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1

stop-watch

So I read a bit of research on SEO Moz about loading times, I thought you guys might find it interesting reading so I copied and pasted my work email here for you all!

http://moz.com/blog/how-to-improve-your-conversion-rates-with-a-faster-website

The article is quite long so here are the interesting points:

2006: Amazon showed every 100 millisecond delay in page rendering time resulted in a 1% loss of sales.
2013: Intuit, a software company shared data from their recent effort to reduce page load time from 15 seconds to 2 seconds

  • +3% conversions for every second reduced from 15 seconds to 7 seconds
  • +2% conversions for every second reduced from seconds 7 to 5
  • +1% conversions for every second reduced from seconds 4 to 2

They recommended trying: http://www.webpagetest.org

Using a test from Manchester, on IE9 I got the following results, comparing www.bingocams.co.uk against the guys ranking top on Google for ‘Bingo’:
First Load on 13 November 2013
  • Bingocams: 8.519s
  • Foxy Bingo: 5.618s
  • Sky Bingo: 5.670s
  • Gala Bingo: 20.973s!!!!! Eeek!!
Testing from Amsterdam on IE9 our new brand www.BeterBingo.com gets a load time of 2.304s WOW!  A big difference to Bingocams… (UK was 3.383s)

So I popped the above off to lovely Bas and less than a month later the dev team come back with the following results:

First Load on 9th December 2013
  • Bingocams: 4.768s
  • Foxy Bingo: 6.992s
  • Sky Bingo: 6.176s
  • Gala Bingo: 23.092s

See they do listen to me! lol!

So we’ve managed to improve our loading time by 50% – which I’m very pleased with as we have a high content site with all the live win moment videos etc.  Now to see how it improves our conversion rates for signup.

The other thing to add to this is that it just goes to show that loading times have very little impact on rankings.  When I ran the first test Gala were at #1 for bingo and they’re still at #4 (on my search, yours might be a little different).

We have to conclude that brand and traffic are playing a very large part in the rankings… this is not good for us boutique operators (thanks to Bingoport for that cool category) and of course for SEO bingo affiliates.

What’s your thoughts? Do you take this into consideration when working with Bingo Sites?  Also, let me know how you rank!

Vikki xx 

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Hi guys,

So after running out of content for my fortnightly bingo posts I’m going to try and do one at least once a month.  Here’s the one for April… (give me a break it’s 9am on the 1st May hehe)

Facebook… love it or hate it, it’s where most bingo players loiter!  Player values are ok, advertising costs are pretty steep and it’s a lot more like display advertising than it is PPC in terms of quality.

Now chucking some ads up with targeting for the 100+ bingo pages is fair enough.  Anyone can do that and do ok.  But when your Facebook page is an extension of your community, not an advertising place, it can be a hard thing to manage.

Combining the dislike from regulars for any newbie promotion and the dislike of the general public of any ‘sponsored post’ you need to be on your guard.

So here’s a few tips… If you’re promoting a newbie offer ALWAYS mention that it is for newbies in the text (saves paying for wasted clicks), and if you can’t do that ALWAYS put a comment down with T’s and C’s straight away after posting.

For management I use the Delete, Block and Ban method for those who are not regulars.  If they’re giving you abuse before they’ve even deposited then they’re not going to be in the top quartile of your player hierarchy, and more than likely they have no interest in online bingo anyway.  This stops them from seeing more of your sponsored posts; they’ll like you for it even if they don’t notice you’ve done it; and you get a clean sweep the next time you put a similar ad out (well that’s the theory).

For regulars the best way to manage this is a delete of the post and a nice email from support on Facebook saying ‘There’s a 75% code coming out soon’ or something like that.  Also reminding them that they got a similar bonus when they joined seems to keep them on side.

It really is as simple as that for a harmonious Facebook page.

It was a the post below which sparked my blog post.  Swearing, hatred for the brand and online bingo… these are not your “fans”, these guys will not understand that now they’ve commented they’re going to see even more of you.

I’m afraid ignorance is not bliss when it comes to brand management, having comments like this for a day is fine and can be put down to a day out of the office or whatever. But having comments like this from over a month ago is not what players old or new want to see.

 facebook comments

Fun times!

Vikki x

P.S. Sorry Gala, I do feel bad for all the brands I use as examples.  I do hope that this helps others to manage their Facebook posts better though so hopefully it’ll be you and you’ll have a lovely facebook page from now on :-)


0

Ok, so 2 months after I have filled the position for a marketing exec I get a rather generic email though asking if there was scope for them to do a paid internship.

Now when I was hiring for the role I did give some feedback to people, which I have just forwarded on to this grad.  I thought I’d pop it up here so I don’t have to keep finding it ;)

 

Hi <insert name>,

I’m afraid the position was filled a few months ago. In terms of getting an internship I’d like to make a few recommendations.

