There are many instances where you’ll want to go big: birthday cakes, Christmas, overseas holidays… but what about your website?
A good website is crucial for any digital marketing strategy. There are countless considerations that go into building an effective website for – in particular, how long your website has to be.
There’s a lot of vigorous debate in the SEO world about how long your site needs to be. Our SEO agency happens to fall into the “longer is better” camp – today, we’ll be explaining
While we generally recommend multi-page websites, in some cases, a short website will do the trick – sometimes, you can even get away with a single-page website!
The arguments against short websites: why we prefer longer websites
While shorter websites aren’t always a death-sentence, longer websites are simply better performers, full stop.
… alright, so it isn’t quite that simple – there are a couple of caveats!
For starters, when we say “long” websites, we aren’t referring to endless pages of filler or fluff that are crammed full of keywords. Google is (usually) smart enough to figure this out, and may ignore these, leading to wasted time and effort.
The content on your website should be carefully thought out, with an eye towards your core business as well as the keywords and searches you want to rank for.
And furthermore, all of your content should be high-quality – content is king, after all. Lazy, copy-pasted content is a big no-no!
Keep these in mind, and you’ll see much better results than you would with a short or one-page website.
The SEO angle
You didn’t really think we’d talk about website length without talking about its SEO impact, did you?
As an SEO agency in Melbourne, we know what makes your business website rank higher on Google – if you ask us, the most important one is content.
Long story short, Google likes good quality content. Good content contains the answers that searchers are looking for, according to Google. Content (both written and otherwise) gives Google more info to work with when ranking websites.
For example, let’s say your business has competencies in multiple areas. With a small website, your only option will be to cram all those competencies into a single page, which can be hard for Google (and visitors) to find relevant information.
By giving each area its own page or subpages with relevant content, you don’t just make it easier for visitors to find what they’re looking for – you also help Google figure out what you’re all about!
Simply put, short short websites mean less of this valuable content for Google to parse, which directly affects how likely your site is to pop up in search pages.
And with the lion’s share of clicks going to the first couple of searches, you’ll want your site to be as high as possible, for as many searches as possible!
Sometimes, you need a lot of content to “sell” your business
Some businesses such as restaurants don’t need a lot of content to “sell” themselves – in most cases, some professional photos, a PDF of your menu, positive reviews and good web design will do the trick in a handful of pages.
Unfortunately, not all businesses are quite like that!
For most other businesses, your website will need to:
- Describe your products and services
- Identify the areas you serve
- Outline your USP (unique selling point)
- Tell visitors why they should choose you
When packed with high-quality content, your website can do just that. The problem is that small websites put a hard limit on how much content you can share.
This is especially problematic if your products and services are highly technical. In that case, your customers will probably be hungry for information about what you bring to the table
Sure, you could lengthen each of your pages – but then you get the problem where it’s hard for visitors to find the information they’re looking for, not to mention it plain just doesn’t look very good!
It helps with navigation
There’s a bit of a myth among some in the industry that small websites are more mobile friendly – one of the most important ranking factors.
The idea is that a smaller website loads faster is easier to navigate using a phone, as there are fewer things to tap.
That may be true. The problem however is that this is unlikely to lead to more conversions – it could do the opposite!
In our experience, most people don’t scroll very far when on a website. We’ve seen it happen ourselves – we’ll perform a site audit using our heatmap software and notice that almost all eyeballs are on the upper half of the page.
This is just another reason why we advocate so strongly against small websites!
Websites with few pages inevitably have to cram more information into a smaller space. That means while there are fewer pages, each individual page is longer, and users need to scroll further down to see everything.
The result? Visitors might miss important parts of your page like the contact form, reviews or your services!
Not to mention, it also makes navigation hard. Say a visitor is looking for a specific piece of information (such as your portfolio) – how are they supposed to find it if everything’s crammed onto one page?
It can be hard to build an SEO strategy with a small website
Building an SEO strategy is about more than just cramming your website full of relevant words and terms – there’s a whole host of factors and considerations that go into your strategy.
Our SEO agency in Melbourne is experienced with building SEO strategies. Over the years, we’ve come to the realisation that it’s borderline impossible to do so with a small site or single-page site!
One of the pillars of any good SEO strategy is an ongoing stream of quality content. Google’s search algorithm favours sites which are updated regularly – in Google’s eyes, these sites are keeping up with developments, making them priority results.
Just to be clear, we aren’t necessarily talking about adding a new page every week – that’s a ticket to a bloated, overly-complex site.
What we are talking about is things like:
- Updating and refreshing existing pages
- Adding sub-pages when needed
- Maintaining a regular blog or news section
Needless to say, it can be hard to keep that stream of content coming with a small or single-page website!
Are short and single-page websites ever appropriate?
In 99% of cases, you’re better off with a longer website, both for SEO and marketing purposes.
There are only a tiny handful of cases where you might get away with a one-page site.
One of the reasons we generally create longer websites is for marketing purposes – in particular, long-form content is more SEO-friendly, giving Google more data to categorise your site with.
However, if you’re in a situation where you simply don’t have all that much competition, you might get away with a single-page site.
It’s a big “if”, however.
We’ve all grown used to longer websites, so much so that even if you’re the only business in your entire industry, a small or simple-page website can seriously harm your credibility.
Put yourself in the shoes of a customer. You see a business without a site, and what do you think? Either:
- They’re too cheap to build a bigger one
- They’re behind-the-times
- Or they just don’t care about it
Either way, it isn’t a good look!
Why you need an SEO agency in Melbourne on your side
While short websites generally aren’t as effective as multi-page websites for SEO, not all businesses need a big site.
It all depends on your business, your goals, and your customers.
Figuring out how long your website should be is a tough question to answer, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Each business has unique circumstances which need to be taken into consideration.
Figuring out what’s best for your business requires the input of an SEO agency in Melbourne.
With a professional, you won’t have to “spitball it” – using powerful data and analytics, your SEO specialist can help you figure out exactly what your business needs to start ranking higher, get more visits and grow.