Queries around SEO best practice rarely have a straightforward answer – it often depends on a variety of scenarios. That’s why it’s difficult to answer what seems like the simple question of whether consolidating pages or having multiple pages talking about a particular or similar is better for SEO? Although it won’t be an easy yes or no, we’ll try to answer it in this blog.
To the SEO novice, pagination – when content is divided into a series of pages – may appear to be a similar subject, but this blog will not delve that far. This technique is commonly seen on ecommerce category pages and blog listing pages. Pagination can be effective when carried out properly – our article on pagination explains how to solve its common issues.
Should you split a blog post into multiple pages?
Strap in for a classic SEO answer: it depends. It depends on the needs of the user and whether it’s worth branching off into a new page for that topic or whether all of that information could effectively be put across on one URL.
The key to getting pages ranked is to always put the user first. Through various algorithm updates, in particular the latest Helpful Content Update, Google’s becoming better at telling the difference between content that is written for users and content written for search engines. The irony here is that you might get penalised for writing content that’s solely for SEO purposes and rewarded for content that genuinely benefits and helps the user. So it’s always worth keeping in mind what’s best for the user when creating your content.
If we were writing a broad guide to local SEO, rather than going into detail about every aspect of local SEO, it’d be worth creating a new page targeting each subtopic. For example, that’s why the blog linked above briefly talks about on-page SEO and then links to a separate page that goes into more detail about that topic in particular.
However, it’s best to avoid splitting a long blog on the same topic into separate parts. People may do this with the supposition that users will find it more manageable to read shorter articles rather than one long piece. The downside to this is that it could dilute page equity – the authority of that page would be split through multiple URLs.
Instead, always think about quality over quantity. If your article needs to be 5,000 words in order to deliver that quality, then go ahead and keep it all on one big page. If you’ve put the user first and the content contains everything they need to answer their question or solve their problem, then hopefully they’ll want to read all of it.
So in essence, if it’s on the same topic, keep it on one page. However, if there’s scope to branch off into detailed subtopics that could specifically target their own set of keywords, creating multiple pages would be the best option.
Are single page websites good for SEO?
This is a quick one: the answer’s no.
Single page websites provide all of their website content on a single page. They may have jump or anchor links to take you to different areas of the page, but all of this is housed on one URL.
The fact that you’re using just one page has several SEO disadvantages:
- You’re trying to talk about several topics on one page, when really you should only target one topic and/or keyword per page. Sticking to one topic per page will help you carry out effective keyword targeting, which will increase your chances of ranking.
- One of the main cornerstones of SEO is the need to build expertise, authority and trust (EAT in the SEO world) around your target topic. You won’t be able to do that with just one page.
- Sure, you could add content to the page, but it will lose the focus of specific targeting that SEO requires.
Why would you use a single page site?
There are very few occasions where a single page site would be the most effective option. An exception would be selling just one product or running a one-off event – as long as you provide a solid user experience, it could do the trick. A single page site is also easier and cheaper to set up as an out of the box solution.
They’re fairly common for musicians and bands as SEO is less of a problem so they can do as they please with their website – for example: https://mariboustate.co.uk/.
In this instance, the band will get their traffic from people searching for their band name, which means that they don’t really need to target non-branded traffic. Or should I say non-banded. HA!
SEO isn’t always a huge concern for every website. If you’re less affected and you can still deliver a good user experience with just one page, then go ahead with a single page site. But this will be very, very few of you.
So, what’s a good approach?
If you want to gain some organic traffic beyond the small topic that your single page site targets, for the love of the SEO gods, please create more than one page.
If you offer more than one product or service, you should have unique pages for each of those products or services, ideally targeting one keyword per page.
Start to build out informational content related to your area of expertise using a content hub approach, where one broad ‘hub’ piece of content links to lots of relevant and supporting informational subpages.
An example of this is used in our on-page SEO guide, which links off to other blogs about topics such as, title tags, meta descriptions and URLs.
All of these should also link back to that pillar piece of content, as well as internally linking to relevant product and service pages. Ironically, the blog about internal linking that’s linked above does just that. This will nicely build your topical authority in that area.
- Don’t split one blog on the same topic into multiple pages because you think it’s too long. This only dilutes page equity.
- Do target one topic per page. If there’s scope to branch off into a subtopic on a good quality, new page, then do so, and remember to link between the two.
- If a single page website can work for your requirements and offers your users the best experience, then by all means go ahead. It won’t drive a broad range of organic traffic targeting different sets of topical queries, though.
We probably could have split this into two blogs – one on single page websites and one on whether or not you should split blog posts into multiple parts, but we chose not to.
Our SEO experts can help you make the right choice. Get in touch.