Best SEO Strategies for Membership Websites

March 27, 2022

Creating and running a successful membership website involves building a community of like-minded people and engaging them with your content.

However, attracting your target audience to your membership program can be a challenge, especially if the SEO of your membership site performs poorly.

If users don’t see your website’s content higher up in search engine results, it decreases the chances of your target audience clicking on your membership site’s link in the first place.

In this article, we’ll dive deeper into some of the best SEO strategies for membership websites.

#1. Make sure not all content is restricted

#1. Make sure not all content is restricted

Membership websites have premium content that’s only accessible to users with the “members” role or only by people who subscribe. This means your content is hidden from search engines and crawlers.

This negatively impacts your membership site’s organic discoverability. In simpler words, fewer people will be able to learn about your membership site when they search for related content using a search engine. This is why it’s best to never keep all of your membership site’s content behind a paywall.

A better way to present content on your membership website is by protecting parts of your pages or creating a separate “members only” page on your website. This not only makes it easier for site visitors to see and access your content from search engine results but also helps improve your membership site’s ranking in SERPs.

With an influx in site traffic, it makes it easier for you to convert visitors into paying members. As a result, you can gain new members and increase engagement on your membership website.

#2. Offer high-value content for free

#2. Offer high-value content for free

As you probably already know, membership websites mostly have premium content that’s locked behind a paywall or a subscription fee.

However, offering high-quality content for free is a great way to promote your membership site and attract new members. In addition to this, it also “impresses” search engines since the free content on your website is accessible by search engine robots, unlike the paid or premium content on your membership site.

This type of “free” content is not only used to convert site visitors into registered members. Instead, it’s mostly used to present higher quality content to search engine results. This way, you can attract your target audience and create a better brand image for your business.

One of the most important things to remember when offering free content on your membership website is to keep your premium content valuable and spend-worthy. You want to make sure the free content you use to promote your membership website doesn’t compare in terms of value with your premium content. If your premium content and free content are the same quality, people might not find much value in paying for a membership plan.

#3. Enhance your membership site’s performance

One of the main factors for improving SEO is directly dependent on how well your membership website performs.

For instance, if your site has a slower response and longer page load time, there’s a pretty good chance search engines will prefer to not show your content higher in SERPs.

The good news is, there are many ways you can enhance the performance of your membership site. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Inline and defer unused resources. You want to make sure that there are no unused resources or code lying around in your site’s database. This can cause slower page load times and poor response on the front-end. Consider clearing out old JavaScript files and unused CSS files to improve the performance of your membership website.
  • Clear out old “trash” folders in WordPress. Other than clearing out old code from your database, you also need to empty the trash folder in WordPress. This way, all your old deleted posts, comments data, and other deleted data from your membership site will be removed forever. As a result, it can help improve load times on the front-end of your website.
  • Remove old plugins and themes data. Once you remove old plugins and themes, some data is still left behind that contains user settings stored for later use. However, the data is still stored in your site’s database. This is why it’s important to remove old plugin and themes data from your WordPress database so it’s completely uninstalled from your membership site.

You can also use a WordPress optimization plugin if you’re looking for a more “hand’s off” approach to optimization of your membership site. Here are some of the best options available for membership websites:

WP-Optimize

WP-Optimize

WP-Optimize is an all-in-one WordPress optimization and database clearing solution.

The popular WordPress plugin offers powerful tools that let you optimize your membership site’s performance within a few minutes, without having to touch a single line of code. It’s great if you’re looking for an intuitive solution to boost the SEO of your site and attract more members.

Pricing – You can download the plugin for free or get the Starter license for the PRO version starting from $49 per year.

WP Rocket

WP Rocket

WP Rocket is a simple, yet powerful plugin that lets you quickly optimize your WordPress site.

It’s a caching plugin that lets you increase your membership site’s ranking in SERPs. This way, you can save time in optimizing the SEO of your membership site and focus on creating more engaging content.

Pricing – You can get started with WP Rocket for $39.20 for a single site.

Autoptimize

Autoptimize

Autoptimize is the perfect solution if you’re looking to optimize your WordPress database by yourself.

It’s great for less tech-savvy people and business owners who don’t have the time to get into the technicalities of website coding.

Pricing – The plugin is free to download and install on your membership site.

#4. Use a WordPress SEO plugin

Other than optimizing your membership website, you can also use a WordPress SEO plugin to enhance the SEO of your site quickly. This is great if you’re not very tech-savvy or want a simple solution for optimizing the SEO of your membership site.

Let’s quickly go over some tools that work great with WordPress membership websites:

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is one of the most popular SEO plugins for WordPress and is widely trusted by all sorts of businesses.

It offers all essential features for optimizing SEO and lets you focus on other important aspects of your business. By using Yoast SEO, you can gain new site visitors and target your membership content better for your audience.

Pricing – You can get the Yoast SEO plugin for $99 per year.

Rank Math

Rank Math

Rank Math offers a professional solution for enhancing the SEO of your membership website.

It makes it easier for all types of users to make their WordPress sites SEO-friendly. As a result, your content will appear higher in search engine results and attract more site visitors to your membership site.

Pricing – Rank Math plugin’s pricing starts at $59 per year for the PRO package.

SEOPress

SEOPress

SEOPress is a simple but fast plugin designed to help improve the SEO of your site.

It’s a great plugin that offers you all the tools you need to showcase your membership content perfectly so that search engines and humans both have an easier time finding your content on the internet.

Pricing – SEOPress pricing starts at $39.

#5. Repurpose engaging content for SEO

#5. Repurpose engaging content for SEO

Since creating high-quality content is a time-consuming and costly process, it’s better to get the most out of it. One way to do this is by repurposing content and using it for on-site and off-site SEO.

For instance, you can create a high-quality blog post and then repurpose the content to create marketing emails, social media posts, YouTube videos, or publish the same content on a high-priority website as a guest post. This can help enhance the SEO of your membership site as internal and external linking can bring in more organic traffic to your site.

#6. Measure and analyze SEO efforts

#6. Measure and analyze SEO efforts

Measuring and analyzing your SEO efforts is one of the most important steps in optimizing your membership website for search engines. You constantly have to measure how well your SEO efforts are working so that it’s easier to make the right changes and improve your site’s SEO even further.

Here are some tools that can help you with the process:

  • Google Analytics. It’s a great tool to track and report all the site traffic your membership website is receiving on a daily basis, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis.
  • Google Search Console. Google Search Console gives you an overview of performance and keyword data that gives you a better overview of how well your content is performing.

Conclusion

Optimizing the SEO of your membership website can be challenging, especially if this is your first time doing so.

You need to ensure that your website’s performance is top-notch before trying to work out why SEO performance is low. You can also use WordPress SEO plugins on your site if you’re looking for an easy solution.

Do you know of any other SEO strategies that can be used for membership websites? Let us know in the comments box below.

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