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How To Sell More Games on Steam! (Store Page Optimization)

Jonas Tyroller2021-03-29
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172K views|3 years ago
💫 Short Summary

In this video, a professional marketer discusses the key elements of a successful Steam page for a game, emphasizing the importance of clearly conveying the game's unique features and gameplay within the first few seconds to capture potential buyers' attention. Specific tips are provided for optimizing elements such as the capsule image, trailer, and tags on the Steam page. Steve discusses the importance of tagging and the Steam algorithm for game developers, emphasizing the need to tag games with relevant and specific terms to improve visibility and recommendations. He advises to use the tag wizard in Steamworks and to avoid generic tags like 'indie.' Additionally, he recommends using animated gifs in the game's description to showcase its quality and features. Steam Page Optimization Tips for Indie Game Developers" provides advice on using animated gifs, creating an effective "About" section, and optimizing Steam page analytics, with an emphasis on generating wishlists before launching to make a big impact on Steam. The video also discusses the importance of repeating key information multiple times on the Steam page. In the video, a game developer discusses ways to promote a game on Steam and generate wishlists, including YouTube videos, festivals, big streamers, betas, Reddit and Imgur posts, and maintaining a strong Steam page. The developer also provides insights into traffic and visibility data on Steam. Steam expert John H." provides feedback on how to improve a game's performance on Steam, discussing the importance of discovery queue, tags, and screenshots in attracting potential players. He also analyzes the Steam page for a game called "Carlson," offering suggestions for optimizing its presentation to better showcase its gameplay elements. Steam page expert analyzes and provides feedback on indie games Hollow Knight and Will You Snail, emphasizing the importance of showcasing gameplay in trailers and using descriptive tags and short descriptions to effectively convey the game's unique features and mechanics. Additionally, he discusses the significance of including diverse and informative screenshots, as well as the implications of comparing a game to established successes in the indie gaming industry. Steam page expert analyzes and provides feedback on the store pages of two indie metroidvania games, 'Hollow Knight' and 'Gleamlight,' discussing the effectiveness of their visuals, descriptions, and trailers in conveying the unique features and gameplay mechanics of the games. During a game review on Steam, the reviewer provides tips for improving the visibility and appeal of indie games, including the importance of accurate tags, the need for engaging trailers and varied screenshots, and the potential impact of pixel art on perception. The reviewer also emphasizes the significance of setting up a Steam page early and showcasing the game's quality and depth to attract wishlist additions. The video provides feedback and tips for indie game developers based on the presentation of their game on Steam. It includes insights on tags, live broadcasts, page design, and game descriptions, highlighting the importance of clarity and professionalism to attract players and stand out on the platform. In this video, game developer and marketer Jonas discusses the promotion of indie games on Steam. He emphasizes the power of cross-promotion with other developers who have similar games, as well as the importance of updating and posting events to keep a game visible on the platform. Jonas also mentions his newsletter and free class as resources for game developers looking to market their games effectively on Steam.

