Following on from our post about the importance of a game dev blog and how to market it, the topic of link building is one that can often baffle people and leave them withered from attempting to find creative ways of finding links. Link acquisition is in no way easy, the risks involved with reaching out and getting refused can be very disheartening, but the rewards gained from discovering that people are finding your content and, even better, finding it interesting is a very satisfying moment. GameSparks is built with the indie developer in mind and we want everyone of you to succeed. Marketing your game is nearly, if not just as important as the development process and for that reason we are going to give you a helping hand to acquire some of those first links that will kick start your game marketing campaign.
Guest blogging is a very popular way of link building, and there’s good reason for it. Becoming noticed in the vast gaming community can create a huge online presence for both your brand and your game. If players view your posts as knowledgeable and authoritative, they will become intrigued and fascinated about your product offering. Most popular gaming blogs accept submissions and the avid googler can find those that are willing to accept guest posts. Most blogs allow an author bio with a link to your website at the end of your post but ideally, slipping a link within the body text it will create a lot more relevance for search engines.
Another relatively simple yet highly effective platform for adding content and planting links are the masses of gaming forums hidden throughout the internet. Searching through forums for topics relating to your niche is a great way to slot relevant links into external sites, helping to build an audience for your game. Forum members are generally very active. They are usually very willing to give you their time to read what you have to say. Forums can prove very fruitful in more ways than one, whilst building a fan base, users could become evangelists for your game by sharing further links to you within their own content.
Blog commenting has changed a lot in recent years. Previously blogs were a spammers playground, but the introduction of the “nofollow” tag now prevents links from being trawled by Google. This was introduced to reduce the amount of dreaded spammers infecting the net and influencing Google’s results. However, with this being said, If you do find a blog within your niche, that has a decent following or is very topical, it’s always worth trying to add a relevant link for your site within the comments section.
This option consumes a little more time and money. local clubs, societies and charities will have a donation page on their organisation’s website. For example, Your local Coderdojo, a volunteer-led programming club for young people, would be a perfect place to cement a link for your brand. By building up a personal relationship with the webmaster and giving the community a helping hand, you could gain their respect and loyalty, adding to your fan base and possibly pasting a link to your site from their own.
Another way to build new links is to develop quality content that adds value to other communities. Creating content with meaty substance that others can sink their teeth into, is much more likely to be linked to in comparison to meaningless gif’s and meme’s. To encourage others to use your work, build a database of interested publishers and journalists and inform them as and when your content has gone live. If it sparks enough interest they will spread the word, sharing it with their own communities and perhaps even publish it on their own site (if they have one).
Although link building can take a lot of hard work, and endless persistence trawling through relevant blogs and forums, be patient and you will reap the rewards. Eventually your game development site will be the most authoritative of them all, you will have flocks of games developers, publishers and players flooding through your site to seek your wisdom.