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Why Single-Page Scrolling Websites Hurt Your Business

Larry Stopa
by Larry Stopa on Aug 26, 2016 9:00:00 AM

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Single-page scrolling websites are all the rage. But are they really what you want for your business? Developers who build them claim they provide a variety of benefits including:

  • Better user experience, where there is only scrolling without the need for a user to click and wait for a new page to load.
  • That a single page is enough to tell your brands story
  • That you will see higher conversion rates and lower bounce rates.

But from our standpoint, there is no evidence to support those claims. Make sure that your desire to be trendy and hip, doesn't move you away from your business goals.

Is User Experience Better?

When diving into the proclaimed benefit, user experience, there is some validity, IF, the design is done right. One advantage to single-page scrolling is that it provides users a clear start and finish. Users can continue to scroll on a mobile device without the need for navigation buttons or text links. Scrolling on mobile is a behavior users are familiar with. But does that one positive outweigh the disadvantages?

The flip side is how do you organize all the information about your brand, products, services, staff and how to contact you, in an easy to follow format, on one page and still provide your visitors with enough information to convert? That's an extremely difficult assignment to pull off without sacrificing something and one that is seldom done correctly.

What's Your Story?

Yes, you can tell a story in a single page, especially a long one. But will it tell the right story? Will people read a long story? Will you provide all the information that a buyer may want before making a decision? Especially if you offer a complex product or service. Think of how you go through a purchasing process. How would you react and engage with a single page? Would you feel confident enough to make a purchase decision? It sure isn't for me. The internet changed the paradigm by giving buyers the power to research on their own. Single-page websites take away much of the information needed for buyers to conduct their research.

Do They Really Showcase Improved Traffic Metrics?

The claim that single-page websites have higher conversion rates is irresponsible at the very least. There is a commonly made claim that single-page websites increase conversions over 30%. If you dig into that claim, you will see that the data is 5 years old and the test website now has over 2,000 pages indexed in Google. So that single-page website must not have worked so well, after all, would be my assumption.

E-Power has access to Google Analytics for two websites that went from multi-page content-rich websites to single-page scrolling. In both cases, bounce rates went up, traffic dropped and worse, conversions dropped. As an online marketer, the loss in organic search visibility with single-page scrolling websites is reason enough to not go that route. Too much business is lost. In our 18+ years of experience, sadly we have yet to see a single-page website outperform a well-design multi-page website.

You Don't Have to Sacrifice Design for Content

The beauty of web design is that you can have the best of both worlds. Your home page can be a long scrolling single-page that tells your brand’s story. But be sure to use it to link into a content-rich website that provides visitors with more in-depth information about your products or services. Provide your audience with the tools, content and resources needed to make their purchase decision.

Single-page scrolling websites are a return to brochureware. I thought we were past that. But we have to remember that website trends are driven by techies who design the websites, not the marketers who drive the revenue. 

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Larry Stopa
Written by Larry Stopa
Since establishing E-Power Marketing® in 1998, Larry has grown it to become a highly successful business focused on generating the results that impact our clients' bottom line. Larry oversees all client programs, new business initiatives and leads the team to continued growth and ongoing education.