Don’t Sit On The Fence When It Comes To Gated Content

The mass publishing paradigm in which the majority of content is freely available to anyone and everyone is rapidly changing. In 2017, we all saw the rise of subscription services like Spotify, Hulu, and Netflix, as well as the decline of Facebook Instant Articles. Publishers are getting smarter about how they put the pieces together and less about the breadth of their content. Insiders are starting to pay a premium for access to specific information or content. They’re paying to be first or for the ability to experience content without anyone else there. The subscription model is not going away, and it’s not going to be easy to make money under this model.

Content marketing strategy is moving at a frantic pace. After all, the more that gets shared, the better chance you have of making an impression. And that’s where gating content comes in. What is a gated content approach? It’s putting a limit on how much content a business can share on social media and other online platforms. The idea is that it’s best to give something away for free, and then charge for access to the rest.

A gated content channel is one of the hottest trends in the marketing industry today. The purpose of gated content is to provide you with special content that cannot be found elsewhere. This is a great idea, as you know customers are looking for exclusive content. The problem, though, is that you have to go through a pretty strict process to get access to the content.

Every now and then a topic seems to dominate the SEO world and, even if it doesn’t make headlines a la Trump, marketers are talking about it. One of the topics that keeps coming up is gated content. In this article, I will put the kibosh on this popular topic.

The success of the audit depends on the contents of

When we talk about closed content, we mean hiding your goodies behind an online form. For your users, this means that they cannot access your content without providing their information. For you, of course, it means you’re offering a deal – the user gets your great content, and you get additional material for your databases. Unlike a paywall, your users get your ebook or video for free as long as they are willing to give you their information.

How does it work?

In most cases, the closed content is embedded in a call-to-action or pop-up window that, when clicked, offers the user to fill out a form before taking over what they are interested in. The most effective way to offer limited content is to create a landing page. Why? They tend to focus the user’s attention on the task at hand, rather than distracting them with other elements of the homepage.

Door or no door

Even worse: – an interested visitor who leaves because of the form without knowing anything about you. or -An interested visitor who found everything he was looking for, but didn’t give you an email address. gated (@AJBeltis) vs ungated (@ashleyfaus) #INBOUND2020 – Chris Todd (@IamChrisTodd) September 22, 2020 So I’ve talked a little bit about why you should close content and how you should do it, but the big question is whether you should do it. This is what has many SEO superheroes scratching their heads. The answer is simple: some materials benefit from closure while others do not. It can be hard to tell the difference. I’m going to try to untangle this for you by looking at when you should – and shouldn’t – close your content.

Lock it

By offering an incentive in the form of forced content, you can increase the conversion rate of your registration forms by 300%. #B2B https://t.co/2XaL0K2WyW. – Ironpaper (@Ironpaper_Inc) 18. January 2016 When deciding whether or not to fold your content, the general rule is to first assess the value of your content. This point is important because it relates to the user’s decision-making process, namely: Is this content worth the time I will spend filling out my information? Attention spans are very short these days, and if filling out a form only takes 30 seconds, that may be too long for some users. Therefore, you should think carefully before tagging your content, and usually do so only for the following type of content: Electronic books word-image-2516 Free e-books have become very popular in recent years (I can only confirm this by looking at my extensive collection). E-books are considered very valuable because they are usually very long and contain (or should contain) useful information that you can refer to repeatedly. In most cases, a lot of time and work has gone into creating the ebook, so in most cases users will find it valuable enough to spend those 30 seconds filling out the form. White Paper word-image-2517 Frankly, no one should publish a white paper unless it is filled with quality, thought-provoking information and supported by accurate, verifiable arguments, facts and figures. Once reserved for large, stuffy companies, white papers are now being created by many brands that want to offer in-depth knowledge and information about a specific industry. If you have a catchy hook, most users will be happy to trade in their data for your latest whitepaper. Stencils Everyone loves free templates, and for many businesses and individuals they are considered valuable – as long as they are of good quality. Never be tempted to sketch a few worthless patterns just to get results. Take the time to provide value and the user will respond accordingly. Webinars word-image-2518 We’ve seen more than our share this year due to the COVID 19 pandemic, and I don’t think that will change in 2021. The average webinar lasts 60 minutes, giving users great value for a few contacts at a low cost. Needless to say, webinars have become an important part of the marketing strategy of various brands and industries, especially for those who have had to conduct their marketing efforts entirely online. And with the right webinar software, your webinars will be more than just conversations in front of the camera. You can use advanced lead generation features, chats, interactive drawing tools, whiteboards, polls or quizzes.

