What Is A Splash Page?
Do splash pages really make a difference? If you ask your web designer you will get an enthusiastic, “Yes”! Keep in mind that they view the world in a more visual aspect, similar to artists and right-brained thinkers. After all, splash pages are eye-catchers. Whether they are created with an amazing graphic or animated Flash movie, Splash Pages are centered around the visual aspects. They are not the same as Landing Pages. See MediaScope Inc’s post on the difference between Landing Pages and Splash Pages.
Your web designer would probably vote in favor of your site having a Splash Page. However, unless you are promoting graphics packages or selling a course on graphic design you will want to avoid them. You definitely won’t see your traffic stats increase because of them. If you want some great information on how to use visual elements that will boost your traffic, see our previous post, How to Get More Traffic Through Killer Visual Content. Another top tool you should check out is Turbo Charge Traffic. Let’s go over some of the major points you should consider when choosing if a Splash Page is for you. Imagine the following scenario:
A potential client in your niche market comes across your site. He is curious as to what you are offering. Suddenly, he feels like he has hit a brick wall that is preventing him from his quick track to finding what he needed. You were hoping that your animated Flash movie was profoundly witty and capable of convincing him to stick around (Some actually do).
But he is like most people who find it annoying being forced to wait for something instead of being able to receive it immediately. When given the choice most people will want to take the “immediate” option every time.
Nobody Likes to be Held Captive
I’m sure this isn’t the first time you’ve heard that you only have a couple of seconds to capture your visitor’s interest and persuade him that he would experience a great loss by ending his visit without the honor of reading your message. This is the unwritten rule we are all familiar with.
If you are tempted to respond with “But, I paid a lot of money to get a top designer to create that splash page for me!” I completely understand your frustration and the fact that you want to be able to benefit from the great web designer’s creation. However, the facts are undeniable. Check your website stats and see for yourself that the average visit to your splash page is averaging 11 seconds or less.
In all honesty, your visitor sees your Splash Page as something holding them captive, preventing him from arriving at the information he is searching for. He begins looking for navigation buttons or a “Skip This Page” button. If you’re lucky he finds the latter and gives you an actual click-through. If he doesn’t, then he is out of there before a portion of your page has barely had time to load. Facts are facts. It’s that simple.
Search Engine Bots are Not Fans
Unlike your visitor who will give you an additional few seconds, Search Bots won’t wait even one more second before they bounce right back out of your site immediately. They’ve got other sites to get to and leave your site un-ranked and un-indexed.
As far as the Search Bots algorithms are concerned, they found no keywords or unique relevant content. Even worse, if your Splash Page is hosted on a remote site at a Graphic service and the Search Bot gets diverted by a Redirect then it’s a toss-up as to which is worse – no index-able content or a redirect.
So, the bottom line is that although Splash Pages are nice eye-catchers, they’re not a smart traffic booster. Don’t take my word for it though, check your stats and crunch the numbers instead. Facts are facts.