Author Archives: datingfactory

Google Webmaster Tools – more technical measures but useful insight

Google webmaster tools are an important addition to any analysis resources. They are free, and can give important insights into more technical aspects of site performance on Google’s search platform.

The first step is to submit a sitemap to Google. This is very easy, and once submitted, Google can accumulate statistics about the site. There is also a very important messages to look out for, which will be covered in more detail later.

On the Webmasters’ home page, in the top right hand corner is a red box “Add a Website”. Clicking on this opens a pop up where the full site name is entered. It is then necessary to verify the site with Google, to prove that the person registering the site is the owner and has access rights to it. Of the four options to verify the site, by far the easiest is to download a Google html file then upload it to the site’s root directory.

Google Webmaster Download HTML

Once the file is uploaded to the site, it must be published, approved and completed prior to verifying the site with Google. For guidance on how to upload files, see this Dating Factory tutorial here.

Once verified, the sitemap, which contains information for Google to use to index the site pages, can be submitted. The site dashboard has these sections, one of which is to access the sitemap submission page; the left hand section lists the tools available, which future articles will explore in more depth.

Google Webmaster Crawl Errors

The middle section gives an overview of natural search results, and an indication of how changes to on page and off page SEO areas impact natural search:

Natural Search Results

The right hand section reports on how many URLs are in the sitemap and how many Google has indexed, i.e. how many pages Google considers to be unique:

Sitemap URLs

Review Google’s Messages

One critical area to review regularly is Google messages about the site, especially any which says “Googlebot can’t access your site”. This message can be caused by a number of factors, primarily outages on the site servers, which are few, but if they happen to coincide when Googlebot is trying to access the site, this message will be generated.

If this happens, the site will be de-indexed by Google and will not appear in natural search results.

This action by Google is primarily to maintain the quality of its search results for links which work and are “live”. If Googlebot can’t access a site, it classifies the links as “dead”, and sends a message to that effect.

If this happens and development work is undertaken on the site, it won’t make any difference to Google’s “dead link” flag. However, this can be easily fixed, as Google provides the tool to re-list site links.

In the body of the email, look for this text towards the bottom of the email: “After you think you’ve fixed the problem, use Fetch as Google to verify that Googlebot can properly access your site.” This manual action, assuming that the site is live and accessible, will re-state the site links as live, and they will be re-indexed by Google. NB if you run Google Adwords, ads are also disapproved if Googlebot can’t access your site, so keep a lookout for ad disapproval emails as well, as an indicator that the site may be temporarily de-indexed.

Future articles will explore more insights available through Google Webmasters tools.

In Summary:

  • Google Webmaster Tools, free to use, provide a more technical insight into a site’s performance on Google’s search engine platform;
  • Verify site ownership and upload a sitemap to index site pages;
  • Use the reporting of search queries to assess site performance for natural search on Google’s platform;
  • Review regularly site messages, especially looking out for a message that “Googlebot can’t access your site”;
  • Use the “Fetch as Google” tool in the email to report to Google that the site and its links are live to get them re-indexed;
  • If you run Google Adwords campaigns, watch for Ads Disapproval messages where Googlebot can’t access your site as another indication that the site has been de-indexed – then go fix it.

Good luck!

Google Adwords – advanced insight techniques

Google Adwords is not only a great advertising platform, enabling sites to be tightly targeted at very specific niches; it is also a very valuable investment in a marketing intelligence database with some excellent analytical tools which can be used both to sharpen and improve PPC (Pay Per Click) campaigns, and provide keyword research insight for SEO improvement.

In my last article on Google Adwords, I focused on how to explore keyword search terms to identify long tail keywords that could support improved PPC campaigns and SEO. In the same analytics section, there are two further options to explore, Auction Insights and Keyword Diagnosis. But before getting into those, there are some key measures that need to be included as standard in Adwords reporting.

There is a tab “Columns” which when clicked opens up a drop down set of menus; click on the “Competitive Metrics” link to reveal some important key metrics to add to the main reporting screens:

Adwords Campaign Columns

Below is an extract of these indicators for two different keywords and how to interpret them:

Interpret Keywords

Search impression share is the impressions that you’ve received on the Search Network divided by the estimated number of impressions that you were eligible to receive. This metric can help you identify potential opportunities to get more impressions and clicks. It’s updated once a day.

