Online games are a popular form of entertainment today. From fantasy-based games like World of Warcraft, to games geared toward children like Neopets, to those that open the doors of creativity like Second Life, these games all havethe ability to immerse people in the “world” and encourage them to spend time (and sometimes money) to come back again and again. Surprisingly, the things that set a popular online game apart from those that fail are quite often the same things that make a website succeed. When you are creating your webpage, keep in mind the lessons you can learn from online gaming.
Keep it Fresh
The best online games are constantly adding new content. A fantasy game may add a new place for players to adventure, while a children’s site may follow the latest trends in terms of music and fashion. Doing the same thing encourages visitors to come back to your website. Many business owners and web developers take this advice and “phone it in.” Developers add additional or new content to keep it looking fresh for the search engines. However, this is not good enough. If you want your visitors to come back, you need creative content that is useful to them. One of the easiest ways for a website to keep things fresh is by adding a blog. You can regularly update the blog with the latest information about your industry, news that your customers can use and even insight into your company. No matter how you do it, always offer something new—giving customers a reason to come back again and again.
While not every website can be as interactive and fun as an online game, visitors who feel like they are actively participating in your site will want to visit it more regularly. What can you do to get your customers involved? A forum or message area is a good choice for many websites, while other businesses may want to hold a contest or event to boost customer interaction. One of the biggest draws to an online game is that every action a player makes impacts the game world. Think about ways that your customers can make an impact on your website—they will appreciate the chance to make a difference.
Appeal to the Desire to Succeed
Online games almost all have some sort of system to allow players to “keep score.” Whether this is an actual scoreboard, an achievement system or perhaps virtual trophies that are awarded to a player’s profile, this is something you can replicate with your own website. Virtually reward your regular customer, take note of those who often comment or participate in your message boards, or find another way to recognize those customers or visitors that make your page a success.
As you can see, online games have more in common with your webpage than you probably thought. Look at the ways they succeed in attracting and keeping customers and make it work for your page. You will appreciate the results!
Tracy S is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.