SEO Killed the Splash Screen

14 February

SEO Killed the Splash Screen

One typical SEO mistake for clients and newbie designers is basing the users interaction upon an entry or "splash" screen or an animated intro. This is the kiss of death when it comes to SEO if not handled properly. Splash screens typically contain redirecting JavaScript which most search engines either don't like or just plain won't run them thus the search engine spiders never actually make it to the content of your site.

Flash content such as intros, animations and redirecting the user via Actionscript as well has it's SEO drawbacks. Once again, no rich content for the search engine spiders and the Actionscript never executes for the spiders to find the rest of your site.

There are a few method of making sure your users and search engines do finally get to your site but in the end you're setting yourself up for trouble. Splash pages were a good idea when Flash first came giving some kind of intro animation and something cool for the users to look at and in the end the users would tell others about the "cool site they just saw". Now that Flash has been around for a while search engines and SEO methods are king in getting traffic and keeping it. If you can't be found on a search engine chances are you can't be found and no amount of cutting edge animation or fancy flash will help that.

A general rule of thumb for SEO and splash pages is simply to not use them. Keep the user entertained yes but also give the user some much needed content let them know that yes, this is the information they were looking for. Don't make them guess why they're there or make them wait through some annoying flash animation before getting to what they need. You'll more than likely lose your visitor and in turn lose any chance of them coming back. Also by keeping rich content on your home page and not redirecting them from a splash page this allows the search engine spiders to glean your site for valuable and ranking content thus putting you within the search engines with no issues or javascript tricks and redirects.

Clean code, relevant content and steering away from tricks and hacks to get traffic or entertain your users is always a good standard. Search engines not only like sites that follow the rules but they are usually rewarded with interested visitors and higher rankings.

TAGS: Web Design, General