In the many variations of a landing page, a splash page is that one page that allows you to have a conversation with your visitors before converting them into leads. However, only well-optimized splash pages effectively communicate with your website visitors.
In this post, I’ll be explaining exactly what a splash page is. You’ll learn how to create optimized splash pages by understanding each element and how they fit in. Finally, you’ll understand the difference between a regular landing page and a splash page.
What is a Splash Page?
Have you ever tried to visit a website and then a page pop-ups to inform you of something? Or better still, a page that asks you to verify that you’re above 18? On that same page there’s a call to action that directs you back to the website you wanted to visit in the first place? If yes, you’ve seen firsthand, what a splash page is.
Put more simply, a splash page is any page that comes before your website with the primary aim of informing, showing a disclaimer or promoting a particular feature. It is popularly known as an introductory page.
Splash pages were quite common in the earlier years of the internet. Then, they existed to tell you to download flash player but then Google started penalizing sites because it became unnecessarily rampant.
As it began populating search engines, Google realized that a lot of splash pages slowed down engines without exactly providing value for its visitors. In fact, these pages rarely redirected users back to the actual website, which frustrated visitors.
Today, thanks to the low ranking search engines introduced to these guilty websites, webpages have taken an introspective look into how they use splash pages. Now, it’s more optimized, user-friendly, and highly functional. They have evolved from an unnecessary flashy page to a useful feature for visitors.
Now, splash pages introduce a visitor to a site. It is either asking for an age verification, informing you of an update, showing a disclaimer, or asking for a language preference. So if you have a very tricky website that requires any of the above-listed notice, having a well-optimized splash page will help create a user friendly experience for your visitors. It’s important to note that a splash page isn’t for every website. So, if your website doesn’t require any of the above-listed, then you shouldn’t be worrying about creating one.
The Difference Between a Splash Page and a Landing Page
When you try to create something, you have to understand what you’re making in the first place. So, you need to understand how your splash page is different from your typical landing page.
- A Splash Page is not a stand-alone page: Landing pages are stand-alone pages featured on a website. They are usually where a user lands on when they complete the action of a campaign. A splash page is generally a window that’s featured on a website or blog.
- Content: The content of a landing page varies from what you’d find on a splash page. On a splash page, content is usually one message and an exit link redirecting you to the homepage of the website. A landing page carries varying elements, messages (depending on its purpose), and has a call to action that requires you to either click or fill a form. Its headline focuses on delivering a particular unique value proposition and it comes along with a convincing copy. Finally, your landing page doesn’t have to have an exit link. But with a splash page, it is highly essential.
- Purpose: We’ve established that a splash page generally serves as a doorman welcoming traffic on your website, a landing page wants your visitors to complete an action. The entire function of a landing page is to convert these visitors into leads. A splash page is only there to help the user-experience become better.
- Entry Method: Visitors arrive on your landing page through clicking on a link of a campaign, pop-up, or display ad. The only way people see your splash page is when they go directly to your website.
- Marketing: Because of where they are hosted, your splash page doesn’t require any marketing or promotion. Whereas, your landing page comes in a package with marketing campaigns. So, for a landing page to reach your target, it has to be advertised to traffic generated.
Elements of a Splash Page
Now that you have a clearer picture of how a splash page works, you’re ready to start the actual creation process. To effectively do this, there are certain elements that should be on your splash page.
While your landing page will have several images that are relevant to the website or additional graphics, a splash page is really direct. It doesn’t even come with trusted badges or testimonials to validate the authenticity of a brand. Because it doesn’t require any commitment or persuasion to carry out an action.
A number of splash pages might have an image that fits into the website’s description. However, several others don’t. That being said, it’s clear that splash pages might vary in elements. And although this is established, there are only two required elements for every well optimized splash page
1. Your Message
This carries the entire reason for having this page on your website. It tells the visitors why they are seeing this page and what they need to do (if any). So let’s say you’re announcing a new feature or putting up a disclaimer, this is where to do it. The number of characters are not fixed for this type of page. But, it is advisable to keep it short and direct. This way your visitors aren’t exhausted before getting to the main website itself.
2. An Exit Button
Your exit button is the perhaps the most defining feature of your splash page. This is why it is an essential element. For a well optimized splash page, your exit button should be boldly defined. If it isn’t, chances that search engines will flag it are very high. This means, you’re going to do a lot of harm to your website.
