Some might argue that splash pages shouldn’t be used as they drive visitors away from your main site. However, there are plenty of cases where using them can be very beneficial.
A splash page – what is it?
To those that have no idea of what it is, here are some general characteristics:
– It is a single page aimed to introduce your website/service to the visitor.
– They usually try to provide as much information about a site as possible, while keeping it extremely simple.
– They mostly include enticing graphic design, videos and sound effects to attract the viewer’s attention.
– A sign up/subscribe form is often displayed
– It can be used to provide the visitor with options of how to enter the site (using flash, browser compatibility etc.), display warnings or important notices
Cons of using a splash pages
– If a splash is not used as a medium to display warnings/notices it can often be very annoying to the user. Many users might decide to leave a website after seeing one, because they clicked on a link to enter your site directly, and a splash page as your homepage prevents that.
– Having videos/sounds auto-play can be a huge distraction
– Due to lack of text content, search engines can’t index the page properly, often resulting in lower search engine results page
Pros of using a splash
– It enables you to display important messages to your visitors
– It allows to narrow down the whole content of your site or services to just a single page
– Can be a great tool for increasing your list of members/subscribers
How and when to use a splash page?
The most important point to make is that do not use it as your homepage unless absolutely necessary! You don’t want to get penalized in search engine rankings for having a splash as your homepage. Only use yours like that for perhaps important announcements.
Instead create a separate page on your domain for it, like “yourdomain.com/splash.php”.
And to make sure you won’t get penalized on search engines be sure to block search engines from it by using robots.txt file.
If used properly a splash page can be a great way to attract your visitors, but only from some traffic sources – those where users generally don’t take much time to check out the whole content of your site, but rather just want to skim over it in a few seconds. You could use them to advertise from your social media as well. But probably they are the most valuable when you are trying to directly expand your list with them by offering a freebie, such as useful e-books if they subscribe.
If you offer to give your visitor something in return, they will be likely to join. Who doesn’t like freebies?
Creating your own
There are many only websites that make splash page building simple, and will also host them for you. However while these might be great for making simple splash pages and will also offer hosting them, the main thing that is bothersome about them is that when they host them, there will also be links included in it back at them. Generally that is not a problem, but your splash pages will definitely look less professional compared to hosting on your own.
Another downside is that you will have more difficulties applying custom scripts and PHP code to them, such as processing forms, embedding videos and other.
So if you have the opportunity to self-host a splash we certainly recommend doing so! It can even be on an unrelated site as you just have to claim one page. But having it hosted on your main domain has even more benefits.
Learning how to use splash pages properly can have a huge positive impact on your marketing results. While some are using them to awe visitors at first sight, I would rather suggest using them as a tool to expand your marketing list.
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