Web designers and developers keep on experimenting with new methods of creating web pages to add value more value to SEO and site ranking in the SERPs. Among the latest advancements, parallax scrolling is a widely accepted concept due to its user-friendliness.
What is parallax scrolling?
Parallax is a web design technique, which is primarily the concept of creating the web page background moving at a slower rate when compared to the foreground. It can be used to create a 3D effect on the web pages as the users scroll down the page. It can be overwhelming sometimes, but if used sparingly, it gives a beautiful and subtle feel of depth. Conventionally, astronomers use the parallax principle to measure the distances between stars.
The most attractive factor is that the parallax scrolling pages that are created now are pretty long and hosted on a single URL. That, however, causes SEO issues as a single page will not be able to carry top rankings of various competitive terms. For the sake of SEO efficacy, the keywords may need to be deployed among multiple URLs and thereby increasing the visibility of a website through a good internal linking architecture.
Keeping this in mind, the primary question design experts have in mind is:
Are long-scrolling websites useful for SEO?
Many of the experts claim that that parallax scrolling websites are not much SEO-friendly. That does not mean that they cannot be made SEO friendly. Yes, there are many ways to make long-scrolling SEO friendly pages.
Parallax scrolling is considered to be the latest in style nowadays. This trend in website creation started back in 2011, and it was Ian Coyle who created the first parallax website for Nike. However, we can see that most of the parallax scrolling sites have single-page architectures. Since the majority of the sites that use parallax scrolling are limited to one-page design, people have a misconception that parallax scrolling is all about building it on a single page.
Creating parallax scrolling sites for SEO
Before planning a site with parallax scrolling and making it ideal for search engines, there are a few important things you need to keep in mind.
• Parallax scrolling moves with various layers of text content, backgrounds, and images with different speeds.
• The most common on-site SEO requirements like schema and footer address are applicable in parallax scrolling too. You need to start with an SEO architecture which then needs to be applied to the design.
• Parallax scrolling may not be right for mobile viewing as it makes a website too heavy.
Here, we will discuss some basic techniques of how to use jQuery to enhance the SEO value of your site.
1. Creating single page design with parallax scrolling with jQuery
This method can effectively address the issue of one-page design that uses parallax scrolling, and tweak it for the search engines. This technique is discussed first as there are many single page parallax scrolling sites out there now.
The ideal solution put forth by SEO Agency experts is with the help of pushState’s functionality of jQuery. It allows a standard parallax scrolling page to be cut into different sections, which can be identified as separate pages in the SERPs, each having unique meta data and URL of its own. It is a single page getting indexed multiple times for various contents.
• Pros – This is an ideal fix for the existing single-page parallax websites, which need to get SEO benefits. It is also an ideal approach to small websites which are not interested in any hard-core analytics.
• Cons – This method is ideally wrong for analytics. Web page bounce rates may be higher on such sites as the scrolling through a single page site may finish quickly. For a software analytical program, it may look like a rapid entry and exit per URL.
There are many sites which don’t technically fit into the definition of parallax scrolling, but they use the JQuery infinite scrolling technique to achieve the same effect. These sites allow the users to scroll through the entire site in one stretch through multiple urls. It does not actually play with different velocities and layers.
2. Multi-page parallax sites on SEO architecture
It is another simple but effective technique, which is easy to understand and implement. You can start with a simple SEO web architecture and later place the parallax scrolling effects on each of the URL for SEO. Wanda Anglin has written a complete tutorial on this technique.
There are many websites with a strict SEO architecture and put parallax scrolling on all the internal URLs. Using jQuery, they do accomplish layered movements at different velocities. However, there is no illusion of depth impact there.
• Pros – This approach is suitable for analytics and that particular URL with its content. It is also easy to implement.
• Cons – Page loading time may be a problem while adopting this technique as extreme parallax scrolling may take browser long to load content. However, designing individually for each URL may be expensive.
The best recommendation here is to use the parallax scrolling sparingly only through the entire website instead of each URL. This approach reduces the loading time and gives a natural finish to the site.
3. Home page parallax scrolling with regular SEO architecture
It is another ideal approach to put parallax scrolling on the homepage and then include the other URLs as usual without parallax scrolling. It is not used in many of the new websites.
• Pros – This approach helps keep the sites much flexible and lighter. These types of sites are also easier to design and also very cost effective when compared to the above site development techniques.
• Cons – There is no scope of practicing optimum creativity or making your website impressively “interactive.”
There may be other techniques of making parallax scrolling sites user-friendly. If the readers are aware of any such smart techniques used by any SEO company, please feel free to share your knowledge and ideas here as comments. Moreover, remember that parallax scrolling is just a web designing technique and not a universal standard, and you can do a lot of experimentations with it in various web architectures.