20 Ideas for creating traffic rich, search engine friendly pages
Sometimes questions will arise around the subject of gateway
information pages or doorway pages. People have heard that
"doorway pages" are BAD and some have stated that search engines
"hate doorway pages".
For clarification on these type of issues, let's start by explaining some simple ground rules looking beyond the jargon
Do Search Engines Hate Doorway/Gateway Pages?
To answer this we'll examine it in two steps.
1. What it is that the Search Engines "HATE"?
2. What type of pages the search engines "LOVE"?
With this approach it will help us gain some understanding of the criteria that is most important.
1. What the Search Engines HATE:
a) To put it simply, search engines despise low quality doorway
pages that contain little or no useful content. A few years ago
these type of low quality doorway pages were rampantly produced
as a means to try and trick the search engines. Looking at it from the
search engines point of view, why even publish a page if all it
contains is a couple of lines of text and an "enter the store"
link. Pages with VERY LITTLE VALUE to the reader, do not belong
in a search engine's index.
b) Search engines also despise any kind of duplication or use of
mirror pages. Again, little or no content (often just garbled text
or keyword rich paragraphs that have no real value) were reproduced
over and over and cluttered up the search engines. These pages were
supposedly going to bring great traffic but the bottom line is that
they were and still are all labeled by engines as Spam.
c) Search engines hate any attempt made by Webmasters to manipulate pages optimized with content unrelated to the actual
Web site. Some Webmasters were guilty of all types of trickery
to try and attract clicks regardless of the site content.
Understanding these issues, clearly you could NEVER blame the search engines for their war on Spam and low value doorway pages
which contained no useful content or information.
Next let's talk about
2. What pages the Search Engines LOVE:
a) Search engines love pages that
pages that contain useful, original content that will actually make valued reading to the online visitors.
b) Instead of doorway pages (or pages with no value or little useful content), the term "information rich" can be used to
describe a page loaded with useful, quality information. Search
engines love pages that are content rich and able to stand on
it's own merit. A quality information page is also part of the
overall Web site allowing visitors to obtain more relevant and
useful information having easy navigation through the Web site.
Instead of lightweight pages with no content, today's pages need to contains high quality information, which is relevant to
the online audience. The information rich page is 100% quality,
put together with research, relevance, thought and care.
No tricks are ever needed.
Next Question is.....
What kind of information goes into creating an information rich
high performance page?
Invariably this question often comes up when I am teaching one of
our live hands-on workshops. People need to understand that this
is wide open to all the discoveries you make while researching
your target audiences behavior. How you can meet the audience's
needs exactly, is only limited to "your imagination" and the
most effective way to present the information you know they
are looking for, back too them. You want to give them what they
"really want" as opposed to what you "think" they want and do this right up front.
The focus is on creating genuinely "useful content" for your ideal target audience of "potential customers" who happen to be
already out there searching for you.
Not only is this what your visitors want, it's also the key to
success for search engine acceptance. You will never run in to
trouble with search engines by offering lots of original, quality
content that is interesting, useful and of high value, to your
In brief, key to success for attracting your target audience, is doing quality research on your target audiences searching
behavior and learning to identify their needs and what they are searching for and then, giving them what it is that they
Okay, so what kind of information might a information rich page
really contain? That will depend on what "your research" reveals
of course, but here are about 20 rough ideas just to get you
started thinking in this fashion.
20 Ideas for High Performance Information Rich pages:
Your high performance, information rich pages might be any of
the following (but not limited just to these either):
1. A Questions and Answers information rich FAQ page.
2. An introductory story related to the appropriate Web site theme (something that is compelling or educational on topic).
3. Interesting and original statistics which you have discovered
through your research, are in high demand by your audience.
4. An interesting interview with someone (make it exclusive and
original). People love to read about other peoples experiences
and or opinions and views.
5. It might be a page loaded with various product reviews with
an emphasis on benefits of each in comparrison.
6. It could be a theme related feature article or story.
7. It could be a detailed tutorial loaded with valuable "How to" or "instructional" advice.
8. Your information page might even be a biography about
someone's life that people are looking for detail on. Of
course it should relate to the topical interest of your
9. Your pages might something with a current events or newsworthy or hard news angle. Your audience is probably looking
for interesting news if you take time to study what they are
10. Your information rich pages might want to contain detailed
historical information that your audience is seeking.
11. There may be room for the use of information pages that use
some humor or emotional content that is still of good value.
12. Would there be value to having a questionnaire which asks your audience a series of important questions. Remember that
like real life, most Web based businesses are about building
rapport and relationships.
13. You could build an index to a whole library of similarly
themed topics and all though your articles would all be similar
in theme, each individual information rich page would contain
useful and diverse subject matter. Remember high value to your
readers but all original (and no duplication in content).
14. What about an information rich page offering an entryway into a useful, interactive section like a message board perhaps
15. It might be a page containing an interesting advice column
on your chosen theme. Just old fashioned "good reading" which
offers your readers advice or solutions to their challenges.
16. Your information page might be a reference page loaded with interesting, inspirational or famous quotes quite popular
with all types of personalities.
17. Your pages might contain a related territorial map (yes images can be used most effectively with text)
18. It might be a sales letter but remember the emphasis is on
quality content and originality. Things like detailed product
reviews or content that emphasized some value added layout.
19. It could be a community related page with important localized
community information. Tremendous value for Web sites that are
looking for region specific traffic.
20. It could be any of the above suggestions with a seasonal angle
relating to Christmas, Halloween, Easter, or something else
appropriate to the Web content within your main theme.
One of the best ways to come come up with original ideas is to think laterally about "your audiences needs" in
comparison to how they are searching on the major search engines. For more
insight on how to research your audience's
you may want to visit
Has this article stimulated some creative thought? I
certainly hope you've enjoyed it and may you really move
forward with some lateral thinking and you'll see that these
ideas are only scratching the very surface. I encourage you to
explore creatively and think outside the box. I
especially encourage you to dig deeply within the real-life
behavioral trends that are revealed through my Wordtracker
Are you looking for more stimulating thought? If you would
like some one-on-one skill building with me (in person) for
your online business, then please give thought to attending
our live, hands-on
SEO Mastery Workshop.
In just a few days and we'll open up your scope of
understanding (but more than that), you'll come away with top
skills that you can use immediately, to gain top visibility to
your ideal target audience. Be greatly encouraged because the
best is yet to come!
to have the privilege to
work with you in the near future.
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About John Alexander
John Alexander is Co-director of Training at Search
Engine Workshops offering live, SEO Workshops with partner
Robin Nobles as well as online search engine marketing courses
through Online Web
Training. John is author of an
e-book called Wordtracker
Magic and co-author of
the Totally Non-Technical
Guide for A Successful Web Site.
John is also an official member of the customer support team
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