Half listening to the NPR on the radio the other day, I caught pieces of an interview with Jennifer Gibbs from Rutgers University, discussing the benefits of on-line dating sites. Various callers spoke about finding each other on-line and living happily ever after!
Ms. Gibbs mentioned that the pre-internet way to find a mate was local, and involved friends and acquaintances, college buddies, or workplace colleagues. The internet opened dating up to a much larger pool of possible contacts. She said it was like walking into a room and having the people who are looking to date all raise their hands and say “Pick me, pick me!”
Wheels turned in the geek part of my brain. In order to get the right hands to go up, the person signing up for the site needs to really think about how to market him or herself. You want to be connected to the potential partners who are thinking like you. Are you looking for happily ever after? Should it be someone who shares your interests? Then you need to spend some quality time getting to know yourself and what is important to you, so you can communicate that effectively. You don’t want to attract people who like long walks in the moonlight, when you would rather run on the beach in the early morning!
I am sure you can see where this is going. The internet opened up the whole world to business, as well as dating. Even more importantly now, you need to market your site to the people with their hands up saying “We need your product or service!” Spend some time figuring out exactly what your business is, and the benefits to your customers. Find out how people looking for your business are searching. Use the terminology that they use, not insider jargon.
Just like a first date, when potential customers land on your site, be clear about who you are, and what you offer. Don’t show up for the date wearing a fake nose and mustache. Think about the kinds of questions that someone coming to the site will have. Make sure the answers are accurate and easy to find. The more up front your site is, the better quality of traffic will flow to your site, whether you are selling a product, or sharing information, or looking for that perfect mate!
Photo credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1265745
Regina Sillitti is Project Coordinator for Dinkum Interactive. She has worked in programming, design, business analysis and quality assurance. Her background in design and data processing give her a unique perspective on client – tech translation. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.