SEO for single-page websites (with pros & cons)

Across the globe, we have our regular websites with many pages in them.

Then there are websites with only one page.

As the title suggests, these are single-page websites.

They have all the features, functions and content on a single page.

Is this good for you as a business?

What about Google?

Will Google defer from indexing or ranking your site?

In this post, I’ll cover that along with the following

-Advantages of single-page sites

-Disadvantages of single-page sites

-SEO for single-page sites

Let us begin!

When should you go for a single-page website?

Before you opt for one, do your research.

If you

-find that your business is of a niche segment

-find that your audiences are ok with a single page site

-find that the core of the actual business does not require the site

Then you can go for a single-page website.

Notice that I said “go” and not “should”.

Why?

Because it is widely perceived that multi-page regular sites are better than single-page sites.

So now,

Does Google care if your site has only one page?

Short answer: No

Matt Cutts, former head of the webspam team at Google states:

“It’s going to depend on what your particular area is, what the topic is, and what kind of layout you come out with. But if it works for you and for users to have that all on one page, for the most part, it should work for Google as well.”

So you see, as long as you qualify for your content, you don’t need to worry about indexing from Google.

When determining whether your site should be single or multi-page,

You have to check the goals for your business and what you’re trying to accomplish with your website.

From an SEO perspective, let us look at

Advantages of Single-page websites

single page website advantages

1. Cost-effective

cost effective

Since there is only one page, the cost of site maintenance would also be less.

As such, you will spend less.

On all aspects.

Like marketing, developers, content writers etc.

2. Complete uninterrupted story

Uninterrupted story

Since there is only one page, all your focus will be here.

Same for your customers.

You can have the entire customer journey on a single page.

Without any breaks.

3. Better conversions

better conversion

As with the above point, since the entire journey is on one page,

The conversions would also be higher.

As the chances of converting a lead would be better.

4. Easier to implement changes

easy to change

A single-page site will have comparatively less number of changes.

And those changes would also be easier to work on.

5. Ideal for mobiles

mobiles

Mobile and scroll go hand in hand.

Single-page sites are long.

The only way here to navigate is by scrolling.

Which makes it best-suited for mobiles.

6. Improved user engagement

user engagement

Due to the scrolling option and a single-page, user engagement will be focused only here.

And hence would improve.

7. Page load time is less

page load time

Since there is only one page, the load time is usually less.

Keep in mind that any changes you make should not affect the page load.

As you do not have alternate pages.

8. Page/site authority will be higher

authority

All your promotion links and backlinks will point to the same page.

And as such, your domain authority will rise at a higher rate than it would for multi-page sites.

Coming now to,

Disadvantages of single-page websites

single page website disadvantages

1. Limitation in content

content limit

For a single page, there is only so much of information that you can add.

May it be content, keywords, information, etc.

Hence you need to choose your keywords carefully.

2. Restricted functionality

restricted functions

The “extra” action that you may need your site to display may be limited.

As you cannot add multiple functions (Javascript) on the same page.

Over and over again.

3. Page load time

load time

Continuing from the previous point, adding more functions would more likely increase page load time.

Which you need to avoid.

4. No internal links

internal links

Links -internal or external – are integral to rank in search engines.

A well-structured site with the proper internal links at the right place has a good chance of ranking.

That opportunity will not be here.

5. A LOT of scrolling

scrolling

Yes, scrolling is good for mobiles.

But too much scrolling will also be bad.

These websites will have more scrolling than other sites.

Users will get lost in between.

If they want to go to specific content, they won’t be able to.

6. Sharing content

Users would have to share your homepage and no other pages.

Specific content cannot be shared.

7. No external links

external links

I have listed this separately again.

Just as in internal links, it is important to share the minimum number of external links as well.

Which will not be possible here.

8. One page for meta content

meta content

You have only one page.

Hence there will only be ONE

-page title

-meta description

-keyword set

-OG content

-other social media meta tags

Implementing a single-page website is not impossible.

But before you go live,

Test it.

