The decision whether to break up the content on your website into many smaller pages or keep all of it on one, long page is a debate that’s gained considerable steam over the last few years in web design. After SEO Moz’s famous “long landing page” study that gave them a 52% improvement in sales and $1 million more in revenue, “going long” has never seemed so tantalizing.
Blogs abound on what works best for business and for users. For some, it’s purely a question of SEO mathematics; not being able to rank the performance of every element on your website is awkward for sites that have a lot of different themes of information to cover. For others, it’s looks; while scrolling down a long page has become second nature for many web users, many still enjoy the sense of organisation that comes from several content-purposed pages.
In this blog post, we’ll deconstruct the top considerations about one-pagers to keep in mind for your next project.
Scrolling Through A One-Stop-Shop
Most tend to agree that one-pagers work best for sites that have a singular or limited goal – a site selling a single idea or a profile showcasing one person’s work, for example – not an entire e-shop selling dozens of different kinds of products.
Common wisdom in the past said that users rarely venture below the “fold” – thereby necessitating multiple navigation pages – but this idea has been challenged recently; clicking through page after page of information is becoming cumbersome to users in the age of scrolling. The scroll-ability of one-pagers also offers heightened benefits particularly for mobile users, who intuitively scroll rather than click.
Myth Dispelled: No, users aren’t afraid of scrolling down a long one-pager. A ClickTale case study analyzing over 100,000 page views showed that people used the scrollbar on 76% of pages, with 22% of users scrolling all the way to the bottom of the page.
Fact or Fiction: Will a One-Page Site Hurt my SEO?
The SEO community has never been a quiet one, and when it comes to one-page sites, there are an awful lot of opinions as to whether or not a one-pager helps or hurts your ranking. Essentially, it’s important to remember that your single-page site will be the sole-bearer of your PageRank, meaning that keeping your key words streamlined and your general focus narrow will help keep you noticed.
In this way, one-pagers are often useful when it comes to AdWords sites, as the entire page would be optimized for your one goal. Tim Ware over at Hyperarts agrees, and points out more helpful SEO tips along the way.
For example, Tim reminds us that with one-pagers, you only have one “title tag” and one “meta description tag” on search engines. A “title tag” refers to the headline in blue or purple that Google or any other search engine will present you with when you’re searching for information. A “meta description tag” is the little blurb of information you see under the “title tag”.
And Now, Some One-Pager Inspiration
As one of web design’s biggest trends, there are plenty of one-page site designs to choose from and inspire you these days. IM Creator offers a few different templates for trying out your first (or next) single page design:
The Max.V has many of IM Creator’s signature design traits, such as big, bold images and clear typography. With lots of space between content to let visitors breath between written content and photos and large text, this site makes desktop and mobile-browsing easy.
The Dime uses colour blocks to separate written and image content, so that information is easily readable as users scroll down. Like the Max.V, images are given centre-stage so that creative or visually-minded projects really stand out.