The store page is an absolutely crucial component of your game’s marketing. All of your marketing efforts will be for nought if the store page that people land on doesn’t drive them to take an action – be it to put a game on their wishlist, follow or purchase.
I review store pages for other indies on Twitter every week, and I see the same things coming up quite often. Here are three things which I’ve seen pages miss the mark on:
Firstly, can people understand what they’re getting, based on the information on your page? Can they tell quickly what the genre of game is, what they do in it?
People are browsing for games that they know they’ll like. This isn’t the place to tease or hint at what your game does. Be as upfront as possible about what your game is offering.
When developing the capsule art for Sunless Skies, we did a survey to find out what impression our artwork was giving people about the game. We discarded ideas which gave the wrong impression, or which didn’t contain enough information, and ended up with a large central image of a steam train flying through space – which is a pretty good depiction of what you do in Sunless Skies!
Next, can the information on the page give the potential player confidence in the game? Is everything up-to-date and factually correct?
Trustworthiness is important, because you’re trying to convince someone to do something. Try not to have anything on your page that would cause doubt, and do everything you can to build trust.
If it’s November 2019, and this game’s page says ‘coming 2019’ but doesn’t have a release date, or recent development updates, what does that say? What would make you want to follow a game which didn’t look like it was still being developed?
Sometimes on the pages I review, one part of the page disagrees with another. The description says the game has full controller support, but only the partial controller support box has been ticked. Things change throughout development; reflect them on your page.
The most obvious mark of trustworthiness is your review score. If your review averages aren’t looking good, you should have something on your page which shows that you’re addressing it. Maybe that’s responding to reviews which are factually incorrect, or maybe it’s an announcement post about an upcoming patch.
Lastly, when you have the above in place, is the page really specific to your game, using imagery and tone of voice that convey the feel of it well? Can you use the game’s tone of voice, or insert a few gameplay GIFs which show its atmosphere?
Also: this is not a once and done thing. Your store page is your game’s home. Every day, players are looking at it to decide if they want to try your game. Set a reminder to look at it at least monthly, and keep a rolling list of changes you want to make to keep it polished and working hard!
Hannah Flynn is a multi-award-winning marketing and community professional who has worked with Failbetter Games since 2014, launching and promoting all of their titles, including 2019’s Sunless Skies. Follow her on Twitter @itshannahflynn.