Starting an Online Dating Website
Starting a new online dating service is just like starting any new business. It takes careful thought and consideration. Included here will be some helpful hints and advice that I have learned through the years that have helped me to run my websites as successful enterprises.
The first task that you will need to overcome is the most crucial, who and what is your target audience. Saying that you want to open a website that appeals to all men and women from around the world will not get you very far on the Internet. You need to be more specialized. Pick a niche market and stick to it. For example, what about a dating site for the country you live in or the city you are from. How about a religious dating site or an ethnic matrimonial website.
Next choose the site name. Choose something memorable that will let people know what the site is about by just hearing the name. Don’t make the website address too long though.
The design of the site should be left to an expert such as your web developer. There are many website design companies out there so be sure to get a few quotes before parting with your hard earned money. Don’t be afraid to offer your views about the website, after all it is your business and not theirs. I have in my own experience encountered web designers that were more interested in just getting the job done and creating a site quickly rather than making it the best possible dating site they could. Have a good look at the competition in your niche market and this will give you a good idea of the type of services that are popular on these dating sites. Join a few as a guest member and see what they have to offer.
Creating a duplicate site to mimic your competition in the attempt to somehow piggyback on their success is not the route to success. You will need to try and stand apart from your competition. Offer some extra incentives to joining such as ‘6 months free if you don’t find someone within 6 months.’
Pictures are always helpful, try to get members photos on your homepage as this will help to attract possible clients in to your site. People are much too fussy when it comes to visiting a site and you need to grab their attention as quickly as possible. Put some of your sites most important information within bullet points. Make them concise and simple. A few well-written bullet points are worth paragraphs, as many visitors will admit to. Create a search for the site so visitors can search different criteria to narrow their search to find just who they are looking for.
Choose the pricing for Membership carefully and offer different levels of Memberships. Guest memberships should be free but ‘Guests’ can not write to other members but can only receive emails from them into their online inbox. Guests will need to upgrade to a premium membership to be able to access all the features of the website. Try offering different membership lengths from 6 months to 1 year. Obviously you will get more people signing up for 6 months.
When choosing keywords and description tags for your site, think of specific words that users would type to find a site like yours. No point choosing keywords like ‘dating’ as this is highly competitive and you simply won’t rank for it. Rather than single key words choose key phrases such as ‘Asian dating’ or ‘Hindu dating UK’. There will be less competition for these on the search engines. Roughly 80% of users find what they are looking for through search engines like Google & Yahoo.
When marketing the website over the Internet it is worth submitting to sites like Google and the other major search engines. It can take many months for your site to get listed in the major search engines so be patient. Don’t fall for the trap of those companies that say they can submit to over 1000 search engines as most of those use the results from the major search engines anyways. Becareful of the search engine submission companies. Many of them have the habit of breaking the search engines guidelines to get you higher rankings and these practices can get you banned for life. Speak to your web developer about adding some static html pages as dynamic content can not be read by search engine spiders. Add some content to those pages that are relevant to your site but do not make it specifically to get you higher rankings as this is also a quick way to getting you banned. Build your site for people and not search engines.
Keep the general look and feel of your new dating site simple, fun, and friendly. Always try and keep the attention of the site away from you the business owner and put the control firmly in their hands. By using the word ‘you’ a lot can have a positive effect. Word of mouth will be one your biggest advantages in marketing your dating site so the better you make your site for the customer then the better the likelihood of them recommending it to their friends & family.
About the Author
Shazia Shah has been a driving force behind the Free Muslim Dating website Muslim Engagement and Free Muslim matrimonial website Unattached Muslims, with Muslim Members from all over the UK
Muslim Matrimonial Dating UK