Search Exact match impression share is the impressions that you’ve received divided by the estimated number of impressions that you were eligible to receive on the Search Network for search terms that matched your keywords exactly. This metric can identify potential opportunities to capture more exact match impressions and clicks. It’s updated once a day.

Search Lost impressions share (rank) refers to the estimated percentage of impressions on the Search Network that your ads didn’t receive due to a poor Ad Rank. A high Search Lost IS (rank) means there were many times your ad was eligible to show on the Search Network but didn’t because its Ad Rank was too low. Search Lost IS (rank) is updated once a day. If you’re seeing a high Search Lost IS (rank), then try increasing your bid or improving your Quality Score. If you’re not seeing a number at all, this could be because you ran out of budget during this date range.

Relative CTR measures how your ads perform on Display Network sites compared to other ads on the same sites. Relative CTR is your click-through rate divided by the average click- through rate of all advertisers on the websites that show your ads.

Example: A Relative CTR of 1x means that your CTR equals the average CTR of all advertisers in the same section of a website. Relative CTR can help you understand campaign and ad group performance, particularly if you have little or no conversion information.

HOT TIP: a method to identify how many impressions that keywords generate in total is to take the Search Impression share and divide it into the number of impressions that have been served on the keyword. This is important to identify and evaluate true keyword impressions as the number of impressions that are reported does not represent the total number of impressions generated for a keyword. It represents the impressions that your ad was eligible for, a key difference. This true number of impressions can be worked out using this calculation, and is a way of identifying potential high volume keywords to use in metatags and site titles.

Auction Insights is worth checking regularly and can be accessed here:

Auction Insights

This is the report generated, which lists competitors and their relative share of impressions:

Auction Insight Report

Under the Keyword Diagnosis section, each keyword generates the following overview by clicking on the “dialogue” button highlighted:

Keyword Diagnosis

This information can be used in conjunction with Impression Share to target campaign performance improvement.

In Summary:

  • Google Adwords is a great investment in both traffic generation and niche marketing intelligence;
  •  There are some great metrics which give a superb insight into both PPC keyword performance and potential high volume keywords for SEO;
  • Auction Insights expose competitors in the niche’
  • Keyword Diagnostics provides insights into visitor experience when they land on the site;
  • Total keyword impressions can be calculated to identify high volume, and potentially high value keywords.

Good luck!

How to use Google Adwords data to improve targeting and conversions

Google Adwords is not just a fantastic method for driving traffic to a dating site; it is an excellent source of information and knowledge about sites’ key performance drivers, if you know how to query the information:

  • Which keywords are working best for the site?
  • Which keywords are not working and therefore should be culled?
  • Which countries or territories within countries give the best conversions?

Keyword research and analysis is one of the most important activities for any internet marketing campaign. I have built up a large keyword knowledge bank over the last five or six years using Google Adwords, and the analytical tools within Adwords give a great insight into site performance.

The most important action to take is to place an Adwords tracking code into sites. This enables Google to capture the source of traffic to the sites, and most importantly calculate the conversion cost for each registration attempt by a new visitor. This is vital to understand how much it costs to acquire a new sign up and to keep on top of site profitability.

Review your traffic

Over time, this transactional information accumulates into knowledge about a site, especially the key searches that visitors are making, where they are geographically, and which countries or areas convert best. These are some of the techniques to identify new keywords and high performing territories or countries.

The first method is to identify the long tail keywords that Google has assigned to the main “source” keywords, and then search for new keywords with high conversion rates. In the “Keywords” section, click on “Details” and this drop down will appear:

There are three very powerful diagnostic tools available here: Search TermsAuction Insights and Keyword Diagnosis. The last two will be covered in a separate article.

Under “Search Terms”, select all keywords, a range of them or focus on an individual keyword and analyse it to get an insight into the keyword terms that Google assessed as a good enough match with what visitors were searching for. This is an example of the return for one “source” keyword “live video chat”:

Google has assigned twelve other long tail keyword searches as relevant to the source keyword. It also reports the Clicks, Impressions and Click Through Rate for each search term, as well as the conversion rate, which has the most commercial value.


