Online Dating is becoming ever more popular in Ireland. There are absolute parallels between those seeking partners online and those who are potential customers for your business.
They are all looking for something that attracts them. Think of an online dating site as a shop. Some of the products have pictures (and according to Jill McGrath over at MaybeFriends.com, these are the ones that get most attention). If you are looking for a potential dating partner online, then you are most likely to click on a picture of somebody who is attractive and has a nice picture. Translate that back to your business. What can you learn from that? It’s simple. Good product pictures are essential to boost sales of that item. I have seen far too many sites that use pictures they have taken themselves under bad lighting conditions. Even the most lovely packaging is going to look shoddy if the lighting is bad and the background is not clean. Get pictures from the manufacturer, or invest in hiring a photographer for product shots.
What about if you sell a service rather than products? Pictures are still important. In fact, the links between online dating and selling your business can be even closer here. People are attracted to people. Getting stock images of attractive people to associate with your product makes sense, and costs practically nothing.
Back to our online dating analogy. Once a hopeful browser has clicked on somebody they like the look of, what comes next? (slow down, slow down). Next comes finding out more about that person. This is where text comes in. In the case of dating, this is the text that somebody writes about themselves as a profile. It is where the person has an opportunity to sell themselves as a person to a potential partner. There are two ways in which this can be approached. You can just put in your information, or you can actively sell yourself. Indulge me for a moment while I give an example:
Bare Information: My friends say I am attractive. I am easygoing, have a good sense of humour and like nights out and nights in too.
Selling: Thanks for clicking on my picture! I’m a passionate about music, and love my nights out clubbing or going to gigs. When it comes to romantic nights in, I like to cook with soft music playing in the background , and if it all goes wrong I know some good take-aways!
I think the difference is fairly obvious there, and the same goes for products / services…..
Bare information: Desktop speakers with volume and tone controls
Selling: Discreet desktop speakers that provide surprisingly good sound quality worthy of much higher end speakers.
Of course, from an SEO perspective, both contain the keywords “desktop speakers”. Selling does not mean forgetting your SEO… it is about increasing conversions from visitors to sales.
Here is the difference between online dating and selling products or services: If you are on a dating site, and you have not put up a picture, and your profile does not sell you, it is not necessarily the end of the road. You can still contact people, and possibly overcome the bad first impression you gave. If you are selling a product, that’s it… you’re out of luck. It is sale or no-sale time, and if you have not done it already now, you are never going to sell to that customer.
Just as dating is about getting to know someone, learn to trust them and developing a bond, before the sale goes through of your product online, you will probably need to earn some trust too.
First impressions last. If you meet somebody you have met online, then how they present themselves on that first date will form a lasting impression. the same goes for your website. If it looks even slightly less than professional then that is the lasting impression you are giving of your business.
This may all seem a bit far away from SEO training, but SEO and Online Marketing are linked. There is no point having a site that ranks well if it does not appeal to your target audience. Your customers come first. Those who forget this in the pursuit of SEO alone run the risk of becoming the internet equivalent of the old cat lady! (I’m not sure exactly what that is – suggestions in comments please).