Thursday, July 2, 2015

Pointless "Coming Soon!" Web Pages

Since I am in the process of getting ready to launch a new business, a web page is a must-have, even though this new venture will not have an ecommerce component.

I have already secured a .com domain for my new enterprise, and I also am in the process of having a website built.

During our first meeting, the developer asked me if I wanted to have a "Coming Soon" page. I am sure you've seen them from time to time during your Internet travels. Content on these pages—if you can call it content—usually consists of a big Coming Soon! image or its text equivalent.

Apparently, no thought is given to this important announcement. To me, that's a HUGE waste of valuable web real estate, as well as an opportunity to make your web page count.

First of all, since you are spending time and money to create a website, don't start it on the wrong foot. Most importantly, don't waste other people's time by not taking the opportunity to explain what your new website and company, are going to be about.

Secondly, people love to talk about optimization, yet "Coming Soon!"—like many "Thank You!"—pages, are usually relegated to the back burner, if given much thought at all.

If you are planning to officially launch your new website in two or three months, have your webmaster treat the Coming Soon! page as the valuable property it really is. Think of it as a business card.

You wouldn't spend money having "Coming Soon!" business cards printed, right? Instead, these cards would have your company name, maybe a tag line, your name and contact information. In other words, they would serve a purpose.

Why is it then that I see the equivalent of blank business cards online?

You don't have to go crazy with paragraph after paragraph of boring text. All you really need are enough words that describe your new business, web store, blog, etc. And use plenty of related keywords in order to start feeding search engine bots the kind of information that will be helpful to you, as well as them.

Optimization is a two-way street.

Images are great, but they are not as helpful as plain old text. Talk to your webmaster and designer about this, as well as having (at minimum) a proper title meta tag. I often see the word "Home" used as a title meta tag. How silly is that?

In addition to great original content, you may also want to offer a way for visitors to sign up for an email notification when your full-fledged site goes live. Otherwise, people are going to forget about you and your site the moment they click away, so offer a way to send them a reminder in the future. You can set this up rather easily with MailChimp.

And while you're at it, set up a Facebook business page, if you plan to use one, and link to it from your Coming Soon! page. That way you may get a few more "Likes" with no effort or added expense.

So again, think of your Coming Soon! page as valuable real estate, and start building a great, properly optimized web site, from the very foundation.