✨ Highlights
📊 Transcript
Introduction to the importance of Steam pages in game development
00:00
Steam pages need to clearly communicate the type of game and what makes it unique.
The Steam page is like the 'endcap' in a grocery store - it's the most important thing to nail for selling your game.
Tags are important for showing up in recommended sections on Steam.
06:00
Tags help the Steam algorithm recommend games to users based on their preferences.
Games should have tags that indicate what other similar games they are like.
Top five tags are the most important for a game.
How to use tags on Steam as a developer.
08:00
Use Steamworks to edit tags for your game, as it has a step-by-step tag wizard.
Tags chosen through Steamworks count more than tags added by random users.
Developers should avoid using the 'indie' tag as it is too generic and doesn't distinguish the game.
Developers can ban tags that don't apply to their game in their developer account.
The importance of using images and animated gifs in the game description on Steam.
12:00
Steam shoppers prefer images and animated gifs over long text descriptions.
Animated gifs can showcase the quality and style of the game, especially for 2D and pixel art games.
Using animated gifs can convey that the game has good animation and visual effects.
Animated GIFs are recommended for showcasing advanced AI algorithms.
13:00
Animated GIFs are always better for showcasing AI algorithms.
People don't read explanations, but they can understand the AI spike insertion through a one-second animated GIF.
The 'About' section on a Steam page is like a trailer that auto-plays, designed to maintain the viewer's interest.
The purpose of the 'About' section on a Steam page is to convince potential buyers who are already interested in the game.
14:00
People visiting the Steam page already find the game interesting and are looking for reasons to be less interested.
The 'About' section should be treated like a trailer and repeat key information from the actual trailer and screenshots.
Steam page analytics show that wishlists are the most important factor, with at least 10,000 wishlists needed for a big impact.
15:00
Steam algorithm promotes games with around 10,000 wishlists
Having a high number of wishlists is crucial for visibility and not being hidden by the algorithm
Resting rate for wishlists can be observed when not running promotions or marketing activities
Steam allows for the display of wishlist and other statistics, and wishlists can be influenced by YouTube promotion.
17:00
The correlation between YouTube views and wishlists is observed
Resting rate for wishlists can be identified by shutting down YouTube promotion and observing the baseline
The importance of driving traffic to your game's Steam page
19:00
Receiving about 100 wishlists per week on Steam is considered very good for a platformer game, and it's achieved by sending a lot of traffic to your Steam page.
YouTube videos can be very effective in driving traffic to your Steam page, especially if the video goes viral.
Other ways to drive traffic and generate wishlists include participating in festivals, getting coverage from big streamers, running betas, and posting on Reddit or Imgur.
Having a well-optimized Steam page can increase your visibility and resting rate, leading to more traffic and wishlists.
Methods to drive traffic and generate wishlists for your game on Steam
21:00
Participating in festivals like MIX and PAX can get you 700-1000 wishlists.
Getting covered by a big streamer can result in 500-2000 wishlists.
Promoting and running betas can generate 1000-1500 wishlists if done well.
Posting a viral story on Reddit or Imgur can get you 400-1500 wishlists.
Having a well-optimized Steam page with good tags can increase your resting rate and visibility.
YouTube traffic directly impacts the click-through rate to your Steam page.
Understanding Steam page visibility and traffic
24:00
High click-through rate from YouTube traffic to Steam page
Impressions, visits, and click-through rate are important metrics for Steam page visibility
Professional and appealing capsule for your game can improve click-through rate
Direct navigation and search suggestions on Steam also contribute to traffic
Discovery Queue on Steam
26:00
Discovery Queue is a high-traffic source for people who don't have YouTube channels to find games on Steam.
Steam uses the Discovery Queue to recommend 10 games per day based on the user's past gameplay and preferences.
Low Discovery Queue numbers for a game may indicate that Steam doesn't know what type of game it is due to poor tags.
Improving tags can increase the number of times a game is shown in the Discovery Queue.
The performance in the Discovery Queue is an indicator of how confident Steam is about your game type.
Importance of Describing Gameplay in Short Description and Tags
32:00
The speaker emphasizes the need to explicitly mention gameplay mechanics like grappling hook, rocket jumping, and parkour in the short description.
Tags should include specific sub-genres for FPS games to accurately reflect the type of gameplay.
Animations or GIFs showcasing important game mechanics like grapple hook and parkour should be included in the about section to reiterate key points.
Steam Page Feedback for Carlson
02:33:00
The reviewer praises the use of animated GIF but suggests including a gif for the grapple hook and parkour as well.
Repetition of important information from the trailer in the about section is recommended as it serves as a backup for those who missed it.
The importance of using specific tags for the game's genre is highlighted.
Comparison with Hollow Knight Steam Page
