If you’re weighing up a single-page vs. multi-page website and you’ve spoken to anyone who knows anything about SEO, chances are you’ve already been warned about the SEO pitfalls of a one-page website. But really, are single page websites bad for SEO? Is this choice going to impact your ranking potential on Google? Let’s find out!
For those of you who are new to websites or the SEO world, let’s cover a few basics before we get into it.
What is a Single Page Website?
Single-page websites are like a one-stop shop for your business. They pack all of your website content into one single page, and navigating them is like strolling through a well-designed digital book (aka you scroll down to explore more). Sprintreport is a great example of a single page website design that works exactly like this:
Quick SEO Breakdown
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) helps your website rank higher in search engine results. SEO is all about ensuring you’re at the right place at the right time – namely, when a potential customer is searching for what you offer. So if you’ve ever heard buzzwords like keywords, page authority, and topical authority, these are the gears that keep the machines running in the SEO world.
By the way, it’s near impossible to break down SEO quickly. If you’re really new to SEO and still unsure, check out my SEO tips for more.
Are Single Page Websites Bad for SEO?
Drum roll, please… it depends. Like most things in life, there’s no black and white answer here. So to help you figure out if a single page website will be good or bad for your SEO strategy, I’m going to lay out the pros and cons.
Single Page Websites: SEO Pros
There are two main pros for SEO when it comes to single-page websites. First of all, they tend to have a higher page authority ranking then multi-page websites. This is because every link to your website will be pointing to the same URL, which means that page is receiving all of the authority, rather than it being spread across multiple pages.
The second pro is that single-page websites offer a user-friendly experience, especially for users on mobile devices. This is because it’s a lot easier to continue to scroll down the page to find what you need on tablets and phones. It also provides a quicker user experience, as mobile users don’t have to wait for new pages to load to continue consuming your content.
I’ll be honest, I don’t think either of these pros are good enough to base your SEO strategy on having a one-page website. Multi-page websites can also achieve both of these things, and allow for more powerful SEO strategies, but I’m getting ahead of myself!
Single Page Websites: SEO Cons
There are a lot of reasons why single-page websites are bad for SEO, with a lot of them coming down to how much you limit your ability to show topical authority within your industry. Without various pages dedicated to different topics, you can’t position yourself as the go-to resource for all aspects of your field. Plus, you’ll struggle to cover all relevant search queries related to your offer. It’s like trying to cover every sports topic in one podcast episode… it’s just not practical.
And here’s the kicker: there are only so many keywords a single page can rank for.
If you’re thinking that you only have one core offer and it’s very niche, so this doesn’t apply to you, think again.
A long single-page website covering EVERYTHING about your business can dilute your relevancy for your main target keywords, which are likely related to your offers. Think of it as being a jack of all trades, but a master of none. Because you’re trying to cram everything into one page, you might not rank as high for your most important keywords as you would if you could move your company’s “About” info, contact details, etc. onto their own pages.
Finally, when you only have one page to work with, advanced SEO strategies just aren’t happening. A lot of what I’ve mentioned above is a nod towards some of these strategies, but there are also a lot of technical SEO strategies that you can’t implement when you’re only working with one page.
Single-Page or Multi-Page Sites for SEO?
In a nutshell, a one page website gives you very little to work with if you want to take advantage of SEO in your digital marketing strategy. Multi-page sites definitely have an edge here, allowing you to rank for various keywords, show your expertise in different areas and use advanced SEO strategies.
When to Use Single-Page Websites
Everything has its place and time, even single-page websites. If your business only offers one service or product, or you’re creating a portfolio or event-specific site, a single-page website can work brilliantly. However, if you are looking to implement SEO into your strategy, you will likely find success a lot quicker if you at least add a blog “on the side” of your single-page website. This will allow you to show topical authority but take advantage of the SEO pros mentioned above relating to user experience and page authority.
Can a single-page site rank for multiple keywords?
Yes. Single-page websites can rank for multiple keywords. However, the more keywords you try to rank for, the less focused your content becomes, which can impact your keyword rankings overall when working with a single-page website.
Can I turn a single-page site into a multi-page site?
Yes! In fact, I think that a lot of single-page websites end up becoming multi-page sites as they expand. Technically, my example above of having a single-page site with a blog “on the side” is an example of this. If you find your business outgrowing a single-page site, expanding into a multi-page site is a smart move.
The Final Curtain: Single-Page Websites and SEO
Single-page websites can be a double-edged sword for SEO. They offer simplicity and ease, but ultimately, they severely limit your SEO opportunities. That’s not to say you can’t rank with a single-page website, but you’re going to have your work cut out for you! In the end, it’s about your specific needs and goals. If SEO is a priority for you, consider how important it really is to have a one page website. Whereas if SEO is a “nice to have” but not essential for your digital marketing strategy, I wouldn’t let it impact your decision too much at this stage. After all, you only need to add another page to turn a single-page site into a multi-page site!