One-page websites have become popular in recent years, and provide a great opportunity for storytelling, and improved user experience.
Traditional, multiple page websites can be difficult to navigate, can deliver an inconsistent experience between pages, and often has a lot of marketing propaganda type content that provides little value to the user. One-page websites should strive to simplify all elements from content to layout to create a nice, unified experience for users.
Here are some other benefits of one-page websites:
- Easy to maintain
- Intuitive and user-friendly
- Adds substance to websites with little content
- A great platform to engage users through storytelling
Despite these benefits, more should be considered before switching to a one-page website. One-page websites are never going to be a be-all, end-all solution for everyone’s website needs. Websites with complex navigational structures that require large amounts of content may not benefit from one-page websites. It’s important to consider your own needs to determine whether a one-page website is right for you.
Here are some examples of which types of sites can benefit from being a one-page website:
- Sites with little content
- Single-product ecommerce sites, such as a site selling an app or book
- Sites with content that has a single purpose, or is strongly related
- Event websites, such as a wedding website
Once you’ve considered whether a single-page website is right for you, you can begin to plan your content and layout structure. Here are a few tips on how to get the ideal one-page content structure.
Less is More
Simplicity is one of the main draws to developing single-page websites. It’s important to simplify content to the essential components and get to the point in your copy. A cluttered page with large blocks of text isn’t engaging for your audience. In the case of one-page websites, less is definitely more.
Tell a Story
One-page websites lend themselves well for storytelling compared to multi-page websites. Storytelling helps engage users and introduce them to your brand. Utilising emotive language and expressive imagery can help convey your brand personality and built brand loyalty. A good story can evoke emotion and engage your users, which can increase conversions, and inspire users to take action.
To create a good story around your product or brand you must do the following:
- Add personality
- Be honest and open
- Leave the audience wanting more
- Don’t make it too complex
The inspiration behind why companies were founded, exploring the problems that your service or product solves, and insights in how your company has grown over the years are good examples of types of stories that can be told through a one-page website.
Organise your Content
It’s important to keep your content sorted into clearly defined sections. The overall page should have a consistent purpose, but content should be split up into sections and under a logical title. The benefits of this are that your users will more likely be engaged by digestible and understandable content. It can also have a positive effect on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
Use Navigational Links and Cues
Just because your website only has one page doesn’t mean that the user doesn’t have to worry about navigation. Scrolling is a common part of the web, but arrow icons can also help indicate to the user that they must scroll to see the sections of the page. Although, depending on the length of your page, you might need to give the user a little more help. A good navigational solution would be to use anchor links.
Anchor links are links that scroll to the relevant section when clicked and can help the user navigate quickly to the desired content. By using anchor links, you can avoid unnecessary scrolling which also has the added bonus of being good for SEO, and better for accessibility.
Search Engine Optimisation
One-page websites have had a bad reputation in the past regarding SEO because popular strategies for multi-page websites can’t really be applied. Despite this, there are other methods of improving your search engine ranking as a one-page website.
One of the main issues is that although one-page websites have the potential to rank well for primary keywords, sub-topic and secondary keywords rankings can often get diluted compared to if the sub-topic had its own page. This can be improved by ensuring that the page is set up with the correct structure. It’s important that each block of content has its own section, with a descriptive heading tag.
In a multi-page website, having more than one heading (H1) tag is often discouraged, but in the case of single-page websites, it can be beneficial for SEO. More than one H1 tag signals a separation of content and distinguishes the sections on your page. Each section should have its own H1 tag, which creates a great opportunity to target particular keywords.
A great thing about single-page websites is that all inbound links will point to the one URL. This has the potential to help increase the authority of the domain and of the page in search engines. Unfortunately, getting organic inbound links can be difficult due to unchanging content.
Refreshing your content regularly to get more inbound links can be difficult, especially for one-page websites, but it is crucial for improving your SEO ranking. Certain sections such as testimonials, social media feeds, or portfolios provide a good opportunity to regularly update content.
Another way to seek greater page authority is to implement social media sharing tools on the page. Allowing users to share your content quickly and easily on their social media is a great way to increase traffic to the site and boost your rankings.
Alternatively, you can consider a “Hybrid” site. A Hybrid site tries to get the best of both worlds by keeping content to one page, but also utilising user generated content such as an external blog. This can help keep content fresh, encourage inbound links, and build authority.
One-page websites by no means have to be boring! By having only one page to play with, you can get very creative to further engage and delight your users. Fun features such as parallax effects and horizontal scrolling are fairly popular to create interesting visual effects. Modals can be used to include additional content without cluttering the page. When done well, these features can create a nice experience, and entice your users to take actions such as share your site on social media or purchase your product.
To conclude, there are many benefits to having a one-page website and they can be a very effective tool when used correctly. They can be fantastic for telling stories, engaging with your users, and building brand loyalty. Hopefully, this helps you decide whether a one-page website is right for you because when it comes to pages, sometimes less is more.