My goal this year is much more ambitious. It is to have 1,000 active users. To put that in perspective, with current rates of engagement (prior to the redesign, anyway) that would mean attracting 50,000-100,000 users.
That might be possible with $100k of AdWord spending, but I don't want to do that.
So the primary sub-goal is to raise the engagement rate from 1-2% to 5%-10%. More on that over the next few months (bottom line: improving functionality to make Quisition a more effective—and hence compelling—learning tool)
That still means I need to attract 10,000-20,000 users. Or 10-20x what I had at the end of last year. That's still a sizable increase in advertising costs, all other things being equal. Too rich for my blood.
I can reduce the CPC (cost-per-click) with better ads in cheaper placements. But the more important metric is the cost-per-conversion—how much does it cost to get a new user. Lower CPC doesn't matter if it doesn't result in a new user. Also, I can't think of a way of tracking where the long-term users came from so the thing I need to watch out for is that the cheapest conversions may not be the ones that last.
A more general notion, that applies regardless of whether the traffic source is an ad or, say, this blog, is how many people that visit the site actually sign up for an account. Before the redesign, that number was 5.6%. The redesign seems to be working already because that number is now 8.2%.
Just for the record, last year I was getting a 0.24% CTR (click-thru-rate) on my ads and 6% conversion rate. So far this year, I've increased the CTR to 0.3% and, since the redesign am getting a conversion rate of 10% from ad click-thrus.
So, to achieve 10,000-20,000 users, I need to:
where the latter involves me trying to:
The product of all those factors needs to be in the 10-20 range.
Of course, that all assumes that AdWords continues to be the biggest source of leads. I probably need to pursue other forms of promotion, but I really don't have any experience with that other than this blog.
The original post had 4 comments I'm in the process of migrating over.