How to Convince a Client They Don’t Need a Splash Page
Matt at SEOmoz.org wrote an excellent article about `How to Convince a Client They Don’t Need a Splash Page. Splash pages are the pages that the user sees before they actually get to a website; typically, they’re flash and offer some kind of introductory animation. The user clicks “Skip Intro” or “Enter Site” and from there is taken to the site. Splash pages can also exist between pages on the same site. Clients love to request them and these are the arguments I use to shoot them down:
Search engines will spider the splash page instead of the real content
Search engines look at the text on a page to determine what the page is all about. If your page is entirely in flash or some other kind of multimedia, chances are the search engines won’t be able to spider any text on it. This will result in both you not ranking for the terms you want and the spidered page having a description next to it in the search results that says something like “Click to Enter.” Examples include: accuplacer.com johnellis.com reachmediatv.com. A search at Google for “Click to Enter” or “Skip Intro” reveals many sites that have non-descriptive text associated with them due to their use of splash pages. These results aren’t likely to get clicks.
Client: “So use a flash intro but stuff text in the meta keywords tag”
Search engines stopped caring about meta keyword tags a long time ago — it’s all about what’s actually on the page now.