Take a look at your mouse: do you see the little wheel in the middle? Practice, huh? And especially essential, as the Web makes us scroller, scroller and scroller again … The fault of “one page” websites (or “long scrolling”), become hyper trend since 2013. Their principle is simple: all the content is presented on only one page. But what are their advantages and disadvantages?
If websites have adopted this mode of long scrolling, it is primarily because of social networks and the mobile Internet, which have accustomed us to scroll through tons of content and news, history of us watering of information until more thirsty. Old-fashioned menus, place to scroll! But before creating a one-page site, it’s better to analyze your needs and the expectations of your audience.
Because necessarily, if you have a multitude of services or products to present, this single page will quickly become an undrinkable clutter. To be effective, it must contain only essential information and high added value, and be divided into several sections each having a particular purpose (to present, sell, generate contacts …). The long scrolling design is therefore perfectly suited to an event site or a website with little content (bar, restaurant, communication agency …). It then combines advantages and disadvantages. Two simple examples:
- All its content is displayed at one time, which increases the loading time … But once loaded, the site is fast and no longer slows down.
- The long scrolling allows to realize original designs, which surprise the users and seduce them … Where they reject them.
The long scrolling, a dynamic and creative format
Before creating your one page website, some tips:
- Establish an entry point. Long scrolling, ok, but your visitors must still identify the site they are coming from!
- Divide your content into sections that are clearly separated from each other (for example, by colored bands).
- Be creative: embed images, illustrations, videos where you want people to stop.
- If possible, create a continuous narration, organizing your information like a story. Ideal for leading visitors to the bottom of the page.
- Add html anchors to optimize navigation. Scroller is good, but your visitors will also appreciate saving time.
- Limit the length of your texts by focusing on short and effective formulas. A long page full of texts would discourage Internet users.
SEO for a one page site: imperatives to respect
Remains an important point: SEO. How to optimize it if your contents are all grouped on the same page? Of course, on one page, you can only optimize your SEO on 1 or 2 keywords. Better avoid creating a page whose sections each deal with a different subject, because you will be able to reference only one section, which will be diluted among other contents…
The one-page design also has other disadvantages for SEO:
- It makes complex the filling of <title> and <meta description> tags, which must be representative of the whole page. Difficult if you have created several separate sections.
- The sitemap of a one page site is difficult to exploit by search engines.
- Given their length, long scrolling pages are necessarily heavier than those of traditional sites. Their loading speed is degraded, which may displease the search engines.
To properly reference your one page site, it should therefore leave nothing to chance. The first rule is, as I said above, to choose this type of site only if you have a global topic to present, and therefore to reference. Then, remember to use the tags: a single <h1> tag at the top of the page, then <h2> tags to define your sections. The <article> and <section> tags, combined with html anchors, will allow you to structure your page so that it looks like a classic site at most. Finally, take care to minimize your content to accelerate their loading, and then give them visibility via social networks and content marketing to develop inbound links.
By following all these tips, no doubt: on your one page website, users will scroll as much as content!