Locking down site to get registers

(David Kaleky) #1

We just relaunched our site Thursday, Florida.com and we have too many lookers. We need to get people to register.

We have main 3 parts of site

  • Forum- need to register to post- so far no action from posters
  • Business Listings- need to keep open b/c business will pay for advertising
  • I want to – popular area, which I am thinking of doing a partial lockdown

I wasn’t sure if I should lock down forum from seeing posts, since people are not joining anyways yet.

I am going to get more registers when I start to use our friend share (i hope), after I give away a bunch of VIP memberships.

(Sarah Hawk) #2

Congratulations on the launch!

Be careful about gating your content for SEO reasons.

Why do you think it is that people aren’t registering? What value do they get from doing so? And how simple is the process?

(David Kaleky) #3


I have decided to gate one area, I want to – which is the most popular and fun. Just giving a small tease. Which can not be crawled anyways yet b/c it is heavy ajax.

People don’t register b/c there is no compelling reason they know of clearly, unless they want to participate in forum or give a business review.

The VIP area is a real legitimate value for people who are logged in – either to buy, or earn by points. I am moving the landing sales page for that into closer proximity to where the action is in I want to, making links to it. It will show as part of a natural process of going to the gated area with the limited participation.

Register is 2 step. Name, email password- email sent to verify.

So back to the original question, but I don’t see it done too much, is gated forum?

(Sarah Hawk) #4

We used to do it here. We had a paid community and the content was all gated. We then moved to a hybrid model, with some free and some paid content. It didn’t work particularly well for us (for a few reasons) so we did away with it this year.

Have you got anything to lose by trying it?

(David Kaleky) #5

for this area SEO only, but it is so busy yet,

Was thinking of starting some provocative subjects to make people want to login.

Like Free Ebook, How to’s etc But that is a bit of an undertaking. But Free is good? So make some of the juicier topics gated…

(Sarah Hawk) #6

Free isn’t really the key here. Even free doesn’t work if the barrier to entry is perceived as too high or you’re giving away something that no one wants. Offering a solution to your audience’s needs is what you need to focus on. If you can figure out what people are looking for and then offer them that, you’re probably sorted.

Do you have access to your historical Google Analytics data? I’d look up what terms people are searching for (Acquisitions --> Campaigns --> Organic keywords) and then use that in your CTA.

(Nick Emmett) #7

Hi @CD_Kaleky, great to hear from you. I’m with @HAWK here in terms of not locking things away if you can really help it. The easier you make it for people to find your Community the better - it sounds like people are finding you but the problem is getting registered members? What’s engagement like from those that have registered?[quote=“CD_Kaleky, post:3, topic:2458”]
People don’t register b/c there is no compelling reason they know of clearly, unless they want to participate in forum or give a business review.

This is something that you need to get in front of your visitors - give them a compelling reason to do so. What is your community’s WHY? Why does it exist and what do you think would compel people to come and use it, where’s the value for them?

(Sarah Hawk) #8

Exactly. Right now when I visit your site @CD_Kaleky I see a tonne of interesting information and things to read, but at no point is it communicated to me that joining has benefits. I’m not going to spend time filling out a form unless it offers value.

(Richard Millington) #9

Agree with all of the above.

The other thing to consider here is what the purpose of registration is? What do you get from it?

There’s often an assumption that if people register they will be more likely to participate. Thus people incentivise registration in various ways.

In practice, that’s almost never the case. So I’d focus less on the value of joining and more about the value of participating. Because they have to join to participate anyhow.

So how does participating align with their values and help them?

(Nick Emmett) #10

I like this - the value of participation and engagement is so much higher than registration. Plus if you incentivise registration you potentially end up with the worlds biggest ghost city as there’s no real value being gained after registration, once they have their free ebook/whitepaper/pen/mug etc

(James Higginson) #11

@HAWK I spotted your suggestion re Organic keywords in GA and checked on mine but 95% of the results are (not provided). Any idea what that’s about please?!

(Sarah Hawk) #12

Hey @James_Higginson – I do know what that’s about and it’s infuriating. A while back Google changed their approach to protect privacy. Now, anyone that is searching via a logged in Google account is channeled through SSL and their search data is hidden. I don’t know about you, but I have different Google personas logged in across all my browsers (for quick access to Google docs, calendar invites etc) which means that all my searches fall into the (not provided) bucket.

There is another report which you might find more helpful since your (not provided) rate is so high.
Try Acquisition --> Search Engine Optimisation --> Queries

That will provide similar data, it’s just a couple of days out of date.

(James Higginson) #13

Thanks @HAWK I’m going to have a look at that now, much appreciated!

(David Kaleky) #14

Well what do people get here? They can post and discuss. We have that. But no takers.

I understand that. So I just made a quick headline on home page, linking to short blog explaining what people gain by joining or miss out if they don’t. http://www.florida.com/blog/eat-50-off/

But there are so many sites, large forums and site that don’t explain why to signup. Gogobot.com for example.

And BTW i do have a badge and point system.

Geez I am having a REALLY hard time!

(Sarah Hawk) #15

Then you either have a product/market mismatch (they don’t want to post and discuss the topic you’re offering) or people are finding the site ambiguous.

The first thing I’d do is get a few people to do some usability testing. See if they can figure out why they should sign up, and how to do so. There might be something really simple onsite that you can change.

Out of interest, why do you want them to sign up? Is it a lead generation exercise?

[quote=“CD_Kaleky, post:14, topic:2458”]
Geez I am having a REALLY hard time!
[/quote] Ugh, sorry to hear that. Don’t stress, we’ll figure something out!

(David Kaleky) #16

Yes, leads are really important in the travel biz. And a good mail list.
It is also to bring people to our potential advertisers with the Florida deals .

There is a crazy busy forum from citydata www.city-data.com/forum/florida which is a plain forum and people.
But people need to sign up to post.[quote=“HAWK, post:15, topic:2458”]
Then you either have a product/market mismatch (they don’t want to post and discuss the topic you’re offering) or people are finding the site ambiguous.

Could be. I really tried to keep the site on focus. What to do, and talk about it

(David Kaleky) #17

Looking around for that. Any suggestions who does that. I found https://www.usertesting.com/

(Sarah Hawk) #18

I’d start with this – it’s free. :slight_smile:

(Bas van Leeuwen) #19

In general you should use the Google Webmaster tools to access that data

(you can also integrate this with Google Analytics on the property settings page)

Should give you much better data :slight_smile:

(Sarah Hawk) #20

On our site that returns exactly the same data. Never occurred to me that it might be different on others. Thanks for the tip Bas.