Be aware that different long tail keywords are generated for different performance measures. So for example analyse keywords based on highest number of clicks, the list of keywords for which will be different to the list generated for total number of impressions. Always run an analysis for four or five different performance measures to get as comprehensive an analysis as possible.

For any keywords that are high converters, select them and choose “Add as a keyword”, to automatically populate Adwords campaign with these high converting keywords.

Keep a look out for any long tail keywords for particular countries, regions or cities. If they are generating significant volumes, add them to a campaign and then create a dedicated landing page for each territory and assign it to the specific search term in the campaign. This will increase the relevance of the search term and could increase conversions. The best way to track this is to set up a test and control study.

This means creating two separate Ad Groups for the same keywords; one ad group will point to the main landing page for all keywords, the second will have each keyword pointing to a country / territory / city specific landing page. To read more on how to do set up unique landing pages, read these previous articles on “Building structure and depth to your dating site” and “Landing page customisation – advanced techniques”. Monitor results over time and respond to keyword results accordingly.

In Summary

  • Google Adwords creates a valuable data resource over time, if set up correctly to capture conversion results;
  • Drill down on the best performing “source” keywords to get visibility on the long tail keywords that Google assesses are a good fit with the “source” keyword;
  • Examine the keyword performance data across a number of filters, from number of clicks, to impressions, to conversions;
  • Save the best performing keywords to campaigns and monitor performance;
  • Look for any country / region and / or city specific search terms that perform well, and create a dedicated landing page for each;
  • Assign the dedicated landing page to the relevant keyword(s) in ad groups and monitor progress;
  • Test and control performance of these keywords with separate ad groups targeting different landing pages.

Good luck!

Search engine optimisation best practice checklist

Traffic is the lifeblood of any commercial site; it is surprising how many sites don’t follow best practice basics for search engine optimisation. This article covers key areas to be reviewed and acted upon for a site to stand a chance of a Google and other search engine ranking, against stiff competition.

The article will cover six areas of activity:

  • SEO basics
  • Content for metatags
  • Content for site pages
  • Anchor text
  • Images
  • Heading Tags

SEO Basics

Use title tags effectively to describe pages; have unique title tags, as brief, descriptive titles, for all the site’s primary pages, such as login, registration, FAQ and of course the home page. This is important for two main reasons:

  • When your page appears in a search results page, the title tag contents is usually what is displayed in the first line of the search results. This isn’t always the case, as snippets of a site’s description (see next) or content, if deemed more relevant by Google to the search, can appear instead. However, this is no reason not to have great title tags for your pages;
  • Different title tags for different pages increase your chances of your pages being ranked; if the title tags are identical, the search engines will tend to classify your page content as similar, which can actually downgrade the site’s ranking. Find the time to update the title tags on site pages.

Content – Metatags

Write a short paragraph of unique relevant content describing each page of the site. The format is

<meta name="description" content="dating site for UK singles…etc">

Both the title and description settings can be found in the “metatags” section of the site’s admin panel.

Content – site pages

  • Write easy-to-read text that is well written and easy to follow. Avoid spelling mistakes and bad grammar, as well as PLR articles, most of which are generic and poor quality.
  • Think about a programme of adding fresh and unique content, or refreshing existing text; avoid cut and paste from other sites.
  • Curated content works if it is embellished and developed into new content – think about news sites with similar stories but presented differently / uniquely.
  • Don’t stuff the content with keywords; write it for your visitors, not for search engines.

Anchor text

  • This is clickable text that links either to an internal page that is relevant to the text, or to an external site, again relevant to the text. The better the anchor text, the easier it is for users to navigate and for the search engines to understand what the page being linked to is about.
  • A good example of this is where unique landing pages are created for countries, regions or cities – the anchor text describing the territory should link to a relevant territory unique landing page.
  • Anchor text links should be highlighted in a separate colour within the text to distinguish them; when the mouse pointer hovers over the text, the destination page URL normally appears.
  • To open an anchor text link in a new window, add in “target=_blank” into the anchor text code:
    <a href='" target=_blank>looking for friendship</a>


  • Always include an <alt="xx"> tag in the source filename; this is the image’s description for a search engine to read.
  • The same principles apply of brief, descriptive text, not keyword rich, but relevant.
  • Images should be held ideally in one sub directory.

