“I believe that affiliates will get more careful when selecting which partners to work with. Simply a consequence of a paradigm shift where several affiliates strive to create brands rather than simple sites.” Meet Haris Cejvan – an affiliate currently working on two websites: casivo.co.uk and casivo.se.
Hello Haris, hope you are well in this festive season?
Hi Marius, I’m great, visiting some family and friends across Europe at the moment!
How did you come to enter the online gaming space and set up your company?
I’ve been working within the industry for a few years and all of a sudden, it felt like we’ve found the perfect team and had enough knowledge to win this race.
Can you tell us a little about how your company business is structured?
At the moment we are only three people putting all the effort into building two quality sites, one for the UK market casivo.co.uk and one for the SE market, casivo.se. I’m a firm believer of quality over quantity which is the foundation for the entire company.
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 at all. As competition is getting tougher, it is obvious that larger companies can benefit from their scale, creating synergies with anything from their link building, sales to staffing.
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?
When people think it is a gold rush, I prefer to be the one selling shovels.
Developing unique content is a key pillar of your strategy. What will be your primary focus on this front over the next 6 months?
First, I want to emphasize that quality is much more than just unique content. Regarding content, the focus is set upon providing the visitors with information that actually help them to become better players, making wiser choices and get a better understanding when playing.
Which markets do you focus on and do you see any potential in the emerging markets?
There are a lot of interesting markets emerging, but I also believe that to become the best, you really must know your market. At the moment, we are looking for someone with experience from the South American market that can help us.
How do you find Scandic and UK markets and competition?
The main difference is that the share of traffic from organic SEO affiliates is less in the UK due to competition from more TV-commercials, social media affiliates, PPC affiliates, etc. Something that the Swedish market will experience rather soon.
How have Google’s algorithm updates affected the way you go about traffic generation, SEO, and content at your company?
As a new affiliate, we welcome changes in Google’s algorithm as we believe we can adapt to changes much faster than the older ones.
Are there any exciting plans in the works that you can tell us about?
Let’s just say that I’m certain that changed market conditions and a smarter Google will surprise a lot of affiliates.
What is the main thing that you’d like SiGMA readers to know about your sites?
That we are rather careful by selecting our partners. This also breaks down to quality as we believe in creating a real customer value for our visitors, something you won’t be able to do if promoting the wrong brands.
What challenges and opportunities has the move to mobile presented you with?
The year is 2017; mobile searches accounts for more than 50% which is why our sites are built with a “mobile first approach” to be as good as possible on all devices. For us, this is a huge opportunity as older affiliates (still) need to rebuild their sites.
What do you see as the biggest challenges ahead for your business and the wider affiliate sector in 2017?
Two main things. At first, I believe that affiliates will get more careful when selecting which partners to work with. Simply a consequence of a paradigm shift where several affiliates strive to create brands rather than simple sites. Additionally, I believe a lot of affiliates will start looking into more channels than just organic SEO.
What two pieces of advice would you give to any new affiliate starting today?
Do not give up. It takes time to learn the industry, it takes time to rank in Google, and it takes time to learn about what’s working and what’s not. Also, be nice to people.
Do you play slots and what would you do with 1 million Euro from jackpot winnings?
There is a Beer festival every year in Sarajevo. I’d like to bring all my friends within the gaming industry to have a party over there. Beer is cheap in Bosnia, so I’m sure 1 million euros would be enough.
Are you ready for Affiliate Grand Slam and SiGMA17?
Always. The best thing with the Affiliate Grand Slam is that you get an opportunity to come closer to current partners and find new ones under better conditions than the other conferences that too often gets too busy.
|Relive the highlights and stay tuned for this year’s SiGMA. Watch out for what we’re branding as the ‘iGaming Village’ this year.
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