It’s no surprise that single page websites are becoming more and more popular. An often slick, seamless design combined with simple navigation makes them an attractive choice for many businesses, but are they always the smartest choice? We take a look at some of the pros and cons, especially in terms of search..
A decent one page website will be designed to take the user on a journey as they scroll. Content / imagery will often appear dynamically, meaning businesses can control, to some extent, the flow of information and the order in which the user will consume it.
Navigation will often be minimal, with quick links that can be used to take users straight to a certain point on the page. But again if a business wants the user to experience the website and view content in its entirety, this style of website can eliminate the need for navigation altogether..
For that reason, single page sites are great on mobile devices. Users on the go can simply scroll without having to navigate / click around on such a small device.
Essentially, one page sites allow brands to be extremely creative in how they display themselves online, offering more of an all round experience for the visitor. Great for some businesses, perhaps not that functional for others…
Single page sites can be great for….
- Awareness campaigns
- Providing information (not necessarily generating business)
- Pre-launch pages
- One off events
Here’s some great examples of one page sites perfectly suited for their purpose:
A one-page website for a one day event. The site is visually striking, contains all the information potential attendees needed to know, and a simple ‘apply’ form.
Every Last Drop: A clever, interactive site designed to make people aware of the amount of water we use each day, and how we can make a different. The site tells a story as we scroll..
A one page site designed in celebration of Wrangler’s 70th birthday. Taking users through the journey of the Wrangler brand since it began, with great imagery and minimal interaction needed from the user.
As stunning as they can look, single page websites do have their drawbacks, especially when it comes to SEO.
Only having one page to optimise limits the sites organic opportunity massively. In a nutshell, more pages equals more chance of appearing in Google’s search results.
Let’s take Run2 as an example. It would be near impossible to optimise a single page site for every one of our services – SEO, PPC, social media, web development etc. Content would be thin, title tags & URLs would be too generic, internal linking would be non existent and it would essentially be compromising style over substance. If there’s one thing Google needs it’s substance, so if you want your business to be found online, a multi page site is the way to go.
Also from a marketing perspective, single page sites are notoriously difficult to analyse. Tools such as Google Analytics collate data as a user navigates around the site. Having a one page means it can only reference one page, and this makes it hard to gain real insights into user behaviour.
From a technical perspective, one page sites can often require a lot of imagery to load at the same time, meaning much slower site speeds / load times. They can also need a higher level of skill to build bespoke.
Yay or Nay?
If you need your business to be found online, we would highly recommend a multi page website that takes into account all the products and services that you offer. Although one page sites may look the part, they can be a nightmare to optimise.
There is however the odd occasion where they could be the solution for you. If it’s less about generating business and more about providing information and generating awareness, a slick site with one page designed to impress is ideal.
The two things to bear in mind when making your decision are the primary goals of your business and the audience you’re aiming to target. It should then become clear how best to display your offering online. If you’d like to discuss whether or not a single page site is right for you, just give us a call.