Single Page Websites & Onpage SEO

Why One Page Websites Aren’t Doing You Any Favors

We recently wrote about website beauty vs. brains. This topic is even more apparent when it comes to those slick, parallax one page websites where you can scroll and see all of the content on one page. Did you know that those are no good for your SEO – or in every day terms, those are no good if you want to get found in search engines.

Why Aren’t One Page Websites Good for SEO / Search?

Search engines crawl web pages and index based on the content (and structure) of your website. They look at the keywords incorporated into your main on-page SEO elements – the urls (links of your pages), page titles, heading tags and more. If you don’t have any links to pages, what will they crawl?  And, if all content is on one page, how will they ever know what that page is about?

What Are One Page Websites Good For?

One page websites can be great for landing pages or a simple event, something pretty straight forward where getting found online through search engines isn’t a goal or priority. They are great looking, slick and easy to navigate when it comes to one topic.

We have come across a few clients who have great looking one-page websites. These were done by great design agencies. We consider these beauty without the brains, or all show and no go.

  • Where do you add blog content?
  • Where do you tell your story?
  • How can we improve the search engine marketing of your website?
  • The answers? You need to add more pages for this content.

We asked our friend, neighbor and all around search engine marketing experts at Black Truck Media + Marketing for their take on singe page websites.  Here’s what they had to add:

[quote style=”1″]Single page sites, aka scrolling parallax, and perhaps why we need to get away from this 2013 design trend . It’s not to say that scrolling parallax is “bad” for search engines, it’s just that most are not executed properly. By that, the execution is twofold: Part code and part usability.

Most are NOT SEO-friendly because they are built around a one-page architecture. We agree that this website architecture is the fault of a designer/developer. There are ways to achieve this look and feel, with many of the usual suspects for on-page SEO: i.e. schema, addresses, content, etc.

Note – I professionally believe, amongst many other in my industry, scrolling parallax is not good in a mobile world. Sorry. It’s chunky and not quick. Naysayers be damned…

Recommendations direct from Big G (Google) about the “infinite scroll and keeping them search friendly.” This does get a bit technical. 

If you MUST go into this one-page web world, we’d suggest a multipage parallax scrolling approach. Every scroll will change the URL move. That does take some time and talent from your development end, but it can be achieved. [/quote]
Jason Dodge shared a great example with us (because he is the ultimate gear head, car guy). This is a hybrid approach that you will see take shape by many publishers/media types. Hot Rod Magazine does it best (again, he’s a biased car guy)

Example: http://www.hotrod.com/features/automobilia/1507-inside-the-gilmore-car-museum-preserving-history/
Scroll down that article toward the bottom and watch the URL change in your browser when you get to the next article. It’s pretty cool (and all though nerdy) this is what you want when it comes to keeping your site search engine friendly, user friendly and thus, bottom line friendly.

Certainly something like this example would take a talented developer and design team, who are directed by (and understand) SEO.

At the end of the day, if you want your website and website content to be found online, you need to organize it based on what your customers want, what they search for, and create content for them. Keep our fundamentals of SEO in mind with the 6 main on-page SEO elements, and each page must have a purpose.

Resources & Reference Articles

A few other articles and discussions we found in our research are listed below. All of which point to avoiding that single page design, especially if you don’t have a talented developer who can ensure you have the right schema, mark-up, addresses an content.

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