in Design

What is a splash page and how to use it to generate interest

Nowadays, the best way to put your product or service out there is through a website and online marketing techniques. Don’t have a website yet? Then you may want to consider trying out one of the website builders.

Website builders can be just as professional as WordPress, especially considering all of the amazing features that they provide built-in. You can find support pages and guides for topics that are essential for any great website – like blogging guides, or how to create a website. Plus, you will find design features and templates that will help make the process faster without compromising on quality.

Now that you’ve got that covered, it’s time to think bigger. Having a website is far from being enough, as there are a lot of other things you need to take care of: online advertising, flawless copywriting and SEO optimization while also including excellent graphic design elements for a seamless user experience.

But wait…there’s more! There is one element that will strongly help you drive interest and drive focus towards a strong CTA: a splash page.

What is a splash page?

What is a splash page? It’s the front page of a website that doesn’t provide the actual content, but it informs visitors about the website. There are lots of designers who use splash pages as an opportunity to impress potential clients, while companies tend to use them to draw users’ attention to their latest product releases.

Depending on the graphic designers’ creativity, a splash page can be more or less visually appealing. They usually have a simple structure, such as an image with a small text and a few links.

What’s the use of a splash page? It aims to inform your visitors about a certain event, product launch or guide them to make a specific action. Mostly it is used to leave users curious about what they are going to see next on the website and it helps build curiosity and interest.

Difference between a splash page and a landing page

It can be quite easy to mistaken a splash page for a landing page and the other way around, even though it is not the case.

As mentioned above, a splash way has one purpose only: to catch attention or inform users about a specific matter.

On the other hand, a landing page is a page on the website where you can offer a resource from your business in exchange for visitors’ contact information, for instance. Marketers usually capture this contact info by using a lead-capture form. This is where users enter their details such as name, email address and job title.

A good landing page can also be made to promote a physical product or an eBook. It is where users land after clicking on an ad.

These are some of the ways a landing page is used to start a relationship with future customers:

EBooks and whitepapers: use a lead-capture form on the landing page to make people download your latest content

Email newsletter subscription: if you want to make a list of users that you can further use in email marketing and ads, use a landing page to gather their emails

Online course enrollment: use a landing page to inform users about your online courses and convince them to enroll

Event registration: very similar to online courses, collect users’ data in order to register them for an event

Free trial of a product: use a landing page to offer visitors a free trial for one of your recently launched products

App download: say you released a new app – use a landing page to convince users to download your application

There are many ways of using a landing page, but all of them have the same purpose: they convince users to make a specific action while you get their data (email, phone number, address, and so on).

With this in mind, you can clearly see the difference between a splash page and a landing page. A splash page is informative and it does not collect leads, while a landing page sells something and generates leads.

What can I use a splash page for?

You can use this type of page for many things. However, you need to choose carefully as using it wrong might scare your visitors away. Think about your brand, your company and the end result that you want to achieve before choosing one of the following uses:

1. Let users select the language that they want to use, or the country they are from (so that you can redirect them to the appropriate version of the website)

2. Disclaimer or warnings – restrict access to content such as advertising, gambling and pornography

3. Catch users’ attention – inform them about deadlines for a competition, critical updates, latest release, news, and so on

4. Let users choose between a low-bandwidth version and high-bandwidth version and any other setting you consider necessary

5. Inform visitors about site requirements such as used browsers, screen resolution and help them choose the right configuration and download plug-ins for optimal site presentation and experience

6. Allow visitors to select the preferred view mode – standard mode, full-screen mode, etc

7. Awake excitement for the actual content of the site

8. Additional form of advertising

9. Include hints for browsing the site and explain the main sections

10. Announce the necessity of sound. Ask them to turn on their speakers to enjoy the ultimate experience

All these strategies can help your brand grow and keep your users closer. However, you need to make sure you think it through really well right from the start. By implementing a splash page, you are giving your visitors an extra step to complete before they reach your website. This means that you need to make sure that they actually complete it and land on your homepage, which is why a well-tailored strategy is mandatory. Moreover, you need to realize that there are both pros and cons to using a splash page, so choose wisely:

Pros and cons for using a splash page

As previously discussed, a splash page can do both good and bad for a website/company/business. They are considered to be a little be outdated, but still efficient with the right strategy.

Pros to a splash page

– Given the fact that they feature so little information, they are really fast loading. This allows you to showcase the most important information so that visitors see it quickly without requiring them to make an action

– A very good way to show off your latest work such as portfolio and wow users with a strong first impression

It allows users to have a personalized experience, given the fact that they can choose the language and other settings

Cons to a splash page

It may prevent users from entering your website if it is not designed and thought through. Instead of getting them right into your content, you stop their progress with something they may or may not want to see. It’s kind of a lottery.

They are not very search engine friendly as there is not a lot of content on them for a search engine to optimize on

It can push return visitors away given the fact that it is repetitive (if you don’t add a “skip” option)

So, as mentioned before, make sure your strategy is thought through before deciding to implement a splash page. It can backfire pretty fast, but it can also bring tremendous benefits. It all depends on how you use it.

What to include on a splash page

There are not many elements on a splash page, but they are very important. Make sure you include the following:

A clear, well written message: it can vary from giving users information about a new product to just offering them a chance to share your website on social media

A clear exit button that takes them straight to the website

Amazing graphic design that keeps users interested

Cliff-hanging copywriting (if it matches your brand strategy)

Now you know a lot about splash pages, but how do you use one to generate interest?

Generate interest through a well-designed website splash page

Before deciding to create a splash page, brainstorm the strategy. Do you want them to be amazed by your latest product release and then land on the homepage where they see everything about it? Or, maybe you want to inform them that you are rebranding and will soon change your name.

There are numerous possibilities and choosing the right strategy for your situation is mandatory, otherwise it might backfire hard.

After successfully choosing a strategy, make sure that everything you use on the splash page is high-quality: breath taking graphic design and stunning copywriting that matches your brand identity.

To make sure everything goes seamlessly, you need to apply all of the above steps and tailor them to fit your niche and website. Moreover, there’s another step you should apply before choosing the final splash page: split testing.

Create different splash page design and test them. Change the copy, play with the graphics and see which one performs best. That’s your winner. Always follow the results and apply your learnings, as it is the only way to grow.

The bright side? Creating a splash page is not hard at all. There are numerous splash page templates available online. You can get some inspiration, try different styles and decide which one fits your niche and website best.

Key takeaways:

– Use action oriented text and keep it short. Don’t bore your visitors with a lot of text as your bounce rate will go through the roof. The text that you display should leave them curious and interested in what’s coming next on the website. Basically, treat it as a teaser.

– Add a video or a really engaging image. The visual element is tremendously important as it drives interest and captivates the attention of visitors.

– Make sure your website does not take a long time to load. Again, the bounce rate will go through the roof if users have to wait a long time for the page to load. Teasing is great, but annoying them by keeping them waiting is a no no.

– Watch your CTA: make sure to place your CTA in a clear location, as the main task of your splash page is to lead visitors to the homepage.

– Use high quality only: images, videos and copywriting

– Understand the difference between a splash page and a landing page: use a splash page to inform users about a specific area, and a landing page to generate leads and make users take action

Remember: the splash page can be your best friend. It may help you drive interest towards your website, products and services as long as you use it well. Split test, follow results and keep up with the fast-paced digital world in order to keep your users engaged, excited and interested. This way, you’ll make sure your conversion rate is high and bounce rate low.

Alexandru

Alexandru is the co-owner of TopDesignMag. “If it looks easy, it's hard. If it looks hard, it's impossible. If it looks impossible, it's due tomorrow. At 8 A.M.”