Johan Löfgren, CEO of Novitana, joins the latest series of affiliate interviews on Affiliate Grand Slam
Johan Löfgren speaks about Novitana and their flagship brand, Casivo. He also speaks about their regulations and SEO – follow his story below
You have joined Novitana 3 years ago as the CEO. How was the transition from your previous role and how has your journey been so far?
Working previously as a product owner, I like to be involved in every aspect of what the company does with the products, SEO, and conversion, which makes me feel I fit just right. At the start, the transition wasn’t super clear, but now I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Novitana was founded in 2017. Tell us a bit about your business model, concept, and culture.
We have sites in both the casino and sports verticals. Our focus lies within SEO and providing our partners with quality traffic efficiently. Novitana recently turned 5, but we still breathe and like the startup feeling; everyone’s their own boss and takes care of their own products. This creates strong ownerships and flexibility which is a big part of Novitana.
What websites fall under Novitana’s portfolio?
At this point, we have quite many sites and we’re always keen on new markets. However, our core markets are Sweden, Finland, and the UK. We have always been big on the casino niche and now we have ventured into sports in Sweden with Läktaren.se. Our recent launch is targeting Canada and LatAm.
Casivo is one of your flagship brands. What makes it unique? In which GEOs is it strong?
Playfulness and doing things that others don’t. Casivo Sweden has been seen and heard both on TV and radio commercials. The brand holds an identity compared to other sites on the market, which makes it unique. We decided to the same by launching Casivo UK, and recently Casivo Canada which we hope will be as big of a hit as Casivo Sweden is.
What can you tell us about Casivo in the Canadian market?
Regulations in the US and Canada with their recent licenses for Ontario piqued our interest; hence we decided to launch Casivo Canada. We’re basically taking everything we have learnt along the way with Casivo and applying it for the Canadian audience, hoping to bring straight-to-the-point content where we guide the user to licensed casinos, instead of only presenting bonuses, with slim information from shady operators.
How do the regulations in your top markets affect your business, such as Casivo?
Regulations are a good thing and I do believe more countries will follow. We want to be at the forefront when it comes to presenting licensed brands where players are protected by having measurements in place. It’s easier said than done though, and I think some licenses in different GEOs failed badly when it comes to protecting players.
What helps make your performance successful? What are the main challenges of SEO today and how are they different from just a few years ago?
Being up-to-date with everything that’s new and with the latest techniques. It’s changed quite drastically over just a few years.
Besides Google, do you also focus on ranking on other search engines?
We do. However, since Google has most of the traffic, it is our main focus.
How important is social media activity for your affiliate business? How difficult is it with Google’s constant updates?
Updates happen very often now. For us, it’s more important to have a good product and improve on it, trying to adhere to all users.
How can SEO experts innovate and remain ahead of the curve in such a fast-paced vertical?
Forums, blogs, Google own guidelines and patents. If you believe in it, then try it.
Which emerging technologies like AI and Big Data will impact the affiliate industry in 2023 and beyond?
It’s an exciting time seeing that Microsoft have invested heavily in this space, maybe it can compete with Google which hasn’t had competition since forever.
How can ChatGPT, GPT-3, automate many of the tedious and time-consuming tasks involved in affiliate marketing? How will it influence SEO? What are the worst- and best-case scenarios?
I do believe there are a lot of cases where ChatGPT will help in day-to-day tasks, more in the form of structuring and giving ideas. We will probably see a lot more sites popping up though, so it will be interesting to see how Google handles that.
How was your 300 Spartans’ experience?
Great, the 300 Spartans concept was particularly good for meeting other affiliates through fun events other than the conference only.
Are you a regular attendee at the SiGMA events? Did you attend SiGMA Africa? SiGMA Americas, Asia, Balkans/CIS, Eurasia, Europe – which of these expo shows would you likely book on your diary for 2023?
Yes, SiGMA is one of the core conferences and critical for us as we see all our partners, where we always find new players on the market. This year, because of our recent launches, we will most likely attend SiGMA Americas.