I’m convinced the twenty year-old iGaming affiliate industry is one of the best in the world and its still thriving. Some of today’s biggest and best affiliates have been working in the industry for over a decade now, including super affiliate Roo Wright, Co-Founder of BingoPort.co.uk and several white label bingo operations.
Wright sold his prospering online bingo business to Gaming Realms in 2014 for 10.5 million pounds and figured it was time to retire. Two years later Wright has found himself back in the iGaming affiliate industry because quite frankly, he just couldn’t stay away.
The drive behind his return was not monetary, rather it was his passion for the industry, the amazing friends he’s made along the way, the chase of search engine rankings and the undeniable fact he is a serial entrepreneur.
What I find most inspiring about Wright’s return is his belief the iGaming affiliate industry is still full of opportunity as opposed to the common notion our industry is saturated, especially in the UK.
His new affiliate site is “Hityah.com” and according to Wright, the journey has just begun.
“I remember one of my business partners telling me about 10 years ago that the affiliate space was saturated and the chances of us ranking well for any great terms like say “Bingo” were not great. We managed at our best ranking to get to position 3 for that term and that was considered impossible, so I believe I can do better this time”, shared Wright.
In fact, Wright sees opportunity in industries that are “saturated”, a refreshing way to look at a situation most would consider negative.
“I think there is an advantage in working in competitive industries in that most people think it’s too hard, so they don’t even attempt to enter the space. This actually opens up opportunities because there are now less people focusing on that space”, he explained.
“Like all industries they grow, get saturated and then consolidate, as is happening now with so many mergers and acquisitions. The same can be true of websites and what they offer. There are many great sites out there that offer amazing tools and functionality but many of these are independent of each other and have evolved in their own specific way, so this now means there is an opportunity to take the best tools and make them consolidated into one site. This is what I am working on now, the ultimate user experience!” he said.
Hityah.com offers all sorts of content for users such as welcome bonuses, top features, tips, instructions on how to play and reviews for slots, lottery, bingo, casino, poker, sports and fantasy.
Fantasy is a huge area of interest for iGaming companies and affiliates focused on America and also the UK and rest of Europe. I asked Wright to elaborate on the traffic he is currently generating from fantasy at Hityah.com and the opportunity he sees beyond the USA.
“Fantasy for us is a space that hasn’t yet gained the momentum we would have liked. This is largely due to big brands such as ESPN and Yahoo having such a strong hold in the SERPs. That said the traffic we are seeing is split 50% USA and the rest of the world so I believe there is definitely potential outside of the USA for both operators and affiliates”, he said.
Another hot topic amongst affiliates these days is the importance of an SEO strategy and if one is still even necessary. Wright has always been a fan of SEO and doesn’t see any reason to abandon the practice.
“For me SEO is my favored strategy and I think that having a solid SEO strategy is not just important for gaining search engine traffic but it’s also about giving your site visitors the best experience they can when they hit your pages”, he said.
Wright continued, “If your site visitors are not finding what they want on your site and they leave, then this is a signal to the search engines that you are not providing the content they are looking for and will therefore decrease your rankings anyway. So a good overall SEO strategy will help define a websites true function, which must firstly be to provide the sites visitors what they want, if you do this well then the rankings will come”.
However, a strict focus on SEO is not the only way to succeed as an affiliate and Wright advises branching out into other areas as well.
“I think being diversified outside of SEO is also good. You only have to look at the number of affiliates who have transitioned from having just websites to affiliates who now run their own gaming sites to see this”, he said.
As an iGaming industry veteran who has successfully launched a number of sites from scratch, I asked Wright for his best piece of advice for affiliates and other start-ups in our world.
When is comes to affiliates specifically he shared, “In terms of opportunities, it’s about identifying your niche and targeting that better than your competitors, pick the low hanging fruit first, gain traction and then expand into the harder to reach traffic and audiences”.
For iGaming start-ups as a whole he left us with, “If you think you can or if you think you can’t, either way you are probably right is how the saying goes. So firstly believe you can and then focus with all your energy on what you are really aiming to achieve but also know that businesses grow and evolve like they have a mind of their own so don’t worry if something doesn’t work out as planned, adjust your course as you and your business grows!”