All the rage recently has been a design concept called Single Page Application (SPA) designs. The concept originates from the idea that you limit the number of pages your site contains, and allow a visitor to scroll down your page to experience segments or frames containing different bits of content or information. While admittedly, I love the look and flow of the design, as an SEO it makes my skin crawl. I can only imagine the idea of the 45 scrolls of a single page being clarified for a limited number of keywords and specific content that helps a user experience in a conversion driven industry. Here are the top five things that I have found to be helpful in narrowing the scope that a page should be designed to address when held to the SPA design:
- Limit the scope of the content: If you have to use the SPA as the design of the site, keep a narrow scope of the content to help prevent trying to solve everything that someone may want to leverage your site to resolve. Consider creating a few pages with a limited scope per page to address verticals or segments of your business.
- Explore the use of Hashbangs to segment your pages: The hash bang was a Google acquiescent move to accommodate the SPA as a segmentable page, because the anchors that are sometimes used to divide the SPA do not cache as a separate segment of content. The heaviest part of Hashbangs are the development work that is required to appropriately implement them to be usable by the search engines because you have to recreate the page content in elements that will be drawn into the page from AJAX calls.
- Call to action should follow the visitor throughout the entire page: Getting lost is not fun and the same goes for people visiting a web site. If visitors cannot find what they are looking for, they will become frustrated and leave your site. While visually appealing, the single page site design, due to minimal content and long scrolling pages, can frustrate your visitors. Help them by including a scrollable call to action icon, menu or social media button throughout the page so they can contact someone or make a purchase from anywhere on the site.
- Title tags & meta descriptions for each hashbang: Another limitation to the single page design is limited title tags & meta descriptions. Title tags and meta descriptions are important in web search results because they contain keywords and provide relevant information for the consumer. The single page design may only allow room for 1-3 title tags and meta descriptions (depending on the site), however the presence of hashbangs will allow you additional room to include this information.
- Do not hide social media icons: More and more people are interacting and referring to social media prior to making a purchasing decision. Make it as easy as possible for existing customers to leave a positive review and for potential customers to read reviews on your site. While many single page designs want to minimize content and hide the social media icons in the menu, your social media links should be easy to find (top right hand side of home page). Don’t miss out on future business by hiding your social links. Positive reviews have swayed my decision during uncertainty and it can have the same effect on your customers.