Supervision – best practice

These are just a few examples of the kind of content you should probably put on your site, but before you get started with Geitytics, there are a few best practices you should follow: Clients’ movement When someone browses your website, they probably won’t click on all the links. Therefore, you need to make sure you create content for each stage of the buyer’s journey to increase the chances of converting a user into a potential buyer. Competitive analysis Yes, like everything else, your access strategy should include a thorough analysis of the competition. Whatever you do, you can be sure that your competitors are already doing it. So before you start, you need to look at who is doing what to see if your offering is better. Incentives If you were on the site and wanted to see additional learning resources (webinars, e-books, additional closed content), what word would make you click and stay on that page? – Nadya Khoja (@NadyaKhoja) September 17, 2020 Okay, your great content should be incentive enough, but you still need to publicize the benefits they can get by joining, namely high-quality, authoritative content that will help their business. Landing pages As I mentioned earlier, they are valuable when it comes to really drawing the user’s attention to the content you are offering. Get in the habit of creating landing pages for your limited content, and design them simply and with a clear call to action for the best results. Reconciliation of data When you start using the door system, you obviously want to see how you are doing, and the only way to do that is to do a proper analysis. As with any marketing strategy, A/B testing is the tool of choice to find out what users think about a particular output of your content.

Unlock it

A paywall for your articles? That’s okay, I do quote another publication with unbiased content in my article. ♀️ – Michelle Garrett (@PRisUs) January 13, 2020. While it makes sense to close some of your best, longest, and most valuable materials, not all materials are created equal, and for some species, closing may mean slamming the door on your trailers. Here are some examples of content that should not be closed: Blog entries Do you remember the last time you took the bus or the train? It may seem like ancient history to many, but you probably remember that most of your passengers were glued to their phones – and many of them were reading blog posts. Blog posts, by their very nature, are meant to be quick reads that you can easily pick up and put away. Therefore, it is unlikely that a commuter will want to fiddle with the forms and just move on to the next form. Video Videos are ideal for short, informative sound bites about your brand or an industry topic. They’re usually pretty short, too. Before you consider making video content private, do the math: Would you spend 30 seconds filling out a form to watch a two-minute video? You don’t? And your user too. Generally speaking, flash units don’t work well with videos, and should be left uncovered if you really want people to watch them.

Pros and cons of closed content

Now that I’ve explained what content should and shouldn’t be covered, let’s look at the pros and cons of this much-discussed activity: Control of authorised personnel

  • Increases lead generation
  • Improves sales
  • Gives you valuable information about your customers
  • Defines the framework for email segmentation


  • Lack of brand visibility
  • Can discourage busy users
  • Can reduce the number of page views
  • Limited SEO benefits

Non-advertised content gets 6x more views and 3x more conversions. @DevangSachdev #DevGuild – Mary Thengvall (@mary_grace) April 12, 2017. I’ve listed the pros and cons here, because while it’s important for you to generate leads, it’s also important to keep the customer in mind. People are busy, and you really need to weigh the pros and cons of closing content before you act. A good way to find out what people are thinking is to look at them. No, I’m not suggesting you turn into some kind of stalker. Social listening and brand monitoring are a great way to go deeper and find out what’s happening on the ground. Brand24 is one of the best tools I’ve found for this. It can really help you shape your consistent content strategy as part of your broader marketing and SEO goals.

The heart of the matter

Once you’ve made the decision to gamify your content, you need to decide on the details: Go to Your first task is to decide how to access the content once the user has opened the door. The following options are available here:

  • Receive content by e-mail
  • Receive a link to download immediately
  • Redirect to a subscription page

I almost always recommend emailing content to users because that’s the most convenient way. Your user may be too busy to download the content immediately. In this case, he will appreciate that she is waiting for him in his inbox. Create your closed campaign Of course, you can do it yourself if you have some technical skills, but it can be tedious and time-consuming. I recommend using tools like Optinmonster or Thrive Leads to set up your campaign quickly and easily. This tool guides you through the different campaigns available, including floating panel, full screen, and slide-in mode, and provides several templates to get you started. Forms These days there are many options for creating forms, but for closed content I always recommend keeping it short and sweet so customers don’t get irritated and leave. For those of you who haven’t dealt with forms yet, Zuko Analytics is a great tool that not only helps you create forms, but also performs in-depth analytics to make sure your forms work as well as you do – all the time.


I have described the types of content that should be closed and those that should remain open, but these are recommendations rather than hard and fast rules. As with any form of marketing, nothing is black and white, and there are always nuances to be discovered. For example, it’s best not to tag blog posts, but the exception may be if you’ve added an update to an article that offers significant value – in which case it’s worth including the update in the tagging. I cannot stress enough how important it is to test, test and test again when it comes to content control. The only way to know if it works is to do the analysis and make the necessary adjustments. It may take a lot of trial and error, but the results can be totally unexpected if you do it right.


Marketing content (180) Conversion optimization (15)The world of content marketing is a tricky one, and it can be easy to be turned about by marketing buzzwords used to describe the latest trends in the industry. Today, much of the content marketing landscape is dominated by gated content, which is content that is kept behind a paywall. This content is often only available to specific groups of people, and it can be hard to get a sense for what is and isn’t gated content.

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