Also, note that the exit button has to redirect your visitors back to the website they came to see. Using an exit button to redirect visitors to another website entirely defeats the purpose of a splash page. Plus, it’ll only create frustrated and angry visitors who will likely never visit your site again.
How to Create a Splash Page
If you’ve gone through all the details of what a splash page is about and you find it necessary to have one on your website, you can start working around creating one. Once you’ve resolved to do this, you have two options to achieve this.
1. Using a splash page builder
If you don’t have an IT team on ground or have enough resources to hire one, your best bet is getting a page builder. With a page builder like Funneljoy, you can simply create a splash page by using a professional template from the available options. Once you’re done inserting and editing the elements, host it on your website.
The advantage of using page builders is that they have been thoroughly optimized to boost your SEO score as opposed to doing everything from scratch. Plus they don’t require any knowledge of code.
2. Create your splash page using a designer
Using a designer means getting a user interface and experience designer to create a template or several designs of a splash page you can subsequently choose from. Implementing this method will usually require an extensive knowledge of code. This is because once the designer finishes with it, a front end developer has to build and then host the design live on your website.
Using a designer is great if you have experience in this aspect or if you have a dedicated IT team handling this. You can simply coordinate them and work with a deadline to achieve this. On the other hand, if you don’t have a team or experience, but you have the resources to hire one, it is also a good option for you.
Examples of Splash Pages
As a bonus, I’m showing you some real life splash pages that are functioning the way they were intended to. These examples will help you understand how these elements work together and also give you inspiration for creating your very own.
Zara’s simplistic page is one of the most effective pages that the internet has currently. The main purpose of this page is to personalize language content displayed on the website based on the location of its web visitor. Location and language are the two verifications requested before you can proceed to have a look around the store. Its design is a complimenting image that portrays what the website is about. Asides from the image, the distinct feature is its buttons asking for verification and the major exit button which says ‘GO’. This is a splash page that has no plan of beating around the bush.
The intent of Budweiser’s splash page is clear. All it needs is age verification seeing as it’s a brand that requires customers of legal age. So to effectively work around this, it uses a splash page to notify and verify. The design is a background image of the product with clear buttons that request for the date of birth. The exit button that leads you back to the major website is the ‘ENTER’ button. And so, it’s not difficult to locate. Budweiser delivers a straightforward, beautiful user experience using this page. This is why it’s one of my favourites.
This type of splash page isn’t a verification or a personalization inclined type of page. It’s simply an introductory page. What Garrison footwear uses to introduce its visitors and explains in a short sentence, what its entire website is about. The only other element of this page is a phone number and a background image. The only button on the page is its exit button. So if you’re looking for something as a welcome mat, this should inspire you.
Tips to Have in Mind When Creating a Splash Page
1. Keep your CTA and exit button clear: Your exit button and call to action shouldn’t be confusing to your visitors. In one glance, they should be able to comprehend what it means and what is required of them. The exit button should be visible as well. You don’t want to have irritated visitors who will spend so much time finding how to leave your page. That’ll be bad for your conversion rates.
2. Remember your load time counts: When inserting your elements on the splash page, remember that nobody likes to wait around for a website to load. Understand how each of these elements affect your load time. After launching, test it for optimization. It’ll help you see how your current user experience is.
3. Keep the text short and simple: Your accompanying text on the website shouldn’t be so long that’ll bore your visitors before they get to the actual page. Instead, keep it short and engaging. This way, they’ll be looking forward to the content of your website. You’ll see in the examples above that the copy is usually about a sentence if there even is.
4. Your splash page should be mobile responsive: Today, research has shown that a lot of website visitors use their mobile devices. So when creating a such pages, always check for mobile responsiveness. If your page isn’t responsive, it defeats the entire purpose of having one. Plus, visitors will automatically assume your entire website is the same.
5. Images never hurt: try incorporating one complimenting image on your splash page. In the above examples, you’ll see how these images not only improved visual aesthetic, but created a welcoming presence that pushes you to check out the website itself.
Splash pages are generally making waves in the market again. Now, they aren’t no longer just a long load time cause, but as a requirement for certain kinds of websites. This means, when properly optimized, they can improve user experience which will increase the number of conversions over time.
I hope this post helps you create that properly optimized splash page your website needs.