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SEO Tips for Browser Games

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what is seo?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimizaiton, and it is basically optimizing your website to fit the rules that Google and other search engines use to rank sites. Good SEO means better ranking when users submit related searches. Click here if you want a more in depth look at SEO as well as some other resources for SEO. 

what is this?

There are tons of tips, guides, advice and bad advice out there for SEO. Some of it is technical, some of it isn't and a lot of it is unnecessary or doesn't make much impact for the amount of work it takes. Through experience both with browser games and building websites designed for SEO strategies, I've handpicked some of the most basic and important ways browser games could improve their SEO overall and things you should take into consideration when building a new browser game. 

 

1. no tricks

Google designs their algorithms to encourage websites to follow certain kinds of behaviors and standards. There are a lot of ways to get around those rules or abuse them but Google is usually pretty good at recognizing when you're doing that and will actually penalize your website if they discover you're using shady methods. There's no such thing as an SEO 'quick fix' and while you can be creative with your SEO you want to avoid doing things that are obviously trying to subvert Google's rules. 

2. make your content public

It is the tendency of browser games to hide all their content behind a login. For some stuff this makes sense, but wherever possible you should make content visible publicly. News posts and comments, forums, guides & lore are all content that doesn't necessarily have to be hidden by a login. Of course it's not a requirement but it is super helpful for your SEO if your content is public especially content that updates frequently or generated by your users. 

3. don't neglect your marketing site

So when we build a website that has a lot behind a login, what isn't behind the login we call the 'marketing site' or the 'marketing side'. This let's us split the expected user group into two groups, those who we're targeting to get them to join, and those who are already registered. It's very common to see pet sites with a bunch of links and if you start clicking through any of them they ask you to login. Replacing your menu for someone who isn't logged in is usually a trivial change, and then providing content to them to explain the game or showcase the best parts of it is now a way to draw in new users and provide Google with some content that's not hidden! Win-win!

4. links and embeds

Links are another big factor in SEO. More specifically, link backs. That's when another website has a link to YOUR site on it. There are a lot of ways to build link backs, but it's important to remember quality of quantity. Getting a link back from an extremely reputable website is worth a whole lot more than tons of links on small unknown and obscure sites. Do interviews, offer to write blog posts and just ask to include a link to your site on the page. You can also offer your users ways to show off their pets or avatars on other websites with a link back to your browser game. If you can get a link onto a big gaming blog you'll see a bigger impact of traffic both from the link and organic from Google. 

5. google analytics

You don't have to learn what the terms mean, how to read them or anything. Just create an account and install the code in your browser game. When you're ready for bigger marketing campaigns and honing your SEO strategies you'll thank yourself (and me) for having had Google Analytics installed beforehand so you have lots of 'before' data to compare your 'after' campaign data. Even if you think you'll never do any sort of SEO or marketing campaigns, just install the code. I don't care what your excuse is, there is no excuse for not having Google Analytics on any live site. 


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