Who wouldn’t want free dating traffic? Especially if you’re operating on a shoestring budget. We’ve been there ourselves – feeling unimaginative, not knowing where to start or how to get those valuable leads coming to our dating site.
You can optimise your website for search engines, wait till it gets indexed and visitors start coming through organic search, or you can roll up your sleeves and act now by utilising those free dating traffic sources that are right within your reach.
1. Write a blog or become a contributor
Integrate blog elements into your dating site. It will benefit you in the long run as it gives search engines valuable and unique content to index. Incorporate CTA buttons or banners into your blog posts, inviting visitors to become registered members. That way if a visitor comes to your blog first, they will be channelled smoothly to your desired goal.
Becoming a contributor to other dating and relationship blogs is also a good idea. Usually a guest blogger’s bio is displayed next to the article and you can insert a link to your website there. Visitors of these blogs are the audience you most want to target, so use the opportunity to reach out to them.
2. Be active on Facebook
Posting links to your blog articles on Facebook or featuring member profiles are good ideas, but there is so much more you can do. Try to initiate relevant discussion, ask questions and reply to all the comments made on your posts. Your goal is to get noticed and create social ripples, so encourage people to talk about your suggested topics.
Facebook groups are a great environment in which to engage in conversation. Use search and become a member of relevant groups – anything from area-based communities to dating advice – or create a group yourself. The same rule applies here as in face-to-face communication: if you show interest in other people, they will become interested in you too. Rather than openly advertising your product, interact with your audience: share, like and comment on their posts.
If you are unsure of the tone you should use or the type of content to post, follow similar accounts on Facebook, observe what they are posting and what practices they use to grow their audience. Learn from your competitors and then improve on their strategies.
3. Routinely follow new accounts on Twitter
Tweeting, retweeting, favouriting and commenting on other users’ tweets is only a part of what should be your daily Twitter routine. Growing your follower base is something you want to put effort in on a daily basis.
Use Crowdfire or other similar apps to facilitate the follow/unfollow process and build up your audience more quickly. These third-party tools not only help you easily copy followers from other similar accounts, but also allow you to send catchy automated messages to those who start following yours. ‘Thank you for the follow, please visit our site’ is a common message used by many, so try to avoid this cliché and come up with something original. You can create a few different variations of your auto-response to be sent out randomly.
4. Publish visually appealing content on Instagram
Instagram is a great tool for building your follower base by producing visually appealing content. The content does not have to be about online dating – it can be love and relationship quotes, happy couples or images of beautiful people. Build a relevant hashtag list and insert it in the description of each post. Regularly update it as you spot new hashtags used by similar accounts.
5. Create themed boards on Pinterest
If you think Pinterest is not the right channel for spreading the word about your online dating site, you’re not the only one: in fact, many webmasters think the same way, leaving this great tool underutilised. But that’s even better for you – with a bit of imagination, you can make use of those green pastures that your competitors keep passing by. Love quotes, happy couples, romantic places – there are lots of dating and relationship topics that can be used as themes for your image boards. If you have a blog integrated into your dating site, you can pin images used in your posts and add links to your articles in the pin descriptions.
6. Be active on forums
Forums are highly discoverable via search engines and just about every forum has a relationship category. The most important thing to remember is that people go to that topic for advice. Don’t just spam forum threads with your links; you’ll get banned by forum admins in no time and your posts will be deleted. Be helpful to people by providing genuine advice on dating matters. Try to address their concerns and offer them solutions. When you sound like a trustworthy person, it adds credibility to your brand too.
7. Submit your site to review pages
There are an abundance of review sites devoted to online dating. While some of them are not open for outside reviews and only list sites of their own choosing with affiliate links they earn commission from, other review sites will happily accept your reviews without asking anything in return. Don’t brag too much that your dating site is the best in the world, just try to highlight its benefits for users. Don’t forget to upload a logo or an image of your homepage, as it will make the review more noticeable.
8. Upload videos to Youtube
Create a YouTube channel for your dating brand and start posting videos. The topics are endless: practical dating tips, demos of your dating site, analyses of online dating profiles and suggested improvements for maximum success, interviews with relationship experts… you name it. If you are not confident recording a video yourself, you can get them made for you by somebody on Fiverr or simply put together a slideshow of images with a voiceover or written text and a soundtrack in the background.
Once you upload a video, don’t forget to insert a call to action leading to your site. It can be a clickable link displayed in an annotation bar or an info card that will pop up at the top right corner of the video.
9. Get your articles published in local media
Dating is a geographically defined service and online media sites aimed towards your specific niche or your city are the best channels for traffic. Do you run a dating site for pet lovers? Write an article for the pet owners’ section about the ease of meeting a significant other who shares the same passion for dogs, cats, horses, etc. Targeting a particular city or area? Talk about the obstacles to meeting somebody when leading a busy lifestyle or places that are good for a date. The most important thing is to know your audience and speak their language. Try to get into your customers’ shoes and address their pain points. Avoid direct advertising (the editors of the website or newspaper probably wouldn’t publish your article if it was obvious promotion of your service anyway), but add some subtle hints that your product can help solve problems that people face when trying to find their perfect match. It will help spread the word, and showing that you’re knowledgeable on your specific niche will further establish credibility for your brand.
Utilising these marketing channels does require investing your time and you might not get loads of free dating traffic from one single source, but know that every little stream runs into a big river. The traffic your site receives from these sources will be heavily targeted and from our own experience conversion rates will be much higher than from paid advertising, so the methods above are certainly worth a shot.
Whichever strategies you choose to employ, remember that your ultimate goal should be to provide real value to people, whether it’s articles on dating and relationship topics or your expert advice. Be imaginative, be helpful and be ready to give before receiving. The rest will follow.