Trying to compete in the dating agency digital space is hard and we mean really hard.
It’s super competitive and existing well-established dating agency websites have already cemented their brand and position on Google making it almost impossible for new entrants to dip their toes in the water and make a living in this space online.
Having said that, like other market niches online, where the chances of entering and succeeding some next to impossible, there is a way to edge in and be competitive if you have the right strategy and this is exactly what we managed t achieve for Melbourne dating agency website Blue Label Life.
I am bragging a bit here and this may sound like some sort of testimonial but if the truth is known we were asked to take over this website roughly 12 months ago from writing this blog ( July 2019 and revised on Dec ’21). And, from the moment we took it over we knew that we had a large mountain to climb and I will detail these in a bit more detail.
Rankings were suffering. They had been using two even three different web and SEO agencies to try and get the formula right but they never seemed to be quite able to get there. For their main keywords, they seemed to be hovering on page 3 or 4 and were relying far too heavily on the Adwords option. This was unsustainable and completely out of their budget comfort zone. Essentially, they were spending far too much on Adwords with little or no consumer engagement.
Let me elaborate on this further.
What I mean by this is that they were getting clicks through to the site but they were not converting these potential customers which leads me to the next point.
Low conversion rates: While the website was semi ok, it was not a high converting site. People came there but found it a tad confusing with far too many giveaways, ebooks and poor navigation pathways. Overall, it was far too cluttered with mixed messages. And with all these add ons is diluted the trust value of the site. Customers felt that it was far too busy and this cheapened the overall experience.
This was a throwback to their earlier designers who felt that they could throw everything at the site and hope something sticks with the consumer. How wrong this was!
In today’s super-competitive online space, messages have to be clear and they have to be short and snappy with an approach that ‘less is more’. Which is exactly the opposite of what people thought Google was looking for about three to four years ago when jargon words like content was king was thrown around. While this may be true, you do walk a very fine line between overuse of irrelevant content and content that’s too thin for the page.
We feel that the days of lengthy pages with far too much content are over and this has been enforced with new Google algorithms. What Google is looking for are pages that excite & engage people to connect and browse. Search Engine Journal tells us in their article Content As A Google Ranking Factor: What You Need to Know – No doubt, content is an integral part of your digital marketing and SEO strategies. You cannot do SEO without something to put on the page.
The more engaging the site and the longer someone stays on your site the more likely it is they will make an inquiry. Google can measure this through what is termed ‘bounce rates’ and the less this bounce rate the better your eventual rankings. I won’t go into too much detail here about bounce rates but you can read more about what Google has to say about it here.
The problem with the Blue Label Life website was their bounce rates. They were pretty high and this was not only affecting conversions but it was affecting their rankings. Our job was to see to it that these rankings improved and bounce rates declined. You can easily check your website bounce rates via your Google Analytics account.
To address these flaws we had to fix some fundamental issues with the website such as:
– lack of clear inquiry pathways
– overuse of wordy copy
– title tags and page descriptions were incorrect
– copy was over spammy
– there were no H1, H2, H3 tags on each page
– the graphics were outdated
– the site was not mobile friendly and this was a serious issue for the user experience as well as Google rankings.
– it was far too slow to load with large hi-res images
– no site map
– lack of clear branding
– old repetitive outdated blogs that were far too content thin. We have had to go through each blog article, make updates to make them more Google compliant.
– the list goes on but we’ll leave it there for now.
One major point was the online rankings.
The site had little branding except for their logo and there was nothing to differentiate them from their competition who had solid, well-recognised brand names. It was up to us to reposition them in the marketplace and establish their niche position. Basically, they couldn’t look like everyone else. Were they aiming at the luxury end of the market or were they appealing to everyone? As a luxury, high-end dating service this point had to be clearly communicated through a new design style and a complete overhaul of their brand and website.
Three years down the track the site is thriving and one of the most successful players in this space.
The moral here is that there is room for everyone online but you have to be prepared to let design experts have a go at it. Then and only then will you have any chance of being competitive.