We recently wrote an article about the importance of your homepage in SEO and how neglecting your homepage, or even isolating from your main website, is a basic SEO mistake. Despite this being common knowledge in the SEO community many web designers still incorporate splash pages in their web designs, giving their clients websites that are crippled before they even go live.
What is a splash page?
A splash page is a page that appears before your website loads. It is usually made mostly of images and acts as a ‘cover’ for your website in the same way as a magazine or book has a cover. However, magazines and books have attractive covers because they need to attract the attention of customers from the news stands.
Why is a splash page bad for SEO?
Websites don’t need to attract anyone’s attention from a news stand; they need to attract Google’s attention in order to be found. Splash pages make this very difficult as they’re usually devoid of text (meaning Google has nothing to index) and they redirect to a page within the website. Splash pages are also not linked to from within the website because they’re only supposed to be seen once when the user enters the website.
Why are splash pages still used if they’re so bad for SEO?
Splash pages are generally used on websites for one of two reasons.
- The website has been designed by a print designer who has no concept of SEO and doesn’t realise the level of negative impact the splash page will have on the website’s success.
- The website is for a major brand, such as a sports team, and doesn’t need to rank in Google for competitive terms because they are their own industry. Football team websites, ice hockey websites and major brands such as Sony and Nike for example could afford to have a splash page on their website.
If your website features a splash page your website’s success will be hindered. Any professional SEO company will tell you to remove the splash page from your website as the first step to increasing your rankings and your conversions.