Could your group use more members?
or do you ever wish there were more groups in your area?
When a person searches for groups, they most likely to do it one of two ways: 1) The search bar, or 2) The places tab. Neither of these methods will help your organization be found – unless you include the right information in the Group Name and “About & Rules”. Just because most people brush over reading the group’s rules, do not ignore the value of this page’s content.
The tips and information below are gathered from researching FetLife’s specific quirks and search engine optimization:
Here are some tips to increase the frequency your group is found in FetLife searches:
- If you are a munch (or munch-type group), list yourself as such. To find local groups, people will often use their location + keyword “munch”. Without using this specific word, your organization can easily be missed;
- Be explicit what cities your group serves. “PNW” isn’t near as useful for a search as “Washington”. “In the mountains” says less than the towns that your members come from. “Space Coast” is a common nickname, but spelling out that your group serves Melbourne, Cape Canaveral, etc is more likely to connect with individuals doing a place search; specific locations, like this example are great;
- Keep in mind that searches often require 3 or more letters for solid results. Don’t rely on “TN” to lead kinksters to your Tennessee group;
- Don’t sacrifice the ability to be found in the name of being discrete. At least give general location information such as “meets in the northeast Atlanta suburbs”; however, county names are less effective than city or town names;
- Spell check the title and content of the group (especially any keywords);
- It is so easy to write from familiarity. You know what you want to say; it’s easy to assume that what you’re intending is what is being conveyed. Read it out loud. Have someone else, preferably someone unfamiliar with your locale, read over your description;
- Use your group’s description to your advantage to keep things fresh and informative;
- Take the time to “test search” for your group. Can you be found by city(s)? state/province?(s) country? In both a place search like this and the search bar. NOTE: it can take a couple of hours for changes to reflect in the search engine;
- Preferably in the title, list the full name of your group (eg “TES” vs “TES – The Eulenspiegel Society”);
- Don’t rely just on your event postings to make clear who/what your group is. Make sure it is clear and consistent;
- No matter how clever your group’s acronym name is, it doesn’t necessarily make it locatable. (eg searching for “SMART” reveals literally 106! groups);
- The “rules” and “restricted to” sections (on the “about page”) are notindexed and not keyword searched. Don’t rely on it to solely express or advertise your geographic area or limitations;
- Pay close attention to use of spacing and characters other than those of standard English. eg “Fort Worth” vs “FortWorth”, “Montreal” vs “Montréal” (edit as of August 7, 2011);
- Is it clear where your group is located? “NE Kinksters” could be North East, New England, Nebraska, or many other options;
When searching for groups on FetLife, results are displayed in the following order:
1. Those with the keyword in the group title AND in the group description;
2. Those with the keyword only in the group title;
3. Those with the keyword only in the description or in the title but as a derivative.
(Within each of those categories, the results are shown in group ID # order.)
Therefore, if “Cuba” was the keyword, here is the order of how various (hypothetical) groups would be sorted in a FetLife search:
…Group: “Kink Cuba” / Description: “For kinksters in Cuba”;
…Group: “Kink Cuba” / Description: “For island nation kinksters;
…Group: “Kink Islanders” / Description: “For kinksters in Cuba“;
…Group: “Kinky Cubans” / Description: “For island nation kinksters;
While many of these tips specifically relate to FetLife, the information in general is applicable wherever your organization promotes itself.
Please share how these tips have worked for you, and any other suggestions.