Online gaming is incredibly popular today. From social games like those available through Facebook to card games hosted on standalone sites, the industry is incredibly vast and continues to grow. Building a gaming website can help you cash in on this trend while offering players an enjoyable experience that they’ll happily come back to.
The challenge, of course, is designing a gaming website that performs well, delivers a great user experience, and helps you generate passive income. Thankfully, a few simple tips can help ensure that you’re able to design a gaming website that lives up to your visitors’ expectations, as well as help you achieve your goals in terms of income generation.
The first tip is simple – make sure you offer a selection of games and that your selection is up to the expectations of your players. For instance, if you’re building a solitaire-themed gaming website, Klondike shouldn’t be the only variant you offer. You should also offer different versions, including Harp and Easy Harp, Canfield, Westcliff, and more. Spider solitaire is another option to include, as are other popular card games like Hearts, Spades, or Memory. Take a look at other popular gaming websites like what you want to design and explore the games they offer.
For some inspiration, check out Solitaire Bliss.
It offers a vast variety of Solitaire-related games. This selection helps it engage its visitors better and keep them on the site for longer.
Ease of Use
User experience is a major factor in how successful your gaming website is, as well as how well it ranks in the search engine result pages. Here, “ease of use” revolves primarily around how easily your visitors can access the games they want to play, as well as how simple the overall user interface is to manage. It also touches on game controls and functions. Those should be bold and highly visible to your visitors.
For instance, when your visitors land on the site, they should be able to play right away. The game (and the controls) should be simple and familiar. To use the solitaire example once more, your homepage should allow visitors to jump right into a classic game, but if they want to mix things up, they should be able to quickly change game types to suit their preferences.
You can start with the best practices for website design and slowly modify your site based on user behavior.
There are analytics tools like Google Analytics and Hotjar that can help with this.
Tying in directly with the previous tip, you need to focus on website navigation. How simple is it for your visitors to get to different parts of the website? Do you offer intuitive navigation through drop-down menus?
Easy navigation isn’t just important for your user experience. It’s also part of SEO. Easily navigated websites will always rank higher in organic SERPs than those that are difficult to get around, so err on the side of caution and create a site that’s as easy to navigate as possible.
Put your audience first
Good website design hinges on exceeding user expectations and has surprisingly little to do with the business behind the website other than maintaining brand identity in the case of an established organization. So, how does this apply to your gaming website? Simply put, you need to make sure that your users come first.
When designing your gaming website, make sure that the overall design, as well as the features and functionality offered, match your audience’s expectations. What does this include? Here are just a few considerations you will need to make:
- Design Style – Does your audience want a realistic design? Something more animated or cartoonish? This will hinge mainly on the age range of your audience, but also on the type(s) of games you’ll be offering.
- Game Accessibility – How many clicks does it take your visitors to access the games? Too many, and you risk them bouncing to another site. It’s best to put them right on the homepage; that way, they can play quickly and not have to jump through too many hoops.
- Account – Do you plan to lock your site so only account holders can play? Will you make it available to all without having to create an account? The best path forward strikes a middle ground between these two. Let your visitors play games as they want but make it possible to create an account. With the account, give them access to special perks, like game tracking, unique deck designs, and more. Simply put, give them a reason to want to make an account without making it mandatory.
You will only get this right if you understand your audience. So, spend an ample amount of time researching them through surveys and interviews.
Competitor research can also help with this.
Ads and Ad Position
Our final tip is all about monetization. Well, it’s about monetizing your site while keeping it user-friendly and delivering the best possible experience. What we’re talking about here are ads and where you place them on your site.
First, understand that cramming as many ads on your site as possible is not likely to generate the benefits (cash flow) that you want. The more ads you have, the lower you’ll rank in the SERPs, and the slower your page will load. Having too many ads also makes for a confusing experience for your visitors. Limit your ads to deliver a good user experience while maximizing load speed.
Second, it’s also important to realize how important it is that your ads are correctly positioned. They should frame the game being played with plenty of space so that players don’t accidentally click on the ad when trying to move a card. Keep playability high while still monetizing your website.
Finally, use your website layout strategically. Make sure that you don’t negatively affect playability with ad placement, but make sure that your ads are highly visible at the same time.
Ultimately, designing a gaming website is all about balance. You must balance your need to monetize the site with your visitors’ need to enjoy the game. Also, ensure you deliver an excellent user experience in terms of game selection, intuitive navigation, and ease of use so that your visitors will return again and again to play.
After all, it does you little good if someone plays a game and then never comes back. To be successful, you need to attract new players and retain old ones. Using the tips in this post will help you do just that.