If you are planning to start a membership website, you might be familiar with the recurring revenue business model. With a membership website, you allow your users access to gated content and charge them a recurring fee to support your work.
We can all agree that it is important for a membership website to generate maximum amounts of traffic and to rank well on the search engine. A membership website analysis can help you achieve this and more.
A membership website can benefit from an analysis of its metrics if they are then used to improve its performance.
In this guide, we will take a look at some of the most important member acquisition, member retention, and CTA metrics and find out how they affect a website’s performance.
New Member Acquisition via Marketing
The end-to-end process through which an entrepreneur brings new members to their website is known as member acquisition. For a membership company to be successful, its goals need to revolve around systematic and sustainable member acquisition strategies that keep up with industry trends.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is an organic way to bring traffic to your site by increasing your website’s visibility on search engines. SEO is hardly an exact science, but it involves using various tactics and strategies that can help your website rank better in the search engines.
The success of your SEO strategy can be measured via metrics, including:
Rankings: Where you stand in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) is the most important SEO metric that you will want to measure. Within the context of member acquisition, you will want to make sure that users who want your gated content have just enough information to want more.
Think New York Times for newspaper content or IMDB for videos. Both of these are member-based models. They have extensive search campaigns that target either current events for news or, in the case of IMDB, a wealth of free content monetized by advertising revenue. Both require SEO to bring in new prospects. Both require the monitoring of the rankings in Google.
CTR: The click-through-rate is another metric that shows how many people clicked on your website link that appeared in the search engine to visit your landing page. The CTR is an important indicator of whether or not a keyword is performing.
That means if your website ranks no.1 on certain keywords, but people are still not clicking on it, its CTR is not really optimized. For example, if your link appears in response to 10,000 search queries, but only 150 people click on it, your CTR is just 1.5%, which is very low. A low CTR is an indicator that you may lose your high rankings spot. It is critical to fix that as soon as you can by optimizing your title tag. The goal is to inspire users to click.
On the other hand, if your CTR is high, it means you have traffic coming to your site. However, that still doesn’t mean that all those people will convert. Let’s explore the metric measures rate of conversion below.
Social Media Marketing
Organic social media marketing is important for increasing brand awareness, creating a brand image, and sharing content. It helps viralize your content and inspire your followers to help you by becoming brand advocates.
To determine whether your organic social media marketing works, you should take into account the following metrics:
CTR: Like SEO, social media marketing’s success can also be determined by your social channels’ CTR. You can find out how effective your posts are by looking at the click through rate, which shows the number of people that click on your post as compared to the number of people who saw your post.
Engagement Rate: Engagement rate is the metric that shows how involved your customers are in your content. Your visitors may engage with your content by taking certain actions such as pressing “like” or “share.” A higher engagement rate is a good indicator that your membership website has great content. It also shows that you have correctly-defined target segments and you provide highly relevant content to these segments, which can result in lead generation and conversion.
Paid Search/ Paid Social
Leveraging paid search ads (pay-per-click) and social media advertisement can result in getting your content in front of the audience quickly and generating high levels of traffic to your membership website. These ads can also help you make an email listing as well, which can be the difference between a follower and a paid customer.
CPC vs Profit Margin: Cost per click is the price you pay every time a user clicks on your ad in the search engine or social media. The important thing to measure here is how much profit are you willing to part with in order to acquire a new member. If the LTV (Lifetime value) of a new user is $100, and you are willing to part with $50 of that to increase your membership, then you know how much you can spend in terms of clicks to get the new member.
Example, $50 is the target CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost), and for ever 10 visitors, 1 subscribes, this means you can spend up to $5 per click to get the customer aquired.
About 46% of companies report that increasing their member retention is one of their top goals. For a membership centric company, its all about making sure that you are providing value to your users that are paying you for your content.The more engaged your visitors are with your website, social experiences, and other content creation efforts, the higher will be your retention rate.
Thanks to extensive analytics technologies, it is now easier than ever to find out how happy your members are by recording several different types of metrics:
Social Engagement: We have already discussed what engagement is above. In social media, it is the number of total engagements a post receives divided by the total number of impressions, shown by a percentage.
Typically, for huge brands, a 1 to 2% engagement rate is considered acceptable. However, smaller companies should aim for at least a 5% engagement rate as a way to build a bigger community.
Bounce Rate: Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who land on your membership website but leave before viewing another page. Therefore, if your site has a high bounce rate, it is a sign that your users are not having a good experience or you are not attracting relevant visitors to your site.
Hence, when you are working to increase site performance and get more traffic, reducing bounce rate should be high on your list of priorities.
Time on Site: The time on site is also known as average session duration and it measures the total time a visitor spent on your site.
The time on site is a good indicator of customer engagement. For example, if a customer spent an hour on your site, visiting various pages and interacting with various elements, it shows customer interest.
Pages/Session: Another way to measure customer interest is to view the number of unique page visits per session. From a membership website perspective, the higher the pages per session count, the better it is. That’s because it shows that a visitor did not just stick to one page but was interested enough to browse other pages as well, which means they had an engaging experience.
A call to action is an element on a website that requests visitors to take a specific action. For a membership website, one CTA is to request visitors to subscribe. The success of the website’s CTA can be determined by factors like:
Lead Generation/Subscription Conversion Rate: Lead generation is the process of attracting potential customers towards a membership website. These customers can then fulfill a particular action and convert to paying customers. This could be an email collection campaign, used to nurture leads into members in the future.
The lead generation rate can be calculated by the total number of captured leads divided by the total number of visitors through a channel, whether it is the search engine, social media, or paid or unpaid means.
On the other hand, the subscription conversion rate of a membership website is calculated by dividing the total number of subscribers by the total number of prospects.
Subscription Renewal Rates: This is the percentage at which your customers maintain their relationship with your subscription site. This is one of the most important indicators of a successfully growing company and shows the website is capable of generating value for its visitors over the long run.
By focusing on the above metrics and improving them over a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis, you will also see an improvement in your traffic, profits, and return on investments. These KPIs can help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your membership business and allow you to make informed decisions on how to improve and grow your company.