Top Performing Verticals- Dating Sites Edition
By John Moran
I’m back, with the first edition in my series on the top performing verticals or niches on the 7Search network, and the factors that separate them from others. My goal is to help our new advertisers as well as refresh our more seasoned partners with getting the most out of their campaigns. I want to promote an atmosphere of discussion of this topic, so please feel free to add a comment at the bottom with your thoughts.
The first category I want to explore that has had a good track record of conversion on 7Search is online dating. These websites help to connect people over the web that are looking for companionship, or a new relationship. According to our system data,
“Dating” is currently our Top Searched keyword, receiving 12,529,685 searches last month. There are several factors why this keyword is so popular.
Latrice Jackson, a member of our Client Support staff and regular contributor to our blog, believes it is as simple as supply and demand. “It is the nature of the business. People are looking for companionship, and don’t necessarily have the time to go out and meet people. They have school, and work. It’s just easier.”
Veronica Claudio, who has been a part of the company for over ten years and is a New Advertiser Training representative, says that it is an easy choice for advertisers. “Dating sites use keywords that have low bids that convert. We also are very selective with our affiliates. We make sure that the traffic we have is of high quality.”
Charles Meyer, our Director of Business Development, says that it takes time and patience. “Dating sites were one of the first verticals to use pay per click search. We have a long history of measurable data on dating sites that show how they have performed.” Dating sites also have had the advantage of learning and growing. “They understand our system. Since they are older, they have experience, they can get granular with their data and reporting, and our system is easy to use. They are some of the first innovators of paid search and SEO (search engine optimization). They have been marketing for a long time, and have established their brand.”
Mr. Meyer goes on to say that dating sites and the niche itself is a “mature business.” This is an interesting statement, considering how new internet marketing is, relatively speaking. “The people who manage the paid searches for these companies are smart,” Mr. Meyer says. “They have learned to adjust their campaigns in terms of keyword choice, keyword match, bids, etc. The competition for this is tough, and has been around for 9 or 10 years.”
One of the factors discussed as I explored this topic was the idea of “branding.” According to Tom Peters, in his article “The Brand Called You,” it is not just about being well known, but also a matter of trust. “Today brands are everything, and all kinds of products and services -- from accounting firms to sneaker makers to restaurants -- are figuring out how to transcend the narrow boundaries of their categories and become a brand...
Who else understands it? Every single Web site sponsor (an advertiser who has purchased a domain to promote a product). In fact, the Web makes the case for branding more directly than any packaged good or consumer product ever could. Here's what the Web says: Anyone can have a Web site. And today, because anyone can ... anyone does! So how do you know which sites are worth visiting, which sites to bookmark, which sites are worth going to more than once? The answer: branding. The sites you go back to are the sites you trust. They're the sites where the brand name tells you that the visit will be worth your time -- again and again. The brand is a promise of the value you'll receive.”
As a surfer on the web, I have revisited sites that are trustworthy. Part of the culture of success for these sites is their familiarity. “These websites are familiar and well known,” Ms. Jackson says,” and have established their place over time, through word of mouth, and because of the customer’s prior experience.” Dating sites are similar in their pursuits, but work hard to define them individually. Our advertisers can take a lesson in discovering how to make their campaign a brand, using our features and research in their field of competition. They can also regularly monitor and adjust their campaigns based on their results.
To summarize, dating sites perform well on 7Search because of their familiar brand, their experience, and the high demand for their product. Other factors include a dedication to their campaigns, maintaining a presence on the Web, and learning how to use our system effectively. In a constantly changing environment, becoming a brand or a “mature” business can be a challenge, but with time and research, you can do business, too.
“The Brand Called You,” by Tom Peters, TheFastCompany.com, 8/13/1997 http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/10/brandyou.html#