Heading tags

  • These are used to structure content both for the visitor and the search engines;
  • There are six sizes of heading tags, <h1> to <h6>, with <h1> representing the most important content;
  • Some site CSS structures will influence how the heading tags are presented, so always preview and amend as appropriate;
  • <h1> tags should be used as an introduction to a section, with the other tags deployed beneath, leading to the next main content section;
  • Use then sparingly and don’t overdo it;
  • Use the code <strong>to bold text</strong> where emphasis on specific points is relevant.
  • Use the code “<p>for sections</p><br />”, <p> creating the start of a paragraph or header, and </p>closing it;<br /> places a gap between the sections, separating content in a user friendly way.

A future article will cover

  • Crawlers
  • Mobile sites
  • Promotion and Analysis

In Summary

  • There are some basic SEO steps that must be followed as a foundation for natural search success.
  • Short, descriptive title tags and relevant, unique descriptions for each page are a necessity.
  • Unique content that reflects the page title and description is a natural follow on from the title and description tags.
  • Anchor text to internal and external pages must be relevant to the link;
  • Images must include an <alt=”description”> tag to describe it, and be relevant to the content and page;
  • Heading tags create structure to content and should guide both user and search engine naturally.

Good luck!

Building structure and depth to your dating site

One area of good practice for every dating site, and which is a core element of on-page SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is to create content depth and a logical internal links structure. Dating Factory provides some excellent templates as a great baseline starting point with plenty of options on how to develop and customise them.

An internal links structure is important to send a signal to search engines that a site is more than just a thin “one stop shop”. Internal links are relevant links between a site’s pages, developed into a hierarchy, which links pages together in a logical order or pattern.

For example, for a general mainstream dating site, build a geographical based hierarchy as follows:

geographical based hierarchy

Another option is to build a hierarchy around sexual orientation with a geographical hierarchy beneath it:

sexual orientation and geographical hierarchy

Think about the best structure for the site, what makes sense in terms of relevant links for the site’s target niches and map out a structure to develop.

Once done, start building the discreet individual landing pages for the structure(s).Do this by adding landing pages to the site. There is a Dating Factory tutorial on how to do this which can be read here. In essence, this is a very powerful feature which can be used to develop discreet landing pages to a very fine level of detail:

  • Develop a specific landing page for a very focussed sub set of a site’s target audience, such as “men over forty in New York Cityseeking women”;
    • this could be used in a Google PPC campaign where keywords are matched with location to target a niche dimension of a site;
  • Incorporate this specific landing page into a hierarchy of pages to create a hierarchy within a dating site.

So build landing pages first; don’t worry about the hierarchy just yet. The key is to follow a structure and build the content which will populate it. There are a number of key initial steps to create a targeted landing page:

  • Give each page a unique name, create it and save it;
  • Once saved, start to edit the page, by customising the landing page target traffic options;
  • For a geographic based landing page, select the country, region and city for the page as appropriate;
  • Create a separate landing page for each location, by country, region and city.

Now that these landing pages have been created, start to build an internal link structure on the site.

On the main landing page, add in the first level of country links. Insert these in the main front page just before the finaltag of the site, creating links at country level.

Then, on each country’s landing page, add in links for each country; so on the landing page for Australia, insert links to landing pages for New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria etc. On the region landing pages, add in the major cities in each region, so on the New South Wales page add in a link for a Sydney landing page.The home page should then have a range of links which will look something like this:

Homepage Footer Links

All of the above links point to a dedicated landing page for each of the cities listed.

This approach will give you depth and structure to your site, and it’s quick and easy to do using the tools fromDating Factory.

My next article will explore further options for customising your bespoke landing pages even further, using more promo tools provided by Dating Factory.

In Summary

  • Unique landing pages can be leveraged to create depth and structure for your dating site;
  • Your site will benefit from this for SEO as it will not be “thin” in terms of content;
  • Use the landing page creation tool provided by Dating Factory to create bespoke landing pages;
  • Create an internal link structure starting with your main home page and linking your landing pages in a structured hierarchy;
  • Follow the steps in my next article to customise your landing pages.

Good luck!

