You would like to start your own blog? You’ve even bought a domain? But, wait…you have nothing else prepared? You can’t just let people stare at a blank website while you are working on the content and design…if anything, it’s embarrassing.
But don’t sweat it, there is a simple and – if properly done – a fast solution to this problem. Yes, a problem! The thing is, if you leave your website blank while you are preparing your blog for launching, the chances are that Google will give it negative points for being empty. This might seriously affect its subsequent ranking, even after all the SEO optimized content is uploaded. As if this isn’t bad enough, your potential readers who run into this blank page will just keep clicking further away from your website, and it will be wiped from their memory as if they’ve never landed on it.
Coming Soon to the Rescue
The solution here is an engaging and tailor-made coming soon page. Let’s look at all the ways your blog can benefit from it.
Early SEO Setup
In case you hurry up and buy the perfect domain for your blog, there are a few reasons not to leave your website empty for a long time, as we have already mentioned. Google’s web crawlers are the primary reason you should fill your website with relevant content as soon as possible. These bots analyze the content published under different domains, and if they find empty pages, they will most likely give your website negative points. The same goes for the websites with the default WordPress theme and caption.
However, putting up relevant and original content is an option only if you have a complete package, either for your coming soon page or your whole blog. Of course, it’s much quicker to put together a coming soon page compared to the design and copywriting process for the entire website which can take weeks or even months.
Still, don’t go about setting up your coming soon page too quickly. There are certain elements to which you need to pay special attention if you want to properly optimize your website for search engines. Firstly, you should choose a topic-appropriate meta description and title from day one. Also, try to use the keywords closely related to the core issues of your industry in the title or subtitle of the coming soon page. All these details will help your blog rank well in the search results for your chosen areas.
Blank or default pages don’t only make Google displeased, but your visitors as well. Hence, these pages will never turn your site’s viewers into loyal followers.
This is why you should never pick generic visuals or other frequently seen bits for your blog’s starting page. Your coming soon page, as minimalist as it is, must be a reflection of everything your blog will stand for. Or, you know, of most things, as it offers noticeably limited space.
Anyway, originality as the primary criterion should apply to every section. So, take some time to pick a background image or a pattern that goes with the mood and topic of your future blog.
The element that is maybe even more important is the copy. It’s short, so it must be effective, but informative at the same time. Some great coming soon pages display only a catchy title, others add in a short description of what the audience can expect. In any case, the content should be planned and genuine in order to catch the attention of potential readers.
Another equally important feature is some form of contacts collection box. In other words, try to fit either a contact form or a newsletter sign-up box into your coming soon page. This will help you build a database of contacts for further marketing efforts.
Create Buzz ahead of Launch
…And this is one of the most important marketing efforts to plan out. Building up to your website’s launch doesn’t mean you have to write unbearably long explanations of what is to come. Instead, just remember “buzz”. It’s fun, it’s short, it’s clear, it’s descriptive, and it’s often found in a social media context. This is what your pre-launch campaign should be like, whether you’ll favor email or social networks advertising.
It’s your choice, of course, and you may find that one way or the other works better for you. Still, try to do a proper job with the email newsletter, even if it’s not your preferred form of address. Social media posts are a less intrusive and more casual way to keep your followers informed, but they are also less reliable because algorithms that decide about your post’s exposure are unpredictable.
Also, the more people and pages your prospects follow, the lower the chance of them stumbling upon your update. We are not saying you should neglect your social media efforts, far from it. It’s important to keep your Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn pages fresh and current. Also, it’s a great idea to add social network icons to your coming soon page that would lead the visitors to your social accounts. Just don’t rely too heavily on these campaigns.
You should put more energy and thought into planning and carrying out your email promotion. This approach feels more personal and it will make your followers feel more appreciated. Also, you won’t have to worry about whether they’ve seen your update or not as it will be safely stored in their inbox. One thing to bear in mind here is not to overdo it. It’s okay to send out more frequent emails around the launch date to build excitement. Later on, an email every or every other week would do just fine. Likewise, make sure it’s not a lengthy and detailed email but rather an effective and shorter one. Thus, your audience will remember you, but they won’t be tired of your updates.
Top 3 Coming Soon Plugins for WordPress
It’s quite possible that you are planning to choose the WordPress platform to build your blog. WP powers a fifth of the Internet’s websites and it’s become a go-to platform for building any type of website – from a blog to a webshop, to a company website.
