Tell West London Living exactly what you do?
I currently work as an editor at the UK gambling affiliate website SlotsHawk.com in London. I oversee all aspects of the website including the content as well as all of the on-site SEO duties as well as some of the off-site SEO duties. I was hired to work on SlotsHawk in 2021 and now in 2023 I couldn’t be happier with how things are going. Although, there is always room for improvement.
Could you explain to us what SEO is?
Yes, certainly. SEO stands for search engine optimization and it concerns working with websites in order to receive clicks and visits from Google users. Almost all websites in different niches compete with one another for keywords.
To give you an example, SlotsHawk.com is located within the online slots niche – meaning that our target audience is gamblers who like to play slot games online. Therefore, the content on SlotsHawk is based around all things slots and we aim to rank highly on Google for different slots related keywords for example – high paying slots.
The higher up we rank on Google for such a keyword, the more visitors the dedicated page will receive. In a nutshell, SEO is the effort of ensuring your website’s content is better than your competitors. In principle, if you get this right, your website should be able to rank well on Google’s algorithms.
Have you studied SEO or is it something you knew how to do instantly?
I have been working with websites for over a decade now. When I first began, I knew nothing about SEO practices. I graduated with a business degree from a London university over 20 years ago, and not soon afterwards I joined a big UK gambling company. Everything I know now I essentially learned ‘on the job’. Nowadays, there are plenty of resources which offer easy access to everything there is to know about SEO.
However, a lot has changed in the past decade. To begin with, it is no longer the case that website owners must write for Google rather than for users. In 2023, Google’s algorithms are extremely sophisticated, so much so that it is no longer possible to game the system like it was in the past. Website editors must now ensure that their websites content is optimised specifically for real people, id est, helpful content.
So, SlotsHawk.com gives its audiences tips on how to play online slot games?
That’s one of the things we try to do, but we essentially try to cover everything there is to know about slot games. Having worked within the gambling industry for a number of years, I thought it was time to give back. Therefore, me and a few colleagues decided to build a website dedicated to helping slot players find the best games to play. This includes finding and showcasing the slot games which are most likely to offer wins to players.
As well as promoting the highest quality slots, we also research and review different slot websites in the United Kingdom. Did you know there are hundreds of different online casinos available to UK punters? We have two pages dedicated to both the newest slot sites and the highest quality slot sites, all of which can be accessed by Londoners. This is where my colleague, Stephen, comes into the fore as he reviews each and every online casino himself. Incidentally, Stephen is also in charge of all of our slot game reviews.
Did you build SlotsHawk yourself?
It was myself and three others who built the website. None of us are web developers though. Again, in 2023, it is easier than it ever has been for anyone to build a website from scratch.
The power of WordPress means that you do not need to know coding, nor do you need to have graduated from a computer science university course. WordPress essentially does all the hard work for you. The most time-consuming element for us is the content side of things. With such a small team, it is sometimes a little difficult for us to achieve our publishing targets. Especially compared to our rival websites, where 90% of them are run by gambling companies with 1,000+ employees.
With that being said, if anyone reading this is thinking of building a website but they may not feel like they have enough knowledge, my advice would be to just go ahead and do it. It is not as daunting as you think it is and you will learn lots along the way.
What does your typical day look like?
To be perfectly honest, I try to mix up my day as much as possible from a location perspective. I live close to Kings Cross in London so I am lucky from the perspective that I can get anywhere in London in no time at all. My working day consists of lots of writing as well as lots of planning and delegating. Therefore, it is important for me to switch up my environment in order to keep things fresh.
With that being said, every day is very busy, and I usually work most weekends too. However, I do have a young family, so I try to spend every morning eating breakfast with them before I begin my work day. I also make sure to join them for dinner and the hours between 6pm and 7:30pm I always keep free for my children.
What’s the most gratifying thing that’s happened to you over the course of your career?
Good question. I would say, without a doubt, that creating my own site and then seeing the success of the site has been the most gratifying moment of my career. SlotsHawk is an accumulation of everything I have learned over my career, and I treat it like my own baby now.
What’s your favourite thing about living in London? Any favourite spots?
I love almost everything about London. The culture is everywhere, the food is amazing, and it is so easy to get to anywhere you want thanks to the city’s world class metro. Awa from my daily work, my favourite thing to do though is visit London’s Royal Opera House. When I attend the opera, I completely distance myself from work and the more difficult aspects of life. The beauty and emotions of the opera cannot be matched anywhere else, in my opinion.
If you hadn’t been a website editor, what else might you have done?
Well, I have done a little bit of everything within the online gambling arena. If I did not go into this industry, I think I would have done something to do with my business degree.