04:35:00
Indie developers are advised not to compare themselves too much with big successful games like Hollow Knight, especially if it's their first time making a game.
Hollow Knight's steam page is praised for showing gameplay within the first few seconds and conveying the metroidvania style.
Having multiple trailers on the steam page is not ideal for smaller games.
Screenshots are important and should showcase the breadth of the game, avoiding repetition of similar content.
UI elements in screenshots can convey important information to potential players.
The complexity of the UI in a game can signal to players that it offers deep and engaging gameplay.
Analysis of Hollow Knight Steam Page Short Description
06:38:00
The term 'epic action-adventure' is criticized for being overused, but the speaker acknowledges that Hollow Knight has earned that description.
The short description emphasizes the player's ability to forge their own path in the game.
The first game, Kingdom of Insects, is a Metroidvania game with a focus on exploration, battling creatures, and befriending bugs.
39:00
The art style and visuals of the game are unique and can be understood through screenshots.
The game is described as a Metroidvania with elements similar to Dark Souls and is a challenging platformer.
The Steam page effectively communicates the type of game Kingdom of Insects is.
Feedback on the game Glitchion, another Metroidvania game, includes the importance of clear genre indication, concise description, and explicit explanation of unique abilities.
40:00
Clear indication of the platformer and Metroidvania genre is appreciated.
Short descriptions should focus on gameplay and controls rather than lore.
Unique abilities like 'glitchy abilities' should be explicitly explained, with examples if possible.
Investing in professional logo and capsule art for marketing is recommended.
Showcasing gameplay features and unique abilities in animated gifs is important for capturing interest.
Inadequate tag structure and similar screenshots are causing confusion for the game Slime Keep.
45:00
Tags like 'atmospheric single player' are not helping to categorize the game properly.
Suggested to focus on tags that match similar games like Hollow Knight or Ori and the Blind Forest.
The absence of a trailer and variation in screenshots may lead to a perception of low quality, especially for pixel art games.
Screenshots all look very similar, which could give the impression of a lack of depth in the game.
Early setup of a Steam page for a game with limited content is still beneficial for collecting wishlists, but the page should be updated with more varied images and possibly a video.
48:00
Setting up a Steam page early to collect wishlists is important.
Even with limited content, it is beneficial to have a presence on Steam.
Suggested to include more varied images and possibly a video on the Steam page.
Pixel art games in early stages may struggle with the perception of quality, so it's important to showcase the best aspects of the game.
Using fully illustrated capsule images and including gameplay trailers can enhance the perceived quality and prestige of the game.
50:00
Fully illustrated capsule images show that the developer can invest in quality art.
Including gameplay trailers is important, but having a separate trailer for prestige with animated or cinematic elements can also enhance the perception of quality.
The 'indie' tag at the top is a wasted opportunity for a better tag that could improve visibility.
Incorrect Tags and Game Matching
51:00
The video mentions that the tags for the game are incorrect, as a side-scroller like Dead Cells is being associated with it.
It is recommended to compare the game to Nuclear Throne or Binding of Isaac and use similar tags for better visibility.
The speaker suggests being honest about the game's release year, mentioning that games often take longer to develop than expected.
Importance of Livestreams and Visuals
52:00
Livestreams and live broadcasts can help to showcase the game's progress and improve visibility, especially during events or when launching a major update.
Having a high number of viewers during a livestream can increase the chances of being featured on the front page of platforms like Steam.
Visuals play a crucial role in conveying the quality and style of the game, with the presence of graphic designers being a sign of prestige.
Feedback on Game Page Capsule
54:00
The speaker describes the game page as having a luxurious and expensive feel, similar to being in a high-end hotel.
They praise the use of simple and professional-looking text in the game capsule.
There is a suggestion to improve the silhouette of the windmill in the hex tile for better visual clarity.
The game is identified as a peaceful building strategy puzzle game with a focus on creating a beautiful village landscape.
Game Description and Tags
55:00
The game description uses action verbs like 'placing tiles' and 'building' to clearly convey gameplay mechanics.
Tags like 'indie', 'early access', and 'casual' are deemed somewhat generic and may not effectively differentiate the game.
The speaker explains that 'casual' has evolved in meaning within the indie game community, originally referring to games like solitaire but now associated with non-violent and aesthetically pleasing games.
The game is compared to 'Islanders' and a cross promotion with them is mentioned.
Cross-promotion is a powerful way for indie game developers to promote their games.
58:00
Find a friend who makes a game similar to yours and cross-promote to each other's audiences.
💫 FAQs about This YouTube Video

