If you want a website at the fore of visual design, you will probably have come across parallax by now. But some digital marketing experts are divided as to whether or not parallax can hinder your efforts at search engine optimization. Parallax is a new design trend for modern websites that allows one page to move up and down against different backgrounds. It produces a 3D effect and is favored for its benefits to engagement. Hubspot explains that parallax is a technique where:
The background moves at a slower rate in the foreground, creating an illusion that looks like it is 3D.
Many websites have started to employ this technique, but if overused, it may look gimmicky. But if you consider how this technique will make your website more interactive with the audience, it can be very successful.
So why do you need to be careful about SEO and parallax designs? Search Engine Journal explains it like this:
It could be hard for Google to know what to make of all that varied content. There are simply fewer pages to rank, which can also be a drawback. But then again, this really depends on the nature of the site – if it is a contest page, then you will probably only need to rank for one or two key phrases anyway.
Fortunately, there are ways to have the best of both worlds without losing out. Here are three techniques you can apply to your parallax site to ensure you do not lose points on SEO.
Using JQuery For One Page Web Design
Using JQuery is beneficial for a one page website design that needs to have SEO applied, but your Analytics might show a slightly higher than normal bounce rate. This is probably the most advanced of all the techniques listed here, but if you want to apply parallax to more than one site, it is worth learning. Moz.com explains in more detail how the technology can address the problem of SEO:
The solution’s use the help of jQuery’s ‘pushState’s’ functionality. This allows a parallax scrolling page to be ‘cut’ into various sections which can be identified in the SERPs, each with their unique URL and meta data. As a result, one single page to be indexed multiple times, for different content.
Start With SEO Architecture, Then Place Parallax After
The other and easier way to ensure your parallax is search friendly is to create the SEO infrastructure first and then to place the parallax on the search friendly url afterwards.
You should be careful with the parallax so that you do not make the page’s loading time take too long. One parallax per page is recommended to help avoid this.
Use Parallax Sparingly
Of course, if you believe in the adage, “everything in moderation,” consider adding the parallax only to your home page. This will also ensure the site doesn’t become too gimmicky and sacrifice technical SEO benefit for design trends.
Also consider, like anything your parallax should have a purpose, namely to improve your engagement levels on your site. If it doesn’t do this, think hard and determine whether you really need it. If it does not have an objective and you just want it there for more visual impact you might want to reconsider. Unless the website is being used as a calling card and not for the purposes of generating leads (which is highly unlikely) it could just be a hindrance.
If you can see the value in having parallax on your site then it is essential you invest the appropriate time in ensuring your site is still SEO compliant.