SiGMA met Björn Einarsson, the co-founder & co-owner of Beck Solutions, for an interview about his business and thoughts about the industry.
Hello Marius, I’m doing good thanks! I am very eager to go there now. It’s always nice to meet other people in the business, both affiliates and operators. Besides, I’ve never been to Tallinn so the Grand Slam conference in a couple of days will be interesting.
How did you come to enter the online gaming space and set up your company?
It probably started when I was working with R&D at a Swedish gaming company 12 years ago. I was working with casino games but also back office systems including the affiliate system. I realized you could be greatly rewarded when doing a good job. Since then I’ve been working in another industry as an employee but I’ve always been eager to start my own business. In my spare time I’ve created some websites and had an interest in SEO. A couple of years ago me and my colleague decided to quit our employments and enter this business.
Can you tell us a little about how your company business is structured?
It’s a Swedish company. It’s me and my colleague doing most of the daily work consisting of research, coding, content writing, optimization etc. We have some outsourcing when it comes to content writing as well. Although I’ve been working with gaming earlier in my career, doing affiliate marketing in the area is pretty new for our company. We also work with other businesses in the affiliate sector.
With the recent wave of consolidation, mergers and acquisitions of affiliate sites, are you surprised at all of the changes happening in the industry?
Not really. Perhaps more surprised of the pace and how aggressively it goes.
A number of your competitors have gone down the real money operator route, and tried their hand at white labels. Have you also done this?
We have had some first thoughts about doing that and done some research. We have decided to not do that at the moment.
Developing unique content is a key pillar of your strategy. What will be your primary focus on this front over the next 6 months?
We have a lot of things to work on, not only content. When it comes to content our focus is to have value-adding and high quality information rather than focusing on number of words.
Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets?
Currently our only market is Sweden. It would be really interesting to enter the emerging markets. I think we’ll do that rather than the traditional gaming countries.
How do you find Scandinavian market and competition?
The competition in Sweden is probably nothing to compare with the Americas for instance, but it’s not easy. For the sake of the operators and us as affiliates indirectly, we’ll see what happens here in Sweden, if the changes in the law regarding tax and monopoly comes into force.
How have Google’s algorithm updates affected the way you go about traffic generation, SEO and content at your company?
We have always tried to focus on the visitors of our sites, focusing on getting returning visitors. We have done mistakes and been punished by Google updates and learned from that.
What challenges and opportunities has the move to mobile presented you with?
We have only seen benefits of the shift to mobile phone visitors. The conversion is better. The challenges is to create a good UX including the content needed on smaller devices.
What do you see as the biggest challenges ahead for your business and the wider affiliate sector in 2017?
Our primary focus is to keep happy visitors on our sites and of course keep along with the updates from google. Further on there are regulations that we must be prepared on.
What two pieces of advice would you give to any new affiliate starting today?
Focus on quality. We have seen enough of spam sites on the web.
You can’t make a living of it over the night. It takes time to build up good sites.
Do you play slots and what would you do with 1 million Euro from jackpot winnings?
It happens that I play for fun, without expectation to win. Not that much online except for when needed to write reviews of the games. Sometimes I play slots at land based casinos. If I won 1 million euros I would make the market even more consolidated
Björn Einarsson (Swedish nationality) is the co-founder and co-owner of Beck Solutions running the casino affiliate website Casinofinder but also a lot of affiliate sites in other markets.
Have you attended SiGMA last year? Relive the highlights from our last show and stay tuned for this year’s SiGMA. Watch out for what we’re branding as the ‘iGaming Village’ this year.