OK, so you want to build your own gaming website, now what? how do you start?“The problem we’re trying to solve is thatthere are rich teams and there are poorteams, then there’s fifty feet of crap, andthen there’s us.It’s an unfair game. And now we’re beinggutted, organ donors for the rich.”(Moneyball)
There are hundreds of gaming websites onthe market, offering the same service asyou offer, only they are way ahead of you:• They are big• They are rich• They are Experienced• They are already branded
“If we play like the Yankees in here, were gonna lose to‘em out there.Boston has taken our kidney’s, Yankees takin’ ourheart and you guys are sittin’ around talkin’ the sameold good body nonsense, like we’re selling deeds.Like we’re looking for Fabio.We got to think differently. ”(Moneyball)
Like any website, there are basic questionsyou need to ask yourself before you begin: 1. What is your target audience? 2. What content will you have on your website? 3. What is the level of competition?
This is the basic research you need to performbefore start working on your website.This research will tell you if starting the website isworth it, if your site can have original and uniquecontent that users will find attractive,AND, if you can monetize your website.
When it comes to free online games, there areplenty of option to breakdown the audience.I mean, games are being played by 4 years oldand by 65 years old.- What does it mean?- How do I breakdown the audience?- How should I choose my target audience?
The answer to that question is a combination of several things.
Establishing a well-defined target audience is moreImportant today than ever, especially in the Gaming niche.You need to understand that no one can afford to targeteveryone, no matter how big he is.You can still compete with the big companies and lookthem in the eye by targeting a niche market.Targeting a specific market does not mean other marketsAre excluded. It just mean you focus your effort onspecific niche, and anyone else that arrive is a nice bonus.
To define a target audience you need to ask yourself a fewquestions:1. What are they looking for?2. What can I offer them?3. What is the audience my competitors target?4. Analyze your audience – demographics, gender, surfing habits, online social behavior, playing time etc.5. Financial evaluation – after everything I know, is it financially worth it? Can I monetize my website?Once you define your target audience, it’s easier to proceed to thenext step.
Free online games is probably the most competitive niche onThe Internet.There are hundreds of flash games websites in every gamingcategory, which makes it extremely difficult to stand out.Also, due to the nature of “free” online games, the samegames can be played in other gaming websites as well.
So why should the users play on your site? What makes you unique?
Content is everything!Having fresh and new content on your website will bring you alot of traffic and will give them reasons to return to your site.There are two options to put fresh content in gaming sites:1. Download free games from other sites and put it on your site (like everyone else does).2. Developing your own games and put them only on your site .
There are many options for developing a flash gameat a reasonable cost.You can either use an establish and experienceddevelopment company, but that will probably cost more,or you can use freelances.Of course you take a certain risk with freelancers, they canturn out to be unprofessional, development can takelonger, money issues etc.
So if you decide you’re going to go with freelancers,ask for recommendations and feedback from others,see previous works, see his feedback rate on the freelancesite etc.Having your own games gives you the ability to be Uniqueand have original content that doesn’t exist on any of theother gaming portals.(if case you decide not to allow sharing).
It’s also recommended to have a textual area on your site, a blog,forum or an article section, for several reasons:1. Google loves textual content. Textual content rank high, index faster and get high score in general.2. Allows you to update your users on new games, events, featured games etc.3. Allows the ability to upload images, which can use to leverage your website and bring traffic through Google Images.4. Helps you increase the number of pages (more pages with new content means more credibility).5. Allows you to use it for internal links. Again, SEO booster.
Other elements that can improve gaming experienceIf you want to improves the users experience and be better than youropponents, try to bring something that only you have and the othersdon’t.Do your research and find out what you can add to your website thatmight be useful to your audience:• Registration Form• Newsletter• Tournaments with prices• Social Media Teasers (YouTube Channel, Facebook Page etc)• Tutorials and Guides• Mobile Apps
If you want to beat the big gaming companies, find out what canyou offer that they can’t or haven’t yet, and claim a territory. that’s how you do it.
