Today the gambling industry made history when the final day of ICE Totally Gaming and day one of the London Affiliate Conference (LAC) overlapped for the first time. CalvinAyre.com returned to the ExCeL for the fourth day of London Conference Week and dedicated our coverage to LAC Day One.
As always, upon entry into LAC the vibe is uplifting, casual and fun, with bright booths offering coffee and energy drinks, alcohol, food, all sorts of giveaways and eye candy, of course. Running alongside the expo are two conference tracks, dedicated to industry trends and educating affiliates on how to increase their revenue and build outstanding websites.
Andor Palau of Peak Ace AG delivered a session today on crawling, indexing and ranking in the age of mobile-first. According to Palau, Google is still working on their mobile-first index, but emphasized there are plenty of steps affiliates can take to ensure high mobile rankings in the future.
“We’re in a transition area, so Google is testing it. We see a lot of different cases, we have for example mobile pages that are already within the desktop search, so they are definitely working on that but it may take them up to 5 years from now until the entire index will be moved to the mobile-first index”, Palau explained.
“Affiliates need to make sure they have an optimised website when it comes down to mobile. So we know that they’re different options to optimise a website for mobile and whatever they choose, they just need to make sure that it really works, that there no errors for example, within the Google search console and so on”, he added.
Palau provided the audience with a number of tips for preparing their mobile websites for Google’s mobile-first index.
“At first [affiliates] need to make sure that the page they have built is really mobile friendly. So look at the search console and make sure that technically everything is OK”, he said.
“And then I think I would build something like a health system or a health setup just to make sure and to monitor that everything stays OK. Sometimes people think ok, I do that once and its done. No. Build something where you can monitor if your mobile page is really working as expected in the future”, Palau added.
Here the 10 tips Palau provided to the the audience during his presentation:
Understand your mobile setup and its pros & cons Are you targeting the right keywords on mobile Are you sure your site really is mobile friendly Make sure to not prevent access by using interstitials Did you check all GSC reports properly Check GSC fetch & render for mobile as well Do a full site health check & focus on mobile issues Simulate Googlebot for smartphones with JS rendering Get all the content to your mobile site Don’t F’ing panic! Be prepared
The affiliate industry itself has gone through massive changes since its inception roughly 15 years ago. At present, we’re going through a series of consolidations on both the affiliate and operator side, causing ripples throughout the industry as we knew it.
As the larger affiliates and affiliate networks gobble up the smaller affiliates, CPA prices are going north and the smaller operators are unable to justify the cost or even afford the cost up front. On the bright side, some space has been created for smaller affiliates as they are likely a better fit for the smaller operators in this environment.
“We’re looking for smaller affiliates that want to grow and come into the market. We want to find those guys who are hungry and want to become big, good fighters- we can’t afford to go into these top affiliates and do deals because that will break us if we don’t do it the right way”, Andre Nazemi of AhaPartner.com told CalvinAyre.com.
“10 years ago you could have a beer, shake hands and you will make money. Today’s its more you have to calculate and you have to know what you’re doing and if you don’t, its going to cost you a lot”, he added.
Another challenge the online gambling affiliate industry is facing today comes in the form of compliance. With new, strict rules and regulations in place, affiliates and affiliate programs must work hard to monitor promotions and stick to the rules.
“Operators need to really consolidate their programs at the moment. Make sure that they’ve got the people and the technology in place in order to be able to manage affiliates effectively and really build strong relationships with affiliates rather than just taking on every single affiliate who signs up to their program and really work out deals and proper relationships”, Roo Wright of Wag.io told CalvinAyre.com.
“Know what those affiliates are doing and make sure that the affiliate mangers are well trained so that they know how to communicate on a real world level with affiliates because knowing and having that knowledge will enable the relationships to grow and have a win-win situation which is what affiliate marketing’s all about!”, he said.
Wright pointed out organizations such as Tom Galanis’s “International Gaming Affiliate Association” and Lee-Ann Johnstone’s Affiliate Insider education program will provide education to both sides of the industry to help manage challenges that come along with change. He also mentioned there are a number of tools coming available to the market to help track affiliates and make sure they are doing the right thing.
In addition to providing useful sessions and outstanding networking opportunities around the expo floor, the LAC is known for its professional athlete appearances. This year we enjoyed something new, a female undefeated professional boxer who was sparring for the crowd to promote her new online casino brand, “LadyHammer”.
“My motto is all the way up, no one can stop you”, she told CalvinAyre.com
“Its the first time I’m here on the booth, I want to present my LadyHammer Casino and i think its very interesting to meet all these guys and make connections- its great. My next fight is in April on Showtime in the US, that’s my US debut and I’m very excited!”, LadyHammer shared.