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What is a splash page, and how can you use one effectively?

As you put together your website, there are certain types of pages that would obviously often be worthy of inclusion – think a ‘Services’ page, ‘About Us’ page, ‘Contact Us’ page… and so on. However, you might have also heard of a ‘splash page’. What’s that?

No, it wouldn’t (necessarily) be a part of your website dedicated to swimming or a 1980s romantic comedy starring Tom Hanks. Instead, it’s simply a page that would appear before the user can see whatever other page of your site they were trying to reach. So, should you include a splash page?

How a splash page works

Usually, when a splash page does appear, the user will have to manually close it to get to other elements of your site. That might make a splash page sound like a bit of nuisance, but you shouldn’t underestimate how genuinely useful it could be to people who see it.

For example, that page could provide the user with controls for personalising their experience, such as changing the site’s language and colour scheme. You could even start introducing your services right there and then, on the splash page, if it is programmed to appear before the homepage.

In that sense, a splash page can feel somewhat like the online equivalent of a retail worker asking you as you enter a shop: “How can I help you?” Done well, a splash page can assist you in fostering a positive first impression and thus edge you nearer to sealing crucial sales.

When should you use a splash page?

Yes, you could use one just to build brand awareness – but you might prefer to save splash pages for special occasions, like when you are running a contest or want to announce a sale. After all, if you are going to stop someone in their tracks, you want to make it worth their while.

It’s also a good idea to use a splash page if you need to make a somewhat more formal announcement. Perhaps your brick-and-mortar office or store is about to move to a new location, or you need to temporarily close its doors or even just shorten its usual opening times?

How should you design your splash page?

You should resist the temptation to dump too much on a splash page. Any text on it should be kept short and snappy – ideally no more than 200 characters, lest your message come across as spammy.

Whether you opt to include just images or text or instead a mix of both on your splash page, you don’t want it to be left so content-heavy that it slows down your site. So, keep any multimedia elements – like video or animation – on this page relatively simple. 

In any case, though, your splash page should include a call to action – even if it’s just a short sentence inviting the reader to join your email list or loyalty scheme. Given our web design and copywriting services, we can help you to both create the splash page and write its text.

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