A Splash Page is a type of web page or popup that visitors land on before viewing the rest of your website. It is most commonly used as a type of “foreword,” or a message that your site’s visitors should read before hitting the real homepage of your site.
A Landing Page is a type of web page created for a specific segment of visitors to land on after clicking a targeted link or viewing material from a unique marketing campaign. Landing pages have a more poignant focus than splash pages do.
When Should You Use Splash Pages
Splash pages should be used to answer a common question, introduce a concept, or build up brand awareness. Try to avoid over-using splash pages, as there are many other ways to achieve similar outcomes without routing site visitors away from your homepage first.
Splash pages should be primarily informational and should try not to function as an alternative homepage. Your goal with a splash page is to provide additional, usually quite limited, context to the visitor before routing them to the main flow of the site.
The modern splash page often is just a popup/modal that presents an offer or prompts to take a certain action. These are used commonly on eCommerce sites or web software companies that are upselling, educating visitors on their products.
A great example of a splash page is this one from Madewell. This splash-page-style popup features a form that prompts new visitors to become a member. If you think back to our definition of splash pages, this one definitely fits the bill. It’s providing more information that a visitor would want to know before visiting the site – in this case, if I become a member now, I can get points on the purchase I’m about to make.
A final requirement of a splash page, which these types of popups follow implicitly, is that they are part of your main website. Whether they are their own page or just a popup, users are usually able to navigate to or trigger them, even if they aren’t coming from a unique link from an email, form, etc.
When Should You Use Landing Pages
Landing pages should be tied to specific campaigns or user segments. They are usually created for a one-off email campaign, ad campaign, or event.
In opposition to a splash page, a landing page is usually not linked to your main website at all. Its purpose is not to prepare a new visitor to visit the main homepage, but instead to be its own user journey from start (introduction of product) to finish (conversion).
Because a landing page is typically meant to convert and is targeted to a specific segment of users, there is often more specific language and an ultra-specific call-to-action throughout a landing page.
You may create a landing page for visitors that come from a Google Ad. That Google Ad is being run for the search term “how to sell pottery online.” This means that instead of more generic, homepage-style language like “sign up for free,” the call-to-action may say “start selling pottery.” All of the messaging and language for the landing page can be this targeted, which can be extremely powerful in allowing you to engage and convert each segment of site visitors at a higher rate.
Landing Page Example – Shopify
Shopify has some of the best landing pages after users click on their Google Ads. We found a great landing page just by searching “how to sell books online” on Google. Once you click on Shopify’s ad, you are routed to an amazing landing page that speaks directly to wannabe-book-sellers!
The images are the first thing we noticed – they feature used books! It’s obvious immediately that this page is for me (a bookseller) specifically. Everything from the overhead text (“sell books online”) to the main header (“Start, run, and grow your book business”), to the description (“Get the training… you need to build the book business you’ve always wanted.”) are sure to pull me into my first free trial with Shopify.
Do you see the potential for how much more powerful a targeted landing page can be over a traditional, more generic homepage? The other benefit here is that we can begin to improve our search engine results (SEO) by drilling into multiple user segments/niches.
We can also use landing pages to experiment with segmentation, messaging, A/B testing, and much more as your business grows.
Splash Page vs Landing Page – Conclusion
Even though you know the difference between a splash pages and a landing page now, they are not your only tool in improving conversion and engagement on your website. Most websites have a homepage, an about page, product or feature pages, a pricing page, sometimes FAQ pages or help centers, and potentially much more.
Every page has its own purpose and can help with conversion, engagement, user education, support, sales, SEO, or a number of other important aspects. You’ll want to carefully consider what pages to create, what messaging to include for each page, and how to present your business to new visitors.
Don’t worry, we can help!
At Icepick, we design and develop custom websites to help your business grow. Every business is unique and needs to find its own space on the web to consistently bring in new customers. As tempting as it might be to do everything yourself (or use a simple website builder), you’ll find it difficult to navigate without a strategic partner. We’ve been through this hundreds of times and can help you avoid typical pitfalls and roadblocks.
You can get in touch with us here to get started today! Let us know what you’re working on and how we can help you succeed!