Why a Single-Page Website Might be All You Need—And How to Build a Great One
With an entrepreneurial mindset comes a knack for finding opportunity in seemingly unrelated events, including solutions, services, or products that fit the moment. This has been especially evident during the coronavirus pandemic where a need for alternative work arrangements and diversification of income sources has fueled a burst of freelancing, entrepreneurship and new business ideas.
At Webnames, we’ve seen a lot of our customers pivot in the past few months to launch a side hustle, ramp up their freelancing or consulting work, and bring previously shelved business ideas back to life. Others have found us through our free 1-page website initiative for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. They understand that registering a domain name, setting up professional email, and developing a website are non-negotiable requirements in 2020 in order to get found online and establish credibility. Despite this understanding however, getting a website launched remains a major stumbling block for so many entrepreneurs even though it’s never been easier to do so. Why is this the case?
Over the years we have observed that many DIY small business owners, freelancers, and entrepreneurs significantly overestimate what they need for a successful web presence, especially when they are just starting out. This frequently leaves them bottlenecked and with no website at all.
Just like you need to learn to walk before you can run, developing the perfect website is a journey that takes time. There’s no rule out there that says you need a 5, 10, 20-page website, a blog, an online store, etc., out of the gates. What you need is what works for you—and for consultant, freelancer, side-gig or brand new business idea, a single-page website is a great way to start getting discovered, build trust in your brand, project a professional image, and bridge the gap until you can develop that dream multi-page website down the road.
Right about now you might be thinking, but it’s not as if I have no presence online—isn’t having a Facebook Business Page / Instagram profile / Google Business listing good enough for now?
No, it’s not. A sparingly populated Facebook or Instagram with no linked website account will not convince potential customers of your legitimacy, and as popular as social media platforms are, not all your prospects are on social media. Many people might actively use only one channel, while others are increasingly opting out of social media altogether due to privacy concerns. Most crucially, your social media accounts and the content you create there ultimately reside on an external platform that you don’t own or control the experience of.
When is a single-page website a good choice?
We’ve witnessed how planning a website can spark anxiety in consultants, freelancers and aspiring small business people with endless to-do lists, limited time and a desire to ramp things up quickly. Identifying requirements and mapping out a structure can feel overwhelming, nevermind developing search optimized content for multiple pages and implementing a suite of marketing tools.
The good news is that single-page websites are low barrier way to get online and a great choice for a variety of scenarios and use cases, particularly:
Pivots – From making spirits to making hand sanitizer, coordinating events to content writing, COVID-19 has driven companies and individuals to pivot directions and lean into side-hustles. Single page websites are a perfect way to test out the viability of new business ideas or expand the reach of an existing side hustle by making it discoverable to a wider audience. It’s a low cost, low effort, low risk investment to test the waters or soft-launch something new.
Personal and professional profiles – What do people see when they search your name online? A Google search is the first thing a prospective client or customer will do to assess your credibility. Whether it’s a simple online business card, a portfolio of your different projects, or a slightly more expansive professional profile like this example, having a personal website with your own domain and matching professional email gives you control over how you show up online and allows you to build a brand for yourself in ways that aren’t possible with a LinkedIn profile.
Single products or services – One-page websites make great, dedicated landing pages for selling a product or service of narrow scope. The page can even be built in advance to promote a product ahead of its release, then transition over to become a gateway for purchase. By keeping the focus on the product with few distractions or exit points, a single-page website can also lead to increased conversions.
Procrastinators and Perfectionists – When it comes to launching a website for a new business idea, a good plan executed now is always better than a perfect plan perpetually delayed. A one-page website is something you can get up in a matter of hours, allowing you to generate awareness for your business and start building search authority right away, instead of at some future date.
Benefits of a single page websites
Now that we have covered some scenarios where single-page websites work well, let’s take a closer look at some of their advantages.
Intuitive user experience – Single-page websites tend to promote a linear flow with a clear beginning, middle, and end, which makes their messaging easier to comprehend and well suited to a singular focused purpose. Their minimal navigation also means more scrolling and less clicking, qualities that UX studies show are both more intuitive and preferred by users.
Higher user engagement + increased conversions – The pared back user experience and focused nature of single-page websites has also been shown to increase user engagement. Calls-to-action, buttons and links to social media are upfront and easy to find, which in turn can increase conversions – for example, completions of a contact form – of up to 30% or more.
Better mobile experience + device compatibility – Multi-page sites can be challenging to navigate on mobile devices. They require more clicking and tapping, actions that can be difficult on smaller screens and a range of different devices. Also, single-page websites typically load a lot faster, something Google pays a lot of attention to when ranking a website.
Higher page authority – Links are one of the biggest factors that determine how well a website ranks. One of the benefits that a single-page website has going for it is that every link it acquires will point to the main URL. Single page websites can also be an effective way to target a specific audience using a narrow keyword focus.
Easy to build + maintain – If you’re running multiple businesses or have both a job and a side-hustle, it’s likely you don’t have a ton of spare time to spend updating a multi-page website. If you build your single-page website with a clear goal in mind, carefully considered content, smart layout, great images and focused calls-to-action, you’re going to have minimal upkeep to content with.
Ready to get online with your own domain name and single-page website, for free?
Entrepreneurship is equal parts inspiration, creativity, hard work and opportunity. While the first three factors are largely within the control of an individual, opportunity often depends on circumstance and privilege. This is why organizations that work to level the playing field for groups which historically have not had equal access to opportunities—be it women, visible minorities or LGBTQ people—play an incredibly important role helping diverse businesses succeed.
To do our part to support the small business community and diverse businesses, Webnames.ca has launched an initiative to provide a free .CA domain name, single-page LitesSite website and professional email account to Canadian small businesses, entrepreneurs, and freelancers that need one for one full year—no strings attached!
Webnames.ca is Canada's original domain registrar. Canadian owned and operated since 2000, Webnames has two lines of business, Webnames Corporate which specializes in corporate domain management, and Webnames.ca, where Canadians can find the domain names, hosting, professional email and website security tools they need to make a name for themselves online. Webnames.ca is proud to be a certified woman-owned and minority-owned business through WBE Canada and CAMSC.