  • Start your own blog, there’s lots of free software to enable you to do this. Make it commercial focusing on product reviews etc.
  •  Research into how you can monetise that blog
  •  Research into marketing methods to get traffic to your blog (don’t spend too long faffing with social media, concentrate on the real hard core methods )
  •  Carry out the free/ cheap marketing methods you learned about and make some money
  •  Add this to your CV as a company and detail what you have done

I don’t want to sound harsh but you are never going to stand out against other CV’s in the current climate without a mention of your experience in the field you’re looking to work in. I was receiving applications from people with over 5 years experience in online marketing for this role – you need to show an interest and make it clear in your CV.

Also, I’m sure my name was in the job ad. Don’t send out generic cover letters, they just look lazy. Better to send 5 well written and researched applications than 10 generic ones.

I hope that helped. If you would like some unpaid experience over the summer our company is a networked company where we all work from home so if you did want to do something for Dazzletag, even just one day a week, to gain experience I’d be happy to help.

Thanks,

Vikki

Helpful and cutting as always!


0

So I’ve been working a lot on our brand profile recently.  So we’re talking reviews, forum comments, anything that you have no control over, and to be honest I find it’s becoming one of the most interesting parts of my role  at Bingocams.

There are a few sites I check for our reviews once a week; Review Centre, Which Bingo, Oh My Bingo, Bingoport.  The other thing I do is check Google for any new pages listing for our brand terms.  Now there are two things I want to highlight about this sort of thing.

1. There are two types of review for ‘good’ bingo sites:

- Super star regular players who give you 4 or 5 stars

- Bitter banned idiot players who give you 1 star.

This is annoying because bad reviews stand out so much, and if I’m honest most review sites (bingo ones included) don’t display the comments you make on these reviews as prominent as you would like.  For example:

I’ve written a pretty full comment to this player about our licence and other suff but all I get is a little tab at the top with a number 1 next to it! This player didn’t even leave their name so I have no way of checking if that is even a real player on our site.

2. Yahoo Answers Suck!

Now this is the most annoying thing which has came up during my brand management exercise.  Yahoo answers, a place where people who know nothing about anything can brandish claims that your site is ‘spam, spam, spam’ – mega grr!

Again, I’ve written a comment about the legality of the site blah blah blah and again it’s shown as a tiny little number one in the comments.

I’ve reported this ‘answer’ 5 times now and yahoo have not replied.  I try not to think about it but as you all know I’m always such a big brand ambassador for bingocams it really gets on my nerves that it  ranks 6th on Google for bingocams – 6th!!!

How to overcome this?

Google Alerts: So as for things like Yahoo Answers it’s good to have a Google Alert set up for your brand and domain so you can pick up on these things as quickly as possible.  I get mine once a week, which was just too late to get over and submit my own answer! But I don’t think I could have it more often as daily emails would be even more of an annoyance than what I’m trying to prevent.

Reviews: We’re in the process of setting up a system when a player upgrades to silver we ask them if they can go and review us at Review Centre.  Our reviews only show on adwords if they are recent so this is a good way to keep it up to date with good reviews from regular players.  Plus it’s got to be good to say ‘Here’s your £20 upgrade bonus, give us a review’! This will quickly bury any bad reviews on the second page.

So that’s a little bit of an insight into what I do on a weekly basis to manage our brand profile online.  I think there’s a lot more that review sites can do to help Marketing Managers protect their brand in terms of responses and proving that a player is a real player on the site.  Is there anything that you do relating to this stuff that I’m missing out on? Let me know in the comments :-)

P.S. Before anyone complains that I don’t check their reviews and comment; I’m in the process of hiring an exec who will look at this in a lot more detail than I can :p


2

So as I was writing the Press Release about Bingocams winning promotion of the year (whoop) a promotional email came through from freebingo.co.uk on behalf of Mecca which caught my attention enough to actually warrant a click – and that takes a lot when it comes to bingo!

Here is the email:

email_mecca

“Wow!” was my immediate reaction.  I saw lots of cool gifts and the words ‘you don’t even need to deposit‘.

Of course the email had in there that you had to spend £1.  But if you don’t need to deposit this must mean that you can wager £1 of bonus?

Anyway, as I’m a total freebie hunter I thought I’d take a closer look….

mecca_landing

Lovely landing page too – Mecca’s re-brand a year or so ago was great.  But I still don’t really know if I’m spending cash or bonus.  Better click the itsy bitsy link in font size 6 to find out more.

mecca_terms

OK so it is cash you have to spend in order to qualify.  And I understand that the intention of this email was probably to appeal to lapsed Mecca players.  But I still believe it’s very deceiving.  Even a little asterisk on massive text saying “AND YOU DON’T EVEN NEED TO DEPOSIT” detailing “If you have some balance left on your account” would have sufficed.

Obviously I don’t like calling out competitors and Mecca just happened to be the straw that broke the bloggers back, but as I work for an operator who pride themselves on innovative promotions with clear t’s and c’s, I wanted to highlight the need for all bingo sites to step up their game when it comes to clear marketing communications.  Personally I think there are too many bingo sites carrying out promotions with very dubious calls to actions.

I feel cams are a little off the radar, but when it comes to big brands like the Meccas, Galas and Foxys of the world you have to be more thoughtful.  You’re a perfect target for the ASA.

Recently I posted on Facebook about an article the in the Belfast telegraph that vilified bingo sites for targeting the ‘weak’ of society with playful promotions that draw you in time and time again.  I was foaming about it!! But when you see things like this you have to think, maybe we asked for it???

