Landing Page Design and How to Use it to Sell Your Indie Game

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If you’re like most indie developers, your website’s landing pages are your sales team. I.e., you drive traffic (or leads) to these pages, hoping they’ll convert to customers. Trouble is, without stellar landing page design, most landing pages convert only 5%-15% of traffic. Not too good for the bottom line…but there’s hope. By following these landing page design techniques, you can boost your conversion rate upwards of 50%.

The perfect landing page design for an indie game developer's game.

Eight Landing Page Design Techniques to Help Sell Your Indie Game

  • No Navigation: removing navigation from a page on your site may seem a little strange at first, but hear me out. If you want a visitor to purchase, download or play your game, don’t distract them with other clickable links. Make that desired action the focal point. Removing the navigation will help drastically.
  • Social Icons: I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but you need to think of your fans as an extension of your marketing team. Good landing page design is about making it easy for your fans to spread the word (a.k.a., market your game). Make sure your lander has social media icons placed at the top at the top of the page where they are accessible.
  • Headline: If visitors read anything on your game’s landing page, the headline will be it. This is the largest piece of text on the page, and because of it, will naturally command attention. Don’t let visitors down. Make sure your headline is strong, engaging and accurately describes what your game is about.
  • CTA Button: the call-to-action (CTA) button is hands down THE most important part of great landing page design. This button is represents the action you want visitors to take. Ensure your button clearly stands out by making it big, bold and beautiful. In addition, make button text actionable with strong verbs. If you’re using this button to direct visitors to other sites (App Store, Facebook, etc.), it’s not a bad idea to include that site’s logo on the button.
  • Video: if a picture is worth a thousand words, than a video is definitely worth putting in its place. Use video to pull visitors in and really show them how your game looks. Trailer or teaser videos work fine as they show gameplay.
  • Screen Shots: indulge visitors further with additional game visuals. A row of scrolling screen shots is a great way to display a lot of imagery without occupying too much page real estate. Screen shots should be held to the same standard any other marketing graphic is: make sure they are bold and beautiful.
  • Features: use this part of your page to communicate other selling points. You may want to mention hours of gameplay, number of levels, number of bosses, etc. Use icons or screen shots next to each block of text to make the feature list more visual.
  • Testimonials: try injecting a “human element” into your landing page with user testimonials. Testimonials help visitors build trust instantly. (There’s a reason why the best landing page design champions them). If you go this route, try not to make your testimonials up. Encourage real users to contribute (with photos of themselves when possible).
  • Subscription (UPDATE): give your fans an easy way to follow your game’s progress via email with a quick subscription form. Capturing followers’ email addresses will enable you to not only provide updates on your game, but afford you a more personalized method to promote any future developments and/or endeavors (future games, studio developments, etc.).

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Emmy
Emmy Jonassen is a marketing pro who helps indie developers build adoring fanbases. Marketing people who love buzz words call this "lead generation."

37 Comments on "Landing Page Design and How to Use it to Sell Your Indie Game"

  1. Dan says:

    Awesome, thanks!

  2. Liz says:

    Just great information. You are the tops.

  3. Martin S says:

    Hi Emmy!
    I´m glad to see that my indie game studio website http://www.widowgames.com has many of the features that you point in yout post! i will definitelly implement the video and also the testimonials.
    See ya!
    Martin

    • Emmy says:

      Hi Martin,

      Glad to see that your site is using a lot of these features as well. They’re important! Looking forward to seeing your video and testimonials.

      -Emmy

  4. Alfonse says:

    Love how there’s tons of information, yet it’s simple enough to navigate easily! Thanks for the tips Emmy.

  5. GameMonger says:

    GREAT stuff… thanks for the practical tips on how to put together landing pages.

    Question: When marketing multiple apps that are similar in theme (a series of apps based on the same gameplay/engine), would you recommend using multiple landing pages (one for each app), or a single landing page? This is assuming that all of the apps are released at the same time.

    • Emmy says:

      Great question! I would do a separate landing page for each, however, I would also have an “Apps page” in the top-level navigation of my website. The apps page would list and link off to my various apps’ landing pages. On these individual pages, I would have a section near the bottom that says something like “check out my other apps.” In that section I would link out to a few (NOT all) related apps. One other note: if I were to do any kind of advertising, I would direct users toward an individual app’s landing page, not the “Apps page.” Doing this will give users less options to click and you a greater conversion rate. Thanks for the question!

  6. John Lynch says:

    Nicely done, Emmy. Your explanation is lucid and succinct, with great tips that apply to landing pages generally. Nice linkage of design and marketing, too.

  7. Luca says:

    Great article Emmy!

    Do you think the graphic style of the landing page should be the same of the rest of the website? Or it should match the graphic of the videogame?

