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July 14, 2017

It’s Time You Skip the One-Pager Website

Over the last couple of months I’ve looked at quite a lot of websites (of my clients, friends, my marketing clinic’s guests and their competitors), and one thing kept popping up: They were all using a “one-pager” website template. No matter what their business size or the amount of information they include, they all stick with the one-pager concept.
This post, the result of my frustration over these websites, is about moving from a one-pager website to a one-pager home page!

Let’s start at the beginning. For those of you not familiar with the one-pager website concept, it’s simply a term describing a website that only has one page, usually one that is very long and requires scrolling down to see all of the content. It doesn’t have any of the traditional inner pages such as “About Us,” “Contact Us,” “About the Product,” etc. Instead, each is mentioned briefly in the different sections of the main single page.
I’m not sure precisely when people began to adopt this phenomenon, but it seems as though the one-pager concept really took off in 2013. With the rise of website theme services like ThemeForest, and the fact that WordPress became easier to manage with those themes, the concept took over the market and created a mass use of beautifully designed, easy-to-implement one-pager themes.

So… What do I have against the one-pager?

I have nothing against the concept of the one-pager template or website. I agree that they’re beautiful, to-the-point and cut down on user clicks. The problem starts when it becomes the default choice because it’s beautiful and easy, or because that’s what “everybody” does, and not because the strategy requires one. This is where I think we are missing the point of a one-pager.
The result of using a one-pager is either a website with way too much information spread across an infinitely scrolling website page or too little information about the product/service. It’s impossible to gain an adequate understanding of a business from only one page. The one-pager can make it difficult to understand what the product is and why it’s unique.
One other point to consider is SEO. If you want to play this game and have Google rank you higher, it is advisable to have more content on your website, spread across sevreal pages.

Who is the one-pager good for?

The above thoughts aside, there are still times when you really only need a one-pager website:

  • When you’re in a rush to establish an online presence.
  • When you own a small business and all you need is an “online business card.” You want people to see you have a website and you want to provide essential details and information about you and your business.
  • When you want to put something up until you build the extended website.
  • When you still don’t have a live product and/or are not yet sure what your product is, etc.
  • When you don’t have the budgets, the right copy, a sense of purpose for the website, etc.

When should you avoid a one-pager?

If you have the budget, time and a product (or products) to sell, a one-pager just won’t do. You want to make sure you have all the relevant inner web pages. You want to create enough customer interest or curiosity to entice them into requesting a demo or buying the product.
It’s unrealistic to try highlighting every benefit or feature of your product(s) and/or service(s), and it’s impossible to anticipate every customer question all on one page, no matter how long it is. This is precisely why each section of your business should have its own dedicated page: product(s), relevant industry or industries, FAQ (read here to learn more about creating the perfect FAQ page), “About Us” page, press/media page, etc.
When customers are really interested in your product, they will usually conduct more thorough research, and likely visit more than one page before making any decision.

How do you work around it?

How can you enjoy the best of both worlds? How do you take advantage of those beautiful, easy-to-use themes to build a proper full website? You create a one-page home page composed of sections. Every section is either general (“Testimonials,” “Social Proof,” “As Seen In,” etc.) or links to one of the inner pages, and acts as a short teaser, with a “Click to Learn More” button.
Examples:

  • Main benefits/features of the product leading to the product’s full inner page.
  • Short pricing table/section leading to the full pricing page.
  • A summary of a case study leading to a specific case study page or industry-related page.
  • A simple call-to-action section linked to a detailed “Request a Demo/Contact Us” page.

Now you still have the look and feel of a one-pager website on the home page, but at the same time customers who need more information will find the details spread across the website.
If you effectively entice customers with the home page, you can be sure they’ll want to read more!

Yifat Shirben
Yifat Shirben
Yifat Shirben is an entrepreneurial marketer, with over a decade of international experience in marketing, branding, PR and business development within the innovation and entrepreneurial environment. As a former start-up founder herself, Yifat has developed a unique consumer-driven methodology to analyse and allow cost-effective, tailored made marketing strategies and solutions for start-ups and entrepreneurs.

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