1. What are the key elements of a successful Steam page for a game?

A successful Steam page for a game should clearly communicate the type of game and what makes it unique, as well as effectively showcase the gameplay and hook potential buyers within the first 45 seconds of their visit.

2. Why is it important to convey the gameplay and unique selling points of a game on the Steam page?

Conveying the gameplay and unique selling points of a game on the Steam page is crucial to capture the attention of potential buyers within the first 45 seconds of their visit, as this can significantly impact their decision to explore the game further and make a purchase.

3. What role do Steam page elements like capsule image, trailer, and short description play in attracting potential buyers?

The capsule image, trailer, and short description on a Steam page play a crucial role in attracting potential buyers by quickly showcasing the game's visual identity, gameplay, and unique selling points, and hooking the viewers within the first 45 seconds of their visit.

4. How do people browse a Steam page when looking for a game?

When looking for a game on Steam, people typically browse the Steam page by first assessing the capsule image, watching the trailer, and reading the short description to quickly understand the type of game and its unique selling points within the first 45 seconds of their visit.

5. What are the important factors to consider when creating tags for a game on Steam?

When creating tags for a game on Steam, it's important to include relevant terms that accurately describe the game's genre, features, and unique selling points to ensure the game is effectively categorized and discoverable by potential buyers.

6. How important are tags for a game on Steam?

Tags are very important for a game on Steam as they help in matching the game with similar ones and improving its visibility in the Steam store.

7. What is the significance of having similar tags to other games on Steam?

Having similar tags to other games on Steam helps in indicating the type and genre of the game, making it more visible to the right audience and improving its chance of being recommended by the Steam algorithm.

8. How can developers effectively use tags to promote their games on Steam?

Developers can effectively use tags to promote their games on Steam by choosing tags that accurately represent the game's genre, gameplay, and features, and by ensuring that the top five tags are the most relevant and important.

9. Why is it recommended to match the top five tags with similar games on Steam?

Matching the top five tags with similar games on Steam is recommended because these tags are considered the most important for the game's visibility and recommendation by the Steam algorithm.

10. What is the impact of allowing random people to tag games on Steam?

Allowing random people to tag games on Steam can lead to irrelevant tags that may not accurately represent the game, affecting its visibility and recommendation to the right audience.

11. How can developers make their game tags more effective on Steam?

Developers can make their game tags more effective on Steam by using the tag wizard in Steamworks to choose tags and by regularly updating and managing the tags to ensure they accurately represent the game and its unique features.

12. What is the significance of using animated gifs in a game's description on Steam?

Using animated gifs in a game's description on Steam is significant as it helps showcase the gameplay, visual effects, and overall quality of the game, which can attract and engage potential players browsing the Steam store.

13. How can animated gifs be effective in showcasing game features?

Animated gifs can effectively showcase game features by providing a quick visual overview, such as demonstrating an advanced AI algorithm placing a spike when the character lands, which can be easily conveyed through a constantly moving gif.

14. What is the purpose of the 'About' section on a game's Steam page?

The purpose of the 'About' section on a game's Steam page is to serve as a trailer that autoplay...

15. How can I increase wishlists for my game on Steam?

You can increase wishlists for your game on Steam by utilizing various strategies such as running betas, participating in festivals, getting coverage from streamers, and creating a compelling Steam page with professional visuals.

16. What are the key strategies for promoting a game on Steam?

The key strategies for promoting a game on Steam include running betas, participating in festivals, getting coverage from streamers, and creating a compelling Steam page with professional visuals. These strategies can help increase wishlists for your game.

17. Is YouTube promotion effective for driving traffic to a game's Steam page?

Yes, the video discusses the effectiveness of YouTube promotion for driving traffic to a game's Steam page. It is mentioned that having a viral video can lead to a significant increase in wishlists for the game.

18. What role do festivals and streamer coverage play in promoting a game on Steam?

Festivals and streamer coverage play a significant role in promoting a game on Steam. Participating in festivals can help attract attention to the game and generate wishlists, while getting coverage from popular streamers can also lead to increased interest and wishlists.

