It’s simple, marketing a new game has become very difficult in the age of the internet. Competing against other games as well as gaming platforms themselves are just some of the issues faced by publishers and developers. In particular, gaming markets like Steam on the PC and the Apple Store/Google Play Store on mobile are inundated with new games almost daily. Combine that with time-poor consumers who don’t like spending time searching for new games and we arrive at a problem.
This could explain why publishers and developers are turning to SEO link packages like these to boost their rankings in search. Most gamers are too impatient to look past the first page of search results, let alone the top 5, ranking websites when searching for a new game. 2018 saw a large increase in publishing houses directly investing in their search engine optimization and rankings. They combined their traditional media spends via gaming websites and magazines to ensure search engines read multiple signals.
Boom Time Growth
Reports suggest that the Steam platform averaged 21 new games per day while both app stores see over 100 per day. This means that new games will have to either rely on luck or heavy investment to reach their initial audience. Studies have shown that the chances of a game going viral in its first 2 months of launch are under 0.05%. There are better odds and more luck at a casino than in hoping a new game goes viral.
In terms of marketing spend, there is no relief there either. Many game publishing houses now put aside over a million dollars for initial marketing spend on the game. The goal is to reach the top 100 rankings on their respective platform. Once in this top 100, viral growth can take over depending on the quality of the game. Many games see themselves quickly move up the rankings at this point as gamers often refer to the rankings to find new games. Beyond the top 100 is often known as the gaming abyss to many game publishers. A place they definitely do not want to stay for long.
Time for a New Strategy
The shift towards SEO has also meant changes to how publishers present their games online. Traditionally game developers would invest in a new domain as a standalone property for the game. However, search engines are now rewarding domain authority as a key ranking factor. This has resulted in these games having their own silo properties within the publisher’s domain. The publisher can use the power of their domain combined with internal linking to boost the ranking of the game. Combine this with external link packages from trusted 3rd parties and the game will rank very well.
This edge over competitors can give publishing companies the boost in sales and growth that they had planned for before starting game development. SEO is as tougher business as game development and making it work in each unique situation is an act of mastery. Search Engine specialist can be beneficial to many gaming houses. These gurus can often have the companies online presence ranking for keywords before a game is even launched. This could save the publisher thousands in marketing as viral growth is a much cheaper method of gaming growth.