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To doorway or not to doorway? - by Judith Tramayne-Barth* 
Everybody and their sister is telling you to make Gateway or Doorway pages to get listed higher in search engines. I'm here to tell you this is a waste of your valuable time. If you follow the guidelines I've given below, you should increase your position and, if you do it right, be ranked in the top 10. The following list (in order of importance) will show you how: 
  • Different Title On Each Page 
    Think about what keyword or phrase your visitors would input into a search engine if they wanted your product or service. 
    Use these keyword(s) in your title and make sure you don't use more than eight words (five would be better). 
    For instance, let's say you sell heat pumps.  Your keyword phrases would be heat pumps or HVAC because these are the words someone might input into a search box when they are looking for this product. So you use these keywords in your title (i.e., "Heat Pumps, HVACs at XYZ.com") on your index (home) page title. 
    Then, figure out what else they would input like "electric heat" or "pumps" and put these in other titles on subsequent pages. The object here is to use each page on your web site as a place your visitor can enter from when clicking on a search engine link...not just a link to your home page. 
    If your site has 20 pages filled with heat pumps and accessories, you have the opportunity to have 20 different keyword phrases your visitor might input into a search box and thus come to your site. 
    Webmasters make the mistake of just putting in their business names.  Unless you're Sears, KMart, etc., your name doesn't mean squat to the average surfer. But if your title uses words which somebody is searching for, your site will come up first, even before the "branded" names. And, instead of just getting hits, you are getting targeted hits. 
    Also make sure your keyword or phrase is the first word(s) in your title.  This also helps rank your site higher when push comes to shove and another site has the same keyword or phrase. 
  • Meta Name "Description" Content = Tag 
    This tag must also use your keyword or phrase and match what you've used in your title.  The trick here is to write a short concise sentence in 25 words or less which will make the surfer want to click your link on the search engine page. 
    Give considerable thought to this sentence.  Write, rewrite and write it again until it's perfect.  Do not just use the keyword or phrase over and over again because the search engines are wise to this and will consider it spamming and you'll never get listed. 
  • Meta Name "Keywords" Content = 
    Quite frankly some search engines use them, but some larger ones don't even include them in their ranking criteria.  The reason--too many sites put in keywords which have nothing to do with the content in their pages.  If you do decide to use this meta name tag, only use your keyword or phrase. 
  • First sentence uses keyword or phrase 
    The first sentence the robot "sees" or "crawls" through should almost be the same as your meta name description sentence.  It is looking for a match.  And, search engines give added weight (score) to those sites who use this technique. 
  • Content must include keyword or phrase 
    The search engines rank sites higher by how you use keywords in your content. This means the top third of your pages should have four (4) instances of your keyword or phrase and the last two-thirds should have three (3).  No more than seven instances of your keyword phrase should be on a page; otherwise, the search engines will think you are spamming. 
    This means your copy (content) must be very well planned. It has to make sense to the visitor yet, be "robot-friendly."  Not an easy task when writing copy, but well worth the time you spend doing this. 
    If you use the guidelines above, you should see your site's ranking go much higher. By following them exactly, more than likely you will be in the top 10 on at least one of your pages. 
    You have the opportunity to make every one of the pages on your site a gateway or doorway page. Instead of wasting your time writing gateway (doorway) pages, finding web hosting sites to place them on and redirecting them to your home page, design the pages on your site to do the same thing. 
    Use this time you save writing how-to or informative articles on what people should look for if they want your service or product.  Not only will you show you are an expert in your field; but, you'll have a larger more 
    interesting site.  Also, if you use the techniques outlined above on each of these new pages, they'll lead more targeted visitors to your site. 
    Plus, and this is a HUGE plus, the search engines will be filled with less "garbage" or as I like to call them "patootie" pages.  Actually, I use a stronger word but this article has a "G" rating :-) 
    * Judith Tramayne-Barth is a freelance writer who knows how to market. You can find her at: http://www.agoodread.com 
    This article: (C) 2000 JTB - Used with permission 
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