August 4, 2016
August is always a quiet time in Europe as it’s the most popular month to take an extended vacation. For those of you running iGaming affiliate sites, especially European focused ones, I cannot think of a better time to focus on strategies for driving more traffic in the future. The mobile casino space is ripe with opportunity and a good niche to study, but the competition is strong, so it must be done right if you want to earn decent commissions.
Alan Young launched mobilecasinoman.com a few months back, an affiliate website dedicated to mobile casino reviews and games. Young has been involved with the digital world for over ten years and was introduced to iGaming in 2010 when he started working for a casino and poker operator.
Young developed a significant understanding of driving traffic, converting traffic and retaining players during his time with an operator and since then, he identified mobile casinos as a profitable niche to work in as an affiliate. I spoke with Young this week to learn more about his journey as an mobile casino affiliate and to get his thoughts on what the future looks like for the the mobile casino industry.
Becky Liggero: Alan, thank you for joining me today, especially considering it’s the holiday season. Lets start with how you chose to focus on mobile casino marketing specifically?
Alan Young: Mobile gaming has undoubtedly been a huge growth area over the last few years. Everyone has a phone, so the numbers of potential players is huge, plus the games are getting better every year. I’m a punter myself so I’ve seen first hand how mobile games have improved recently.
Mobile now represents over half of all casino play, so it’s really important to a lot of players to understand what the mobile experience is like at a casino, and often the experience of a particular operator on mobile might be quite different to what they provide those players who prefer desktop.
Another factor in creating a site dedicated to mobile gaming were some of the Google algorithm changes over the last couple of years. Seeing many other sites being penalised in the search results, I felt there was a real opportunity to create a site that was both useful to players and could rank well too.
BL: Really good point with Google’s algorithms, sounds like a no-brainer to me. I do know tracking used to be an issue with mobile casino, how has technology developed over time to sharpen tracking abilities and ensure your numbers are accurate?
AY: A few years ago there was a disconnect at many operators between clicks to their site and signups through app installs, which certainly for me meant mobile wasn’t worth dedicating a lot of time to. Happily now though, most operators have become more established in their mobile offerings and many of these issues have been overcome.
Some operators choose to only offer games via their site, and others have really well supported Android and iOS apps that have really reliable tracking – for me, neither is ‘better’ as long as it works – and yes, I definitely test every operator before they appear on site.
BL: Great news and yes, its always important to test. We know the UK market is a super competitive and saturated market for iGaming, what are you doing as an affiliate to stand out from the rest?
AY: The mobile casino affiliate space is really congested, so I think being successful is all about focusing on delivering really high quality information specifically for mobile players, because their needs are different to the desktop player. For instance, mobile players will often use different payment methods, so understanding how well a casino meets those player needs is really important in being able to make a recommendation for a place to play.
BL: Got it. What are the main things you look for in a mobile casino before you choose to promote it, can you give me an example of one or two operators that are doing it right and why?
AY: As an affiliate I’m looking for casinos that have a mature mobile product. I tend to find casinos that genuinely value mobile are already ahead of the competition in meeting the needs of mobile players. They’ve often made the investment to launch dedicated apps, offer a wider range of mobile games, more suitable bonuses for mobile players and they have more reliable tracking.
A great example would be LeoVegas – they’ve got a really high quality offering for mobile players and, in my experience, do a great job keeping their players happy. When a casino doesn’t meet my expectations in these areas, I know before sending a single player that they’re less likely retain happy players – which is going to affect my earnings.
BL: Yes, LeoVegas is an industry leader in mobile casino for sure. Shifting gears a bit, what is the one thing that keeps you up at night as a mobile casino affiliate?
AY: Like a lot of affiliates, the prospect of more Google algorithm changes is a constant worry, although all of the sites I’ve created have been fine up to now. I have a similar concern on Facebook too, where the reach of posts is somewhat dependent on their algorithm. I’ve seen changes in reach have a dramatic impact on the traffic coming from social.
I guess it boils down to not having direct control over those traffic sources in the same way you do with paid channels, so there’s more of a risk there.
BL: I don’t think you’re alone with these types of worries. On a lighter note, what do you see as the future of mobile casino in the UK and beyond, what type of innovation can we expect?
AY: Growth! As I mentioned, mobile gaming is now over 50% of the play at casinos, and I expect that to increase further. I think there will be a leveling out of the offering across a lot of operators as some of the less developed brands get up to speed, but I think we’ll also see lots more high quality game releases over the next twelve months too.
There’s also developments in VR technology which could be really exciting and could dramatically change the way we play games, but I think we’re still a few years off that yet – and the headsets aren’t really ideal for playing on your commute to work.
BL: Ha, no they are not, but agreed VR is in our future. Alan, thank you for your time today- bring on the mobile growth and a have a lovely rest of the summer.