As a marketer, you should be using every legitimate tool at your disposal to attract buyers to your website and turn them into buyers (or at least qualified prospects). But, should you ever consider using doorway pages for SEO and PPC purposes?

Because many of our readers might not know the answer to this question – or even the distinction between landing pages and doorway pages – let’s take a look at a few considerations…

How are Landing Pages and Doorway Pages Different?

Landing pages are specialized parts of your website that you set up to attract visitors through search engines and online ads. Usually, they are focused on certain keywords and phrases, and structured in a way that encourages a buyer to learn more and take the next step.

For example, our company might have a landing page geared for small business owners in Kansas City who are interested in B2B lead generation. It could use an email sign up form that leads to a report download. That’s a perfectly legitimate landing page, and a good part of a working sales funnel.

Doorway pages are similar, but have different elements and intent. Sometimes called “cloaking” pages, they are often designed to attract searchers or visitors using misleading-but-popular keywords. They may even live on separate domains. They are always well-optimized, but don’t tie in well to the business that’s using them or the searcher’s real intent.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Doorway Pages to Your Website

You might be thinking that all is fair in love and war and you should take any advantage you can get when it comes to bringing visitors to your website. However, employing doorway pages is a bad idea.

For one thing, drawing a prospect to your website with one type of content or focus and then switching them to another leads to a poor user experience. It wastes people’s time. And, how good are the leads going to be from a sales funnel that begins with deception? You wouldn’t have a way to properly qualify your contacts for interest, and they’ll never trust you even if you get something from them.

If those longer-term realities aren’t enough to dissuade you from using doorway pages, then consider that Google has heavy penalties for marketers who rely on these kinds of tactics. If their algorithms sense a disconnect between your ads or keyword optimization and the real business you’re promoting, you could find yourself disappearing from the search listings altogether.

The Bottom Line on Doorway Page SEO & PPC Tactics

Doorway pages are just one example of the quick-fix kinds of tactics unethical marketers (and their web designers) tend to prefer. They sometimes work in the short term, but they erode your credibility over time. Then, the effects start to show up on your bottom line.

Rather than making an effort to deceive buyers, why not just outpace your competitors by being smarter and more efficient than they are? That approach pays bigger dividends, and it’s much easier to maintain.