In this blog post, I am going to examine how I took my gaming website from literally zero traffic, to over 115,000 organic users in three short months.
Let me start by saying that this post is based off an experiment I did for a website that I own. It is in a niche which I am knowledgeable about and enjoyed doing research for it. That in itself is an important element to having a successful website. Having an interest in the niche makes it easier to create inspired content.
For the sake of this post, we are going to examine a website I created called PS4Fans.net. This site was created from scratch with a domain authority of 1.
I purchased the domain name about 2 year before the Playstation 4 was launched. I had some inner intuition that the PS4 would be major news in the gaming industry in the near future and as it turned out, it was one of the top 10 most trending topics of 2013.
After doing a bit of research, and gathering what information I could about the Playstation 4, I started a PS4 Facebook page for the website. The idea behind the Facebook page was for a fan based community, hence the name PS4Fans.
I figured having strong imagery would be key in attracting users to like the Facebook group. There weren’t any official images of the PS4 console and Sony was keeping everything on the low. After the first pictures of the PS4 were released, we had a lot to work with. It also really helped that Microsoft completely blundered their launch of the rival console, the Xbox One.
I knew that the Playstation vs Xbox rivalry was strong among gamers, so I played off that clearly choosing the side of Playstation. I created a series of dank memes promoting the rivalry and further inciting propaganda for the PS4.
As you can see, I did research about the topic, got involved with the community, and posted material people wanted to share to show their pride with PS4 over Xbox.
Over the next few months I set a schedule of when to post content on Facebook. I used the Buffer app and also the built in Facebook scheduling system. I researched the best times and posted about 3-5 things per day. The likes started to pour in, and in about three months I had 50,000 page likes.
I decided to also invest some money into a small budget for Facebook advertising. I didn’t invest much because I wasn’t actually selling anything off the page, so my ROI was technically zero.
I set my ads budget to $5.00/day and ran 5 different ads to start, for a total of approximately $25/day. I used a combinations of different pictures, texts, targeting regions, ad types (PPC vs CPM) and monitored how they performed over the next few days. After tweaking a few things here and there, I was able to come up with a strong ad with a combination of text, an image, while targeting English and Spanish regions using the CPM method. I found with Facebook ads and my niche, CPM way outperformed PPC.
After I found my perfect ad, I turned the other ads off and ran the single $5.00/day add over the next few months. I would also pause the ads during slow times.
I also started an Instagram account called @ps4fans and leveraged my existing Facebook page to promote it. My Instagram account started to grow at a very rapid rate as well right from the start. Another tactic I used to gain followers on my Instagram page quickly was to contact the admins of other Instagram accounts and offer them a share from my Facebook page in exchange for a share from their Instagram page. I was able to secure a few key shares from some big groups which catapulted my followers.
So now I have two strong social media groups expanding quickly on Facebook and Instagram. However, I used the larger Facebook group to feed my Instgram account. I also did the same for Twitter, but it didn’t expand nearly as fast. Twitter is a bit of a different breed for marketing and isn’t as visual as Facebook or Instagram.
While all was going on, I was developing a website and strengthening my brand by hiring a graphic designer to create a logo for me. I filled the website up with as much content as I could, but kept if offline.
I stayed in touch with the news about the PS4 and learned the eventually learned the date it would be made available for customers to purchase. I used this date to plan the launch of my website. I ended up launching the site approximately one month before the PS4 was made available to the public.
I also built up the launch of the website through my social channels. When I did eventually launch, I had about 50 pieces of content written (not all done by me) I was able to promote on Facebook in unique ways.
With hardly any SEO done to the website other than the standard on-page SEO, I was able to funnel over 115,000 users and almost 400,000 page views in three short months. The traffic continued to spike through the following year and I eventually hit over 1,000,000 page views which led to an amazing 10,000+ registered users on my website.
This was an experiment in the way of digital marketing using only Social Media. This was my first real deep dive into Facebook groups and their advertising platform. I have to admit, I got lazy with the PS4fans.net and stopped updating it. Working a full-time job at the Bank and having clients on the side left me with little time to keep up with its maintenance and creating fresh new articles on a daily basis. The gaming niche is crazy competitive and news is constantly happening around the clock.
As previously mentioned, very little SEO was done to my website, but with such a strong social signal being created, my content and articles from my website eventually started to SEO themselves. Natural and organic backlinks were created with very little effort on my side as outlets like reddit, n4g, and other gaming sites, were posting my content they found relevant.
At the end of the day, say what you want about Facebook, but I absolutely believe it still extremely powerful for driving traffic to your website and strengthening your brand. With all the millions of social media platforms these days, it’s hard to focus on all of them. Perhaps Facebook isn’t the greatest platform for other niches, but it is still the largest network and should be considered in your social strategy.