How to Use a “Doorway” Page to Increase Conversions

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What does Doorway Page Mean?

Creating a website or page to rank for a particular query is a doorway. Users are not served well by them because they take the user to  duplicate pages in user search results, resulting in a repetitive experience.

What are Doorway Pages in SEO

Until 2015, most websites featured doorway pages. They helped improve search engine rankings. Techniques incorporated invisible text that computers were able to read but humans were unable to do so. Search engine optimization techniques such as keyword stuffing have also been used in the past in an attempt to boost a site’s rank.

In the world of SEO cloaking can be construed as one of the many tactics used on doorway pages. These techniques were used to encourage search engines to send doorway traffic to websites, regardless of whether they provided value to searchers.

The Google webmaster guidelines were updated in March 2015 to reflect doorway pages’ purpose of boosting a website’s SERP ranking rather than helping visitors. A new algorithm update that was implemented by Google worsens the penalties for doorway pages. The practice has sometimes resulted in websites being blacklisted entirely.

An SEO practice that used to be acceptable is now damaging websites’ ranking and overall goodwill. 

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Doorway Pages vs Landing Pages

Doorway pages are different from landing pages in that they include a wide variety of keyword variations, similar page links, as well as the ability to redirect users to other destinations. Essentially, doorway pages help website owners gain more traffic, but they hinder those who are attempting to find answers to their questions.

Often, doorway pages resemble landing pages in style and design. One of the major differences between landing pages and doorway pages is the experience they offer viewers. 

Listed below is what Google has to say about the category of doorway pages :

  1. Aiming solely at increasing “reach” for groupings of terms, phrases, or geographic areas by creating multiple domains, subdomains, and multiple sites.
  2. The goal is to funnel visitors to valuable content on your site by creating numerous ‘thin content’ pages.
  3. The creation of nearly identical pages for various keywords and variations without providing value for the searcher or adhering to a logically established browser structure.

Landing pages, on the other hand, provide specific and relevant information for a website user. These advertisements target users, so that they receive the relevant information to help them achieve their goals, whether they are learning new information, buying something, or completing a specific task. Despite their optimization for boosting rankings, landing pages do not force users to go through a lot of steps in order to achieve their goals.

Is your Website Displaying Doorway Pages?

  • It makes no sense to create random pages for different cities for the sole purpose of driving traffic to a particular product or service. In addition, those location-specific pages contain no useful content that can be helpful to the reader.
  • In the case of specific web pages serving similar content related to your homepage, and paid links are being placed with corresponding anchor texts. All of these pages will be flagged as Doorway pages since they are blatant examples of anchor text spam.
  • There is no normal hierarchy on your website and you rank for a keyword or specific variations of keywords without providing any original value to your readers.
  • Page with an interactive map that uses a location that doesn’t actually exist, solely for search engine optimization purposes. Most of the time, the page has no connection to whatever location it uses. It is considered spam by Google, which is not in favor of this practice.
  • This is a page that includes a keyword without being related to it, for the sole purpose of diverting search engine traffic. This won’t fool the human reader, but increasing bounce rates will prove it. Occasionally, such pages show up in search results, however you could end up being penalized if you keep making them.
  • The main content of your website is on another site that has the optimized elements. The majority of Google’s redirecting doorway pages, however, have been eliminated.
  • An optimized webpage you have doesn’t have any relevant content to the keyword that it ranks for, though it’s optimized for search engines. Due to the bad user experience created by this entire process, Google hates it and has been working on changes to its algorithms to make it go away.
  • Creating an empty page to increase conversions through organic searches to drive traffic to a specific area of your e-commerce site.

Enhancing your SEO by updating your doorway pages

Doorway pages damage search engine optimization in two ways: They can be completely removed or they can be altered so they provide useful information to website visitors.

By providing quality content for searchers, or making it easy for them to complete their intended search, you add value for the searcher. Instead of sending users to a central booking page, allow them to book your service on the doorway page. 

You should also get rid of any SEO tricks intended to deceive search engines – multiple domains, funneling redirects, hidden text, etc.

Search engines can do their jobs better if you use legitimate SEO tactics. The possibility that your website may have been using tricks such as doorway pages and other black hat practices alone is worth your time.

It may seem safe to have doorway pages. Many websites ranked well in SERPs using this tactic before 2015. Currently, doorway pages are nothing more than tricks used by black-hat SEOs, which will inevitably do more harm than good. 

About the Author

My name’s Semil Shah, and I pride myself on being the last digital marketer that you’ll ever need. Having worked internationally across agile and disruptive teams from San Fransico to London, I can help you take what you are doing in digital to a whole next level.

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