8BitJosh Showcases His Video Content
8BitJosh is an over 40 variety streamer with a focus on sim/management games, indie games, retro games and horror games who tries to create an inclusive community where all are welcome. As part of his strategy to grow his Twitch and YouTube channels, Josh approached us about building a simple landing page he could use to highlight his YouTube content, viewer stats, active partnerships, and more.
Together, we designed an aesthetic for the website that complements the visual assets he already uses in his video content. Leveraging the power of Eleventy and the YouTube API, we were able to set him up with a no-cost static site that he can easily maintain. Add a sprinkling of SEO know-how, and this little website becomes a big marketing tool.
Here's what we did.
- $0 Hosting Costs
- 2nd Result on Google
- Automated Content Updates
Designing a Retro-Gaming Inspired Website
Josh provided us with his basic branding guidelines and left the rest of the design work to us. Colors, font choices, and visual assets in hand, we got to brainstorming.
Few things say "retro gaming" as iconically as the original Nintendo Entertainment System – yes, SEGA fans, we hear your boo's – and its 8-bit pixel art graphics. We decided to lean into the retro video game vibe just a little, with a few 8-bit graphical elements accenting the content.
The cursor takes the form of a fun pixel art hand, while we wrap special buttons and "cards" for Josh's videos in a pixelated border as gentle nods to video games' early history. These simple details add a touch of nostalgia that blends well with Josh's existing retro-inspired brand visuals.
Automating Website Content Updates
In order to easily keep the site up to date, we provided an integration with the YouTube API to automatically fetch the latest 8BitJosh videos every time the site is built. This was later expanded to include the channel's most popular videos to highlight even more of his content.
We recommended an easy-to-use automation setup that results in a totally hands-off way of keeping the site's content fresh. By automating a daily build, the 8BitJosh website can feature the latest videos with no changes to Josh's existing publishing process.
Static sites make automated workflows like this a breeze to implement.
Improving 8BitJosh's Search Ranking
After launching the new website, we got to work on monitoring its search ranking. Initially, a Google search for "8BitJosh" would yield a mix of social media profiles. Some of these were Josh's, others were variations on the username on unrelated websites used by other people. Worst of all, Josh's own website didn't appear in the top 50 results at all! Meanwhile, a search for "8BitJosh Videos" did bring up the website as the 11th result. Clearly this isn't the kind of brand recognition Josh is looking for, but these initial rankings did give us some clues as to what Google believed about the site.
When people search for your brand, you really want to be the first result. With a landing page like 8BitJosh's, this can sometimes be tricky. If you only have one page to work with, a lot of common SEO strategies are off the table. However, with strong on-page and technical SEO, even a one-page website can rank well.
We provided Josh with a handful of recommendations to help the site rank higher on searches for his brand.
First, we rewrote small sections of the text to better match search intent, and recommended an expansion of what to include on the site to provide additional keyword opportunities. Second, we applied a number of technical SEO improvements, including the use of structured data to help the site qualify for rich results. And third, we found a few opportunities for Josh to link to his new website to expand the site's backlink profile.
Within two weeks of implementing our improvements, the site's search ranking rose significantly. A search for "8BitJosh" placed the website 3rd, directly behind his Twitter and YouTube pages, while a search for "8BitJosh Videos" placed the site 2nd, behind only his YouTube channel. SEO is an ongoing process that's never fully finished, but 2nd and 3rd aren't bad places to be on a search page. Especially when the only sites outranking you are still you!
From here, Josh has a solid foundation to build upon his brand in search of new audiences.
What Makes a Good Content Creator Website?
Content creators building communities on social platforms like YouTube and Twitch face some difficult challenges finding audiences. They frequently find themselves at the whims of big-tech algorithms that can radically shift how potential audiences are able to find them. Viewership can rise and fall in huge swings, putting a predictable income from this kind of work out of reach for most. Maintaining a space they fully own and operate – even a simple one like 8BitJosh's – offers an opportunity to more directly influence discoverability of their content.
A good content creator website:
- Is low-cost
- Extends their content branding
- Is easily updated
- Increases the creator's discoverability
- Comes with no platform lock-in
For small streamers like 8BitJosh, the unpredictability of income can make marketing investments like a website feel out of reach. Our solution addressed this concern by having no on-going hosting costs. Josh's website can easily be hosted for free on a wide variety of hosting environments. Keeping the site to a single page kept initial development costs down as well.
✅ The site is low-cost.
Working with us to craft something complementary to his existing brand assets freed Josh from the constraints of self-serve website builder platforms. By building upon what Josh already had, we designed a simple complementary website theme in a short period of time.
✅ The site extends the content branding.
By configuring an integration with the YouTube API, and a free automation solution, the site is able to have fresh content with no additional effort on Josh's part. Utilizing a static site generator like Eleventy makes this and other content updates simple to do.
✅ The site is easily updated.
With an online space truly his own, Josh has more control over how his brand is represented and can be discovered online. Critically, this space exists outside of the big-tech platforms his content is published on, and can be changed however he likes in the future. With our guidance, searches for 8BitJosh now rank very highly – something the major platforms didn't achieve for him.
✅ The site increases discoverability.
By leveraging a custom static website solution architected by us, the 8BitJosh website is tied to no particular web host or platform. Unlike a website made with a self-serve platform such as Squarespace or Wix, the entire website can be moved from one hosting environment to another in a matter of minutes – with or without the source code.
✅ The site comes with no platform lock-in.
Custom-Crafted Static Websites For Content Creators
Content creators often have choice of platform forced upon them (they have to go where the audience is). Our solution ensures their website doesn't face the same restriction.
With a static website, Twitch streamers, YouTubers and other-platform content creators can have a low-cost, easy-to-maintain website. Backed by expert web development and SEO services, the website can be a powerful tool to help reach new audiences. No big marketing budget required.
As our work with 8BitJosh proves, a custom-crafted website doesn't need to be complex or expensive to be effective.