"Gateway" or bridge pages are an excellent means of funneling
traffic to an area of your site that is important to sales or lead generation. The most
important part of construction of bridge or gateway pages is the links to these areas! You
must have them for this to work and increase traffic to that area of the web site.
Special Uses of Gateway or Bridge Pages For Search Engine Placement
This strategy is a must for framed and sites using .asp and shtml or
password protected pages because some search engines don't index these types of pages.
If your site isn't constructed in such a way as to make the pages shorter as you go
deeper into the site then these should be the entrance to the site from search engines
hence the name "gateway" pages. By keeping the pages short and keyword intensive
you are increasing the relevancy of the pages on the search engines resulting in improved
search engine placement or positions.
Web Site Development Using the Gateway Page Strategy
"Gateway Pages" increase traffic to a site by using a technique for choosing
keywords that narrows the scope of the words or phrases as the user navigates deeper into
the site. This technique makes it easier to improve your search engine placement and
positions by narrowing the focus or keywords as the user goes deeper into the site.
After finishing the initial site for the "WoD" I realized that I had a lot of
work to do to improve my search engine placement and increase traffic from search engines.
I had about ten pages of articles and 4 pages of categorized links with comments. You'll
remember earlier I said it was much easier to do it right the first time then to change
what you started with. Well, this is when I quickly came to this realization.
The first thing I did was to make the pages of links into index files with a new
directory on the server. This allows you to follow the instructions on the search engine
placement site as far as submission goes. Since, when they index a site they expect only 1
index file I can submit each index file which also ensures a more thorough indexing of the
site. I also added keywords by naming the directories using the keyword for that index.
For this to work properly you have to plan your sites navigation so all directories or
indexes can be reached with a single jump. This also means that you can't be totally
reliant on images for navigation. Personally, I believe you should have text links to all
indexes at the bottom of every page along with contact information.
I later learned that these are called "Gateway Pages". The best way to show
you how to do this is a quick demonstration. I'm going to use a computer site to
demonstrate this because we should all be familiar with this sort of site.
Lets say that they sell a variety of components. On the entrance page would be the
usual company information and an introduction to the site. The main function of this page
is to act as a jump station to an index of the all components they sell.
On this page use general industry keywords but this isn't a real important page for
search engine placement for the site because you are trying to funnel the traffic to this
page. Just be sure that the navigation on the subsequent pages have links to this page and
all other subsequent indexes. Use targeted links to each component category.
Do not repeat the keywords or phrases exactly because you will copy this tag into your
next page as well, but, after the important keywords for that page. Repeat this procedure
on each page and index always copying the preceding pages tags after the important words
for that page or index.
Read the title and meta tags below and see if you can figure out each
keywords purpose for matching queries:
Computers Direct:Retailers of PC Computer Components Featuring IBM, Hewlett Packard and
Star Computer Components.
<META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="Computer Direct,computer
of PC computer components,retailers of PC computer components, computer
computer components, PC components,PC components,IBM,IBM,IBM,Hewlett Packard,hewlett
packard,Hulett Pakard,hulett pakard,hulet pakard,Star,star,Starr,starr">
<META NAME="description" CONTENT="Computer Direct retailers of PC
components featuring industry leaders such as IBM,Hewlett Packard,Star and many more with
free help and support for all products">
Many users are poor spellers and quite often use all lower case where in the real world
upper case are used. For instance in the case of proper names, places etc.
The component index would be indexed by component with a list of the companies
supplying products in each category. Once again use targeted links from the companies to
the product index for that company categorized by component. A good practice is to put a
jump area at the top of the page also.
This has two purposes. Most importantly, it makes the page very surfable with little
scrolling required for the user to find what they are looking for. By using two lists one
for companies (actually taking them off this page to company index) and one for components
you ensure that the "keywords" for the page appear early in the text which is
important for search engine placement.
The purpose of this index is to narrow the keywords and text down to
components. In your meta tags use only keywords that apply to components and company names
followed by the pasted tags from the entrance page. Here is a short example:
Computer Direct Supplies a Large Selection of PC Monitors, Scanners, Hard Drives, Chip
Sets etc by Hewlett Packard,IBM,Star,Intel and many others.
<meta name="keywords" content="monitors,scanners,chip sets,hewlett
packard monitors,IBM monitors,energy monitors,star monitors, hewlett packard scanners,IBM
scanners,energy scanners,star scanners,blah blah up to 900 characters including pasted
tags from previous page">
<meta name="description" content="Computer Direct features a large
selection of monitors,scanners,blah blah by IBM,Hewlett Packard BLAH BLAH up to 180
Done properly you could even achieve a higher search engine position then the actual
If you are exceeding your allowable characters in the meta keywords tag don't paste the
full contents of the meta from the first page.
Each company index is indexed by component and the products they carry using anchors so
this master list of products can be easily navigated using the method described for the
previous index. On this master list you'd link from the product and model# to descriptions
This page narrows the keywords right down to a model# for customers who may know it.
Once again follow the same procedure for building your meta tags. On the last page or the
actual description of the product cut your keywords and phrases down to just the
"company","company and product","company product and
model#". This is to accommodate engines that are penalizing for large meta tags
(Infoseek may be doing this).
This last page is also a good place to supply links to information off the site because
if they haven't decided to purchase by now they probably won't. This is a good time to try
a trial close by leading to the secure form for purchase.
What does this accomplish? First off you now have 3 extra indexes so you have increased
your exposure 3 fold. The biggest advantage is that you have made it easier to match
several different queries. How does this accomplish that?
Good question? By using this method you have positioned yourself to match several
queries right down to a model number if you have followed all the suggestions mentioned
earlier. You are also getting smaller and smaller pages which is the easiest way to raise
relevancy because search engines give higher ratings to pages where the % of keywords to
text is high. A really good product page could reach 50% or higher for keywords to text.