Landing page customisation – advanced techniques

Having created landing pages for either targeted PPC campaigns, or site depth and internal link building, there are a number of ways that the landing pages can be further customised.

Unique Customised Text

Each landing page should have its own unique text developed – after all, the page has been created with a specific niche, territory or sub-set in mind. Include relevant target keywords in the text, and use H1, H2 and H3 tags with keywords highlighted in bold. Add in text links to both external sites and internal pages – for example if you are writing text for a landing page dedicated to New York City, and you also have a landing page for the USA, include the link for the USA landing page as a text link on the New York City page, and vice versa.

Text links using deep links

If you have other sites that are targeting the USA or New York, include text links to these sites as well. Deep links are links which target pages off the main page, so if you have a structured hierarchy of “mainsite/usa/nyc” the USA and NYC pages are deep links in the site, which again emphasizes depth, content and structure.Text should be added into each page, including the main home page, before the finaltag.

Customised IM Popup

Add in a customised targeted IM pop up chat box from Dating Factory’s promo tools, selecting the appropriate criteria (country / region / city, men seeking /women seeking) that the landing page is targeting. Once the code is generated, add the code into the landing page’s HTML code before the lasttag – this will ensure that the pop up chat box will only appear for the specific landing page.

Customised members’ block.

Member’s profiles can be generated using Dating Factory’s dynamically generated customisable member feeds from the real members of the promoted sites. The member block can be totally customised in terms of dimensions (rows & columns), title and description, country / city / region selection and member preferences, such as men seeking women or women seeking couples.

Related sites

Add in links to related sites, either those that you own, or from Dating Factory’s extensive list of affiliate sites.

Related images

Add in images to your site as graphical content, remembering to include the “alt” tag to attach keyword rich text to the image – search engines will use the “alt” text where available to index the image.

Related Video

Include relevant video content from YouTube by embedding videos into your site.

Social Buttons

Include social buttons to enable your visitors and members to share you site link socially on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. One of the easiest ways to do this is using free code from AddThis.

This is a screenshot of a site landing page I have recently launched, targeting New Jersey singles:

For more information on how to leverage Dating Factory’s promo tools, read my article here or check out Dating Factory’s tutorials.

In Summary:

Customise your bespoke landing page with:

  • Unique text;
  • Deep links to internal pages and external sites;
  • Dating Factory promo tools, such as IM popups and members’ blocks;
  • Site links for external sites or Dating Factory affiliate sites;
  • Relevant images and video content.

Good luck!

Suggested FREE sources of keyword research

The foundation for successful SEO (search engine optimisation) is undoubtedly keywords. Research into relevant, specific and distinctive keywords for your site is vital, and then using them as the basis for metatags and unique content.

There is no short cut to keyword research, but there are some great tools to help you to focus on niches and / or countries. This article will list some of the free sources of keywords that I use which I believe can also help you.

Keyword research sources

The first source is the Google Keywords tool. Try and avoid single keywords, explore strings of 2-3 words as a minimum. “Broad” match results include searches for any search term with your keywords included in any order; “Phrase” match results include searches with your keywords in the order in which you typed them; and “Exact” returns the results of just your keywords in searches.

I tend to focus on “Phrase” match results, but be mindful of other search terms which could be included that are not relevant to your site or niche. An example is where you search for “naturist beaches”; the phrase match results will include other search terms like “suitable for families”, which is clearly not relevant for dating.

My second source of keywords is found at the foot of most Google search pages, which returns a list of extended keywords based on your search. For example, a search for “naturist beaches” in Google returned these results at the foot of the page:

Searches related to naturist beaches:
naturist holidays, bare Britain, naturist beaches reviews, naturalism beaches, naturist fact file, naturist nuff, naturism in England, world beach list.

All of these keywords (notice they are at least two words long) are worth saving and researching in the Google keyword tool. If you click on each of the suggestions, you get a Google search results page related to the term as well. At the foot of that page will be keyword searches related to that keyword term, and so on.

The third source of free keywords is available if you use a WordPress blog to supplement your marketing and SEO efforts. You can read my article on Optimising WordPress blog posts here. There is a free WordPress “plugin” (basically a software programme that will enhance your WordPress site) called Wassup Stats, which as well as tracking visitors and their origin in real time, captures both individual detailed keyword search terms and the most popular.

