As a Squarespace subscriber, you get to automatically take advantage of new features they add to the platform on a regular basis. One of their latest features that's getting more popular is their new cover pages. A Squarespace cover page is basically a landing page with minimal information and 1-2 calls to action. The backend setup in your Squarespace account is different than your regular page designs. It has it’s own set of styles for fonts, colors, and sizing. Instead of using blocks like regular Squarespace pages, it has limited options for adding different types of content to the page. But this allows your cover page to stay super simple and to-the-point, hence the name “cover.”
They are highly visual and can be used for a variety of reasons. They’re advertised mostly as landing pages for artists and creatives to show off their work (especially video and audio files), and sometimes as an introduction to their website. But since the new cover page feature has been released, I’ve noticed – and used myself – a few unique and unconventional ways to implement them into your site to add value and professionalism to your existing online presence. Let’s dive into three of my favorite creative ways to use a Squarespace cover page.
Use a Squarespace cover page as a sign up page.
As Paper + Oats began to grow, I noticed I got a lot of specific requests to sign up for my email list. I would tell people, “Go to my website, scroll down a bit, fill out the form, blah blah blah.” It felt unprofessional to give step-by-step instructions to do such a simple task. Enter the cover pages. Just as I was brainstorming a fix for this, Squarespace announced the new cover page feature. Bingo! I immediately created a cover page for my website and made the URL paperandoats.com/signup. On that new page, I put a couple sentences about my email list and opt-in incentive, a button to open my sign up form, a button to continue on to my website, and my social links. That’s it! The page has one purpose: to collect emails from interested customers and followers.
This page has two main advantages for my business. First, it simplifies my process for how people can signup. Instead of my long-winded instructions, I just say, “Go to paperandoats.com/signup.” Period. Secondly, it’s a great landing page for Instagram. Since Instagram is primarily a mobile app, Google Analytics doesn’t include it as a referral site. Before I launched The Oat Bar, the link shown in my Instagram profile was this specific URL, so it served as a work-around to see how many people were coming to my site from Instagram. Now with my blog live, I'm usually sharing links to specific posts in my Instagram profile, so I'm working on this new workaround dreamed up by the genius Elle & Company to track traffic coming from Instagram.
Here are a couple great examples of Squarespace cover pages used for sign ups:
These cover page templates work great for sign up pages:
Squarespace cover pages offer different templates than the main website templates. You can view all template options once you add a cover page to your site, and click Change Layout.
Use a Squarespace cover page to promote a short-term series, challenge, or event.
Creative businesses are notorious for creating short-term promotions for their customers, and cover pages are a great way for you to promote these. It could be a blog series, a challenge, a one-time event or gathering, a social media movement, or any other short-term feature for your business that doesn’t require a ton of information or buttons.
I use a cover page for my monthly one-day productivity challenge Batch Day. When I first launched Batch Day, my cover page was just a quick paragraph explaining the purpose of the challenge and a sign up form. As the date was set and the topic was chosen, I updated the page to give a few more details, and still included the sign up form for late-coming participants. Once the first Batch Day was over, I changed the cover page back to the single summary paragraph and added that more info was coming for the second Batch Day. Again, I kept the sign up form for new participants jumping in for round two. This worked great for me because Batch Day had it’s own branding separate from my website (albeit simple and minimal), but was still connected to my business. The same could go for a special series you’re doing or an event you’re hosting. Using a cover page in this way works well to show that whatever you're promoting is temporary and independent from your usual products or services.
Here are a couple great examples of Squarespace cover pages used to promote a short-term series, challenge, or event:
These cover page templates work great for short-term promotional pages:
Flagship (works great for events or gatherings)
Use a Squarespace cover page as a coming soon page for your launch
Lastly, Squarespace cover pages can work great as a coming soon page to promote your new website or course before it launches. For my website clients, one of the first things I do after the domain name is purchased, is design and setup a Squarespace cover page to serve as a coming soon landing page while we’re working on the full website design. You could also use it as a coming soon page for an upcoming course, product, or service. The page can announce the launch date, info about your launch, and a sign up form to collect emails from interested customers so they can stay up to date on your new site, course, etc.
Here are a few great examples of Squarespace cover pages used as coming soon pages:
She Plans (Ashley and her gorgeous planners have been so fun to work with, and we'll be launching her new site design soon!)
Wedding Day Academy (this new course from Rae Culver is going to be awesome for both wedding planners and brides!)
Photo Pop Box (I'm so excited for this super unique product for styling photos, Theresa Delaney has been working hard on the launch, so stay tuned!)
These cover page templates work great for coming soon pages:
Record (works great if you have a coming soon promo video)
So if you’re an avid Squarespace user like me, I encourage you to brainstorm and try out some innovative ways you can use cover pages for your business. One thing to keep in mind when you use a cover page, is to be sure it has a clear purpose. Using it just as an introduction to your site can sometimes deter viewers because they have to do some extra clicking to get to what they want to see. If you have a specific goal for your cover page, and a specific URL for it (not just setting it as your home page), it can be easier to measure the effectiveness of it by tracking it’s activity, referrals, and conversions in Google Analytics. When used in a purposeful way, they can add an extra level of polish and value to your website. If you’re ready to set up a cover page for your Squarespace site, check out this simple how-to guide.
What are some ways you’re using the new cover pages feature? Have you found it beneficial for your business? I’d love to hear how other brands are getting creative with their cover pages!