In case you are among the WP crowd, our warmest recommendation is to build your coming soon page through a specialized plugin. There is plenty of plugins for this purpose, and many of them can help you immensely. First of all, they can make page design setup much easier. More importantly, SEO optimization of your coming soon page will be much more painless if you do it through one of the better plugins.
Below, we are listing our choice of top three WordPress coming soon plugins.
UnderConstructionPage is the choice of many website owners who are just starting their WP site. So far, it has reached more than 400,000 active installations and a five-star rating. Its developers must be doing something right, and making the plugin so easy to use is certainly one of the many advantages with which they’ve equipped UCP.
The setup process is straightforward, and everything you have to do before starting more detailed editing is to choose a theme and the name. All further adjustments are done mostly through drag and drop principle, which makes this plugin perfect for WordPress beginners and all other site owners who aren’t familiar with coding.
One of the most important advantages a coming soon page gives to your blog is SEO optimization from the very first moment. This plugin makes sure this process is simplified and that you can do it in a few clicks. Additionally, you’ll be able to pick the appearance of your coming soon page according to the topic you’ll be talking about and your aesthetic affinities. Among over a million images and 210 templates, you’ll certainly find those that fit into the image you plan to project through your blog.
This plugin has a responsible team of developers and customer support agents behind it, and they are working hard on keeping the plugin updated and you, the customer, informed and satisfied. All in all, UCP should be great at facilitating your WordPress blogging beginnings.
This plugin has a similar number of active users as the previous one on our list and it is compatible with WordPress versions 4.0 and later.
There are multiple features that this plugin offers which you might find beneficial for your blog’s coming soon page. First of all, the elements which can prove truly useful are those which improve the communication between your audience and yourself. Maintenance allows you to include opt-in dialogue boxes and pop-ups for your newsletter. In addition, it is compatible with MailChimp and other autoresponder platforms, so your contacts database will grow almost automatically.
Additionally, in case you are planning live or online events that would complement your blog, this plugin has a handy add-on called Amelia booking calendar. It will help you display your upcoming events and allow your audience to smoothly book their places through your coming soon page. On top of this, you’ll be able to add a one-click translator, which will make things much easier for bloggers with an international audience.
Of course, with Maintenance, there are endless personalization options when it comes to the visual appearance of your under-construction page. You can add any text you want to, fine-tune the appearance of your logo, and also chose among the plethora of background images and color combos just those which correspond with your online persona.
To sum it up, your one-page website will be anything you as a blogger need it to be.
3. Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode
Just like the above-mentioned plugins, Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode is compatible with WordPress versions 4.0 and later. Where it differs from the other two on this list is the number of active users – so far it has reached 80,000 installations, which is still a good number, especially if we consider its high ratings.
The two most distinguishable features of this plugin are the simple commands and easy but meticulous SEO setup. The user-friendly dashboard enables even the WP novices to build a good-looking coming soon page without headache-inducing complications. If, on the other hand, you need more control, it will allow you to write your coming soon page in HTML or CSS code. In addition, search engine optimization adjustments include tests, checks, and instructions, which will help you adequately rank your blog from day one.
Also, just like any well-built coming soon plugin, Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode allows you to collect contacts and set up a newsletter via any autoresponder service, which is a huge deal if you are still gathering the audience.
When it comes to the visual personalization options, this plugin offers everything you need to create an eye-pleasing coming soon page. It has over a million high-def images in its library which can be combined with over 120 themes.
Further adjustments include different image filters, color schemes, fonts, etc.
In short, this is another all-encompassing coming soon plugin that any blogger will find handy and efficient.
Your blog will be your platform, just like any other brand has its own website. So, in order to be visible to the largest audience possible, you have to help your blog rank highly in Google search results. That’s the easiest way to attract the attention of the people interested in the topics about which you will be writing, and a way to achieve this is to make SEO adjustments to your site as soon as you purchase the domain. The second step is leaving a great first impression, and for this, you need an appealing and informative coming soon page to hold the place for your blog until it’s ready. The least painful way to a functional and great looking coming soon page is through a coming soon plugin if you are planning to publish your blog on WordPress…and you probably are.
In short, the early stages of your blog’s online life are crucial, and to handle them right you just need to use the right tools and put in a little effort. Thus, you’ll have a solid basis for a successful blog you’ve dreamed of.