The plugin will also report your blog post’s page ranking for each search term and which search engine returned your post. The detailed keyword listing is worth browsing for trends and seeing the actual long tail keyword searches that people use; the most popular searches will indicate whether your target keywords for your blog are actually working and being returned in searches the most often, and as you intended.

The fourth source is Google Analytics (GA). There will be more a more detailed series of articles on GA in the coming months, as there is much more to this tool than an insight into keywords. You can get a free GA account by signing up here – you don’t need a Google Adwords PPC (Pay Per Click) account to access GA.

The fifth source of free keywords in Google Webmaster tools. Submitting your site’s sitemap to Google is a key action to get your site recognised and indexed by Google. The benefits of doing this, as well as (some of) your site’s pages being indexed by Google, are that you get some performance reporting, albeit mostly of a more technical nature, but there is a section on traffic with keywords listed.

My sixth source of traffic is from Blogger, if you are using Google’s blog platform as part of your marketing activity. On the left hand side of the admin panel, there is a “Stats” heading – click on this and select “Traffic Sources”. You will see listed the keywords that have returned your blog’s posts in Google search results, which you can view by “Now”, “Day”, “Week”, “Month” or “Total”.

My seventh and final suggested free source of keywords in Keyword Spy. There is an option of paying for access to all the features of the service, but there is enough available for free to get you started. This is the Keyword Spy home page, which allows you to choose a domain or keywords, as two options of four, and then to select a country, which for country specific domains is very useful:

This is an example of the returns for “naturist beaches” in “Australia”:

The key to this tool is to use it across all the tabs available and explore all dimensions of your keyword combination by misspell, PPC competition and organic competition, taking the top returns for organic competitors and analysing these specific URLs for their best keywords.

In Summary

• Keyword research is fundamental to SEO and can make or break your rankings.
• There are some great free sources of keyword research tools which can help to identify and target keywords by niche and country.
• For your chosen keyword “set”, use all the available options to research and analyse them to gather intelligence on your chosen niche and territory.

Don’t short cut this step, it is too important – and good luck!

Suggested paid sources of keyword research

Paid sources of keyword research, which, if you have the budget, can take your keyword research to a new level.

One of my top sources of paid keyword research is my Google Adwords account, which I use to promote selected dating sites. As well as driving cost effective, targeted traffic (if you know how to set your PPC activity up right in the first place), Adwords builds up a comprehensive data set related to the keywords that you initially set up. Google will also suggest new keywords and give you insights into the long tail keywords that drove your ad to be shown. Adwords and Pay Per Click advertising is a whole different subject, which will be covered in future articles. The objective of this article is to illustrate how, over time, you can build your own private pool of keyword research data.

At the time of writing, since April 2007 when I first started to use Adwords, my Adwords account has generated 500m impressions and 3.5 million clicks, for 22,500 keywords. This is an amazingly valuable source of data, and is now my first port of call when doing keyword research. If you are using Adwords or you are thinking of starting up an account, the side effect of targeted ads is the history you can build up on keywords for future research. The other benefit is that in using an Adwords account for dating as a niche, your data set will be very focussed on the niche.

There are a couple of features that I’d like to highlight for you. The first is when you start adding keywords to an existing campaign. Google will auto generate suggestions.

Google's Keyword Tool

These suggestions will be broad match keywords based on a trawl of your site. I click “Add all from this category” but before adding them to my campaign, I copy them and launch Google’s keyword tool and analyse the keywords for “Phrase” and “Exact” match volumes as well. This is a useful filter to identify potentially high volume new keywords. It also avoids stuffing your campaigns with large numbers of low value, under-performing keywords.

The second cool feature I’d like to run through is “Keyword details”.  Select at least a week’s performance as your range, and from the main Keywords page, click on the “Keyword details” tab for your selected keyword (just along from “Add keywords”). Google will then reveal to you the detailed long tail searches that it considered to be relevant to your seed keyword and the search itself. Some of these can be high volume and / or high click through, so this dimension to your keywords is well worth checking every now and then. You can select the keywords that you want to add to your campaign from this list.

If I have a particularly expensive keyword, i.e. high clicks and low or no conversions, I ALWAYS  check the keyword details to see if there are any hidden gems or bad long tail keywords that I either add to my campaign or block as negatives.

