Archive for the 'Marketing' Category

Google Rankings

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

When I was a kid we didn’t have a McDonalds in my home town. I heard lots of stories about McDonalds, how there was every type of burger you could imagine, the slick American service, the French fries which were totally different to what we called “chips”.

Finally, after years McDonalds did open. And I really didn’t like it that much. It was, in short, a huge disappointment.

Since I started this blog I’ve been very focused on Fab Swingers’s Google rankings and finally the site is showing up high for many of the key terms I’ve been targeting. I’m sure it’s no coincidence that the sudden move up has happened at the same time as Google Analytics has shown us passing the 1 million page views a day mark.

Yet, I feel slightly let down. The effect of the Google rankings has been tiny compared with the word of mouth and even the people who are joining via Google aren’t generally the people that bring most to the site.

I’m pleased that it’s finally happened but it turns out not to be a big deal.

I do like Sausage Egg McMuffins though.

“Quantity has a quality of its own”

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

I saw this quote on some swingers site. I like it a lot. It reminds me somewhat of Milan Kundera in The Unbearable Lightness of Being where he talks about there being two types of womaniser; first there is the man who is looking for the perfect woman but of course never finds her and secondly the man who just enjoys the infinite variety.

It is also something that is very true about marketing. Providing you have a basic proposition that people like then the key to successful promotion is just quantity; the more you do the more it works.

Fab Swingers has succeeded because of quantity. It’s not just quantity in marketing of course, but there is also a strong network effect because the more members the site has, the more valuable it is to the members. And the more likely they are to recommend it.

The only thing I’m feeling a bit negative about right now is that I’m mainly having to focus on just keeping the site going as the servers struggle to cope with the rocketing traffic. I’d be much happier if I could concentrate on marketing which is my skill.

However I’m sure that most social networking sites would be happy to have the problem of struggling to cope with traffic growth!

Duplicate content again

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

I’ve done it again! I accidentally pointed another domain to the Fab Swingers server and unfortunately it ended up being indexed by Google with at least 55 pages making it into the index according to the site: command.

Google punishes duplicate content very hard so this could well be why the Google coverage has been even worse than normal.

I’ve signed up for for Google Sitemaps for the domain and submitted a request to remove the site completely from the index so hopefully in the next couple of days we’ll see it sorted out.

Thoughts on America and PPC

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

It’s now looking pretty clear that Fab Swingers is going to become the number 3 UK swingers site by traffic either this year or early next year behind Sex in the UK and AdultFriendFinder although it could be argued that both of these sites aren’t pure swingers sites but more about sex dating. This will have taken two years to do from launch.

My focus now is to do the same in the USA which is a trickier proposition. However one of the big advantages I have now is that the UK business is pretty profitable, and will throw off several thousand pounds over the next half year.

In my day job I am presently selling a product which is identical to its competitors but between a third and a half cheaper. Needless to say it is flying out of the door, largely on the back of PPC adverts.

So putting these two thoughts together, I have decided to invest in carefully targeted PPC advertising looking to recruit Californian couples (although I don’t mind picking up some single guys too). I reckon that I should be able to recruit for in the region of $0.40 which is roughly a tenth of the standard rate but my “free” secret weapon should do it!

From this week I will invest $400 in a pilot with an aim of recruiting 1,000 Californians. This should take me to the 2,500 level where Fab Swingers UK took off on its own.

I will then kill the campaign and target another state, probably Nevada so I can build on the close proximity to the successful Californian community.


Saturday, March 8th, 2008

The rumour is that having a glossary is seen as a good thing by Google and a recent article on appearing in Google definitions had some useful tips.

So, I have added a Swingers’ Glossary to Fab Swingers. It’s only got 10 terms in it at the moment but I will grow it over time. It is generated dynamically from a database so it will be easy to add to.

I would like to see what I can do to improve Fab Swingers rankings with Google, presently does not rank on any competitive term and is always beaten by much lower traffic and less relevant sites. I suspect that much of this is down to the domain name being so new (less than 2 years) but I think that some of the on-page SEO is important too.

Comparison Tables

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

I really like the comparison table on the homepage of Diet Chef. It’s got lots of ticks and crosses and makes it really clear what Diet Chef offers and why it is better than its competitors.

We should definitely have something similar on the front page of Fab Swingers.

I think that when people are choosing a swingers site to join (or diet to buy) then they will naturally look at a few sites and compare them, unless they have had a personal recommendation of course. So, a comparison table is the ideal way of helping them reach the right decision.

Also there is an ‘attack site’ pointing out the pretty serious dangers of the rival LighterLife. It’s an interesting idea and worth it if there is one particular site that you really want to target.

PS. On an unrelated subject, we hit 1,000 members in California today. The first 1,000 is always the most difficult because the site is so poor when there are no members but we now have a site that is fairly buzzing which is great.

Google search in foreign countries

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

Google localises its search quite extensively for different markets and I’m always forgetting how to test the search in other countries.

I’ve only put the English-speaking countries into this list but it should be really obvious how to add other countries.

Regions & States

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Here’s the top 10 regions/states on Fab Swingers:

  1. Scotland
  2. North West
  3. South East
  4. East Midlands
  5. Greater London
  6. North East
  7. West Midlands
  8. South West
  9. California
  10. Wales
    1. The good news out of this is that California is doing pretty well considering how short a time we’ve been doing any marketing there. It’s also good to see Dublin in the number 11 position.

      Scotland has a population of 5.1 million verses 7.5 million for Greater London however on Fab Swingers Greater London has only 60% of the members that Scotland has, so it is only half where it should be. So, in addition to the California marketing I am just going to kick off a small campaign aimed only at London until we get London up to at least an equal level with Scotland.

      I wonder if part of the problem is down to not having a chatroom for London and the South East? Or maybe it’s just because we don’t have a champion promoting Fab Swingers in London.

Progress in America

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

Visits from USA (which is really just California at the moment) are now 2.7% of the UK total, up from 0.2%. Of the first ten-fold increase is much easier than the second ten-fold increase as we started out with such a small amount of traffic.

We’ve still got another few months of hard slog before we’ll see any organic growth but it’s good, steady progress.

Growth in the UK has been the best we’ve ever had. The secret seems to have been stopping all marketing! In reality, I think the growth is through word-of-mouth and a natural function of the site maturing. There have been quite a few champions/opinion leaders who have become fans of the site and brought 30-40 people each with them from pay sites. And of course the 30-40 people tend to bring their own friends too.

We’re still some way from this happening in the US though because we just don’t have a big enough membership for the site to work completely, features like the chatroom don’t work at all with this number of members and even the basic feature of finding lots of interesting people nearby isn’t quite there yet either.

So it’s just question of time and keeping on with it.

Erotic Awards

Friday, December 21st, 2007

I’ve rather immodestly nominated for Fab Swingers in the website category for the Erotic Awards.

I went on about us having more than 16,000 members in a little over a year, being the largest free swingers site and our belief that community websites should be free.

It would be thrilling if we got shortlisted! The awards are on September 1st so we’ve got a long wait to find out how we’ve done.