Altough personally I have a "genetic repulsion" for the registrations to access to certain contents,I think that in your case:
|I was thinking of just adding a snippet for unregistered users and the full article and photos to registered users. |
It seems to be the best solution.
If I came upon this, my thought would be that I'd be able to find similar information easily on another site, and not have to register. The only way I'd come back to your site is if nothing else turned up in the SE's, or if you had somehow managed to convince me that your content is truly unique.
It depends. What is the benefit of having them register?
Even though registration is free, you are turning away visitors(and possibly SE spiders). On the otherhand if registration was not free you would still be turning away visitors but you would be making money off of the ones who do register.
If you make money through advertising, forcing visitors to register decreases the pool of visitors who would likely click on an ad.
So it comes back to my first question. What is the benefit of having them register?
Oh and this assumes you are trying to make money :)
As for whether I would register... I probably would if the content was unique and interesting to me.
When I go to Goggle news and click on a news link and then find it's a site where I have to register I just get angry.
The Miami Herald comes to mind.
I have never understood the thinking behind being registered to read something that I can live without or just go to the next link to read it somewhere else.
With all the SPAM & virus problems these days there is a natural aversion to registering for something that should be free access.
IMHO leave it open and offer them a news letter or some other thing to get them to sign up.
Thanks Guys, I think I will put that idea on hold, perhaps just show the photos to registered users.
"turning away visitors(and possibly SE spiders)."
That is half the reason I was going to go the registration way. The snippet of the article I would show the unregistered user/robots would also have a nice keyword density for a particular term.
You don't have to go all one way or the other. Mixing registration-only and free articles will allow you to compare the two models and see what works the best. This sort of mixed model works well for some sites, including this one with forum 78, and Search Engine Watch.
I always leave a place that makes me register in order to see what I need, unless there are no other places with the information needed. I've seen many companies adopt this rule and then drop it after realizing that it didn't work.
On one of my websites, I really needed to have their contact information, so although I didn't make it mandatory, I offered some goodies for registering and created a registration form. Again, very few people bothered.
Then, I redesigned the form to include only the absolutely important information needed, it was a very short form. This did it, the registrations began coming in large numbers.