How to Make A ‘Splash’ On The Internet

Many people, when they build a website, think that it will be a good idea to install a splash or welcome page on their website. A splash page will normally be a graphical page that welcomes the visitor to the website, and then requests that the visitor clicks a link that will transport them to the actual website.

Splash page are a bad idea because of the following;

1. If someone has gone to the trouble of clicking a link to your website they are indicating they want to go to your website — if you install an additional layer of navigation for the visitor to go through you are making the entire process that much harder (fewer clicks are a good thing).

2. Search engine HATE splash pages. When a search engine visits a site and the first thing they find is a page with zero content, that provides no value to the visitor, and the only options are to leave that page or go back to where you came from – this tells the search engine that your site is not interesting.

3. Splash pages are an additional layer that in many cases serve as search engine repellent. Often, a search engine will see a splash page that is optimized with the following title tag ‘Welcome to our site’ and has no content and will then not bother indexing any subsequent pages.

4. Internet users are lazy. Requiring an visitor to click a link to go to your site, and then click another link to go to your real site will result in an increase in bounced traffic and a reduced volume of traffic coming through from search engines (if you get any at all).

5. It is a waste of time and resources to build a page that ‘welcomes’ visitors to your site. You are building a website – not a cozy bed and breakfast!

6. Some websites go through the huge effort of building a dial-up version and a high-speed version of their website. Then, they will place a splash page that requests the user choose which version of the site the visitor would like to view. This is a very bad idea, mainly because the number of dial-up internet users is decreasing every day – and building a ‘special’ version of your site to accommodate this ever diminishing demographic makes very little sense.

The most important thing you can do to create an actual splash with search engines is to do the following;

1. Optimize your entire site.

2. Provide value to the visitor; do not just make a sales pitch.

3. Produce content on your subject to stay fresh and relevant.

4. Make navigations easy for search engines and visitors.

5. Avoid an over reliance on graphics; Search engines cannot see what is in an image or graphic.

6. Construct your site in a logical and organized way.

7. Give your site focus, so that search engines can easily ascertain what your site is about.

8. Become an authority within your specific realm or market place.

9. Follow the rules and be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your site will not be on the first page of Google anytime soon!

10. Learn about the difference between how humans and computers interpret your site. You are relying on a computer understanding your site (and what it is about) and referring it to humans for consumption.

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