For music fans both old and new, an artist website needs to offer an attractive, eye-catching design that contains the latest details about your recordings or touring schedule.
Too often in the past, Web designers have relied on a splash page to help the artist stand out from the crowd. Given their general misuse, splash pages can be just as annoying as pop-up advertisements and paper cuts.
A splash page is a single web page that provides visitors with a brief preview before entering a main website. A splash page has a distinct purpose, such as an email subscription form or order form.
Splash pages are an introductory page to a website, offering one or more of the following features:
- Logo or graphic
- Flash movie or animation
- Choice of how to enter the site (no-flash, flash)
- Technical requirements (version, browser, etc.)
In an ideal world, splash pages drive signups and social-media followers as a way to expand your audience. An appropriate splash page contains information that is well structured and focuses on the core elements of your message. These elements include a clear headline, artist logo, photo and a brief description of the album or song release.
Trouble is, most splash pages fail miserably at this task.
Avoid Splash Page Disasters
For musicians, splash pages often serve as a gateway to new and never-before-heard music by promoting a new album or single. A poorly-designed splash page can make the difference between a visitor investing in your music or simply losing interest. The following aspects can turn a splash page into a total disaster for your website:
Calling off the search
Splash pages often have a negative impact on your search engine results. Since many splash pages include flash animation and nothing else, there’s not a lot for Google, Yahoo or other search engines to optimize. If you add content to the page in the comment section, you can be penalized for spam.
Sizzle over steak
Splash pages have been popular in the past with designers who want to show off their skills in Flash. Although splash pages can be an excellent way of showing off your latest work, your visitors come to your site to learn more information – not for hotshot graphics. While the fancy animation or flash movie may be attractive, it also distracts the visitor from why they visit the site.
The animation on a splash page can often be repetitive. Readers who have viewed the media won’t want to see it repeated times, but without a “skip” option they may be forced to bail.
It was all a blur
It’s not always obvious where visitors can click to enter the main website, and they may simply move on to the next as a result of their confusion.
Form over function
Splash pages are not always designed to work properly on all devices and browsers, preventing some visitors from viewing any of your information.
Bottom line: Instead of relying on a splash page, incorporate your most recent news onto the main page of your website. Consider the following tips for optimizing your website:
- Include a strong headline and supporting text to communicate your message and a place for visitors to submit their information.
- Post clearly marked links so that the visitor can discover more through following social-media accounts and other online blogs.
- If you’re offering free or discounted music, post a customized button with a message such as “Download your free song” to draw the audience’s attention.
In the end, your goal is to engage the audience with your music – not alienate them with a confusing and confounding Web experience. When developing your artist website, bear in mind that you can lose much of the traffic you’ve generated by presenting visitors with a splash page that fails to show off your talents.