Your domain can be online and offering content while your site is still under construction. In such a scenario, “coming soon page” is an effective way of promoting your future online presence. This page is equally useful when you are carrying out some maintenance work on your website.
In this article, I’ll give you a few tips to follow when creating an efficient coming soon page in order to keep your business afloat during a website maintenance.
What is the function of a “Coming soon page”?
It often takes several weeks or even months between registering a domain and getting a website online. However, nothing prevents you from registering the URL with Google in order to have it indexed and to inform visitors of your plans using a “Coming Soon” page.
For example, you can indicate that a new online store, blog or business site is in the works. Arouse curiosity, advertise your website now, and give visitors a good reason to come back.
If a site is not under construction but being modified, then the home page should be titled “Under maintenance”. The page has a similar structure and performs a similar function to a page under construction. Nevertheless, the purpose here is not so much to arouse the curiosity of visitors as to inform existing customers of the reasons why they cannot access the site as they are used to and to specify the duration of unavailability.
Creating a website under construction page
Are you designing a new website?
So, create a “Site under construction” page and set it as your home page. As soon as your site is ready, all you have to do is replace it with the normal home page.
Some important elements of a “coming soon page”
Often, “Under construction” pages are not optimized and are therefore underutilized.
Writing “Site under construction” accompanied by a photo of works is not a bad idea in itself, but it does not arouse curiosity and does not make the user want to come back. You equally miss a valuable opportunity of presenting your project in advance.
We recommend that you include the following content/elements:
Introduce yourself/your company/idea
What will be found on your website in the future? The information you provide here doesn’t need to be as detailed as an “About” or “About Us” page, but it should give your visitors an idea of what to expect in the future.
In the case of a “site under maintenance”, you must indicate why maintenance is taking place. Is it, for example, to publish a new version of your site or simply to “clear your warehouse” for the next season? This last justification is deliberately enigmatic, it elegantly indicates that the page is currently inaccessible, without specifying the real reason.
Display your company’s visual identity
Make at least your company logo or name appear on the page. Ideally, colors, fonts and other design elements that have already been defined in a graphic charter. Thus, you will give a taste of your future presence on the web.
Let people know when the work will be completed
The most common solution is to include a countdown before going live or returning to normal operation. However, a meter places you in the obligation to respect your commitment, otherwise you will disappoint your customers.
In this context, it may be wise to announce a deadline that gives you some leeway, such as “In August”, “In autumn” or “At the end of the year”. You can also offer an alert: visitors, after entering their email address, will be notified as soon as your site is (again) online.
Consider including up-to-date means of contact
Link to an existing contact form, leave an email address or phone number, and if applicable, list your social media profiles (provided there’s something to see there).
Add an option to subscribe to your newsletter
A common practice on “coming soon pages” is the possibility to subscribe to a newsletter. Depending on the type of website in question, this may come with a promise of discounts for early subscribers. You can even send it just before going online or during modification work. Or take advantage of the online launch for a first mailing.
The right style for your “Coming soon” page
In addition to functions and content, the effectiveness of a “Site under construction” page also depends on the style in which it is written. Depending on the tone and target audience of your company, it can sometimes be relaxed and humorous or neutral and factual. It can be interesting to allude to the subject of your website (as in the example above with the online store and the warehouse to be emptied).
If you sell furniture online, one idea would be to write: “Our interior designer is taking over the measurements of our online store to make sure that all the furniture will fit properly”. If you run a restaurant, a good formulation could be: “We are redoing our menu” or “We are making the most delicious pasta dishes in northern Italy and still ask for a little patience”.
How long can a website stay under construction?
If it’s an entirely new website, you can theoretically leave the “Coming soon page” for as long as you want. It’s a little different for a “Site under maintenance” page. In this case, the period should be as short as possible (a few days or a week at most). In any case, you must stick to the date once it is communicated.
Referencing of a “coming soon page”
If SEO doesn’t matter much for a “coming soon page” (after all, Google hasn’t indexed much content yet), that’s another matter for a website under maintenance.
If the crawler falls on your site during the construction phase and finds nothing but the maintenance page, the engine will interpret this as a bad signal and penalize you in the ranking.
Repeated and prolonged maintenance periods can have serious consequences. For this reason, it is useful to keep these periods to a minimum in order to limit the risk of the robot passing by at exactly that time.