The second source of paid keyword sources is via a WordPress plugin called SEOPressor, which I reviewed in my article on Optimising WordPress blog posts. This is a very specific source of LSI keywords which are used by major search engines to identify what a site or blog is about. You can read more about LSI keywords here, with an extract below of the definition of LSI and how search engines use them;

Search engines, such as Google, use Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) as part of their search   analysis, when trying to decide what websites will show up in their search results. The goal of   every Search Provider is to provide the most relevant results for any query. For example, if a user searches for the term “flat tire”, Google must decide what websites or documents are most relevant and display them in the search results. LSI plays a key role in what is returned on search engine results pages” (source:


SEOPressor has a feature which will suggest LSI keywords to include in your blog post, relative to your target keywords. LSI keywords are not always returned, but when they are, they are relevant and increase your SEO optimisation score as recorded by SEOPressor. What I also look for are LSI keywords that I can lift and use in the metatags of my dating sites and blog titles, as well as including them in my blog posts.

The third source of paid keywords which I use is Market Samurai, which I covered in some depth in my articleKeyword Conundrum.  A very useful feature of this tool is that you very quickly identify negative keywords from the analysis you get back, For example, I was researching the keyword “American girls” which came back in Google as having a huge broad and phrase match search volume. I analysed it in Market Samurai and soon discovered that “American Girl” is a massive fashion clothing brand in the USA, which would completely distort the searches I was trying to identify as guys looking for American girls. Saved me a lot of time and wasted advertising.

In summary:

  • Paid sources of keywords research can enhance and improve your SEO performance, if you have the budget to invest;
  • Google Adwords, SEOPressor for WordPress and Market Samurai are the tools I use most at the moment as paid sources of keyword research.

Good luck with your keyword research, and best wishes,

Steve Bolton aka Dateblogger

Google Analytics – Analysis Tools

If you read my previous article on Google Analytics (GA), then you hopefully have already set up your own GA Performance tracking and are accumulating valuable performance data and insight into your dating site. This article will look at the available analysis reports that come as standard in the Audience section of GA.

This section gives an insight into your visitors’ location and language, how they reach your site and how they engage with your site. The standard overview page looks like this:

Immediately, you can see the value in this data – the graph indicates visitor trends over time against a comparative period and allows you to compare two metrics alongside each other. Select the date range and comparative period in the “Date” section on the top right of the screen. Select the metrics to compare in the top left of the screen, just under the “Overview” tab.


The number of visitors to the site is compared to a previous period set by you so that you see trends, how many pages were visited, and the average visit duration. You can also see the number of new visits to your site and what proportion of the total they were.

Under “Demographics” (bottom right), you can get an overview of visitors by “Language”, “Country”, “System” and “Mobile”.

  • The language profile is important if you have a multi-language site – are you accommodating the majority of visitors with their respective language pages on your site?
  • Under the country section, check out the geographic analysis by city – are there opportunities emerging from the data to target city specific web sites?
  • If you have Pay Per Click campaigns targeted at specific countries, are there any countries driving traffic organically that are worth targeting within a paid campaign?
  • What proportion of visits are coming from mobile devices, and should any PPC campaigns be targeted at mobile traffic only?

So just from this one initial screen, at a very high level of analysis, there are already some key questions emerging, which could lead to new geographical, language and device targeting.

Visitors Flow

The “Demographics” screen will give insights into which visitors from which country are spending the most or least time on the site, therefore which territories have the greatest engagement on it, this is important for PPC targeting in particular.

Under “Behaviour”, you can see an analysis of “new v returning” visitors and an analysis of “frequency and recency”, which shows a count of visits with a breakdown of multiple visits and the number of days since the last visit by returning visitors. The returning visitors and number of repeat visits is an indication of conversions and site activity. The “engagement” analysis shows how long visitors stay on your site, which is an indication of the relevance of the site to the initial search. If this indicator is deteriorating, it is a sign that the quality of the search terms either in natural search, paid or both are less relevant so need addressing/reviewing.

