One page websites have a lot of things going for them. Many users are attracted by the undoubtedly slick and visually appealing designs. These designs have become a sort of trend, and a justified one at that when taking into consideration their simplicity. But regardless of all these associated positives, are they right for your business?
Controlling the Flow of Information
Websites are designed to take the user on a journey. Whilst this is very possible on a multi-page site, the architecture of the website cannot control the way in which the user takes this journey – there is no control over the user switching back and forth between pages, and therefore potentially missing important information.
On a single page site, this journey can be easily controlled – making the user see what you want them to, and when.
Greater Opportunities for Engagement
Big blocks of texts can quickly bore users, especially if the presentation of that information is relatively similar throughout the site. One page websites have a sort of specialty in telling the stories of the service they are providing. Scrolling down through these sites creates movement within the site, animating it, and creating a higher level of user interaction.
This is a good example http://www.dangersoffracking.com/
Many multi page websites like to focus on a beautifully designed landing page, with the remaining internal pages only receiving a mediocre design that appears dull in comparison.
On a one page website, the same strong, attractive, and engaging design is utilised throughout – allowing for a much more immersive user experience.
Smaller Conversion Rate
Research has shown that single page sites have a 21.8% lead when it comes to customer conversions. When a user has to go via multiple pages to find what they are looking for, each click (and therefore each load time) increases the chances of them not converting to a customer.
In Line with User Behavior
It used to be that traditional schools of thought argued that long pages, with lots of information and continuous scrolling, were unadvisable. However, in the light of Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, user habits have changed – now encouraging scrolling. Screens are bigger, the web is more and more image driven, and it’s harder to hold a users attention span. These single page sites create the striking and visually immersive experiences so craved by the modern day user – they match their behavioral patterns.
Having so much content on one page has several implications for SEO. Some of these are beneficial such as all links pointing to one page, therefore increasing the likelihood of a higher page ranking. However, the negatives far outweigh the positives. It is difficult to optimise a single page for more than one keyword. With such a large amount of differing content, all on one page, it can be problematic to effectively optimise for even one word.
There is only one little keyword tag, one meta description, and just one URL. On top of this, the slow load time of large single page sites can also be detrimental to SEO.
Site Architecture Difficulty
When it comes to multi page websites, there are numerous tried and tested methods in which to create a great site – whereas for single page sites, this is slightly more problematic. The segmentation of information is very important, and this can become confusing on a single page.
Google Analytics is a vital part of understanding the workings of your website. It gives insight into several areas, including; which areas are popular, what causes people to leave, and what pages are ignored. Because of the nature of a one-page site, analytics can’t provide much more insight past the number of visitors a site has and the duration of that visit.
Although great for brochure type websites, one-page sites are limited when needed for websites that have constant flow of new content. If you need to regularly update your website, your going to have to consider multi-page sites.
So what do we think?
As was stated earlier, one-page sites really can offer beautiful and incredibly fun designs when it comes to the users experience as a result of the often immersive engagements offered. This is great when your website is needed for a brochure style campaign or portfolio. But they are a risky step away from traditional multi page websites, and in most cases do not offer the ability to cover a large variety of subjects and categories.