Know Everything About Gated Content and Best Practices to Develop Them

May 2, 2024 | Content Marketing

Content in the world of digital marketing is not a subtle aspect. It defines the vision, idea, ethics, values, or perhaps the entire framework of your brand. 

This is why experts say that CONTENT IS THE KING! 

Ever since the 4th industrial revolution surfaced in the global business landscape, digital enthusiasts, marketing geeks, and creative folks have been churning out distinctive content creation methods. 

Gated content is one such category that outrageously drives mass audiences to use your brand. 

It not only enhances your brand’s authority but also optimizes the conversion rate of your business. 

So, in this blog, we are going to learn about content gating, its benefits, categories, and a few practices to create elegant gated content.

What is Gated Content?

What is gated content?

Gated content is an online asset that you can access only after filling in your name, email address, and other similar details. 

Most common gated content that you can find in the digital world are white papers, articles, eBooks, interactive reports, webinars, etc. 

Modern marketers believe that content gating is a compelling lead magnet that can accelerate your conversion rate at a phenomenal pace. 

A well-performing gated content strategy should:

  1. Give a real-time solution to a problem. 
  2. Keep the consumer at the core of the content.
  3. Educate the users on your product and services.
  4. Offer market sustainability for a long time duration. 
  5. Offer something that your audiences are looking for.
  6. Leverage email campaigns and follow-ups with leads.
  7. Highly aim to improve the Return on Investment (ROI).
  8. Be digestible with easy-tone and comprehensive data.

Gated Content Vs. Ungated Content

Now, how is gated content different from ungated content? 

Since most web pages on the internet are accessible to both users and search engines without restriction, you can conclude that almost all of them are ungated content. 

Well, the most common question that emerges from this context is, which is better: Gated or ungated content?

A simple answer to this question is BOTH. 

It entirely depends on your business goals and objectives. 

Content gating gives you potential leads with whom you can possibly build a long-term relationship. 

Meanwhile, ungated content maintains a holistic approach toward users that may or may not convert into customers. 

Secondly, ungated content improves your website’s visibility in SERP. In contrast to that, gated content blocks the site crawler. Thus, it does not have any role to play in your website’s SERP ranking. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Gated Content

Now, let’s talk about the pros and cons of gated content. 

So, a few pros of gated content are:

  1. It starts generating leads instantly. Since most users on the internet are curious these days, they will enter their names and email addresses at least once to try your product or service. 
  2. It helps you in target audience segmentation for better communication. Gated content gives you a clear picture of who is interested in your product. The interested ones will go ahead and enter their details, and the rest will probably skip the content. 
  3. It offers you an instant measurement of performance. Unlike ungated content, you can clearly view and calculate the number of leads generated by specific gated content. More are the number of inquiries, the better is the performance of your gated content. 

Now, a few cons of gated content are: 

  1. It is not crawled or indexed by a Google bot. As a result, content gating never plays any role in pushing your brand higher in search results.
  2. It offers limited reach with restrictions. More often than not, users who don’t enter their details will never return to check your website or brand. 
  3. It may capture wrong information from the lead. Since users may enter fake names and email addresses, there is a bright possibility that you will end up capturing wrong details of users. 

Know a Few High Performing Gated Content

Let’s explore some of the high-performing gated content. They may or may not be suitable for your brand, so you must hand-pick them as per feasibility. 

Free Template

Free website template

Free templates are the famous gated content examples that effectively work in every business. A few best categories of free templates are: 

  1. Calculators
  2. Accounting
  3. Workbooks 
  4. Spreadsheets
  5. CV templates
  6. Portfolio templates
  7. Presentation templates

Ebooks, White Papers, and Reports

Ebooks, white paper, and reports

White papers, reports, and e-books are other types of gated content examples that have a great influence on users. 

Let’s find the specialty of these content-gating categories: 

  1. A white paper discusses complex topics, its technicality, and possible solutions. 
  2. An ebook covers less technical topics but at a much broader and extensive scale. 
  3. A report is the systematic display of research-based data arranged in a proper chronological order that is quite comprehensive for customers. 

Webinars

Webinar facilitates a direct interaction between a brand and its prospective customers. It brings a great deal of engagement with its live question-and-answer session. 

Since you are having real-time communication with the customers, they would become more receptive to CTAs. That’s an added plus point for your brand. 

A few prominent benefits of webinars are:

  1. High audience reach and engagement
  2. Improved brand awareness
  3. Qualified display of proven skills and expertise
  4. Encourage new product and service promotion
  5. Build relationships with new communities
  6. Generate valuable leads
  7. Economical and budget-friendly

Subscriber-Only Emails

Subscriber-only email

Newsletter content that is made available for current subscribers via mail is called subscriber-only emails. 

