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 Search Engine Placement Tutorials

"Using Gateway  or Bridge Pages to Increase Web site Traffic"

"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 direct,retailers of PC computer components,retailers of PC computer components, computer components,PC 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 characters">
Done properly you could even achieve a higher search engine position then the actual manufacturer has.
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 and prices.

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.

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