If you have bought a domain and still need to design the website, then please don’t leave it blank it is never too early to start marketing your site. Creating a Coming Soon page is not only a good idea of filling the blank space it is also a great way of introducing yourself to the online world.
Last week we showed you 15 great Coming Soon pages, in this post we will present 10 tips for creating a more effective and professional Coming Soon page, we will use this as inspiration for our next article on Wednesday where we will provide you with a list of tutorials for creating beautiful Coming Soon Pages.
1. Let them know when!
The reason for creating a coming soon page is that there is actually something coming soon. The best tip I can give you is be honest with your visitors and let them know when exactly you are going to be updating the site. You can either do this with a countdown timer or perhaps a progress bar.
A great example of letting visitors know just how far the website was and what needed to be done before the final release was the evasi0n jailbreak website.
The most important thing to remember is that if you have a countdown timer then you MUST launch the website when the timer reaches zero, you really can’t leave it at zero for too long or visitors will lose faith in you.
2. Focus on design
Often designers ignore the importance of design when creating a Coming Soon page. Yes I know that it is not going to be used forever, but you still need to put an effort into creating something beautiful. Don’t forget the Coming Soon page works as pre-launch marketing, if you create a great coming soon page then visitors are much more likely to come back. You need to have some sort of wow! effect that makes your visitors want to return once the site launches.
As you might have noticed in our previous post many of the Coming Soon pages use a much larger font than normal websites, this is to grab the attention of the visitors. Remember this is just a teaser to try to keep the amount of text to a minimum.
3. Allow people to sign up for future updates
If you looked through the inspirational coming soon pages we presented last week then you might have noticed one prominent feature they all included, yes I am talking about the email sign up form. Remember now that someone has visited the site you want them to return when the site is launched, and what better way of doing that then sending them an email letting them know you have gone live, if you don’t offer some form of email subscription you run the risk of your visitors having forgotten all about your website when it finally launches.
While there are several different ways to design your subscription form most designers tend to stick with a very simply design that only requires the visitor to enter their email, remember this isn’t a survey so don’t ask for unnecessary information. The website below is a great example of how to keep the email subscription form present and still keep the design nice.
However you need to remember that because someone signs up for your email updates that is not an invitation to bombard them with emails, stick with as few as possible, perhaps one to thank them for signing up and one when your site has launched.
4. Update along the way
There is nothing more important that letting your visitors know what has changed since last time they visited. You could do this directly on the site by having a what’s new area or if you are allowing people to subscribe to a mailing list then you can either decide to let them know during the design phase or simply send them a message once the site is up and running.
If you don’t want to use a email sign up update then perhaps you might want to consider running a blog that will keep visitors updated on what’s happening with the site. Finally in recent years more and more developers have turned to social media outlets such as Twitter or Facebook to keep their visitors in the know.
A great example of a coming soon page that has it all was Vevo.com, not only did they allow email subscription but they also referred to their Twitter account
5. Explain what’s coming
The biggest reason for creating a Coming Soon page is so you can explain to the visitors what you are all about, whether it be an upcoming product or simply a website. Therefore you need to tell your visitors what they can expect when the site launches. If you are creating the next YouTube platform let them know, the next twitter let them know…get the picture make sure you let your visitors know what to expect after final launch.
I am not saying you should write a whole essay about your amazing new site but a few sentences can go a long way to convincing visitors to come back.
6. Use words creatively
Remember when we were talking about design in #2 and I told you to focus on the design well you really need to focus on your wording as well, there is nothing more boring that a website that simply says “This Site is Under Construction” honestly I am sure you can come up with something a bit more original.
7. Market your brand
Remember that your Coming Soon is in essence the first time your visitors get to know you are your brand/services. If you have created a logo, or if you are creating a product, then perhaps a mockup would be a great addition to your Coming Soon page.
Remember that pre-launch marketing goes a long way to building a strong brand presence in your visitors mind. Remember that your Coming Soon page should make visitors want whatever it is you are offering,
8. Tell visitors how else to reach you
Since the biggest reason for visitors to visit a website is that they want something from you, it is vital that you let the visitors know how else they can reach you.
If you are on Twitter or Facebook then let your visitors know, you can either do this through a link or with social media buttons. Not only does this allow your visitors to find alternative ways of contacting you but it also allows you to build your social network presence and build an audience before the final release of your site.
Your Coming Soon page can also contact direct contact information such as Phone numbers, email addresses or even a physical address. As the example above from DeviantART shows you can even add a Google Map so your visitors know where you are located.
9. Add a mysterious touch
Everyone knows the saying curiosity killed the cat, if you add some sort of mysterious touch to the Coming Soon page then you are bound to spark the interest of many visitors.
Of course don’t forget that this isn’t the same as keeping visitors in the dark, as we mentioned earlier it is really important to let visitors know what they can expect once the final page launches.
You can create mystery through the text choice or through your design, the goal of your website should be to get visitors talking and if you can manage to do this through a mysterious touch then there is a much bigger chance that they will tell their friends about it.
A great example of creating mystery around a new launch was the Polish phone provider Heya, they had a coming soon page with just a red hand (the company logo) at the same time they had commercials on TV and billboards announcing something big and directing visitors to their website. Not only did this generate interest in social networks but even Television and Newspapers were talking about what this could possibly be.
10. Don’t forget about SEO
Just because a Coming Soon page has a short lifespan, that is really no reason for you to ignore SEO habits. This includes things such as using proper tags and keywords.
If you start building a search engine presence early in the design then you are much more likely to have a better presence once the final page launches as well as help you gain a higher search engine ranking in the future.