cluster of keywords and Google suggestions. This creates an extremely competitive keyword market.

Mobile specific keywords, such as “mobile casino” have much lower volumes and are less competitive, but they are highly effective at converting. These search terms indicate a user that has made the decision to play on mobile, so work to get your brand is in those prime positions.

App Store Optimisation relies on modern SEO principles.

App stores, like search engines, look to reward the most relevant and engaging sites, so get the basics right, in terms of your SEO principles. Title content, product descriptions, and unique, engaging copy are key.

Unique to app stores, you need a high volume of good quality user reviews.

By regularly updating and upgrading your app based on these reviews, you'll enhance the user experience, and this is the number one factor in your brand dominating the app store.

To find about more about the state of the UK mobile gambling sector, and to see which brands are dominating the market, download your free copy of our Mobile App Gaming Report.