One-pagers are attractive options to business owners trying not to spend thousands of dollars on a new website. Designers like them, too, because they’re quick-turn projects and fill in gaps in the monthly schedule.

Trouble is, my experience has been that without aggressive link building these sites never rank.

(And even with links, they’ll still be behind an equally linked site with more content.)

There’s no magic number of pages a website needs to have before it reaches some threshold amount of information to rank. However, more recently when I’ve started doing SEO on a one pager it seemed to take until we had 3-5 strong pages before the site’s rankings really moved.

It’s not to say we couldn’t rank for anything with a front page audit and adding material, but once we made a couple strong service pages, a city page, and a couple thoughtful blog posts that strategically reinforced the core pages, THAT’s when the needle really moved.

Once you start seeing that kind of momentum it’s important to lean into it. If you stop creating content your site can fizzle out just as it starts to gain momentum, holding mediocre ranks for a while and then shifting back down.

Continuing to show expertise with a consistent publishing schedule has taken sites with virtually zero Google presence to having some promising rankings in a dozen things in a couple months. The work is far from done at that point, but there are definitive things to point at that indicate Google likes what it’s seeing, and the site’s traffic grows toward a level where we can do something.

Why is this likely? There’s an unavoidable need to prove you know your stuff.

There are so many websites out there for basically any topic, even on a local level. Every site wants to rank, and enough business owners either know basic SEO or have hired someone that you can’t really count on having weak competition for most industries like you used to.

And with so many other websites out there after the same things as you, and so many of them being “full sites” with a variety of pages, a one-pager just isn’t competitive enough.

I’ve seen a one-pager outrank other sites including mine in this industry before, but it was for a narrow set of keywords and they did it with a strong link profile. What they invested, either in time or money, to build those links would likely rival the time creating strong pages as well.

Eventually link building becomes necessary for most sites, but since building out a strong set of core pages is more straightforward than link building I wouldn’t recommend banking so hard on links alone to rank a single page site.

One Page Websites Can Be A Svelte Starting Point, But Consider Your Goals.

If you’ll be doing a lot of other marketing, such as networking, social media, or even ads, a single page website with a sharp look and tight content can indeed be an efficient place to begin.

But if you think you’ll want to leverage SEO in the near future, be thinking about other material you can quickly add on.

Otherwise, I think in today’s Google a single page site is simply not enough make a dent.

Priorities If You Have A One Page Website

Unless you only sell a singular product or service, chances are you had to summarize your business on your home page to avoid having a super long presentation.

While the exact next steps will vary, if I had to advise a general game plan here I’d say this. To get the most bang for the buck on as few additional pages as possible, look to create these:

  • A well fleshed out About page. Introduce key players in the business, what expertise they lend to the team, and how long you’ve been in business. Tell stories in subheadings below that about specific wins you’ve created, and what you learned from those experiences. (Don’t be afraid to be human and discuss learning experiences or that doing so will be admitting what you didn’t know before. People connect with this.)
  • A hybrid service, area, and FAQ page. Ideally these could be separate pages, but if you’re looking to keep the site lean and not create a bunch of pages initially, creating a page that talks about your most important service, lightly reinforces your base city, and answers top questions adds a lot of value. Make sure you keep the discussion of your service distinct from the home page. The front page may have had more of a narrative structure, and if so, this is your chance to be more direct about your product’s value and how you’ve refined it to be its current best form.

There’s value to separating these things into their own pages anyway, rather than piling everything into the main page. It lets each topic breathe, and makes reading those pieces feel more deliberate.

Do you have a one page (or small) website and are looking for a boost? Contact me here, and let’s talk.