SEO and Single Page Websites: Should Design Trump Optimization?

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One page websites seem to be a growing trend in today’s digital age. They’re fluid, interactive, visually stimulating and downright engaging. Designed to showcase your brand in a unique and creative manner, scrolling websites stand out in an industry dominated by standard navigation and structure.

But be carefully – just because something looks beautiful, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s built to be functional.

One page websites are great promotional vehicles, but if your goal is to build a well optimized website for the long-term, a scrolling site might not be your best option.

One is the Loneliest Number

There are many reasons why websites feature multi-page designs. The biggest motivating factor is search engine optimization (seo). When you have a multi-page website, you can create a single page of content tailored to a very specific topic to maximize seo. Since search engines index and rank individual web pages, this enables you to provide unique landing pages for very narrow topics.

When you put more than one topic onto a page, as is the case with a one page website design, you dilute that page’s value for each individual topic.

Additionally, internal links are extremely valuable search engine optimization tools. While you can link to various areas on a one page website using internal anchors, the value isn’t the same as linking to an independent page within your site.

Google currently doesn’t show internal anchors as separate results in their SERP (they aren’t consider separate pages, simply different areas of a single page). As such, you’re website will only be indexed as having a single page of content.

Finally, scrolling websites tend to put creativity before accessibility. In most cases, a one page website design isn’t useful for users since they’re forced to scroll through content they’re not interested in to find the information that they’re looking for.

When to Use a One Page Website

One page websites might not be the best option for a multi-faceted, content heavy website; however, that doesn’t mean you should remove this creative option from your marketing toolbox entirely. Scrolling websites are great promotional vehicles for highly targeted projects, such as pay-per-click campaigns, contests, or product launches. Proper keyword research and placement, when coupled with an intuitive user flow and strategically placed conversion points can actually help a highly-targeted one page website out perform a standard landing page. Here’s what you need to remember:

1)      Get Your Keywords and Keyword Phrases Right

Keywords are the foundation of any website search engine optimization strategy. Work with a search engine optimization consultant to determine what keywords and key phrases are relevant to your industry an your company. Once you’ve produced a solid list, make sure you insert these phrases into your title tag, meta tags and descriptions and throughout your page content.

Unlike a traditional website, where you have the luxury of optimizing multiple pages, here you’ll only have one page to work with, so be smart! The trick is to produce highly targeted keyword repetitions throughout your one page without getting spamming. Remember to optimize your images with proper ALT tags and don’t forget to include good link title tags. This will help ensure that your one page website will be crawled and indexed with your relevant keywords.

2)      Keep Your Content Crisp

The best one page websites are highly targeted. As such, the content on the page is normally minimal, crisp, and clear. This will enable you to organize your thoughts and swiftly direct users to obvious conversion points.

3)      Track Your Results

As with any advertising campaign, it’s critical that you track the success of your page. Remember to set up analytics tracking, Google Analytics is a great option, and monitor your campaign. This will help you tweak content and design elements on your one page website in order to improve conversions.

A scrolling website design or web app is a great promotional tool for highly targeted projects. Contact ZOO Media Group today to learn more about this new and engaging online tool.