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Issue #24: SEO for membership site (understanding & best practices)

Letters ByDavey
Does having gated/pay-to-view content add any SEO value to your membership site?
Long answer short, No. The pages that only a logged-in user can view don’t add any SEO value to other pages of your membership site. Since those pages aren’t indexing in the SERPs, you know it for a fact that Google doesn’t find any value in them.
Googlebot is interested in showing the content to its users that it has crawled and tested (sandbox testing). Since Google isn’t paying to view your content, that’s a downside of having a membership site.
But how to get benefits out of this?
First ask yourself if you really need to hide content behind a paywall, especially if you’re just starting out. In most cases, you will find that hiding content isn’t the best thing you can do to your audience.
They’re looking for a solution which you probably have, and if they’re greeted with a solution behind a paywall, they’re surely gonna boycott the content for sure. Won’t we ourselves do the same?
If at all you decide to gate your content, here are some strategies you can apply to your content to get the most out of it.
  1. Teach Google what’s paid and free using structured data. This will get technical for users without any technical bone.
  2. Use Google’s first click program that will let you expose the users coming in from Google search to your content without needing to log in. This is like a trial version for Google users.
  3. Offer a trial version & let users decide for themselves if your content is worth subscribing for. This way, you will gain trust & create a buzz in their network.
  4. Create blog pages pointing to the membership site. Optimize for the potential user’s needs and get discovered on search. Once you have them on your page, funnel them through the post to join the membership site.
That is it for this one. I strongly hope you find value in the content I’m catering to for you. If you have any questions related to SEO, feel free to get in touch with me on TwitterLinkedin or Instagram. If it requires personal attention, here’s my email.

Shubham Davey
SEO to online businesses is like what's Nature to mankind.
You know you can't survive without it, yet choose to not acknowledge & respect its presence.
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Shubham Davey
Shubham Davey @bydaveyji

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