See if it matches your expectations.

As this is a digression from regular multi-page websites.

If you do consider to have a single-page site, then we will now look at

SEO for single-page websites

1. Spread your keywords evenly

We know that there is only one-page title along with other meta tags.

So avoid keyword stuffing more than ever.

And spread your keywords evenly in the titles, keywords, descriptions, content, headers etc.

2. Optimize per section

Divide your page into various sections and then optimize per section.

Sections can be

-contact us

-about us

-request a demo

-subscription etc.

3. Use HTML IDs or anchor links

IDs in HTML are used to go a specific part of a page on the same page.

As in you click a link on a page, it will lead you to a section (below or above) on the same page.

Wikipedia is probably the best site for this as an example.

Say, on the below movie page, you see the table of content.

html id content

You click on “Reception” and you go that section below, on the same page.

html ids reception

If you view the source code for this page and search for “reception”, you get the below.

html id source code 1

And if you go the section where you reach once you click, you will see

html id source code 2

That’s how HTML IDs (or page jump) works.

With the help of #.

4. HTML DIV tags

The division tag defines a section in an HTML document.

This is usually used as a container for other HTML elements with CSS styling or to perform certain tasks with JavaScript.

In this case, place each section of content inside its own DIV

<div id=”about us”>…content…</div>

<div id=”product”>…content…</div>

<div id=”contact”>…content…</div>

<div id=”email”>…content…</div>

CSS IDs are not considered SEO keyword signals, but it’s a better to keep things organized.

You can also use them for anchor links, which are SEO signals.

5. Work on backlinks

What I mean here is work MORE on backlinks.

All your backlinks point to one page.

So they can make or break your rank.

6. Image alt tags

Image alt tags are an important source of meta content here.

You need to have more descriptive alt tags than the usual case.

Example:

If the image is of dog food.

Regular alt tag: “Branded dog food”

Single-page site image alt tag could be “Our branded dog food is ideal for Labrador puppies between 1 to 2 years”.

7. H1 title

Ideally, one page should have one H1 tag.

But here, every section should have its own H1.

Proper structure for each section with

H1

H2

Paragraph

Anchor text and links

Content

Functionalities

8. Keyword in domain

You should aim to have your most important keyword as part of the domain name.

For single-page sites, this would provide a tremendous boost to authority.

9. Content update

You do not have multiple pages.

Hence the frequency of content updates should be higher than others.

Consistently update meta and page content with relevant keywords.

10. Bounce rate

Now, this is an interesting metric.

What is bounce rate?

If a user exits a page without doing any activity, it is called a bounce.

What about single page sites?

Even if users carry out any actions and leave, it may still be considered as a bounce.

As there is only one page.

Here the exit rate and bounce rate would be the same.

So how you calculate the bounce rate?

By using another metric called Time On-Site.

You can install or create a time-based metric.

Using Google Tag Manager.

It is called the “Timer trigger” function.

Installing this would give you the time users spent on the site.

Example:

A user spends 3 seconds on the site, then leaves.

That is a bounce.

Another user spends 2 minutes on the site and leaves.

It is still a bounce.

As there is only one page.

Page-to-page navigation is missing here.

But if you add the Trigger,

And you give a time of say 3 minutes.

Then, for all the users that visited your site,

You can add a filter (in Google Analytics).

And find out how many of them stayed on the site for over 3 minutes.

This will give you a much better idea of website performance.

11. Constant surveillance

Finally, do regular checks on the site.

Covering all aspects.

In multi-page sites, there are cases where pages would not get indexed.

Or have 4xx, 5xx errors.

Single-page sites cannot afford to have any kind of errors.

Hence, regular inspection is a must.


Conclusion

Single page website must have adequate and unique content.

Keyword density should be distributed.

Keyword stuffing should be avoided.

Ensure each meta tag be relevant, keyword-oriented and specific.

After navigating through the entire realm of the internet, a unique visitor has landed on your page.

And you have one shot to make things work.

Make it count!

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