19. How important is the creation of a compelling Steam page for a game's success?

The creation of a compelling Steam page is highly important for a game's success on the platform. A well-designed and visually appealing Steam page can attract potential players and contribute to the generation of wishlists for the game.

20. What is the discovery queue on Steam and how does it impact game discovery?

The discovery queue on Steam is a high-traffic source for game discovery, where Steam recommends games to users. It can impact game discovery by showcasing a game to potential players based on their interests and past gameplay.

21. How important are the first four screenshots on a Steam game page?

The first four screenshots on a Steam game page are crucial for showcasing the key gameplay elements of the game. They play a significant role in capturing the interest of potential players and communicating the essence of the game.

22. What are the key factors that can make a game successful in the discovery queue on Steam?

The key factors that can make a game successful in the discovery queue on Steam include having accurate tags, appealing visuals, and showcasing the core gameplay elements prominently. Additionally, understanding the preferences of the target audience is essential for success in the discovery queue.

23. How does the discovery queue impact game visibility and user engagement on Steam?

The discovery queue has a significant impact on game visibility and user engagement on Steam. By featuring a game to potential players who are likely to be interested based on their past gameplay and preferences, the discovery queue can boost game visibility and attract user engagement.

24. Why is it important for game developers to optimize their Steam game pages for the discovery queue?

It is important for game developers to optimize their Steam game pages for the discovery queue to enhance their game's visibility, attract potential players, and increase user engagement. By effectively utilizing the discovery queue, developers can improve the discoverability of their games on Steam.

25. What are the important elements to include in the short description and tags when creating a Steam page for a game?

The short description and tags on a Steam page for a game should clearly communicate the gameplay features, such as using a grappling hook, rocket jumping, and parkour. It's important to be explicit and descriptive, and to use tags that accurately represent the game and make it easy for potential players to find.

26. How can indie game developers enhance their Steam pages to attract more attention?

Indie game developers can enhance their Steam pages by showcasing key gameplay features in the short description and tags, and by including engaging and informative trailers and screenshots. It's also important to avoid comparisons to highly successful games and focus on effectively communicating the unique selling points of the game.

27. What are the important elements of a Steam page for a game in terms of showcasing gameplay features?

A Steam page for a game should effectively showcase gameplay features such as the use of a grappling hook, rocket jumping, and parkour. Including these key elements in the short description, tags, trailers, and screenshots can help attract more attention from potential players and accurately represent the game.

28. How can indie game developers effectively communicate the unique selling points of their games on Steam?

Indie game developers can effectively communicate the unique selling points of their games on Steam by clearly showcasing the gameplay features, using descriptive tags, and creating engaging trailers and screenshots. It's important to focus on what makes the game stand out and avoid comparisons to highly successful games.

29. What should indie game developers focus on when creating the short description and tags for their game's Steam page?

Indie game developers should focus on clearly communicating the gameplay features, such as the use of a grappling hook, rocket jumping, and parkour, in the short description and tags for their game's Steam page. Being explicit and descriptive, and using tags that accurately represent the game, can help attract more attention from potential players.

30. What is the gameplay style of the game Kingdom of Insects?

The game Kingdom of Insects is described as a Metroidvania with the ability to explore, battle creatures, and befriend bizarre bugs in a 2D style.

31. What are the key features of the game Kingdom of Insects?

The key features of Kingdom of Insects include exploration, creature battles, and befriending bizarre bugs, all within a 2D Metroidvania gameplay style.

32. How is the game Kingdom of Insects visually described?

The game Kingdom of Insects is visually described as having unique and captivating visuals, allowing players to immerse themselves in the world of bizarre bugs and creature battles.

33. What genre does the game Kingdom of Insects belong to?

Kingdom of Insects belongs to the Metroidvania genre, offering players the opportunity to explore, battle creatures, and befriend bizarre bugs in a visually captivating 2D style.

