Why are Gaming Keywords So Important for Game Marketing?

by Game Marketing Genie, on 28-Mar-2023 10:30:37

Putting a lot of effort into your gaming content and products, but aren't seeing the results you want? If your target audience can't find you when searching for related keywords, they'll stumble upon your competitors instead. But the problem is not with your work's quality but its visibility.

HubSpot's 2021 State of Marketing Report found that over 50% of marketers use keyword rankings and organic traffic as the top way to measure the success of their SEO strategies. 

To attract more players, leveling up your gaming keyword game is crucial. This blog will explore the importance of using relevant, targeted keywords to increase your online presence and drive high-quality traffic to your game.

Figure 1: Marketers use keyword rankings to measure SEO strategy success. Source: HubSpot

The importance of keywords for game marketing

Keywords will continue to be an important component of digital game marketing in 2023. Why? Because keywords bridge gaming studios and their target audiences via search intent. 

Game devs boost their online exposure, attract quality visitors, and drive conversions by using relevant and targeted keywords in various digital marketing channels such as search engines, social media, and online advertising.

Similarly, keywords are a crucial tool for communicating what your games are all about, who your target audience is, and what sets your games apart from the competition. 

According to a study by Bright Edge, SEO drives over 1,000% more traffic than organic social media. Further, it reports that, as a channel, organic search maintains its dominant position as the primary source of trackable web traffic. 

Therefore, to reach potential players, it's crucial to rank for specific keywords and showcase your games' unique features and benefits. This helps them determine whether your games provide the experience they're looking for.

Figure 2: Organic search dominates trackable web traffic. Source: Bright Edge

Where to use keywords for your game

Store page descriptions

Forrester reports that App Store searches account for discovering 63% of all apps. The image below shows that the most popular way of finding new apps is through an app store search. Therefore, you're neglecting the biggest app discovery channel if you haven't optimized your game's listing.

Figure 3: App store search is the most preferred method of finding new games. Source: App Radar

When listing your game on app stores, highlight your game's USP in words that resonate with your target audience. This will help potential players better understand what your game offers and make it easier for search engines to match your game with relevant search queries.  

Store page titles

As a game developer, it's essential to understand the significance of your game's title in the app store. The title is the most crucial field. It not only helps in indexing but is also the first source of information for potential users. Since the description is usually not shown above the fold, visitors judge its usability and relevance mainly by its title, app icon, and screenshots. 

You only have limited characters to describe your game, so the title must be unique, descriptive, and clear, with brand value, and not copied or influenced by competitors.

Remember not to overload your title with keywords, though, as this can lead to negative repercussions (and isn't recommended at all for some stores like Steam).

Ad copy

Paid ads are an essential part of any successful game marketing strategy. Any experienced game marketer will tell you that keywords vastly improve the quality score of your ads. A good ad Quality Score can result in lower cost-per-click and higher ad rankings. However, using keywords strategically and naturally in the ad copy is essential to avoid sounding spammy or irrelevant. A thorough keyword research and integrating them effectively into the ad copy can increase the chances of attracting quality traffic and driving conversions.

Read more about ramping up your ranking in 5 Tips to Help You Improve Your Google Ads Quality Score.

Your website

Naturally, a game's website is the perfect place to add keywords that you want to rank for on search engine results pages (SERPs). By incorporating relevant and targeted keywords in the website's content, metadata, and headings, the website can appear higher on SERPs for those specific keywords. 

Video content on YouTube

Gaming keywords for YouTube are a critical component of optimizing video content. Including relevant and targeted keywords in video titles, descriptions, tags, and transcripts can help the content rank higher in YouTube search results, leading to increased visibility and traffic to the video.

The PEW Research Center conducted a study analyzing the impact of specific keywords in video titles and descriptions on the number of views. The study found that videos with highly searched keywords in their titles and descriptions tended to receive more views than those without. For example, in the gaming industry, using popular game-related keywords such as "Minecraft," "Fortnite," or "Call of Duty" in the video title or description attracted more viewers to the video.

