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I’m Jacob Cass, the founder of JUST™ Creative. I’m a multi-disciplinary graphic designer, working with clients all around the world. My specialty is logo & brand identity design. JUST™ Get in touch.

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How to Optimize Your Single Page Website

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This article was contributed by Preston Pierce. 

What happens when your client decides to create a single page website and ask you to optimize it rather than going with the usual multiple-page architecture? Well, you find yourself in a predicament! It is because if you are not that well-versed with single-page web optimization, you’re sure to end up plucking your hair out of frustration.

Single Page SEO Tips

After all, one-page websites have always been the victim of non-paginated structures, content relevancy and whatnot! Hence, due to the unfamiliarity with the optimization of such website, people preferred to drop the “CHANGE” all together and opt for the traditional site architecture.

However, things have changed now! Since the search engine giant, Google, has now become more developed, intelligent and smart over the years, it has finally acknowledged the existence of single-page websites. Consequently, it has done some updates to its crawlers and algorithms, which is why we are seeing a plethora of well-designed and well -ranked one-page websites on SERP, these days.

In this article, I’ll give you a detailed tour of what goes behind the optimization of these websites and how you too can get started. Let’s see:

Pagination is The Way to Go

Googlebots, aka web crawlers, tend to favor the paginated structure, which a multi-page, i.e., conventional website already supports by default. But, how do we restructure the format of a one-page website? By making sure that we don’t leave our site without any organized pagination.

To paginate the structure of your page, you need to create clear and distinct sections, each of which serving a specific purpose. This also makes navigation a lot easier. Plus, you may define a suitable keyword to each section and optimize it for that section. For instance, you may use a keyword for a specific section’s headline or h1 tag, body content (copy), image alt tag, etc. and use a different keyword for the second section’s content, and so on.

Employ DIVs to Paginate Content

The best way you may go about separating and classifying each section on a one-page site is by assigning a separate <div>.

For Instance:

For the top section, home, you may do the following…

Likewise, for the services section on the same page…

Here, it is important to note one thing that, although, you may use ids for content organization, you may not use or consider them as keywords, since CSS tags are not usually SEO friendly. However, you may use the HTML anchor links for optimization, and that we are about to discuss in our next point.

Optimize the Anchor Links

Since there are no separate URLs or links to optimize, so what left is the anchor link. These links are used to jump to the required section on the same page. Hence, the only way to optimize those sections is by optimizing their anchor links. You may do that by using the same DIV ids for the anchor links and use those links on the navigation bar, for optimal result.

Suppose you’ve a Flower Delivery Services section on your single-page website. You may start by naming the DIV id first:

Now, create its anchor link:

There you go! You now have a fully functional and a search engine friendly URL on your webpage.

Link Building Isn’t Dead

Link Building

Link building isn’t something new in the SEO industry and thus every SEO is well familiar with it. Link building is not dead; it’s just the misunderstood form of it (spam linking) that no longer works. Link building, or should I call it Link Earning, is still effective in SEO. So, don’t give up on earning backlinks because they are still the most efficient methods of getting the authority (or vote of authority) that Google assess for every website.

Now you may wonder, “How do I earn backlinks for different anchor texts for a single page website?” Well, you already have that answer if you haven’t forgotten the above point. Yes, I’m talking about the “anchor links”, the same links that you use for creating sections on your site.

To create anchor-text backlinks on authoritative sites, take for instance the blog of Logo Ping, you may contribute to their blog and include your link in the author bio like this:

Distinguish Sections with H1 Tags

If you have a fine idea of traditional website optimization, then you must know how important it is to have an optimized H1 tag. However, it is also important to remember that websites should preferably use one H1 tag on a page and use H2 or H3 for other headings. But, how would you do that for a single page website? It’s simple, use one H1 tag for each section separately, and the crawler will sort the information itself- since H1 tags indicate the distinctness of the content that follows it.

Content Readability and Relevancy:

Due to the abundance of information jam-packed on a single page, you must be wondering how would Google sort so much content, and whether there would be any relevancy issues or not.

Google Hummingbird

Don’t worry! Google won’t do that, because as I said that it is more matured and intelligent now than it was a decade ago. Not so long ago, Google introduced its Humming bird algorithm that shows results that match not the keyword but match closely the entire search query itself. Isn’t that a big break for you now? This is great news for single-page websites because nothing else can beat such websites when it comes to presenting a content packed with all the essential information.

