Websites 101 – Splash Pages

Have you ever been to a website for the first time only to be greeted by an image, maybe a garden gate, and underneath the words “click here to enter my world”? This is what we call a splash page. It’s a page used to set the mood of a site. There’s usually some sort of photo, maybe some music and not much else.

They’re pretty. They do set a mood. They should be avoided like the plague!

There are two huge problems with splash pages. The first problem is that search engines hate them. Search engines are geared to look that the text on web pages. In the hypothetical example I gave you what words will the search engine see? “Click here to enter my world.” That’s it. Even if the image on the page has something like “Sue’s Garden Products” as part of the photo the search engine won’t see that because it’s looking for text. Writing in the images doesn’t count.

Also search engines have grown more wary over the years. They’re suspicious beasts and to them a page with only 10 words on it just doesn’t seem right. So if you’re interested at all in having your site listed in a search engine do not use as splash page.

The second big reason to avoid these pretty, but useless, pages is because you want customers. Again in the above example some people will sit back, look at the pretty picture and think, “Why yes. I WILL enter your world and become lost in its beauty.” However most folks will be thinking, “Come on. Come on. I’ve only got 15 minutes to get this rose bush ordered and then I have to go pick up the kids.”

People are impatient and to be honest most of us are overloaded. Websites need to be fast loading and easy to navigate or your customers will look elsewhere. Why waste precious seconds on a splash page? It just doesn’t make sense.

Splash pages. Just say no!

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