SEO Advice for Game Development Companies
Smaller game developers don’t have the marketing budget of a distributor like Electronic Arts. They’ve got to be creative about how their brand and their games come to the attention of gamers. There’s also a great deal of competition between mobile developers with numerous small titles being released, so getting noticed in a crowded field is difficult when operating on a minimal marketing budget.
Search engine optimization (SEO) – practices that help get into a higher position for key search terms within search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo – puts the brand or game in front of the searcher. Let’s look at what advice regarding SEO is applicable to developers.
Use Search Tools to Find Relevant Search Terms
By using a free tool like the Google Keyword Planner or other free and paid tools, it’s possible to discover related searches that match the type of game being developed. In the case of Rad Studios that developed Zombie Battle, they ran some searches and discovered that gamers looked up a zombie-related term that they could use to target Zombie-themed entertainment.
Buyer Intent Searches Matter
A buyer intent search is a relatable one that often leads to a purchase shortly after. These types of searches might include “best zombie mobile game” or “best zombie game for android” as two examples. Only by some experimentation can developers find out the more popular ways that gamers are looking to play a game for free or with a freemium offer (initially free, but a paid upgrade option later).
Targeting these searches with advertising is also profitable when the cost of the pay-per-click ad is not overly expensive. Targeting more general terms is best left to organic searches.
Guest Posting on Relevant Gaming Sites
The best way to rank higher for related search terms is to have more backlinks pointing at the developer’s site from other gaming sites like Game Guide World. One way to do this effectively is to drive traffic from their web site by writing guest posts. These are topical articles that will suit the audience of the site where they’re published and links back to developer’s site. The more useful the content, the better. It’s like an advertisement indicating how smart the developers are at the company.
A developer’s diary about a new gaming title with exclusive image captures and interviews with developers would certainly be well received. An article about how game ideas are conceived, storyboarded and then developed would also likely find a receptive audience too. These types of guest posts would introduce the brand, the upcoming game, and funnel traffic to the developer even before the game is released. Gamers could opt-in to a newsletter to be notified when they can buy the game.
Using online marketing to rank better in Google and other search engines doesn’t just work to drive organic traffic to a site. Marketing efforts with guest posting and other ideas also can drive new traffic, rather than just being a source of backlinks. Indeed, when they serve both functions, they’re likely to be seen in a positive light by search engines that abhor link building efforts.