FTD Digital’s Sue Dawson chats with Swedish affiliates Great.com about her journey in iGaming, the continued success of Best New Bingo Sites and the future of the online bingo industry.
Best New Bingo Sites Head of Content, Sue Dawson was recently interviewed by Great.com’s Emil Ekvardt as part of its Casino Talks series. Among the topics up for discussion were the origins and remarkable growth of BNBS, Sue’s own development as Head of Content, as well as her goals for the next five years. What follows is an abridged version of the interview - the full transcript is available here.
How Would you Describe Best New Bingo Sites?
I actually have a standard answer for this…when someone asks, “and what do you do?” I used to say either, “I’m in digital marketing” or “I write content for the online gambling industry”. But then I came up with this absolute killer: “I manage Best New Bingo Sites, the Compare the Market of the UK online bingo industry”!
We’ve got reviews of more than 180 UK bingo sites and more than 200 UK slot sites, mostly serving players who are looking for something even more niche inside our very niche industry. New bingo sites? Dragonfish bingo sites? No wagering slots? We’ve got it, and you’ll find us at the top of the rankings when you Google it!
How Did You End Up in the Casino Industry?
Completely by accident – my previous experience was in the music business plus a bit of website management. I’d been a stay-at-home parent for a few years and was looking for something interesting to do that would be flexible around school hours.
In 2012, long-time digital marketer Luke Creigh hired me to do some keyword research on a project that was nothing to do with online gambling (it was for a hair restoration project).
That went well so I worked on a few other projects for him and then we did Best New Bingo Sites; it was originally going to be a PPC and Facebook marketing site but started ranking organically.
Why Work for Best New Bingo Sites?
It was just one of a group of projects at the start, but I immediately found it much more engaging than the others. I’d never played online bingo or slot games in my life, but I’ve always been interested in maths, probability and risk.
Part of my degree course was in mathematical logic and the philosophy of mathematics and at a later stage I had a rather successful dabble in stock market spread betting. So the subject matter was pretty interesting to me. And what was also great was that as an older person, I was able to embark on a second career in something that hadn’t been invented when I left university.
What Personality Traits Have Helped Make You a Skilled Head of Content?
Once Best New Bingo Sites had started ranking it was all about spotting niches we could corner the market in – no wagering bingo, for instance. To do that, I’ve needed to foresee, understand and capitalise on changes in the industry, (the) ability to research subjects more thoroughly and write about them more comprehensively than competitors - (also) a drive to find out everything about my subject matter and a curiosity about what drives searches, clicks and conversions
What Have Been Your Biggest Challenges?
My biggest challenges have been knowing when and what to delegate – I’d love to keep on writing all of the content myself as I did in the beginning but there’s not enough hours in the day. (Also challenging) is coping with disappointment and anxiety when we have a wobble in the search results.
How Have You Changed as a Person from Running Best New Bingo Sites?
I was really nervous the first time I went to an industry conference and now I’ve become much more confident and outgoing in that type of environment. I also feel that working in an industry where everything is constantly changing and developing has made me much more resilient and adaptable.
What Are You Most Proud of?
Getting #1 rankings on Google! I’m also quite proud of winning the 2019 iGB Affiliate Award against some stiff competition from much bigger organisations. And generally proud of what we’ve built with Best New Bingo Sites in just a few years, starting from nothing.
Where Do You Think the Bingo Industry Will Be in Five years?
The industry is currently in the middle of a huge change that has been going on for a few years, caused by smart-phones. Ten years ago online bingo was desktop-based. But now, more than 80% of our traffic is mobile and that’s been the case for a few years now! As the devices have changed, so have the sites and the way people use them.
It used to be that many bingo players weren’t interested in slots at all and stuck to good old-fashioned 90 ball bingo. But since then, there’s been an explosion in the range of slot games on offer at online bingo sites. When you play on a smart-phone, you need the entertainment to be much more snack-able than you do when you play on a computer; slots are ideal for that.
Five years from now, the bingo will be used as an acquisition and retention tool but the monetization will come from slots. The trick will be to ensure that the bingo experience is engaging enough to retain the players.