Got a very pleasant surprise when I saw a huge traffic spike coming from… wait for it.. the International Space Station !!!
Initially thought it was a bug in the Google Analytics – until I found out that it was a April Fool’s day prank. Haha – very funny Google – stop playing on people’s egos, some of use do believe that our sites are that good that even the astronauts cannot resist ! I am sure there are some single astronauts looking for prospective brides/grooms on the best matrimonial site in the world 🙂
Its been a couple of pretty big weeks for Findari – it all started when I saw that Google started listing sitelinks (like Sign In, Contact Us etc) for the keyword ‘findari.com’. A lot of search traffic to the site comes through the keywords findari or findari.com so these search results were important to the users.
Now the way the site was designed, there wasnt a Sign in Page – to Sign In, the users just had to go to the main page and open a dialog (or more appropriately a modal box). Since the sitelink URL was incorrect – I had two options – either demote it using Google Webmaster tools or even better actually make a completely seperate Sign In page.
Thats where the journey began and from what was initially just a matter of adding another Sign In page (and maybe also a ‘Create New Account’ page) – turned out to be a major redesign for the whole website. So after roughly 10 days with very little sleep – I have managed to change the layout and theme of the whole site. To be fair – it wasnt just a spontaneous decision, I always had a little voice in the head saying ‘the layout is pretty bad’ but I was just supressing that voice because of the amount of work involved. However I was just underestimating the power of Bootstrap.
There are some functionality changes as well to reduce the clicks to get to the most requested pages in the site and removing redundant/confusing functionality.
Findari has also started to appear in search results (although on Page 2) for the main keyword ‘free matrimonial site‘ which is great news considering the site wasnt ranking on ANY page less than 15 days ago.
When I was deciding on the best way to inform the users of findari if and when someone expresses interest in their profiles, I took a deliberate decision to not use emails. The reason being that I did not want to send them regular emails like the other sites shaadi.com and jeevansathi.com. These paid sites send between 1-3 emails everyday to their users (I know because I had a profile on these sites earlier) basically
- asking you to pay, or
- sending you matches that they think you would like or
- asking you to pay or
- sending you an interest request for your profile from another member and then asking you to pay…
well you get the picture. These emails get really annonying really fast – I thought that if users really wanted to either search for matches or check how many people had expressed interest in their profiles then they can just login to the site in their own free time instead of the site sending them regular reminders.
Well seems like I was a bit wrong, after taking the advice of a friend over the weekend and checking statistics on how many users had actually connected with each other (i.e. had expressed interest in each other’s profiles) I found that 31% of the ‘connected’ users had not logged back in the site which means they are not even aware of the fact that the person they expressed interest in has actually accepted their interest request.
Seems like there is a middle path I can (and should) follow which is to just send emails when two users are ‘connected’ because lets face it as much as I can dream in my own head – findari is no facebook and users wont log back in everyday to check if someone has accepted their interest request.
Well I finally decided to start a blog about the site (something about good SEO practise especially for start-ups). Also to mainly share the progress of Findari as it grows.
But first things first, the questions I get asked often are what does Findari mean? Why start a Free Matrimonial Site? What IS a Matrimonial Site?
First about the name Findari – the name doesn’t really mean anything unless you are part of the crazy world of online role playing game Illarion – in which case Findari is the goddess of air. The name was a result of not really being able to find any sane combination of the words – free matrimonial site (trust me I tried everything) which was still available as a domain name – so the next best thing to do is to choose a name which is easy to remember and is short – and voila Findari – 7 characters, 3 syllables – that’s the best I could do.
Next – what is a matrimonial site & why another matrimonial site
Matrimonial Site is like a dating site except when you contact other people on the site you are doing so for the sole purpose of getting married to them. Wiki has a nice explanation for Matrimonial Sites
If you look at the well established matrimonial sites like shaadi.com, bharatmatrimonial.com, jeevansathi.com – you will soon realize that the cost to use these sites are quite high. Even though these sites allow you to register your profile, if you want to contact another member on the site – you need to become a paid member and memberships aren’t cheap !
There are alternatives to these paid matrimonial sites however most of the ‘free’ alternatives have such a bad layout, design and functionality that it was surprising to see they were ranking so high in Google. This is what led to Findari
It is still a work in progress and far from where ideally I would like it to be in terms of functionality however it has had a good start…