Ideally you want to portray the best "first impression” to a new web visitor that you can – but is a splash page the best way to go about it…?
Splash or Entranceway pages were quite the rage some time ago around 1998 / 1999. Designers typically used them to introduce the branding of the web site owner and also to give a nice feel to the site by introducing the colours & look of the web site.
Once flash became more popular in 2000 and 2001 we saw the emergence of more multimedia approaches to the Splash page. As Splash pages grew in size faster than the roll out of high speed connections to the web we saw many sites add a “skip intro” button and link.
I recall seeing some stats a couple of years ago that had the percentage of visitors that click the “skip” button and it was over half in the tests then done.
We also assume that the Splash page will be the first page every visitor sees on the web site – but what about search engine visitors..?
Every page on the web site should be in search engines (see Search Engine Optimisation) so depending on the search terms that someone is using they may arrive at your web site at any page.
Talking about search engines also brings up the topic of the non-human visitors to your web site – the search engine robots, spiders and link bots.
While these all work differently they share one thing in common – they are seeking key works to send back to the main search engine database – and guess what – most Splash pages – especially the Flash enhanced ones often do not have key words actually in the html page content and "readable" so Splash pages typically do not listed well in search engines.
So why go to the expense (as time = money) to create a Splash page that may be not seen by as many people as you think – and may even be working against you in the search engine optimisation game.
This is why we do not suggest our clients have a Splash page in the traditional sense - we much prefer to have a search engine optimised landing page that introduces the web visitor to every page of the web site and has sufficient search engine "weight"... Let me know what you think below...
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