Splash pages can be wonderful introductions to a site as a visual, marketing and technical tool … they work when they drive the traffic to where you want it to go, and have rich content.
Interesting timing… this article came to me soon after someone asked me about adding a splash page to her website shop as a landing page. This can often be a great idea, but after talking a bit about her vision and available resources, I advised against it.
I told her that for the present she might consider optimizing her current landing page better, rather than worry about a new one. Instead, I suggested she deal with how to design it properly with the kind of landing page content that it would need to work in her favor.
A splash page can be great, but often it is an eye-catching visual that unfortunately does not function in our favor. Flash-based landing pages are a great example of this. Unless you are selling Flash apps and animation, they often serve to keep people away from your content longer, and potentially lose the more impatient of your visitors all together … and who wants that?
More importantly, Flash pages also rarely have much needed text-based content for search engines and so are under-optimized. Thankfully, they are getting rarer these days, perhaps in part due to the fact that as of this writing, most tablets do not support the display of flash content out of the box; users must add another browser and sometimes, a plugin.
As for my colleague, I pointed out to her that in her current shop landing page, she already had good content, categories and links with her keywords, all good for SEO, and without that extra click that customers would have to go through in order to get to her products. Attractive splash pages can be wonderful introductions to a site as a visual, marketing and technical tool, and they work when they drive the traffic to where you want it to go, and have rich content.
Whatever you use as your landing page, whether a splash page or product page, it needs to accomplish several things. This article from Daily SEO Tip sums it up nicely and provides excellent guidelines for your landing page.