Search engine optimization (SEO) can be addictive—watching as your website climbs steadily in the search engine rankings and attracts more and more visitors.
But you’re not trying to win a popularity contest. Alone, SEO can’t grow your business because visitors do nothing for you unless they turn into customers. And if you’re selling a complex, business-to-business product, you need leads that you can nurture until they transform into customers.
So once you have the web visitors, it’s all about capturing leads with gated content. “Gated” means web visitors who want to read your e-books, white papers, and more fill in a form with their contact information as payment for downloading it.
Not so fast.
You want to build awareness, so you want web visitors to read your content. But you’ve locked it away. And guess what? According to David Meerman Scott, author of “Real Time Marketing and PR,” un-gated content is downloaded 20-50 times more often than gated content. So you’ve set up a barrier to increasing awareness.
What to do? Create a mix of gated and un-gated content. Perhaps if you have content designed to build initial awareness, break down the gate. And if it’s a webinar for prospects deeper into the buying cycle, ask for some contact information.
The answer to this problem, however, isn’t etched in stone. So test, test, test, and do whatever works best.