Man analyzing financial data and charts on computer screen

Splash Pages – beautiful introductory pages, containing almost no text, but making up for it with a spectacular graphic or animated Flash movie.  Are these Splash Pages really effective at increasing website traffic?

Any web designer worth his own salt would undoubtedly tell you, “Yes, of course!” because they are graphic-minded people just like any other artist, or right-brain oriented person. If you’re selling a course on graphic design, or promoting graphics packages, then, yes, you probably do need a page splashed with flash!

Here’s a website traffic tip; there are down sides to all that flash…

A new person comes to your page in search of one thing in particular, but his eye is caught by all of the graphics and flash.  Now he is on your page completely forgetting what pertinent information he was there looking for.

What is so bad about that though?  You have a new fan on your page in awe of your amazing graphics. And a small percentage of your visitors (those with graphic inclinations) actually are impressed with that.  Most are not.

People are busy and don’t like getting side tracked with neon flashing signs.  It’s especially annoying if they’re still on dial-up or other slow connection, and your Flash movie takes forever to load.

People Don’t Like To Be Held Hostage…

You only get one shot to make a first impression and people rarely change their opinion of you.  So if you’ve lost them in the first seconds on your site because of slow-to-load pages or too many neon signs, then they are going to turn away and never come back, which certainly isn’t going to increase your website traffic.

“But I paid a lot of money for that Splash page,” you argue. “It was designed by the best!”

Check your website stats.  See how long the average visit to your splash page lasts.   I guarantee you’ll find it’s less than 11 seconds.  So how much traffic to your website are you getting if people are only sticking around for 11 seconds?

As far as your visitor is concerned, your splash page is stopping him from finding the information he came here to claim. He looks for a quick way off that page to get to what he wants.  If he finds a ‘Skip this‘ link, you might actually be lucky, and get a click-through.  If not, he’s out of there faster than you can say “I do!” It’s as simple as that.

Search Engine Bots hate Splash pages…

Splash pages are coded with JavaScript, which cannot be indexed. When it’s at the mouth of your site, Search Bots come up hard against it and find themselves immobilized as firmly as did your potential customer.

Search Bots bounce out of your site faster than lightning, continuing on their busy way leaving your site un-indexed and unranked.

They found no keywords, no keyword phrases, and no relevant text. No content at all, as far as their algorithms are concerned.  What’s worse is if your Splash page is hosted on a remote site and the Search Bot is diverted to it via a Redirect. It’s a coin flip if your site will be marked with redirect or no index-able content?

Yes, those Splash pages are awesome to the naked eye, but it isn’t going to do anything to increase traffic to your website.  Just do the math, the proof is in the stats.  If you take one website traffic tip away from all of this it’s that Splash pages do nothing for your page rank or traffic numbers!