There are several reasons why we need to study our competition:• To find your competitions’ weak points and exploit them• To improve your content and services and be better than your competition• To learn how they operates so that you can always be one step ahead of them.• To see what they DON’T do and come up with ideas of your own.
There are several ways to check the competition online:• Website – The competitor’s website can tell you a lot about the company, their operation, featured games and content, main keywords etc.• Search Engine Results – Check out their organic position, which keywords they are focusing on, which products they are promoting etc.• PPC Campaigns – Gives you a chance to see what landing pages, keywords and products they are promoting.• Social Media Activities – YouTube Channel, Facebook Pages, Twitter activity, LinkedIn etc.
• Forums – Visit arcade forums and read the reviews people write about the competitors. Check out their reputation.• Their own content sites and blogs – Are they updating content on a regular basis? Are they promoting something? Are they focusing on super hero games or other games?• WhoIs – A simple check can reveal a lot of useful information about your opponents, like PR, Inbound links, Alexa ranking, SEMRush ranking, Google+ Activities and more.
Imagine you’re building a house. You just finished planning Yourinterior decoration only to find out you don’t have the first floorplan.A wise planning will save you money, time and will get the usersstay on your site.
Target Audience –Who will be your main target market?Break it down to the smallest details –gender, age, demographics etc
Content –Where do I get the content?Do I need license for games, coloring pages,Images?
Programming Language –Are you going to build the site in PHP, Dot.net orany other language?What are the upsides and downsides of each?
Designing –Gaming site usually played and meant for kids,So the design has a lot of weight in attractingThe visitors as well as keeping them on yoursite.It has to be unique enough that people willremember it.
Hosting –Based on the estimated number of users youanticipate, where will your host you site?• Performance• Quick Loading Time• Quick and Professional Support
Marketing Strategy –What marketing strategy are you planning?Are you focusing on organic SEO or do you have abudget for PPC ?Are you planning to serve as an affiliate ?
First impression is everything!The first glance will determine if they user stays on your website or leave.
Research has shown that it only takes 10 secondsto catch your visitors interest before they leave your site.
Navigation -The first rule of navigation is to allow users to getanywhere from anywhere.There is nothing more frustrating than browsing awebsite and not finding what you’re looking for, ornot be able to go back to where you were and youare forced to follow the entire path all over again.
Images – 1. Logo 2. Header 3. Category Images 4. Game Image
Appropriate use of colors -• Choosing the wrong background colors can be a Hugh turn-off and can impact your bounce rate.• Choose colors from the same theme.• Don’t overload colors.• Be original and Unique• Be REMEMBERABLE !
So we have planned our strategy and decided how we want our website to look like. now what?
There are two option for building an arcade website:1. Pre-made arcade site, that include a complete CMS and a theme of your choice.2. Building your own website + CMS from scratch.
Pre-made vs. New Site Pre-Made New Development Entire site cost around Can sum up toPrice 120$ thousands of dollars You can build a siteTime from scratch in a Can take months couple of hours You have full control You don’t have controlFlexibility on the code and on the code and design design To learn more about arcade templates visit TheOnlineFreeGames.com
So you built an amazing website,you added new fresh games andyou’re ready to collect the cash.Only one thing is missing… traffic..
So how do you get traffic to a gaming site in such a competitive niche?
There are two major options:• Organic SEO• Paid Promotion
Ways to get traffic1. Banner Exchange2. Social Media3. Trade Traffic System4. Adwords Campaign5. Link Exchange6. Organic Search7. Game Distribution8. Toolbar Apps9. Social Bookmarking (mostly used for tier 2)
Ways NOT to use to get traffic• Profile Links• Articles• Press Releases• Angela and Paul links• Blogroll Links• Plenty of Social Bookmarking Sites• Farm Links and different private networks• Blog Comments (small scale allowed)• Forum Signature Links (only if used wisely)