Our webinar last week – Intermediate Writing for the Web — was well attended with lots of model students! We had many questions than we didn’t have time to address during the session. So, we’re tackling another one of those questions today in our blog.
Instead of using accordions, why not split the content into several pages? Wouldn’t that be better for SEO?
Great question and I can say with confidence that it depends.
When creating Web content, writers are advised to use an inverted pyramid style. Important points are presented first with supporting detail after. So you can’t hold that zinger of a point for the end – you need to lead with it. In addition, visual cues like headers are used to help readers skim the article efficiently.
I mentioned in the webinar that it’s also common to use accordions instead of headers. They’re like headers with the subordinate section collapsed underneath. Clicking the heading opens and closes the section. The advantage is that the headings are easy and quick to skim without scrolling, effectively allowing you to have longer pages without some of the penalties of longer pages.
But, as the webinar viewer pointed out, separating independent topics into separate pages can help with SEO and make those pages more effective to end users.
So should we “go long” with our pages or “divide and conquer”?
This topic, in varying forms, has been a source of some debate at Geonetric. Our official stance is that you need to assess this on a case-by-case basis. What are the points of consideration?
- Are the sub-topics something that people search for?
- Is there enough material to make a substantive page if the subject were split out? Pages should be at least a few hundred words minimum, or more than one paragraph.
- Is the consolidated page too long? Keep it under about 2,000 words or the length of a typical magazine article (not a feature article).
So let’s say you’ve got content on your multi-disciplinary approach to your addiction treatment program? Make it a section on the addiction treatment program page. Content on occupational therapy, recreational therapy, physical therapy and play therapy? Split those out – people search for them independently and they’re worth having their own page of content.