One of the most revealing standard sections, in my opinion, is the “Visitors Flow” – when your visitors touch down on your site, which could be on any indexed page, what do they do? Do they exit and search for something else? Do they click on a link on the page and explore further? How many pages do they look at? “Visitors Flow” will give you this insight and will give you an indication of which pages work best to keep the visitor on your site:

This analysis shows which of the pages are the most engaging and keep visitors on the site – the longer you can keep them, the better chance you have of converting them. Can we find this out for sure? Watch out for a future article on Conversions!

In Summary

  • The basic standard reports are excellent for meaningful insights into key dimensions of your marketing efforts;
  • Regular review and assessment is essential to monitor trends and identify commercial opportunities to test;
  • If you set up GA for your own site a few weeks ago, go there now, check out your stats and start thinking and doing!

The next article will explore the “Content” standard reports. Good luck!

Steve Bolton aka Dateblogger


Google Analytics – a “must have” tool for site performance insights

When setting up a dating site, there are a number of key performance criteria that you need to keep visibility of and that must be managed effectively to continually drive performance improvement. If you are serious about building your dating site’s brand, quality of conversion and profitability, then on-going analysis of your site’s performance must become a routine discipline.

The lifeblood of all websites is traffic, but which types of traffic convert best for you? There are a number of sources of traffic that you can generate:

  • DIRECT traffic from SEO (search engine optimisation) requires time, effort and focus on both “on page” and “off page” elements;
  • PAID traffic requires a budget and on-going test and control of ads and keywords to strive for the best return on investment;
  • REFERRAL traffic requires time and effort to write blogs, articles and forum posts linking to your site, as well as social activities on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

The best free tool, in my opinion, to gain visibility across all of these activities is Google Analytics (GA). So, how do you set up Google Analytics on your site?

Google Analytics Setup

You will need a snippet of code, which is generated when you add your site to a Google Analytics account. Read this article from Google Analytics on “How to set up the web tracking code”, it is very straightforward. Copy the code snippet, and in the admin area of your dating site, under “Tracking Codes”, scroll down the page and add the code snippet into the “Every page code” box. Press “Save” then “Publish”. Once your site is published, it will take a day or so for Google Analytics to start collecting data, but it is well worth doing.

This is the summary page for one of my sites, which I have optimised for SEO. I have blog posts as reviews of the site, and I have a Google PPC campaign running on it:

Traffic Sources Overview

From this analysis for April 2013 compared to the previous month, I can see the traffic profile by hour and the mix of Direct, Referral and Search traffic. By clicking on the “All Traffic” tab under “Sources”, I can see where the traffic has come from – for example, I can see that of my 8,794 visitors in April, 5,206 (59%) came via my Google PPC campaign. In the previous month, I had 7,288 visitors via Google PPC (63% of total visitors) – I expected this as I reduced my maximum cost per click in April on my campaign, as I wanted to see the conversion benefit from my higher investment in March come through in paid conversions. When I see the benefit, I’ll increase my cost per click maximum again. If not, I’ll work out the cost per click I am willing to commit to against the level of paid conversions that I get in return.

My direct traffic will be a combination of existing members visiting the site and new visitors finding the site through natural search. I can see which page the visitors touch down on first, how long they stay on the site, and the percentage of new visitors on each landing page. For example, the number of new visitors who land on the registration page is 90%, which is great, as that’s where you want new visitors to be! On the login page, the number of new visitors is lower at 50%, which is still high but can be managed by how you prioritise your pages in your sitemap.xml file.

My referral traffic is from my other dating sites, blogs and syndicated RSS feeds. I can see how the referrals from my other dating sites create additional traffic flow and justifies the effort to add links to relevant sites in the footer of your dating site. I can also see the click throughs from blogs that I have set up to review my sites on both WordPress and Blogger.

For all these visitors, I can drill down by “City” to find other potential niche dating sites to set up, which I will do as subdomains of the main site, mainly because subdomains are free as part of my hosting package.

In Summary:

  • Google Analytics, in my opinion, is the best free performance analytics tool available;
  • It takes minutes to set up an account and to get the tracking code snippet to insert into your dating site;
  • Once your site is published, GA will start to accumulate valuable insights into many dimensions of your site’s performance.
  • Monitor and analyse your traffic flows, interpret them and act upon new findings as they emerge.
  • Set GA up now!

Thanks for reading and good luck!

Steve Bolton aka Dateblogger