However, needless to say, the content must be unique and relevant.

Don’t Forget the Content Freshness Factor

To keep up with the ranking you need to make sure your site complies with the Google’s content freshness factor. When it comes to content, Google isn’t as forthcoming as you may think. It won’t give a second thought to penalize your page if the content quality guidelines aren’t followed.

Therefore, try your best to keep the content on your single-page website fresh. Though keeping the content fresh on a conventional site is easy, it may become a bit tricky with one-page sites. Regardless, there’s a definite solution to this problem! You can go about ensuring the content freshness on your page by updating some sections of the page such as portfolio, customer feedbacks, etc. Or, you may also create an external blog and show links to some of the recent posts there, on your single page site. You may also include your small Twitter feed on one side of your site for the sake of freshness.

Wrapping It All Up

Though single-page websites aren’t ideal for every business, they do make a perfect appeal a web designer usually yearns to see. If you believe that I missed any crucial tip for one-page SEO, then be my guest and share those tips with us via comments section.

More SEO articles:

Enjoy!

Preston Pierce is a marketing professional and blogger who works for Logo Ping, a custom logo design service provider based in UK. You can follow him on Twitter where he shares articles related to design, business and marketing. 

Assertive Media is a fast growing SEO agency offering SEO, PPC, Social Media Marketing and Web Marketing services, driven by ROI and lead generation.







36 JUST™ Creative Comments

  • Alex Franco

    I really enjoyed this article as a client of mine requested a single page website. I have a question about using DIVs to paginate content. Can the same thing be accomplished by using html 5 semantic markup and it being recognized by the crawler? For example, using

    • Jacob Cass

      Hi Alex, your message was cut off?

      • Alex Franco

        Hi Jacob! Yes it was cut off. I tried typing the markup in my phone and the comment form omitted it. But my question was would using the semantic markup, header id=”home” work the same as using a div?

        • Preston Pierce

          Hi Alex,

          I haven’t tried that yet, but it should work. The good thing about using semantic markups like is that it describes the structure of the page more accurately than div to search engine crawlers.

          The reason I used div in my article is that many developers, at least from what I have observed, are used to using the divs. So, explaining it this way make things easier to explain.

          You can learn more about this here:
          stackoverflow.com/questions/17272019/why-to-use-html5-semantic-tag-instead-of-div

          Thanks!

  • Tim Mannino

    Nice article Jacob, thanks! – question for you… any thoughts on the UX impact of a single page website?

    A couple years ago we thought about getting on the one page trend bandwagon but ended up feeling that, while it was certainly cool and current, it didn’t really offer anything additional from a UX standpoint, especially if we had elements loading that were unnecessary or not applicable to specific user demographics.

    Wondering what your (or anyone else’s) thoughts are for or against one page designs from a UX perspective – thanks!

    • Jacob Cass

      Tim,
      The real answer is that it depends. There are many scenarios when a website warrants just a single page, especially marketing landing pages. When it comes to websites with a much larger sitemap, you’re most likely going to need a more tiered structure.

    • Preston Pierce

      I second Jacob. One page websites are not all-purpose sites. They are build with specific purpose in mind, like a landing page with sole purpose of offering free ebook for download.

      Do watch the video of Matt Cutts I have linked at the start of the content. This is what Google’s Matt Cutts had to say:
      “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.”

      I hope that helps.

  • web design sharjah

    I am still a little skeptical on this, though we just cancelled a parallax website because the client wanted SEO! Now I just read this … however not to worry we can now promote single paged websites with SEO in mind for future references. Thanks Guys xx

  • Mike Oliver

    I explained the drawbacks of a one page site to a couple clients that wanted very large, heavy content sites, and SEO was a big concern. I recently worked on a project though that seemed tailor made for a one page layout, pre-construction sales of an 8 unit oceanfront condo.

    The developer and agent made it clear this would not be a long-term SEO focused website, that 2 of the 8 units were already reserved and the other 6 would sell quickly due to the location and amenities. The project was more of a brochure than a content driven site, and the idea of having one continuous page hit home with them for mobile viewing ease. I am not sure of the plans for the site once it is sold out, possibly converted to a HOA site for the condo.

