Online Dating Magazine estimates that there are more than 20 million users of dating websites, and in the United States alone, over 30,000 marriages a year occur as a direct result of free internet dating.
Now here at Distilled we’re pretty adept at optimising sites for search; but as it’s Valentine’s Day; today we figured why not try optimising for cupid instead. And so without further ado – here is some advice for SEOs on how to optimise that dating profile...
1.) Keyword theory when choosing your Username:
- Negative Language
Header: Lonely person looking for love
- Positive Language
Header: Bright Spark Looking to Ignite Shared Experiences
2.) Maths & Stats:
- Member Ratios: Select a type of service where the male female ratios work in your favour. For sites such as Match.com the majority of users are men which is great if you are a women but conversely not the case if you are male. Likewise, on relationship services like eHarmony, the majority of users are women.
TIP: If you cannot find these figures for the sites consider the application process, although not pure science the Online Dating Magazine suggests that men are far less likely to spend an hour filling in a compatibility and personality test than women.
- Outreach ROI: For every 20 emails you send out only one person will respond on average, hence to get 10 responses you need to send 200 mails.
3.) Pictures are worth a thousand words
Others will tell you that what you say is most important, but in reality no one is going to see your perfectly crafted biography if they aren’t interested in your picture, so getting the most effective picture on your profile is of the utmost importance.
The universally-maligned MySpace angle has been proven to be the most effective. This can be achieved by holding your camera above your head and posing in a slightly seductive manner. I suggest checking with friends if you have actually achieved this expression effectively prior to uploading! Most faces look better at a certain angle, creating a more styled photograph rather than a passport type mugshot.
In some cases whether you show your face really doesn’t affect how many messages you get at all, not showing your face can in fact be a positive, as long as you substitute in something unusual, sexy, or mysterious enough to make people want to talk to you.
Women: Flirtatious photos are much better and the cleavage shot is very successful, drawing 12.9 new contacts per month, interestingly the older you are the more effective the cleavage shot is!
Men: Men’s photos are most effective when they look away from the camera and do not actually smile. If you’re a guy with an athletic body, research shows you’re better to take off your shirt than to leave it on.
An interesting caveat here is that the attraction of a six-pack seems to decrease as a man gets older, see diagram below.
So if you spend more time on Reddit than at the gym statistically this will become less of a problem with age.
4.) Be online more:The more time you spend logged in the more people will contact you.
5.) Beware syndication sites, on many dating sites your profile will syndicate to partner sites, some of which have rather unsavoury names which you may not necessarily have chosen to be associated with.
6.) Google visibility WARNINGS: Try searching long tail phrases from your profile and you will see that for many online dating sites your profile will come up in search results. Be mindful of this. To protect your privacy and prevent ‘stalkers’ from being able to quickly discover your personal details, I recommend:
- Do not mention your place of employment, or even your title in your profile.
- Refrain from using images of yourself that exist elsewhere on the internet with the same name.
- Consider using a different username on dating websites (i.e. rather than the one you use across a variety of social networking sites.
7.) Don’t have an empty profile, this can be perceived as suspicious and read that you can’t be bothered to make an effort. That being said people have short attention spans hence your profile should be relatively brief and to-the-point.
Many studies do not take into account sexual orientation, however on this occasion the advice given is common to both gay and straight orientation.
Mobile phones that leverage location awareness and social networks definitely hold potential to offer even greater online dating services going forward. Until then we hope that these tips will put you ahead of the game.
We welcome your thoughts and contributions; have a wonderful Valentine’s day!