Startup Strategies to Get New Customers [Ok Cupid Case Study]

25th May 2012
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In our first article we showed you how Urban Spoon dominated the restaurant reviews industry. If you missed the case study, you can view it here.

In this article we will look at OkCupid. OkCupid provides online dating services, and this is one of the most competitive industries online. When OkCupid launched, there were already big competitors like eharmony and match.com dominating the industry. Yet, in a few years since they started OkCupid did manage to become the go-to websitein the online dating industry. In early 2011, Match.com acquired OkCupid for $50 million.

OkCupid was the fastest growing dating website, and it generated most of its revenues through advertising. Lets now look at how they managed to grow from a startup to a stage where Match.com finally acquired them.

While analyzing the OkCupid website, it is easy to see that they use content to generate traffic to their website. While Urban Spoon used the Spoon Back Program to generate backlinks to their website, OkCupid got most of their backlinks via good quality content and tools. They started writing about topics, and creating tools and tests that would be interesting for someone who is creating a dating profile online.

Generally, the more number of quality backlinks you have pointing to your website the higher you rank on Google and other search engines. OkCupid has more than 213,000 backlinks pointing to their website.

Thepicture below shows their ‘The Classic Leading Man Test’ which alone generated more than 350 backlinks to their website from more than 80 different website domains.


OkCupid

Another example is the ‘The dating Persona Test’ below which has got more than 1854 backlinks pointing to this single page from more than 650 different websites. They created content around topics that was newsworthy at that time. For example in theUSelection year of 2008, they created the ‘The Politics Test’ which alone generated more than 3700 backlinks to this one page alone.


OkCupid

They also created interesting graphs about how to create a dating profile online. They looked at all their data and studied what type of user profiles gets more hits from the opposite sex. They then started blogging about these topics online. For example this single blog post titled – ‘Your Looks and Your Inbox’ has generated more than 500 backlinks, 430 shares, 55 tweets, 170 Facebook Like’s.


OkCupid

Similar to these blogs and tests shown above, OkCupid has more than 4000 pages that are doing the same. OkCupid focused on creating content that would be interesting for their target customers. If you were on a dating website, and were looking for a partner online – their blogs, tools and tests would help you make a better choice.

Most startup companies focus on manually building backlinks to improve their rankings on Google. OkCupid and Urban Spoon have shown the benefits of creating content and tools that are link worthy – that have the possibility of going viral and scaling your backlinks.

If you are a startup and you’re looking to grow make sure you invest time in creating an online strategy that does not depend on you manually adding backlinks to your website. In the next article we will look at another startup that has enjoyed phenomenal growth by creating tools that adds value to their customers.

About the Author

Arjun Rajkumar is the founder of First10, an Internet marketing agency. To know more you can email him on arjun@first10marketing.com

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