splash-page2-61765_186x186A splash page, or a page that functions as a gateway before users can see your content, is a Web design technique long extinct. They are almost universally disliked by visitors, they cripple your search engine optimization capabilities, and they typically don’t provide any user benefits except in certain circumstances.

Visitors Hate Your Splash Page

Most splash pages have a bounce rate of about 25%. It’s higher for flash splash pages, even pages with a “Skip Intro” link. Think about what this means. You lose 25% of your visitors before they ever see your site. That’s a quarter of your profit, if you’re converting users via a sales funnel, and for what? Showing your logo? If there’s no other reason for your splash page to exist other than showing off some design work that you paid for, your splash page is not a worthwhile barrier to your content or your sales funnel.

Search Engines Hate Your Splash Page

When a search engine crawls your homepage and finds a splash page, two things happen. First, the search engine finds no targeted keywords and doesn’t know what terms to use to rank your homepage, one of the most valuable places on your domain to place keywords. Second, the crawler sees only one link leaving the homepage, and from this it determines that this is the only page on your site that matters. You lose the ranking benefits of linking your blog or other content directly from your homepage.

No Benefit to Usability

In most cases, your splash page is offering absolutely nothing to your users by its existence. Unless you need to segment users into home and business customers, offer more than one language (and receive a lot of traffic from non-US visitors), or have to place age-related or other disclaimers on your entry page, your splash page is doing nothing for your site.

Kill Your Splash Page Before It Kills Your Website

Most webmasters who still use splash pages would benefit from removing the page and using a more usable design on the homepage of the site. You’ll see immediate benefits to traffic, search rankings, and usability, and webmasters will soon find that no one complains when that pretty graphic or video is gone.

Image – © senoldo – Fotolia.com

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