Content marketing, which includes blogging, article writing, press release distribution and more, is all about getting people to read your content. Quality, relevant content helps build brand recognition and establishes the author as an industry authority and expert. Good content can help drive traffic to your website, as well as provided reputable one-way links back to the site. This looks good to the search engines, so it helps a site rank better. In the world of SEO, content is king! So why are so many blogs or internal site pages hidden behind logins?
It’s understandable that some sites want readers to become “members” before they can gain access to the juicy content that’s kept under lock and key. Some of these sites charge a huge fee to be a member, so they don’t want free-loading eyes coming to the party. But keeping you content shielded by the online version of velvet ropes and a bouncer isn’t a good idea for two reasons:
1. If visitors can’t read it, neither can the search engines
Search engines use bots call search spiders to crawl and index every single page on every single website that is online. That’s billions upon billions of pages! When a user plugs in their search phrase, theses spiders pull up webpages that best match that search. SEO Hint: search engines rank individual pages, not whole websites.
Creating a login page before your content is essentially throwing a roadblock up in front of the search spiders. It forbids them from crawling and indexing your content. If the search spiders can’t crawl you site, they can’t include it in the search results. Seeing as 80% of click through traffic comes from organic search results, how will your content ever be found if it doesn’t rank?
2. Requiring readers to sign-in can drive them away
Most searches are conducted by one person looking for one piece of information. Sorry to say, they don’t want to have to join your club in order to get a resource for their college term paper. Unless you are on the only place online producing content that they need (and the odds of that are slim), chances are they won’t bother creating an account just to see if you have the information that they need.
Users learn that your site if off limits unless they are willing to sign-in, so they stop bothering to show up. Even if your site is ranking well, readers remember that you keep you content behind closed doors, so they don’t bother to click over to your site. Now you are driving traffic away and delivering it to your competitors on a silver platter.
So what’s the moral?
Some websites can afford to keep their content in the clubhouse because they are a well respected and established site that is known for producing great content. The average blogger probably can’t say the same thing. So if you want your articles and blogs getting readers, make sure it’s available to the masses!