When trying to boost the optimization of your website, it is important to consider, SEO or Search Engine Optimization, location tagging, and staying current, as well as gating some or all of your content. Although many believe that having content openly accessible to the public helps gain traction, this is highly dependent on what your site offers and what your goals are. Below we’ll answer some basic questions about gating as well as the value of gated content, and how gated content for SEO can hurt your search engine results.
What is Gating Content?
Gating refers to when content on your company’s website is only accessible to users after they have provided information about themselves. Generally, this means that users have to put in their email address, but it can also refer to follows or likes on social media apps- although this is a lot more uncommon.
Why are the benefits of having gated content?
Gated content allows companies to get information about the people visiting their websites. This can be helpful in understanding who is visiting your site and what they are looking for. Essentially the main benefit to gating content is the knowledge of your company’s ideal consumer.
What are the negatives of gated content?
Having what is referred to as open access for your company’s website builds a wider net of users, as well as building trust for your company. Users who find that your website has open access, are more likely to return to your site in the future.
Gated Content for SEO
The biggest risk you run when you gate some or all of the content of your website is that it may negatively impact your SEO results. If there isn’t a link that allows the search engine bots to find your content, they won’t be able to rank or index it. If your website isn’t ranked, when users search for your website, they won’t be listed in the search results.
It is dependent on what your website does, and what kind of content it houses. Generally, a mix of gated content and open access is best, depending on what you’re after. If you are looking to increase brand awareness and brand recognition, gating content isn’t the best idea. If you want to find more long-term users and believe that your content is going to be worthwhile to your consumers, gating makes sense. The content that you’re putting out consistently, but isn’t highly important or of high quality should never be behind a gate. If a user puts in their email or information of any sort and then finds average content, they most likely will feel cheated by the company and won’t return to the site.
If you’re unsure of whether to gate your content or leave it openly accessible to all users, reach out to us for any questions.