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Home Support Frequently Asked Questions Should my website have a "splash" page?
Should my website have a "splash" page? PDF Print E-mail

Creating a “splash” or introductory page on your website is possible but you should really be aware of the pros and cons before making a final decision.  From a website usability standpoint we typically recommend against a feature like this as it can be distracting and may also have adverse effects with the search engines.  Whenever we create a website we try to focus on two main concepts to ensure it is both effective for regular website visitors and search engines.

  • Usability: this is the concept that your website should be as easy to use as possible and ensuring that it is easy to read, navigate, and intuitive based on industry-standards.
  • Search Engine Optimization: this is the way in which we create and optimize your site to ensure that the search engines can find it, interpret the content, and add your website pages to its index in an optimal way.

If your website is mainly an informational one we would suggest you instead focus more on having different “modules” on the home page that emphasize your specific areas of expertise and services.  The search engines look at the home page and weigh the content there much higher than on other pages so it is vital that you have wording on that page that has keywords and verbiage that repeats your site’s main focus.  While you may think having a nice warm introduction page would be nice, it will most likely not get you the results you are hoping for with the search engines.  We’re not saying you should change everything completely, but just that you might want to consider a compromise with the content you consider placing on the home page.

What if you have found a site that really impresses you and is has a “splash” page or has some neat feature when you first load the page?  First off, sites that have a feature like this  are probably targeting a smaller set of people or demographic (e.g. those that are tech-savvy and have high-speed Internet connections) and they probably aren’t too concerned with search engine ranking.  There are quite a few of these kinds of sites out there and it is most likely possible to imitate them if you have a budget for custom work like this.  If so, please let us know and we can provide you with a quote for this custom work.  Let’s step back for a minute and think about the main priorities of your website in general.  Is it more important to “WOW” your visitors with cool features even though you may not be appealing to the biggest audience possible, or would you much rather appeal to ALL visitors and have something the search engines can find more easily? 

So what would be the “optimal” home page with both usability and search engine ranking in mind?  We suggest it should have an opening introduction paragraph and then several different modules that focus on the main priorities of your site (e.g. “Contact Details”, “Special Offers”, “Services List”, “Mailing List Signup”, “Image Gallery”, “Recent Blog Entries”, “Affiliations”, etc).  Then we would recommend that you have a website navigation “menu” that is either a horizontal bar below your website header or a vertical one on the left side of the page.

An example of this might be the following:

Sample website layout

 
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