If you’re like most people, you spend your fair share of time on the Internet. As you navigate the Web, you’ll probably notice that most websites have several different pages. For example, our website has five main pages listed across the top—Home, About, Services, Blog, and Contact Us—with several sub-pages beneath these main pages.
However, lots of small business websites only have one, long scrolling page. Some people say that one-page websites are ideal for small businesses, but others say that they’ll never function as well as a multi-page site. So, are single page websites bad for SEO? We’ll break it all down here.
One-Page Vs. Multi-Page Websites
First, we’ll start with some of the reasons why people choose one-page websites.
One-Page Sites Are Simple
Single-page websites are simple and straightforward. They have a seamless design. Instead of clicking to navigate from page to page, you only have to scroll down to find all the contents of the website. This can make it easy to take in everything at a glance. It can be organized in an attractive layout with images, graphics, and branding. All these features have made single-page websites attractive to website owners.
One-Page Sites Can Be Cheap to Make
The biggest reason you see single-page websites is because they’re often perceived as being a cheaper option. Websites are a big investment, and many startups and small businesses don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on their website all at once. They choose a simple one-page website design without pages or extra functions because they think it will be more affordable.
However, Multi-Page Sites Offer a Whole Lot More
On the other hand, multi-page websites offer a whole lot of options that single-page websites cannot provide. Imagine your bank’s website is a single page, and you’re trying to open a new account, take out a loan, or find out about an upcoming event. Would you be able to do that with a single-page site? Chances are, it would be a frustrating, difficult experience.
Single Page Website SEO
So many people ask us, “are single page websites good for SEO?” The answer is simple, and we’re not shy about telling people: When it comes to search engine optimization, single page websites are definitely inferior. Here’s why:
Single-Page Websites Don’t Have Enough Content to Rank
Often, we see one-pagers that only have a few hundred words of content, which isn’t enough to provide a good user experience and rank in Google. If your website only has a small amount of content, your digital marketing efforts are probably a waste of time.
While websites made 10 years ago with this method might work, a brand-new website won’t stand a chance. You need to follow modern guidelines with any new site—making sure to include individual tabs, subtabs, and a full spider web of pages filled with content.
Think of it this way: your core website is a tree trunk, and the pages are branches. Google looks through all the branches for SEO keywords that help it determine whether your site is helpful or not. If it doesn’t find very many keywords, your site might be relegated to the 20th page of Google results where no one will ever find it. That’s a major reason why SEO on single page website is difficult to achieve.
Single Page Websites Don’t Invite Users to Explore
That ties in with the second reason single-page websites are inferior: Google pays attention to the time people spend on your site. It is not as simple as putting the keywords and ranking. If you don’t have much for people to look at, they’ll only spend a few seconds or minutes on your site. Google will notice that, and it won’t rank your website very high. In other words, it’s terrible for SEO. You cannot put your keyword fifty times on one page and expect to rank well.
However, you can have several pages that each have the keyword once or a couple of times, and you’ll be better off. So here’s how to do it right: Go deep with your content, not shallow. It’s far easier to SEO-optimize a website that is full of in-depth, educational, thorough content that focuses on your niche. To achieve this, create a multi-page website with several service pages and a blog section. Over time, fill your site with pages that break down everything related to your topic.
Let’s say you own an HVAC company. When building your site, write about all your services. HVAC cleaning, HVAC repairs, HVAC installation, and anything else you offer your customers. As time goes on, fill your blog with helpful articles that answer your customers’ questions. Think about the things your customers ask you and the things they need to know. Then create keyword-rich articles on all kinds of HVAC-related topics.
Single Page Websites Lack Title Tags & Meta Descriptions
Here’s the third reason why one-page websites are inferior: they only have one title tag and one meta description, so they’re a lot less likely to rank highly on Google. The title tag and meta description are the first things people see when they Google something. They help people decide whether or not to click on your site. They also work with Google behind the scenes to help Google determine how high to rank your website.
For best results, you should have several pages that all have a keyword-rich title tag and a meta description. This offers a lot more chances for people to find your webpages! And these should be optimized to make people want to click on them. Again, Google knows which things are getting clicked on and will rank these higher as they get more traffic.
I actually reject people as clients sometimes because we cannot help people with digital marketing if they have a single page website. Single-page website optimization is nearly impossible to achieve, no matter how great your SEO skills are.
So, please unplug your single page website and start planning a modern website that has tabs and multiple pages! You want someone to Google your keywords and immediately see all your services or products right there in front of them.All this being said, you don’t need to have tons and tons of pages to rank in Google, so don’t get overwhelmed. If you need help getting started with SEO, contact us today!