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According to TechCrunch, Twitch is the chosen platform for more than two million monthly broadcasters. Combine that figure with the number of users across Facebook and YouTube’s competing services, and it’s clear that live streaming is a viable way to reach audience segments that share your interests.
But if you’re already using these platforms to connect with audience members, is it also necessary to have a website? The answer isn’t so cut and dry. Here’s what to consider if you’re weighing launching your own streamer website.
The first (and most important) thing to consider is whether you have the time to both launch and manage a website. Websites aren’t static — they need to be consistently fed content to nurture an audience.
If you already have a streaming channel, chances are, you’re already amassing followers. So, you need to weigh whether it’s worth dividing your time and audience members between two separate platforms.
If you’re willing to invest the time, it might be worth launching your own website for a number of reasons:
- Search engine optimization (SEO): When you use a streaming platform, what you can do (from an SEO standpoint) is limited to the metadata the platform allows you to input. On Twitch, you can enter text for your video descriptions, channel descriptions, and panels. If you have your own website, you’ll likely have more opportunities (such as creating keyword-rich posts, organizing your text to make it scannable, or linking to other relevant content) to boost your SEO and rank higher in search engine results.
- Analytics: While Twitch and other streaming websites offer analytics about average viewers, subscriptions, estimated revenue per day, live views, and new followers, if you want richer metrics — through a tool like Google Analytics — then you’re out of luck.
With your own website, you’ll have the option to embed everything from your Twitch channel (including your live videos, clips, chats, and on-demand content). Additionally, if you have Google Analytics configured to measure your website’s overall performance and traffic on the pages where this content is embedded, you can access mobile performance reports, bounce rates, sources of referral traffic, new and returning visitors, and more. Combined with the channel analytics provided by Twitch, this gives you more insight into who your audience members are, and whether everything you’re doing to expand actually works.
If you’re new to live streaming, you may want to focus on building your audience through your streaming channel. Once it grows, it might make more sense to have a website that builds brand awareness and consolidates your offerings into a platform that you own and have more control over. If you want to branch out from live streaming to a medium where you can leverage your audience to generate other revenue opportunities (such as affiliate marketing or paid partnerships), then a website may be worthwhile, as you don’t need to share the revenue with streaming platforms. Generally, these platforms take a portion of the advertising revenue its broadcasters receive when visitors view and click the ads on their channels.
The best time to build a streamer website depends on the size and engagement level of your audience. If you already have a channel, creating your own streamer website isn’t a must. However, if you have a large enough following, a website may provide you with new opportunities to take control of your brand and generate revenue.
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