What do you think?  Should affiliates take more responsibility over the promotions they send out in emails?  Should someone be policing things like this better? Comment below!

Cheers,

Vikki x


0

So my mission to lose 25lbs (1stone 11lbs) by my holiday is well on it’s way!

I’ve lost 20% of the weight in 16% of the time!

Week 1: -2 lbs 

Week 2: -3 lbs

I’m doing the slimmers world.  This week I’ve had 2 Sunday Dinners, went to Marco Piere White’s new restaurant and had some mini love hearts every night… Can’t be bad!

Of course me and Kelly have also cooked 2 batches of fresh soup, a stew and a quiche – so don’t think I’m just eating rubbish lol!

Vikki x


3

envoy_logo

So just when we all thought I’d solved the riddle that is Envoy payment references; this months payments have gone out and to our dismay Envoy haven’t picked it up this month!

It turns out that November commissions was a fluke:
November ref example: Bingocams Invoice No. IN-0006
November ref to affiliates: BINGOCAMS 0006 (picked up the first word and last 4 digits)
December Our ref: Flipcoin Marketing N.V. - Invoice No. IN-0020
December ref to affiliates: 0020 (picked up the last 4 digits)
And they won’t just let us put the payment ref as BINGOCAMS each time, it has to be unique…
I’ll get to the bottom of this if it kills me!! Grr!

 


0

2 posts in a day… what a treat.

So I’ve noticed a little change to the LAC networking tool.  And I wanted to let you know that everyone now have to log in and ENABLE NETWORKING.

 

LAC

Now I know most of you are thinking ” Oh that’s good now I won’t get any annoying meeting requests’.

But I’ve actually met some good contacts using this tool and I think it isn’t used enough in general  by affiliates and AM’s.

Now I understand why this change has been made – privacy policies and all that malarky… but I think it’s a shame because I did use it quite a bit last year.

What do you think?  Should it be auto enabled or auto disabled?

Vikki x


2

So I thought this was another contentious issue to address as a marketing manager for a Bingo site… the dreaded voting for things.

Now I get it, most affiliate managers and marketing directors don’t get it I don’t think.  Send players, get votes, use the results for PR and promote it on your site in newsletters, retention emails etc.

If you’re not going to do this, then don’t send the traffic – duh!

Now here comes some bragging so don’t say I didn’t warn you…

PROMO-winner

SOTY-top5news1713

This year (and last) were a good year for Bingocams, winning promotion of the year, coming 5th in site of the year against some massive brands and our fab CH team coming second in CM of the Year.

Now why am I sending my own players to a review site that has loads of other sites on there that might catch their eye?  3 reasons:

1. Confidence – blatent, probably stupid confidence in my brand.  Players are going to vote because they love Bingocams.  In the same way as I love my Dolce Gusto Machine and wouldn’t even think of trying another coffee machine (I even hate having to buy coffee when I’m out because it’ll probably be rubbish).  Oh my god that coffee is so good… brb…

ok, so now I have a coffee, we can move on to point two.

2. Staff Morale - We’ve never been out of the top 5 for Which CM since we were added there and we’ve been top for 25% of 2012 – pretty impressive right? Our hosts do a great job and our players love to reward them for entertaining them and providing a great community.  We’re not a massive site so I guess the other big brands out there mustn’t send players there that much but it really is great for our CH team to see their names up in lights!

3. User Journey – The user journey at Which Bingo makes it easy for me to risk assess sending the players to the site.

It’s simple,

  • There’s no signing up for an account
  • There’s no searching for our brand.
  • I have an easy link which preselects Bingocams for the categories we’re nominated for

Players vote; and then they leave and come back to play with us.  Simple as that.

After they’ve selected us:

  • They don’t get a welcome email with someone elses brand on there
  • They don’t get bombarded by emails each week
  • And most importantly they can decided if they want to get the which newsletter or not.

It makes sense really; those players are going there to vote for us, we don’t want to send them marketing for other brands.

I mean of course players will go off and have a look at what is available on the site, they’ll probably have a quick squizz at our reviews.  They’ll see other sites but I’m pretty confident none of them will be the same as Bingocams.  Oh and Which gets a few nice links that we’ll probably not even take down in our news feed.

Other ‘churn and burn’ white label sites don’t have the privilege of a truly unique product so be careful if you do do this.  I think this is why you see standalone sites showing up more and more at the top of the charts; you can’t find the same thing else where – and players like this.

I hope Phil doesn’t mind me telling everyone his secrets, although they’re hardly secrets, you can see it for yourself on their site.  Ok, I’ll give him a link from the images above just to keep him sweet ;)

So as an affiliate if you’re thinking of doing awards or anything like that I’d recommend having a look around and a good think about things from the Marketing Managers Point of View.  It’s great link bait when you think about it…. Oh and one more thing, if you’re going to do them then don’t do them at the end of the year.  Summer would be good when I have less promotions to talk about and you have no competition from other awards.

Do you guys have any feedback on awards and site of the month type stuff?  Let me know in the comments below :-)

Vikki xx