    I have seen one page sites work well in the real estate market for multi-million dollar homes. The dedicated url and layout add and extra layer of marketing for the home, with these homes selling in weeks sometimes SEO is of no concern.

    Great info though, for future sites like this that do need SEO I am bookmarking. Thanks

  • Tom

    Yeah, this is really handy. Thank you for sharing!

  • Sripal.C

    Really thanks for Sharing this articles.I have problems for Working in SEO for Single page website.I learnt your articles now feeling happy.I also share my ideas with you .I Ensure that i will be reading your blogs regularly….

  • Gary Smith

    All the points are explained very clearly, Great source of information. Thanks for en-lighting us with your knowledge, it is helpful for many of us.

  • Miracle method Beaumont Texas

    I’ve had a one page site for a while. Just barely added a second page with photos of completed work. Thanks for the tips. As I know one page vs two isn’t a giant leap. Lol. Thanks and keep up the good work

  • james

    hi
    Its really wonderful post guys and I am so glad to visit in your site.

    Thanks

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tai5GGU03h0
    Personal branding

  • sathishw.r

    Its really wonderful post &
    itz a motivational one

  • kaos polos

    Its really wonderful post &
    itz a motivational one

  • Kevin Donnigan

    Great tips! I love the points made about friendly anchor links and back-linking. Those two are looked over a lot while making one-page sites. Also, never forget the 404 pages :-P

  • Kristina Hughes

    It’s hard to optimize a single page website as compare to multi page website…But things you explore there is really useful to optimize any website on search engines.. Link building is the great way to get a top position on search engines results..

  • James Senva

    Can we use the same techniques in blogs ?

  • Tim

    Great Tips!! Really an interesting article, we should always do the same thing as my studies and learn here. I recommend you 1 website for the web designing http://www.feecreative.com/

  • Teresa

    I honestly don’t find it interesting to read a paginate content. I just wanted to scroll and find the information I wanted. Just a thought.

  • Dennis Bunting

    From my past experience, in Terms of SEO “single page” is bad by any stretch of the imagination. Google inclines toward sites with numerous pages. Regardless of the fact that I concur that Divi is superb for any single page, as you can sort out your page like a fantasy for the surfer, and change over all the more effectively.

  • Alyssa Brown

    Wow !! it’s an amazing tips to optimize the single phase website and to make it more freindly we should always follow above tips. I have a website to work in website design in Orange Country. If you looking forward to make an website visit us at http://www.urbangekodesign.com/

  • Mike Jones

    This is by far the best article i have ever read about single page website optimization none other author has gone in so much detail about single page website optimization. Yes, single page website can do great in search results only if that page is completely optimize. I recommend everyone to reduce images size before using it on your website.

  • Deepak Gera

    Nice post, I completely agree on the point about pagination. This is not only good for SEO but also for quality user experience. Without pagination page will have bulk html nodes and browser will face issues in doing more rendering. However this is kind of technical issue but this is going to impact directly to our visitor base.

    There could be multiple H1 tags to define content structure but in addition having proper H2,H3 combination make more sense to content structure and readability too.

    In addition keep it fresh or repurpose content is a great way to keep information up to date.

    Thanks for this sharing.

  • Marek

    Hi Jacob! You touched a lot of useful tips from technical to marketing point of view :) If you want to know my opinion about website optimization just read my last post about similar solutions like yours http://www.applandeo.com/en/10-useful-steps-to-perfect-website-optimization/

  • Posicionamiento SEO

    Excellent advice to start. The SEO definitely helps the SEO of our site. It is in the SEO factors Google takes into account the design is paramount.

  • Surya Fibertek

    There could be multiple H1 tags to define content structure but in addition having proper H2,H3 combination make more sense to content structure and readability too.

  • Dan

    Some great tips. Just finished this one in my link name. Now for some decent links!

  • J Singh

    A single page site is akin to single parenting with all bachelor charms and brand equity waiting to be discovered by some Mr Right or Miss(ed) Right for legitimacy. I have seen many page one websites, ranking so well, just on the sheer strength of back links buzz, it manage to create . In the eyes of search engine, they acquire the celebrity status, for having such a great fan following !!



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