Splash pages – Why you should bury them away
Can anyone tell me the point in any website having a splash page?
What purpose do they serve? What point do the have?
In my humble opinion – NONE!
So the question is, why do so many website designers still insist on using the humble splash page? When I place my life in Google’s hands and let it return search results, there is a reason for my initial search. That reason is I want to get on with what I am looking for within the shortest timeline possible.
So why is is that so many sites insist on blocking the path of visitors with a splash page? Why add a futile layer of resistance?
In many ways you can liken a splash page to a nightclub bouncer they are both clueless, obstinate objects that really serve no purpose! In fairness the same could be said for the original designer using a splash page in the first instance.
I was asked to start work on an Antique site recently, whilst appraising the site and what was required in the initial stages of the SEO process I came against my old nemesis – The Splash Page, I immediately felt the rage.
Here we go again I thought, I’m having to work with one hand tied behind my back! Believe me, that’s what a splash page does, it restricts you.
Fortunately, the client listened to my best advice and we compromised, the image that adorned the home page of the antique desk site was going to be integrated with another page; this would then allow visitors coming onto the site via the home page to at least have functionality and vastly improved navigation to get to an area of the site they wanted to.
To be fair the client also had a valid point; the image that was being used on the splash page was of a very fine Antique Desk, the sort of Antique Desk that is revered by those who appreciate quality.
Literally, we gave the nightclub ‘splash page’ bouncer the boot, and hey presto, the site is picking up rank and results in Google very nicely.
Site owners, website designers, please take note – Splash pages are bad for your clients, they are bad for SEO and most importantly, they are bad for my health as each time I see one, it makes my blood boil! Then there is the whole usability angle, studies have shown up to 25% of visitors are off when they are presented with a splash page.
Take my advice; if you have a splash page get rid of it at your very earliest opportunity.
The last splash page that we took away was funnily enough for another Antique dealer. The Williams Antique Mirrors site also used to feature a splash page, that is until I got my grubby mits upon it!
It’s funny that since I removed their splash page the site is now placed at #2 in Google UK for the term ‘Antique Mirrors‘. The message is simple, block or restrict access to a search engine and typically they will return the compliment and restrict results from powering into the higher positions.