One Page Scrolling Websites SEO

One page scrolling websites SEO

One page scrolling websites are all the rage right now; we see more and more each week on sites. They do look quite cool when filled with great fonts, graphics and transitions, but can you SEO a one-page site and rank?

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.

We took a look at what other web developers have to say about SEO optimising one-page sites. The same old advice I keep hearing again is to include adding sub-pages or blogs because of the content value. The only problem with this is it skirts the issue by turning your one page site into a multi-page site. Does this mean you should not use a one-page?

1. Authority

At first glance, authority might seem like an argument in favour of one page sites. Every off-site and inbound link will point to the same URL right. But the counter argument is that it’s more difficult to earn links for the same content again and again than it is to get them for fresh content.

And while one page sites can work for Google, most SEO experts believe having multiple pages with off-site links improves the overall credibility of a website and SEO.

  • Page Authority/PageRank: It’s possible to benefit by having all links point to the same URL.
  • Domain Authority: Questionable/unknown: having a 1:1 ratio of links to pages, and having only one page may inhibit domain-wide authority benefits.
  • Link Building: It may be difficult to earn a continuous flow of new links over time.

2. Content

Search engine algorithms like to seek relevancy; they match queries with content. While a one page site could improve relevancy for your primary keywords, it’s more likely you will alter relevancy for sub-topics and ranking terms that might rank easier if they had their own pages.

Let’s consider Google’s Hummingbird new update. How it works is it strives to better match the meaning of a query to relevant documents, not just matching the words in a search with words on pages. If you have only one page describing everything about your product or service, and all the other stuff found within a normal business website — how relevant can one page be for any one section?

3. Crawlability

Can a search engine crawl your one-page site? If you have any transitions that load new content as a user scroll down the page, you must make certain that search engines can crawl and cache your page from top to bottom. Google’s search spiders have a limited support for executing javascript.

If you’re not sure, copy a line of text from the bottom of your page and search for it in Google Search within quotes. Does it appear in the search results? Another test is to turn off CSS and javascript before loading your page. I use the Web Developer Toolbar for this.

I’ve seen some web designers advise serving a static version of a page to search engines still while displaying the dynamic version to online users. We advise to be cautious about doing something like this. Google defines cloaking, a penalty and banning offense, as serving different content to people and search engines. If you serve a static version to search engines you better be sure the page content is exactly the same.

4. SEO For One Page Sites

If you’re not discourage at this point, you may be wondering: how do you SEO optimise a one page site then?

a.  Content Sections More Defined

Design each section of content as if it were a separate webpage. Select the keywords you desire to rank for and draft the appropriate headline, copy and image alt tags.

b. Separate Content Sections in DIV containers

An idea is to place each section of your content inside a DIV tag. For example:

<div id="design">...content...</div>
<div id="web-design">...content...</div>
<div id="illustration">...content...</div>

CSS id names are not considered signals of SEO keywords, but it can be a good way to keep things highly organised. You can also use them for anchor links, which are also SEO signals.

c. Anchored Links

We know Google looks at anchored links. Don’t be confused with anchor text, anchor links take you to a specific place within a website.

Try to optimise each DIV id for both a usability and keyword SEO standpoint. You want them to make sense for people using your website and have a relevant keyword for the section.

To create an anchor link for each section,

Name the DIV id.

<div id="web-design">

Link to it.

<a href="#web-design">Web + Design</a>


d. Content Section with a H1 Tag

This is probably the one time we will suggest multiple H1 tags on the same page. A H1 signal that follows is distinct and separate from the rest of the page. Just make sure to only use one H1 per section.

In Conclusion

One page websites can look great for new sites and perhaps special projects. We don’t recommend them as a long-term solution. If you have a multi-page website then I recommend leaving it.