This blog post was written by Hayley Matthews, Editor-in-Chief at DatingAdvice.com
Broadening your dating site’s online marketing strategy to capture an American audience isn’t just smart — it’s essential these days. With more than 109 million singles in the States, this is an opportunity you don’t want to miss out on.
There are several things to consider before getting started, including differences in culture, language, and online habits and behaviours, so I’ve compiled a list of five tips for successfully expanding your online dating reach to the US.
1. Do keyword research to determine your sites niche
You’ll want to know what American audiences search for because it will differ greatly from what UK audiences search for. Conduct a lot of keyword research, and I mean a lot of keyword research. And make sure you aren’t basing your sites niche around something people aren’t searching for such as “watermelon lover dating.”
Create a list of terms and topics that are relevant to your niche (e.g., gluten-free dating), narrow them down to a handful of the top ones, and then look them up using tools like Google Keyword Planner, KeywordEye, MOZ, SERPs, and Majestic. You should also look up terms that are related to your initial list of terms (e.g. meet gluten-free singles) and use short-tail and long-tail keywords such as “dating sites” and “the best gluten-free dating sites for single women,” respectively.
2. Make your sites value proposition clear
Is your site for serious relationships, casual dates, or hookups? Choose one area of focus because you don’t want to do all three. Americans like a clear, concise value proposition. If your site is for hookups, own it — your branding, images, and language should all reflect that. Conversely, if it’s for serious relationships, your copy and images should convey that message.
You don’t want to look wishy-washy or confuse your users with mixed signals, and you certainly don’t want to disappoint them because you can’t deliver what you’re promising. For example, if someone comes to you looking for a hookup because you said you could find them one, but your site is actually better at attracting commitment-minded users, that’s a problem.
3. Ensure your site looks like America
America is a diverse country — 63.7% of people are Caucasian, 16.3% are Hispanic or Latino, 12.2% are African-American, 4.7% are Asian, 0.15% are Native American or other Pacific Islander, 0.7% are American Indian or Alaska Native, 1.9% are two or more races, and 0.2% are some other race. It’s also sexually diverse — as of 2014, 97.7% of adults 18 and older identified as straight, 1.6% as gay or lesbian, and 0.7% as bisexual.
Your site in both its copy and imagery — should reflect this diversity to give you the best chance at converting all American visitors into registrations. You could even think about having different landing pages (such as gluten-free dating for lesbians) and/or sections of your site to attract singles of all backgrounds, lifestyles, races, religions, ages, genders, and sexual orientations.
4. Build links to your site for higher search rankings
The more links to your dating site Google receives, the higher the search engine will rank your site. Look for opportunities to get links to your site from other sites. For example, you could offer to exchange links with other niche dating sites, write guest posts for other blogs, syndicate content on quality sites from your blog, create a helpful resource or infographic to share with other sites, ask for support on social, and so much more.
However, be smart about building links to your site. You want links from authoritative, trustworthy, relevant sites, and it’s better to have a few of those than a million from spammy sites. A few shady link-building strategies, and you’ll be on Google’s blacklist for who knows how long.
5. Employ an American copy editor
There are many differences between what words and sayings mean in the UK and what they mean in the US. Ensure all your website and ad copy is edited by an American editor. If American visitors sense a site is even the least bit foreign, they’re unlikely to believe that you can find them a partner locally, and they’re even less likely to give you their credit card number.
Think about if the roles were reversed. If you were a British single and you went to a dating site that used American language and slang, would you be 100% confident that they could find you matches in your area, let alone your country? Or would you feel like you would have more success on a site that uses the same words and sayings that you do?
At the end of the day, to grow your audience, you have to make it as easy as possible for people to access your services. Have as few hurdles in the way as you can (or none at all), and make sure you’re supplying what American singles are demanding by following the eight tips above. Not only will you be bringing in more traffic and revenue, but, most importantly, you’ll be helping more people find that special someone!