Your email marketing team can also send this content to audiences who are interested in it. A subscriber is more likely to sign up for the newsletter as they already consider the E-E-AT factor of your business. Subscriber-only emails can be weekly, monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, and so on.  

Product Demos

Website giving product demos

Yes, free product demos are also gated content examples. 

It provides an opportunity for your sales team to convert potential leads into customers. 

Product demos are very helpful in nurturing a long-term relationship with audiences. This is because there is nothing more trustworthy than getting a live exhibition of the features, traits, and benefits of a product.

Quiz & Polls

Brands offering quizzes and polls

People love participating in online quizzes and polls. And you can transform this opportunity into a gated content format for your business. 

Your marketing team can make good use of this opportunity by getting your audiences involved in it. Just offer the quiz as gated content so that they enter their details before participating in it. 

You can also try to structure the polls, surveys, and quizzes with demographic questions centering around the products and services they are mostly interested in. 

Learn Best Practices Of Gated Content 

So, we got to know the best-gated content that performs well in every industry vertical. Now, it’s time to make a list of best practices involved with gated content development. 

Choose the Topic & Format

The first practice of developing good gated content is to choose the topic and a refined format. You have to decide which prospect would be covered in the content and whether you have enough potential resources to develop and deliver that content or not. 

But how do you select a topic and develop content for it? 

Analyze your successful market competitors with SEO competitor analysis of RankWatch. Understand what they are ranking for, which keywords they are ranking with, and the strategies that are helping them to get a decent number of leads.

RankWatch competitor analysis

You would get insights like trending market competitors, ranking keywords, average rank, ranking URLs, top snippets, etc.

We would also recommend you make a separate sheet of their top landing pages and high-ranking keyword distribution of those successful competitors. 

Simply visit the rank tracking section of RankWatch, and you can fetch the top landing pages based on keywords and traffic.

RankWatch top landing pages

Understand the topic from their high-value pages, know what the audiences are looking for, and develop your gated content centered around the respective topics. 

Develop Gated Content for Each Funnel Stage

After determining the topic and prospect, you have to develop gated content for each stage of your marketing funnel.

Funnel stage gated content

Gated content for top-of-the-funnel would influence customers who are thinking of trying the product. They are already aware of their existing operational problem. 

So, here you have to understand the buying behavior of your audiences based on metrics like psychography, demography, personality, needs, etc. For more granular segmentation, evaluate their location, industry type, educational background, qualification, budget-stretch, and so on. 

How can RankWatch help you with this? 

The rank tracking section of RankWatch would help recognize your brand’s compatibility with customers’ purchase behavior.

RankWatch share of voice

It has a separate slot that gives insights on country-wise “Share of Voice.” Thus, you have coherent data on consumer preference for your brand at a defined geographical location. 

Now, you only have to offer them a free template or webinar to get a better understanding of your service, products, and implementation of solutions in their business. 

When it comes to middle-of-the-funnel, users already know about your product. Since they are comparing your brand with other market competitors, you have to offer them content that proves your effectiveness and service authority. 

At the bottom of the funnel, users have already decided to go ahead with your product. Here, you can offer gated content with an end-to-end listing of pricing and packages. 

Landing Page Development and Optimization

  1. Landing page optimization would compel the users to proceed with your product. A few required traits of your landing pages are:
  2. Sufficient images to grab users’ attention.
  3. Proper explanation of features and benefits. 
  4. A catchy headline adds value to the content. 
  5. Customer story that optimizes the conversion ratio. 
  6. Informative sub-headings that add up to the context.

Use the on page seo checker of RankWatch to build a comprehensive landing page for your website.

RankWatch on page SEO checker

When you visit the SEO IQ feature of RankWatch, it gives you insights like exact keywords in H1, H2, H3, metas, and URL, broad keywords in H1, H2, paragraph, meta title alt image text, URLs, and so on. 

These insights will help you create a catchy title, sub-headings, and comprehensive meta descriptions.

RankWatch SEO IQ insights

Along with that, you also get suggestions on appropriate keyword usage throughout the content. It would help you maintain the right volume of keywords.

RankWatch SEO IQ optimization status

Further, in the Content Editor’s optimization status section, you will get insights on keyword utility, their recommended numbers, and the number of times they need to be increased in the headings and body of the content. 

Next, the free keyword research tool of RankWatch can help you optimize the landing pages efficiently. 

Here, you can perform the SEO keyword analysis and find a set of keywords and search terms that would suit the optimization needs of your web pages.