A game that achieved widespread popularity on YouTube because of its effective use of keywords is Minecraft. The game's publisher, Mojang Studios, initially relied on YouTube influencers to promote the game through gameplay videos and tutorials that featured Minecraft-related keywords in the titles and descriptions. As a result, the game gained a massive following on the platform, leading to over 1.3 billion views of Minecraft videos on YouTube and driving significant sales for the game. Today, Minecraft continues to be one of the most popular and successful games on YouTube, largely thanks to its early success in leveraging targeted keywords in video content, among other things. Of course, this only works if the content is relevant!

Gaming keyword best practices

Consider your game's USP

Start your keyword research by listing the main words that identify your game. Look for keywords based on your genre, type of game, and art style. Tools like Ahref can help you find keywords based on difficulty and competition. 

Avoid using generic keywords and focus on specific and targeted ones that match the intent of your audience. For example, instead of "gaming," use "MOBA" if that's your style of game.

Perform keyword research

When you conduct keyword research for your game, you must analyze your competitors and identify the keywords they use to attract their audience. You should also research the common keywords used in your industry and include them in your game's marketing strategy. 

Furthermore, consider which words your audience will use when looking for a game like yours. Use them to create content that resonates with them and increases your game's discoverability.

Keyword stuffing doesn't work

Keyword stuffing is adding many keywords to content, often unnaturally, to manipulate search engine rankings. 

However, search engines have become smarter and can now detect this practice, which can lead to penalties and lower rankings for the website. Keyword stuffing can make the content difficult to read and provide a poor user experience, leading to high bounce rates and lower engagement with the game. Not to mention, you risk making gamers angry with the unhelpful content you put out. 

Figure 4: Example of keyword stuffing (note: they have since removed the keywords, likely under Steam’s direction). Source: MMO Fallout

Mix short and long tail keywords

Mixing short and long-tail gaming keywords is vital for creating a well-rounded strategy. 

Short-tail keywords are broad and highly competitive but can help to capture a large audience. Long-tail keywords are more specific, less competitive, and can help to target a more specific audience. 

For example, you might use short-tail keywords like "multiplayer games" to reach a broad audience and long-tail keywords like "fantasy MMORPG games" to target a more specific audience interested in that particular subgenre of games.

Sprinkle in popular, relevant, and broader keywords

When selecting keywords for game marketing, it's essential to include a mix of popular, relevant, and broader gaming keywords. This helps to increase the visibility of your game across a range of search queries. For example, if your game is a puzzle game with a medieval theme, you could use keywords such as "medieval puzzle game," "medieval strategy game," and "puzzle adventure game" to reach a wider audience.

Negative keywords when setting up ads

In addition to using relevant and targeted gaming keywords in your ad copy, it's important to use negative keywords to avoid irrelevant clicks and wasted ad spending. Negative keywords are terms or phrases you don't want your ads to appear for. 

For example, suppose you're promoting a premium mobile game. In that case, you may want to use negative keywords such as "free games" or "casual games" to avoid attracting users who are not interested in paying for games or playing games in their spare time. This will ensure that your ads are shown only to users more likely to be interested in and purchase your game.

Monitor your progress and consider optimizing your keywords

To ensure that you are effectively reaching your target audience, you must monitor your game's keyword performance. Regularly review metrics such as search engine ranking, click-through rate, and conversion rates to identify which keywords drive traffic and conversions. Optimize your strategy by tweaking or adding new keywords to improve your game's visibility and reach if specific keywords are not generating enough traffic or conversions.

To sum it all up…

As a game developer or publisher, you need to be aware that keywords are the backbone of SEO and the foundation of a successful online presence. 

Effective keyword research and implementing targeted keywords in your marketing strategy can boost your game's visibility, attract a relevant audience, and increase your ROI. Stay updated on industry trends and monitor your keyword performance. Also, continuously optimize your keyword strategy to keep ahead of the competition and ensure long-term success in the gaming market.

Leave the hard work to us!

We hope this information has helped you understand how keywords can improve your game's online presence. If you need assistance in creating a keyword strategy, feel free to get in touch with us. Our digital marketing experts at Game Marketing Genie are here to help you see improvements in your organic rankings. We'll work with you to build a strategy that fits your needs and budget. 

Don't hesitate to reach out!

Topics:Video Game Marketing StrategyVideo Game MarketingTargeted AudiencesAudience RetargetingDigital MarketingPaid Advertising

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