    E.g. I have a website http://www.appzyourlife.com which represents my Indie Game Developer activity. In future I will create a landing page inside http://www.appzyourlife.com for the game I am building. How should I choose the graphic style of the landing page?

    Thank you!

    • Emmy says:

      Because a landing page’s purpose is different from the rest of your site, it’s ok if it’s graphic style does not match (even if that page lives on your primary domain). But more important than the graphic style of the page is the layout of the page and it’s focus on the call to action (i.e., download, purchase, play, etc.). Before you consider what the page will look like graphically, make sure you solidify what content will be presented on it and in what order.

      Hope that helps and thanks for the comment.

  8. Bobby says:

    Love it. Will use this template for my first game – Attack of the Retro Zombies!

  9. Marco says:

    Thanks for the info Emmy – Much appreciated!

  10. Augustas says:

    Thanks for the great explanations on the landing page Emmy. I am a huge fan of your website. When making a landing page for my game should I buy a separate domain for it or it would be better to just have a subdomain or subfolder on my game company website. Subdomain is a cheaper option and probably since my main site is older,then a better ranking but at the same time dedicated domain can get as well good results with right keywords, while at the same time not being updated it can again loose ranking? I am just about to launch my first game on the second week of January for App Store would be very interesting to have your view on this :) Many Thanks! Augustas

    • Emmy says:

      Hello Augustas! Thank you for your comment and kind words.

      This is a great question that actually comes up a bit in marketing. What you should do really depends on two things (1) how powerful your root domain is and (2) how much extra work do you want to do/have time for. Google will read a subdomain and new domain as new sites. This means that you will have to invest in developing regular content, optimizing for keywords, etc. over a period of time in order to get your landing page to rank in a subdomain/new domain. The benefit here is that your subdomain/new site will have its own link profile (i.e., not considered part of your company’s site) and can pass power to your company’s site and vice versa if you link between them. If you create your landing page as a subfolder on your company’s website, it would be read as part of your company by Google, but you wouldn’t have to work as hard to get it ranked if your company’s site is already ranked and has some SEO power.

      Hope that helps and good luck!

  11. grzes says:

    I share you article on my facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Irbis-Studio/507716035906971
    btw great article :)

  12. Augustas says:

    Thanks Emmy that’s great advice!

  13. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my
    blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this
    for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with
    something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything.
    I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

    • Emmy says:

      Hi! Thanks for the comment and kind words. Glad you enjoy Indie Game Girl.

      I personally do not use any kind of auto posting from my blog to my social media properties. But…I’m also a control freak and like to schedule everything through HootSuite. That said, I can’t speak from personal experience, but have heard that WP to Twitter, Tweetable and Tweetily are really good. For automatically Tweeting older content (to keep your older posts getting traffic), people seem to LOVE Tweet Old Post. Hope that helps!

  14. Thanks for sharing Emmy. I would also suggest to put the app store badges in there, as people are used to seeing them and it tells right away where the app is available (and they’ve also evolved into call to action).

    • Emmy says:

      Hi Sylvain. Great point. You can absolutely use an app store badge as your CTA. This has become very common practice and accepted as a CTA by consumers. Thanks for the comment.

  15. Scott says:

    Hi Emmy,

    First off great site with great information. Bravo!

    We are about to begin building our games landing page. How important is making your landing page responsive?

    • Emmy says:

      Hi Scott! Thanks for your kind words. Making your landing page responsive is incredibly important, especially if your game is for mobile. At the end of last year mobile accounted for 28% of all Web traffic. By not having a responsive design, you could be missing out on a big chunk of the market.

      • Mark Drake says:

        To back up what Emmy said above – I’d be surprised if you logged into your Google Anlaytics account and didn’t see a number pretty close to 30%. It’s different for each vertical, but gamers are usually technology enthusiasts. Imagine how many gamers look for things on their phone so they don’t have to take a break? It’s not limited to gaming – the whole act of stopping what you are doing to go boot up the computer is foreign to people nowadays. Responsive design is a must because people are turning to different sized devices more and more, and turning on their desktops less and less.

  16. Bobby says:

    Do you know of any wordpress themes (free or paid) that come close to this? Most of the app themes I’ve found force you to have a picture of an iphone and it’s stuck in portrait mode while my game is in landscape.

    • Emmy says:

      Hi! I don’t know of any off the top of my head, but I just did a quick search on Google for “landscape iPhone landing page templates” and found this guy: http://appifywp.com/app/pro/. You’ll probably want to investigate in more depth to make sure it is responsive, has social sharing and all the other “must-have” features. One thing to keep in mind is, even though most landers have the iPhone in portrait, they come with raw PSD files. So, if need be, you could always change the artwork. Hope this helps and good luck!

  17. Joe Chang says:

    Perfect! I was just about to go through the $0 marketing video and find the example of the perfect single page website! Thanks! :)

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