Can gameplay video increase your downloads?

4 07 2008

From all the portals I know only Big Fish Games adds gameplay videos to every game. Reflexive does it from time to time. There must be a reason most portals don’t bother with it.

But I am not a portal and I want to check my chances. I want to know if and how it will affect my downloads. I can’t create videos for every game, but I already have one for Runes of Avalon 2 (please don’t check out the game site just to see it so you don’t screw up the test). To be honest, I was initially very skeptical about it. I thought: once they saw the video they might have another reason to not download the game, since they already know what’s inside. Fortunately, it looks like it’s the other way.

I’ve set up Google Website Optimizer experiment a while ago and here are preliminary results.

Gameplay Video affecting downlaods experiment
(click to enlarge)

It’s to early to give final statements, but if in the end improvement will be in that range it will be really worth it. When your marketing budget is small and every download counts then it may be the one thing that will let your ads break even.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...

Increase your website credibility with Google Maps

30 01 2008

Your website and company credibility is very important. If your website looks cheap, if your customer doesn’t feel secure, he will not buy your games.

One of the most important steps in building your credibility is contact page. It’s a must to have support email address written, as well as contact form. Contact form is important, because sometimes spam filters block emails from your customers and mark them as spam. If you don’t have a contact form, there is no way they can reach you.

The other important part is to put your real address and name on your contact page. If you’re not so big, your photo adds a lot too (and some ebay sellers say that putting voice message improve sales too).

If you want to go further then you can use Google Maps and point it to your company address. Don’t worry, it’s very unlikely that someone will visit you. If you are one of the lucky ones, you can use Street View – new feature in Google Maps. You need to have your office in one of the main USA cities and on one of the main streets. You can present real street view at your office… it’s really awesome. Unfortunately Europe is not covered yet.

Take a look at those two You Tube movies that present this new feature:
Google Maps from The Vacationers
Official Google Maps Street View movie

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

Simple trick that can increase your site CR by 63%

30 10 2007

Few weeks ago, Nedzad Orman complained about his site CRd2p ( It was at a very low level of 0.19%. He wasn’t happy with it, especially considering the amount of time & work he put into the site. Today he reported that his site CR is up by 63%. has a very high ranking in Google. If you type download games it shows on the first page of results. Considering competition that exists in this market this is very good result. Most visitors come to yupgames from search engines (majority from Google), searching to download games. Number of completed (not requested) downloads is close to 2000 daily. Before he changed his website he had 3-4 sales daily. After the change he gets 5-7 sales daily and his site CR jumped up to 0.31%.

What I did: I set up my own tracking system, I do not use Reflexive ‘Game rank’ anymore, instead I have a script which counts downloads, other script which import sales from Reflexive Order xml feed and I count conversion. If a game doesn’t perform well or doesn’t sell at all, script flag it as ‘disabled’ and the game isn’t available at site anymore. A day after, conversion and sales jumped, and it’s 0.31% (still not much, but way better). Also, I force better conversion games to front page etc…

I don’t think anything is wrong with Reflexive Gamerank. I think some other reasons apply: every site has it’s own visitors demographic, based on traffic sources etc.

Anyway, together with even better Google positions of my site than few weeks back this is gona be my first month with more than 100 sales Not much for many of you, but I believe I’m on the right path.

It’s important to know your visitors. Even if game A sells great on portal X it doesn’t automaticaly mean it will sell great on your website. Once again, know your visitors, serve them what they want, serve them what they like.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...

Improving Runes of Avalon dedicated website

23 10 2007

A months before we released Runes of Avalon game, I decided to create a dedicated website for it with a simple domain name: The purpose of this move was to be on top of search engine rankings when our game is released. As you may know, it takes a lot of time for a new website to break into top10 in the Google search results. We did succeed with this one and are listed at #1 for Runes of Avalon keyword.

The site doesn’t get much traffic, though it is still important to make the best use of it. Once I installed Google Analytics I was able to track my site conversion to download (SR). I was quite shocked that SR can be so low, especially for some sources of traffic. Average SR for month of September was only 25,31%. I decided to improve it. I succeeded with 31% increase.

Since most of visitors enter main page first it was important to improve this one at the beginning. I created an experiment in Google Website Optimizer. It was one of my first experiments, so I know I could do better with selecting what to test.

I created 4 sections on main page:

  • screenshots
  • description
  • reviews
  • bullet list

At the beginning it was hard to think of how I can improve it, since it does look great, but finally I found 2-3 combinations for each section. I was wondering, who is better copywriter: Big Fish Games or I? Description and bullet list was a test of text that are available on Runes of Avalon BFG page. BFG uses very little text as a game description and only 3 points on bullet lists. I had about 10 of them, as I always thought that the more the better.

After first paragraph of text I had two the best screenshots from my game, but it did happen that both of them had been from core gameplay. So I tried to make a mix of one core and one mini game.

ROA gwo screen 1 ROA gwo screen 2 ROA gwo screen 3

Which combination of screenshots is the best? In my opinion the first one, but you never know unless you test it.

I started the experiment of September 19th and ended it on October 9th. Here are my results.

ROA kombinacje

As you can see most of combinations received less than 50 views. From statistical point of view this experiment was not representative, but I decided to stop it before I receive final results. Some combinations were just poor and I didn’t want to make SR lower than usual.

ROA Sekcje

It was a shock for me that BFG description text was worse than my own one (I can’t even speak English properly enough). The next shock was that short bullet list is better than long one. I was also surprised that cutting off one review improved SR.

Numbers on the left: 0/5 say how trustful the metric is. As you can see, I should not trust results and wait longer (but as I said I didn’t want to).

While each section on it’s own doesn’t make big difference, combined could improve site conversion by over 74%. Google showed that Combination 9 is the best one. It was surprising for me because #9 was a mix of sections that didn’t work well (BFG description, screenshot from puzzle minigame, original reviews, original bulletlist).

Control test proved my suspicions. Combination 9 was worse by over 32% than original one.

ROA kontrolny 1

I stopped the test after 5 days and made another control test with combination 14th. This one was better by over 91%. Google ended this test automatically and decided that combination 14 is the winning one.

ROA kontrolny 2

Do you want to know which set of screenshot was the best one? The one with a ring minigame.

ROA gwo screen 3

For reviews section it appeared that less is sometimes more. Maybe those 3 reviews that I quoted sounded just to laudatory. Or maybe it was easier for visitors to find Download Now button (though I have one on top and one right after reviews section).

The problem is:

  • the first control test original combination had site conversion ratio 40.8% +-7.2%
  • in the second one it had site only 20.9% +-8.1%

Main experiment shows similar conversion for original combination as the second control test. The first control test was probably affected by traffic spike. I will probably make another control test to check which one is better: 9 or 14 and then decide.

What matters is that in the end my site conversion to download increased by 31%. It’s still not as high as I would like it to be, but it always make my marketing efforts more effective.

If you want to find out how to do tests like this with a little effort and read results of my other experiments then come back later to this blog.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading ... Loading ...