Dragons Den online kicked off last week and a number of fledgling ideas and young businesses people sought investment, hoping to gain the experience of the two internet entrepeneurs, Julei Meyer and Shaf Rasul, and reap the rewards of their success. FamilyFridge was an idea created by Alexi Deak, a family social networking site, that was the only pitch that converted into a successfull investment from one of the dragons.
‘Bringing your family closer together’ is the message strap line and the idea is based on the concept of families joining their site and sharing information like diaries, photos, files, messages and creating gift lists. They are also soon to release a mobile based application, so watch your fridge for some more cool stuff!
I like the whole concept and it certainly earns it’s own space in the online arena. There are many social networking sites around – but not one aimed purely at families. There are other family based social media sites like the Famiva family blog that serves as a tool to build up your family tree, aswell as a place where you can upload pics and videos, but Famiva is different, and FamilyFridge is therefore unique in its offering. Provided they instill confidence on the security side of things, (giving all that personal information away in one place – fraudsters could potentially have a field day), I think this site will do well!
From an SEO point of view I decided to take a quick shifty at their search optimisation and social media strategy. First impressions, I can see how the simple and clean design has already earned it an early award, but lets get to the heart of the site – forget the shiny metal fridge exterior and lets turn on the light and see what goodies are inside. Well it’s hosted on a linux red hat server and the domain was only registered in Aug 2008, so it’s a fairly young domain.
A site like this needs to look good so on page optimisation is limited, but I thought that the home page title tag could have included the phrase ‘family social networking site’. Don’t get me wrong, but for this type of business, the best digital marketing techniques will be deployed using offsite advertising methods and leveraging online partnerships (Family Fridge is already partnered with one of the top online gift stores), but if they are going to top the SERPS for search terms like ‘social networking site’ they have a lot of catching up to do with sites like ‘Facebook’ or ‘Twitter’, and they need all the help they can get. They could have utilised SWF Image Object replacement for some keyword phrases – a missed opportunity in offerering a few words the way of the search engine spiders instead of using pure images. Anyhow, I would have atleast expected a H1 or a H2 header on the page. SEO guy was off sick that day no doubt!
Looking at the number of back links to the site, they have a cool 49 backlinks (50 now I’ve kindly allowed one from this article) and a very decent home page rank of 3. Now that”s not a massive amount of links, ‘could do a lot better’ even for a site that has been up for just more than a year, but would have expected a more active link profile, especially from a social media networking site. Nice to see they have registered with FriendFeed and also got some attention from sites like ‘mumsnet’, No doubt Dragons Den helped shed some more lime light their way and maybe a few more backlinks, but expected to see a few backlinks from a couple of top UK newspaper sites. Undoubtedly, that will come as the buzz spreads further up the social networking tree and not forgetting his new boss, Meyer (lets be honest who wouldn’t want to work for her, she can boss me around any day of the week), as she adds her midas touch to the mix. To sum up it looks like there’s a lot of work needs doing in the social media optimisation department. It’s early days yet, but utilising more social media traffic, forming relationships with other niche related sites and some heavy weight PR must be on the agenda now, if FamilyFriend is to raise the roof and reach the internet stratosphere.
On the Geo targeting side of things, I would have probably used the dot com domain, so as to attract a wider global audience – the business model does seem to have a global potential, not just in the UK. Incidentally, as the site is hosted in the UK and they are currently using a .co.uk domain, they would not be as prominent in other countries search results, such as the US , compared to if they were utilising the .com domain. If it proves successfull in the UK, no doubt this idea could translate well to other countries and other languages. (Obviously the American fridge will have to be twice the size of the UK’s, but that would also mean a whole bunch of extra traffic.)
So a familiar plot then! A good business model, great website design, but not the most convincing SEO.