Exploring two possible strategies for my site, one seems better for user experience, one seems better for SEO. Looking for insight to help choose one or the other.
My initial concept was a single page website - index.htm contains ALL content, but presents it in a clean, intuitive layout. The user is presented with a 100%x100% screen that shows five subtopic summaries. No scrolling is ever needed. Click a summary, a detail panel opens over top of the summaries, taking over the whole viewing area until the user closes it. All the detail panels are on the one page, but hidden from view until requested. I feel this is the optimal user experience.
Reading up on SEO, this technique presents some problems. According to most sources I've found, content tucked away in on-demand panels is either not indexed, or completely indexed, or partially indexed with a credibility hit. Even if it is completely indexed, what happens when a Google user searches for a keyword contained in one of my hidden sections? My only url is index.htm... if search results can only link back to that, the user still has to click the appropriate summary to get what they came for.
SEO and general searchability concerns lead in the direction of a separate htm file for each panel, and traditional (1990s) 'a href' links. It's just so much less slick than the nice panel transitions I can get with Plan A.
Is there some way to construct my original site concept that avoids the search issues? Or should I give up on what I believe is best for the user in favor of making Google happy? Visitors that can't find me don't help me.