Single page WordPress themes (one page WordPress themes and templates) that take a ton of information (usually about a bunch of different topics) and put it on one long scrolling page, is a growing trend that we’ve seen take shape over the last 2-3 years.

The shift from multi-page SEO WordPress themes, to predominantly offering single page SEO WordPress theme designs, makes it difficult for marketing channels to match users directly with a targeted piece of content. Instead users are dropped at the top of a long page, and forced to scroll and search the page for the information they are looking for.

These designs go against the basic SEO goal of, “increasing conversions and user satisfaction by creating an environment that allows the user to connect directly with the content that best matches their intent”.

Single vs Multiple Page Design Cheat Sheet

Questions and VariablesSingle Page DesignMulti Page Design
Ability to target complete keyword setsNoYes
Ability to match user intentNot always, due to where user lands on-pageYes
Ability to target personas based on user segmentationNoYes
Do offsite retargeting easilyNoYes
Keep page load time to a minimumNot AlwaysYes
Link building will be a must to target a variety of competitive keywordsNot AlwaysDepending On the Competitive Set
Minimize keyword target listYesOnly restricted based on keyword value
Ability to easily track engagementYesYes
Mobile friendlyPossibleYes
Ability to properly optimize meta tagsNot AlwaysYes
Easy to share specific content topic on the pageNot CompletelyYes

SEO and User Challenges of Single Page Design

Number of Primary Keywords That Can Be Targeted
The title tag is the primary location for high-value keywords (usually 1-2 topics can be targeted without looking spammy). The rest of the keywords that support these 2 primary topics must be found in the content on the page.  Usually an average web page can support 5 mid tail and 5 long tail key-phrase targets per page without looking spamming and keeping natural user language in mind.

Where Users Land On The Page
Users will always land at the top of the page when coming from an external source. When the user clicks through from the search results with specific topic intent, yet that topic is either towards the bottom of the page or in a different tab, it can frustrate the user (as they now need to find where the topic is located). This can cause user confusion, making them return to the search results and go to a different website.

Social Sharing
Difficult to share specific sections of a page. Most sharing defaults to page level and not content hierarchy level sharing.

Unable to do Visitor Segmentation by Intent
Inability to target specific users based on content sets and search intent. All users will land on 1 page – which can be perceived as not meeting their intent, causing them to go back to the search results and visit a different website.

Visitor Re-targeting
If you want to re-target to visitors based on certain interests, you may need them to visit a certain website page to be entered into a re-targeting group.

Page Size and Load Time
Usually with longer pages, or those that use tabs as a secondary navigation, the page can be heavy and thus cause load time issues.

Digital PR and Link Building To Increase Relevancy for Additional Keywords
With the limited number of keywords a page can target there will need to be external signals such as inbound links and citations built let the Googlebot Persona know the page is valuable for additional keywords that currently do not reside in the page copy.

Minimize Keyword Target Based on Conversion and Value
The total keyword set will need to be minimized to a around 10 high-value keywords. This should be done by identifying high-value keywords for the business based on 4 criteria.

  1. Brand Value
  2. Conversion Rate
  3. Value to the Target Persona
  4. Traffic Potential

Analytics Tracking of Engagement
Understanding engagement points can be difficult with a 1 page design.

Mobile Use
Longer pages or pages with tabs can be frustrating to view and interact with on mobile devices.

Benefits of a Multiple Page Design

Number of Keyword a Website Can Target
With multiple pages, each targeting high-value keywords, it becomes easier to target specific keywords in each on-page variable.

We can also add additional copy to a page (and not have to minimize it due to page length) to help target specific user intent about the page topic.

Where Users Land On The Page
When users land on the page they will be presented immediately with the topic they were searching for – instead of having to search or take additional steps to find it.

Ability to do Visitor Segmentation by Intent
By creating a primary page that covers 1 primary topic and multiple sub topics we are able to target a specific journey and use-case by persona type.

Visitor Re-targeting
A website is able to pull data based on the web page and thus make it easier to do re-targeting offsite.

Page Size and Load Time
This concern is minimized when pages are less lengthy and contain less images and functionality.

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