Introducing SEO-destroying “One Page Wonder” Websites
Infinite Scroll or “One Page Wonder” websites are becoming the rage, mostly among graphics-happy designers. These website templates display complex web content in one long page rather than paginated into distinct pages of unique content.
Certain industries might be able to get away with such cool-looking but low SEO-producing websites (we're not sure which industries) but professional services companies should never invest in one.
Why not? Because a professional services company should have a serious website. And speaking of being serious, "one page wonder" websites will destroy any good attempt at inbound marketing. Inbound relies heavily on a website's ability to display unique content as well as being SEO-friendly.
Popularized by sites such as Twitter and Pinterest, infinite scrolling designs have become the rage in some circles. But that doesn’t mean this type of design should be used for professional services companies' websites or any other company who is serious about getting good traffic via search results.
What's wrong with "one page wonder" designs? Normally your “home” page contains content that is way different (diverse) than your “about” page. Sticking an “about” page under a “home” page, and then perhaps a “services” page under the “about” page results in a “one page wonder” website; the website is comprised of many unique pieces of content (pages) but all housed in one, long page.
Trying to integrate inbound into such a scheme is a crazy idea. Blogging and calls-to-action items would have to be placed in chaotic locations on the page. The practice would make no sense.
The idea of not having to click on something to see the next piece of information is a good idea, to a point. For example, a large collection of images with supporting text could be displayed on separate pages or on one long page. In other words, both ways will display the same content. While such a design works, it's not a great idea for a more serious professional services company site such as a legal firm, a commercial cleaning company, or a construction company.
Prospective goal-oriented leads visiting a professional services company website are not coming for leisurely entertainment; they're coming for information. Theyr're gearing up to potentially contact you and hopefully make a purchase.
Because of the popularity of infinite scroll designs, many templates (even WordPress ones) sold on popular sites can seem alluring. It’s always tempting to get what seems to be the latest thing. Your goal indeed should be to have the latest style and technology, but also to have it produce ROI for your business. When it doesn’t, all the style in the world won’t improve the one reason you should want a website: to grow your business.
Why “One Page Wonder” Designs Are Bad for You.
While it may seem like a user-friendly idea to put every piece of content in one, long scrolling page, the idea may not be so Google-bot-friendly. If Google or any of the other search engines can’t navigate your website, your page ranking will suffer. According to an article on one of Google’s own blog sites, Google-bots can view pagination a little differently than humans do. If the search engine can’t navigate major parts of your website then huge amounts of content won’t appear in search results.
Infinite scroll "pages" can be made “search-friendly” when converted to a paginated series. Recreating your website into unique pages may mean a lot of cutting and pasting but, more likely, getting a new theme.
Google search-bots look for two main things: navigation and content. The SEO-killer of “one page wonder” websites is that they often have a navigation bar, but instead of delivering unique pages, the navigation target is located down the scrolling area at some unique piece of content, but all on the one main page. Thus, an “about” page is actually on the “home” page. Same with “products,” “contact us,” etc. This practice can be confusing to search engines and to human visitors alike.
In another blog, "How Professional Services Businesses Can Get Found in Google Searches, " I wrote about how to use some key SEO tactics to get ahead of the competition. Getting ahead is one of our favorite things to do. If you want to get ahead, get an SEO-friendly website.
How Can I Test to See if a Website a “One Page Wonder” Website?
Here are three simple ways:
- Click on some menu item such as “about.” The website should scroll to its target. Then, see if you can click the “back” button, not on the website, but on your browser. If the “back” button is greyed out then that is a sign of a navigation error.
- Load the website into this site: www.ismyblogworking.com. If you see a lot of “robots.txt” errors, that means Google is not able to crawl some parts of the website. That’s a serious issue.
- Click on any nav item (like “about”) and see of the URL in your browser changes. If all of the “pages” still return, “www.mywebsite.com” and not, www.mywebsite.com/about, etc., then you’re looking at a “one page wonder” website.
Key take-a-ways from this article:
- While it may seem like a great idea, infinite scroll websites are not for most businesses who display highly diverse content.
- Want to have the best SEO? Then display unique content grouped with like content, on unique pages, with navigation assembled in a concise, hierarchical manner.
- "One page wonder" websites will kill about any good posiblity to integrate inbound marketing.
- Professional Services Companies should be professional in all they do.
- You easily can test to see if you have a "one page wonder" website.
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