34. What can players expect from the gameplay of Kingdom of Insects?

Players can expect engaging exploration, challenging creature battles, and the opportunity to befriend bizarre bugs in the 2D Metroidvania world of Kingdom of Insects.

35. Why is it important to have a clear and representative trailer on a Steam page?

Having a clear and representative trailer on a Steam page is important because it helps to showcase the quality and gameplay of the game, especially for pixel art games that may suffer from a perception of being cheap. It also allows the developer to start collecting wishlists early, which is crucial for the success of the game on Steam.

36. What are the key factors to consider when setting up a Steam page for a game that is still early in development?

When setting up a Steam page for a game that is still early in development, it is important to focus on showcasing the potential and quality of the game through clear and varied images or videos. It's also crucial to start collecting wishlists early to gauge interest and ensure a successful launch on Steam.

37. How can indie game developers overcome the perception of pixel art games being cheap on platforms like Steam?

Indie game developers can overcome the perception of pixel art games being cheap by showcasing the quality and gameplay of their game through clear and representative trailers or images. It's also important to start collecting wishlists early to demonstrate the potential success of the game on platforms like Steam.

38. What is the significance of having a fully illustrated capsule image for a game on Steam?

Having a fully illustrated capsule image for a game on Steam is significant as it helps to enhance the perceived quality of the game and attract more attention from potential players. It provides a visual representation of the game's depth and can contribute to overcoming any negative perceptions, especially for pixel art games.

39. Why is it important for indie game developers to start collecting wishlists early for their games on Steam?

It is important for indie game developers to start collecting wishlists early for their games on Steam because wishlists can serve as a strong indicator of interest and potential success. Early wishlists also contribute to a higher chance of featuring on Steam and achieving a successful launch for the game.

40. How can adding accurate tags help in promoting a game on Steam?

Adding accurate tags can help in promoting a game on Steam by ensuring that the game is matched with the right audience and displayed in relevant search results, increasing its visibility and potential for attracting players.

41. What is the importance of live broadcasts and graphic design in showcasing a game's prestige?

Live broadcasts and graphic design can showcase a game's prestige by signaling to potential players that the game development team is active and capable, contributing to a positive perception of the game and generating interest.

42. In what way does the visual presentation of a game's Steam page contribute to the overall perception of the game?

The visual presentation of a game's Steam page contributes significantly to the overall perception of the game by conveying its quality, style, and professionalism, which can attract potential players and influence their decision to explore the game further.

43. How can a clear and descriptive game description enhance the appeal of a game on its Steam page?

A clear and descriptive game description can enhance the appeal of a game on its Steam page by effectively communicating the gameplay, features, and unique selling points, capturing the interest of potential players and encouraging them to learn more about the game.

44. What is the significance of using appropriate tags to differentiate a game and avoid generic labeling on Steam?

Using appropriate tags is significant to differentiate a game and avoid generic labeling on Steam as it helps accurately define the game's unique qualities, genre, and gameplay elements, enabling it to stand out and be more easily discovered by potential players.

45. How can indie game developers effectively promote their games?

Indie game developers can effectively promote their games by cross-promoting with others who have made similar games, keeping their game updated with events to show ongoing development, and utilizing resources like the How to Market a Game newsletter and free Steam page class.

46. What is the importance of cross-promotion for indie game developers?

Cross-promotion is important for indie game developers because it allows them to reach a wider audience by partnering with others who have made similar games, creating a mutually beneficial promotion strategy.

47. How can indie game developers keep their games updated to show ongoing development?

Indie game developers can keep their games updated by regularly adding events and updates to their game, especially during early access, to show that the game is actively being developed and to avoid the perception of a 'dead game'.

48. What resources are available for indie game developers to learn about game promotion?

Indie game developers can utilize resources like the How to Market a Game newsletter and free Steam page class to learn about game promotion and marketing strategies.

49. What are the key strategies for indie game developers to promote their games on Steam?

The key strategies for indie game developers to promote their games on Steam include keeping their game updated with events, utilizing cross-promotion with other similar games, and learning about game promotion through resources like the How to Market a Game newsletter and free Steam page class.