Parallax Scrolling And SEO

Understanding Best Practices For Parallax Scrolling and SEO in Website Design

Responsive web design is constantly evolving and web designers and developers constantly face the challenge of implementing user- and SEO-friendly features, while also producing eye-catching websites. Parallax scrolling is a popular web design trend used by web designers to add the illusion of depth to websites. While the technique produces an appealing look to the website, it comes with several major disadvantages if used incorrectly. Understanding the effects of parallax scrolling and SEO and how to use it correctly on websites is very important.

What Is Parallax Scrolling?

Parallax scrolling is a web design technique that creates an optical illusion on the web page. The technique causes the background and foreground images to move at different speeds. The effect works when different layers are used in the website design process. The parallax effect gives the website a 3D look and feel, offering users a dynamic web experience. It usually works by making the background move slower than the foreground. The human eye perceives this to mean that the background is further away. While parallax scrolling is fairly new to web design, the technique has been used previously in animation and other mediums. As technology and computer graphics have evolved, we can now use these interesting visual effects in web designs too.

How Does Parallax Scrolling Impact SEO?

Some website designers tend to stay away from parallax scrolling because it can reduce the website’s ranking on search engines. This is because there are a few of the common problems that arise when creating parallax websites.

Single Page Designs

Often, a parallax site is just a single page. Visitors can scroll down for longer without needing to redirect to other web pages on a site. While not all parallax sites are designed this way, many of them are. This results in problems with the site architecture and the SEO ranking. A website that only has one page to index on search engines results in a lower ranking.

Slow Performance and Loading Time

Parallax scrolling can increase the load time of a web page due to the increase in content on a page. This is partly due to the design using two layers of images and other behind-the-scene script elements required to create the visual effect.

Poor Mobile Performance

Parallax scrolling is not mobile-friendly. So, a parallax design can result in a bad user experience for those who access the website from mobile devices. As more and more users visit sites from mobiles and other handheld devices, it is essential to cater to them.

Not Browser-Friendly

Parallax scrolling websites are not always compatible with all web browsers. For example, while your website may work well on Google Chrome, it might cause issues when viewing it from Internet Explorer.

Difficult To Optimize For Keywords

When you have a single-page site, it becomes much more difficult to rank for specific keywords. Sites with multiple content-rich pages are more likely to rank for different keywords as each page can target a specific keyword or phrase and provide relevant information on it. When search engines index these pages, they can identify what each separate page is about to ensure it pops up when someone searches a relevant term. Trying to rank for keywords using only one page of content could be bad for SEO. This is because it’s easy to fall into the mistake of keyword stuffing.

Best Practices For SEO-Friendly Parallax Scrolling Websites

While it seems as though parallax scrolling is just bad for SEO, this is not the case. Parallax web design can create successful web pages if done correctly.

Assign Internal Links To Sections

When creating a one-page parallax design for a site, you can improve the SEO of the site with internal linking. Adding internal links that navigate visitors to different sections on the page will give search engines more to index. The search engine’s index will then have multiple pages for the site despite it being a single-page site.

Add A Blog

A site’s search engine ranking can be improved by adding a blog. Blogs help to generate organic traffic and enable you to have multiple pages that each target unique keywords. Adding a blog will leave the parallax effect in place while adding pages for SEO purposes.

Add One Page of Parallax Scrolling to a Multi-page Site

Parallax scrolling doesn’t mean the website has to only have one page. While many parallax websites are created with infinity scrolling, some parallax sites use a traditional site architecture. Creating the illusion of depth on the homepage works well to draw users in. Then the rest of the site can be more practical in terms of parallax scrolling and SEO.

Moderation Is Key

Most good things are best served in moderation, including parallax scrolling effects. Designing unique effects with different background images can make a good impression on visitors. However, by their 10th visit to the site, it may become overbearing. When including parallax scrolling on a site, be careful to not overdo the effect. Add the design technique to certain elements but don’t let it hide the message of the site.

Conclusion

Parallax scrolling seems to be a design trend that isn’t going away any time soon. While it can impact SEO negatively, there are ways to avoid this from happening and launch a website that offers the best of both parallax scrolling and SEO.

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Parachute Design

Parachute Design Group Inc. is a boutique Toronto web design agency specializing in beautiful hand-made website design, custom logo design and branding.