In the last 15+ years, I’ve worked with more than 400 clients on more interactive projects and websites than I think I can count anymore (including a couple online dating sites). The result of all of this work is that I’ve come to realize that websites really fall under one main model, and that is The Online Dating Model.
Why is that? Well, 3 reasons.
- Users are looking for something that meets their needs.
- You are looking for users that are interested in what you have to offer.
- You really want to build a relationship with your users and your users want to build a relationship with you.
The online dating community purports to be pros at compatibility. They all say that they have the best way to match you and someone else. Their primary function is to build a relationship between 2 people, to show information about one that is interesting to the other and to build understanding and trust in order to inspire one to make a commitment of some sort to the other.
How is this different from what you’re trying to do on your website? Probably more so than it should be.
Think about it. What are you trying to do online? Unless you really don’t care if anyone listens or sees whatever you’re doing online, you’re probably looking for customers, donors or readers to to take some sort of action. And how do you inspire commitment? By getting your readers to learn about you, to feel comfortable with you and start a relationship with you – just like dating. If they’re not comfortable with what they see and learn from you, then they’ll move on to someone else – just like dating.
So do yourself a favor and have another look at your own website and compare it to some dating websites to see how you stack up against these common qualities from some of these online dating sites.
Are you exemplifying qualities that will inspire someone to make a commitment to you? If not, maybe you should be.