Just visit the keyword analysis tool and follow these easy-to-go steps:

  1. Enter the search term in the given column
  2. Set the target location
  3. Select a phrase or broad match option
  4. Click on the search tab

RankWatch keyword analysis

Within seconds, you will get a long list of keywords and search terms along with insights like keyword difficulty, CPC, competition, search volume trend, and so on.

RankWatch question based keyword terms

When you scroll down, there are question-based keywords that you can use to make landing pages better and more relevant. 

Then comes the rank tracking section of RankWatch that helps you find high-value landing pages. You can interlink your content with those pages and gain a significant amount of traffic from there. 

Finally the backlink checker tool helps you with landing pages optimization. 

How?

Login to RankWatch, set the domain URL as the new project and scroll down to the backlinks section on the given dashboard.

RankWatch free backlink checker tool

There you get the backlinking insights segmented into major sections like referring backlinks, referring domains, anchor, pages & paths, IPs & subnets etc.

RankWatch backlink analysis insights

Now, when you click on the overview section, comprehensive data on total backlinks, percentage of active links, and percentage of deleted links is given to you. This gives an idea whether to initiate a backlink partnership with the website or not.

RankWatch backlink analysis insights

Likewise, the referring domain section gives you insights on total number of referring domains, total active domains, and total deleted domains. 

This helps you to assess the trustworthiness, authenticity, and online authority of the respective website. 

A brand with the least number of online referring domains would possibly not maintain a good backlink relationship.

RankWatch insight on referring domain

Other than these significant analyses, you get insights like “Referring Domain Niche” that offers you an idea on which niche the brand has mostly maintained a backlinking partnership with.

RankWatch link acquisition trend insights

Similarly, the link acquisition timeline validates the current backlinking approach of the website. Here you get a graph on the latest link acquisition as per the distributed timeline. 

Having all these insights in hand, you can conveniently build an effective backlinking strategy for your landing pages. 

Optimize Your Product and Service Form

Product and service form

A well-optimized product and service form will facilitate a smooth conversion for your brand. 

An optimized service form must contain all the parameters that your users may want to get the service for. Any metrics missing in the form will demote its quality, eventually frustrating the users. 

For example; a service form of mobile service center must have necessary fields like broken LCD, charging issues, battery replacement, broken digitizer, signal issues, fault description, and so on. Any field missing from the content would never fulfill the service requirement of the users. 

Promote Your Gated Content

The promotion of gated content is the major prospect of its success. It depends on the budget, platform, and resources available in your bucket. 

For instance, online PPC advertisements would drive a large volume of traffic to your brand. However, they are comparatively expensive. 

Meanwhile, social media advertisements are cheaper, but they may or may not be as effective as paid advertising. 

Constant Follow-Up With Leads

Since gated content is particularly developed to generate more leads, it is essential for your sales team to follow up with those leads. 

You can send emails, newsletters, service packages, and brochures or directly take a follow-up call as a reminder of your services. This is one of the most nurturing approaches to converting leads into loyal customers. 

Track the Performance of Gated Content

Only implementing the strategy is not enough for business success. You have to establish the right performance metrics for high business expansion followed by optimum financial sustainability. 

Thus, don’t forget to measure the success of your gated content with rational KPI parameters and success measurement verticals. 

Keep Mobile-friendly Website 

Users tend to use mobile devices comparatively longer than desktop or laptop. Gated content promoted through social media works best in mobile devices. 

So, it is the fundamental duty of your marketing team to ensure the mobile device compatibility of your website.

You can use RankWatch’s mobile-friendly checker for checking website compatibility.

RankWatch mobile friendly checker tool

Visit the free mobile friendliness checker, feed the targeted domain URL, and click on run test. Instantly, the tool will come up with a mobile friendly score. 

If the score is good, it’s fine! 

Otherwise, you can work on the necessary parameters like responsive layout, font size, loading speed, and web design to make your site compatible on mobile devices. 

Kick-Start Your Lead Generation with Gated Content

With the above explanation, we can draw a vivid conclusion that gated content can invariably drive unimaginable leads at every stage of your funnel. 

When developed correctly and posted consistently, gated content is no less than an asset to businesses that work as revenue-generation machinery. 

You just have to focus on the right format, the right utility of product and service keywords, and promoting it on the right platform. 

So, this is all about gated content, its advantages, categories, and best practices for creating it. We have also learned how a digital marketing tool like RankWatch helps you to formulate attractive and influential gated content. 

Next time you proceed with high-performing gated content for your brand, don’t forget to use RankWatch as an aided tool in your business. 

We hope this blog was useful to you and offered enough insights on content gating and its utility. 

Cheers!

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