Doorway Pages vs Landing Pages

This article takes a long hard look at the pros and cons of designing and using doorway pages and landing pages. One is good the other not so good

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Article: Doorway Pages vs Landing Pages
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Article Published / Updated: Fri, 01 Jul 2016 16:25:00

This article was written objectively and in a manner to explain in detail the differences between Doorway pages and Landing pages. Both are digital marketing techniques. Each one designed for a different purpose. One is very, very good. The other not at all good!

Doorway Pages Explained

Doorway pages are often easy to identify in that they have been designed primarily for search engines, not for human beings. Sometimes a doorway page is copied from another high ranking page. This can get very tricky as search engines can easily find identical pages. If you are going to build doorway pages then at least alter the content. Most often, doorway pages just trick visitors into clicking on a link to get them to their desired destination page, or they use Javascript for redirection.

More sophisticated forms of doorway pages called Content Rich Doorways, are designed to gain high placement in search results without utilizing redirection. They incorporate at least a minimum amount of design and navigation similar to the rest of the site to provide a more human-friendly and natural appearance.

Doorway pages, sometimes use a method called Cloaking. They show a version of one page to the visitor, but a different version is provided to search crawlers and robots, using server side scripts, usually CGI to cloak the page.

Pros :
  1.   Usually gets indexed and ranked very quickly.
  2.   Can drive tons of fast traffic to a website.
  3.   Gets instant results.
  4.   They are very easy to set up.

Cons :
  1.   Fools clients.
  2.   Can damage a website's reputation.
  3.   Can easily get you black listed
  4.   It is a Black Hat SEO technique.

No matter what anyone tells you, avoid using doorway pages. It is after all a black-hat SEO technique and if you are caught, you will get black listed.

Landing Pages Explained

On the other hand, landing pages, often referred to as Sell Pages are a whole other story and surprisingly are not used as often as they should be, simply because not many so called Digital Marketing experts know how to set them up properly or how to use them effectively. And that goes for website owners as well.

A properly prepared landing page can increase a website's conversion rates astronomically. In some cases landing pages are not enough so good digital marketing firms will design Micro Sites. This is a more enhanced version of a landing page.

Landing pages or micro sites are used effectively when an internet marketing campaign is attached to them. A good digital marketing firm will create a campaign then build the required landing page or micro site. This landing page or micro site will consist of all the elements required to effectively close the sale.

Essentially this is how it works. A campaign is created. This includes the ad, the what, the how much, the when and the landing page. Search Engine Marketing campaigns or PPC (pay per click) campaignes work really well when you direct clicks to a landing page. When users click on an ad, the user will be directed to a specifically designed page which will contain all the information they need to make a decision.

The landing page should be laid out properly. Ensure all the information that the user needs is there. Perfectly placed Call To Action Buttons, as well as a sense of urgency and credibility entice users to buy, presto, just like that a sale is made.

Fact : SEM campaigns that link to your home page have a less than 1% conversion rate. SEM campaigns that link to a properly prepared landing page have a 4.67% conversion rate. What I fail to tell you here is that your conversion rate can go as high as 30% mostly because of the landing page but also by simply managing the SEM campaign better.

Good digital marketing firms make serveral versions of an ad (referred to as A/B testing) and sometimes test several versions of a landing page. Some landing pages are hard selling. Some can have a softer sell. They will test until they find that sweet spot. There is no worring about duplicate content. We don't want a landing page or micro site indexed. It is built to purely sell the visitor. No SEO at all. We are paying for clicks here. We want results. ROI (return on investment) is everything.

There is one more big reason why landing pages are really effective. If they are built by true digital marketing professionals and they are put on your website, they can also act as a "doorway page" to the rest of your site. I know I said doorway pages are bad, but these types of doorway pages are really good. You see there is no re-direction, there is no trick, there is no cloaking.

It is just a good marketing page, not over optimized, user friendly, information rich, and well focused, again if its designed correctly.

Pros :
  1.   Astronomically increases conversion rates.
  2.   Can drive lots of targeted traffic to a website.
  3.   Can be controlled by a budget.

Cons :
  1.   Takes time to properly set up.
  2.   Needs planning.
  3.   Needs a budget.
  4.   Can be ineffective if done poorly.

The truth is that landing pages cost money. BUT they have the ability to make you a lot of money. A good SEM campaign is nothing unless you create pages that sell.


Doorway pages, bad, bad, bad! Landing pages, good, better, great. To find out how to effectively use landing pages and to create awesome internet marketing campaigns geared to sell don't hesitate to contact us.

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Artemis Glikakis is the Managing Director of Position Front Page International Co., Ltd.. His expertise in this field of Internet Marketing and Search Engine Optimization, has lead him to write many articles on the subject and he is always in the forefront when large clients come along.

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