What is your visit to sign up rate and how can it be improved?

I’m interested in comparing my visit to signup rate with other Discourse community managers with a view to understanding how I could improve it. Lots of effort goes in to driving traffic to our community and I want to capitalise on those visits as much as possible.

I’m using the very insightful https://discoursemetrics.com and my stats for this metric over the previous 30 days are 0.33%

What is your visit to signup rate?

What steps should be taken to improve it?

So in my experience these numbers differ vastly depending on the nature of the community and its relationship to the brand.

Of the two most recent communities that I’ve managed one had a conversion rate of 1.1% and the other 0.14%. They both get approximately equal numbers of signups but the first one had significantly less traffic and it was more relevant (people tended to search for the community). The second one gets 10x the traffic and people were looking for information and then discovered the community. Both were successful so I guess benchmarking this can be problematic.

As far as optimising that rate, I have some ideas:

  • Optimise for organic traffic. Remember that most searchers won’t land on your homepage so use GA to figure out which are the most popular landing pages and put clear CTAs to sign up to the community there.
  • Make sure you’re attracting relevant traffic by optimising for unambiguous search terms.
  • If you have a popular blog you could consider gating content behind a registration pop-up. The stats support this practice but it’s def not for everyone
  • Have clear, unambiguous CTAs. Make your button say “Join [community]” not “Go” or “Submit”
  • Utilise the von Restorff effect for your sign-up buttons
  • Use tunnelling – one clear CTA on a page with no other distractions. (Check out BJ Fogg’s work.)

This topic is also relevant.


In my experience, signup rate should not be important in building a successful community. You can have

A) plenty of people signing up but not participating in discussions
B) few people signing up with strong intention to participate in discussions

E.g. you can have 1 active user per 100 sign ups per month (1%) or per 10 signups (10%) – the percentage is different, but you still have 1 active user.

In our community signups happen organically – partially thanks to the Discourse’s form that appears at the bottom for anonymous uses after they spend some time reading, partly because of the content that engages and invites people to say something.