What Is a Gateway Page?
A gateway page is a page that redirects a user to a new page without fulfilling their request or answering their search query.
Why Are They Used and How Do They Work?
Gateway pages exist to boost visibility and ranking in SERPs. They do this by compelling the end user to search a web page for a specific link that answers their query. This increases page dwell time as they believe they will discover relevant content.
When the end user finds the link, they click it and it takes them onto another page away from the main web page, rather than back to SERPs. This in turn decreases bounce rate.
They can also be used in an attempt to rank for multiple keywords.
Why Are Gateway Pages Bad?
Gateway pages are bad for a few reasons.
- They provide a poor quality UX (User Experience). This is because they don’t give searchers the information they are seeking straight away. Instead, they make end users work for the content, through navigating a labyrinth of links. This will lead to your site developing a poor reputation.
- Using gateway pages will see you penalised by either a manual penalty or the Google algorithm, which will lead to a drop in ratings or being deindexed entirely. This is because they fall under black hat SEO as they usually use some form of cloaking to reach their end result.
How Can Your Discover Gateway Pages?
It’s best to keep everything legitimate and white hat when it comes to SEO.
Therefore, when reviewing your websites, there are a few questions that you should ask yourself to help you discover whether or not you have gateway pages.
Do you have pages that:
- Cut off connection to the rest of my website?
- Serve the single function of guiding traffic to different pages?
- Offer no value to end users?
- Are unusable, with irrelevant content that drives traffic elsewhere?
- Seek to rank for generic terms, despite their content being based around a specific theme, topic, product or brand?
If you find that you do have gateway pages, delete them.
How Should You Avoid Gateway Pages?
The best way to avoid being tempted by black hat techniques like gateway pages is to focus on legitimately building your SEO strategy with white hat techniques.
1. Quality Content
Create compelling and valuable content that will enhance UX. Optimise your content with target keywords found through quality keyword research.
2. Don’t Cut Corners
Avoid duplicate content at all costs too, focus on providing valuable content to your audience that increases your page authority. Hand in hand with this, you should also rid yourself of any empty pages.
3. Optimise Your Architecture
Question whether or not you really need multiple domains. Might a single domain suffice? And make sure your website flows well, take a look at your site architecture. Is it easy to navigate? Do you have internal links in all the right places?
How Can We Help?
Think you’ve found some gateway pages and don’t know what to do about them? Give us a call and we’ll put you together with a team that will check it out.
In the meantime, why not check out our training courses to learn some of our favourite SEO practises that you can implement as soon as you’re done!