The Trendiest is Not Always The Best: Parallax Scrolling Can Disrupt Your Website’s SEO!
If you always thought that website design and fashion have nothing in common, you could not be more wrong. Just like fashion, web design changes, drifts and adapts to the new world. It goes through cycles of adopting what is new and fresh, discarding the old and forgotten. Illustrated backgrounds, video-rich content and animated GIFs in website design are some of the more prominent examples of this that we get to see in WordPress sites in the recent months. Another new trend called parallax has made its way into the website design main array. There are more designers than you can imagine who are already using parallax profusely.
Why is parallax still so charming?
Parallax is one of those design trends that draws inspiration from old concepts, yet it is very new to the design world. The elements on the webpage move independent of each other and render a 3D feel in a 2D design environment. It sounds quite delightful and unique, but is it something that benefits your website performance at all? We have always heard whispers of parallax eating into a website’s SEO, and today, we are here to explore the real reasons parallax scrolling might be harmful to websites. BigDropInc.com has a range of different effects that can replace parallax without harming a site’s loading speed or SEO.
To understand how parallax affects the user experience (UX) and the search engine optimization of your site, we first need to delve into the details of the types of parallax scrolling implementations:
- Repeat parallax: It uses scrolling displays on a background that repeats itself.
- Raster Parallax: It gives an illusion of movement.
- Sprite Method: This is the simplest of them all. It uses individually controllable elements on the page.
- Layered parallax: This is a little complex. The background objects move at a different speed than the foreground objects.
How does parallax affect loading time?
Parallax gives an impression of seamless design, high end rendering and 3D graphics, but parallax is never famous for its loading time. Pages with parallax often add a few microseconds to their loading time. Research shows that if the page loading time of Amazon were to increase by 0.1 seconds, the company would lose upwards of $1.3 billion.
The world of e-commerce is very competitive. Losing speed is one of the worst things that can happen to your site. You can drop hundreds of customers or even thousands if you end up being slower than your competitors. So, before adding parallax scrolling to your website design, consider this – you will be sacrificing page loading speed for great looks!
How does parallax affect SEO?
As of now, Google uses page loading speed as a ranking signal. Google will use mobile page speed as a ranking signal in their SERPs on mobile devices from July 2018. It is a strong reason for you to reconsider parallax for your site. You need to take all the steps to make your site faster and at the same time enhance your UX. Mobile is ubiquitous right now, and there is no point denying it merely because you want a prettier website.
You can always check the current speed of your website and individual web pages by using the LightHouse tool. Do not forget to consult the PageSpeed report for your latest optimization scores. If your site is smaller than usual, PageSpeed Insights might have some trouble with providing the ratings accurately. PageSpeed Insights uses data from Chrome Browser for data collection, and it is not enough to judge a small site’s speeds. Try Pingdom and GTmetrix for a comprehensive check-up of your site loading abilities before Google starts emphasizing more on page loading speed.
There are several arguments against parallax that only begin with page speed. Here are a few of the cases that experts from all over the world have pitted against parallax design for the last one year:
There is no keyword in the URL
URLs are not just for bots. Modern websites know enough to include keywords in the URLs to make them more human-friendly too. Google bots are becoming more “intelligent” by the day, and the use of sensible target keywords in the URL often helps the sites rank better after crawling.
There is only ONE URL for a bulk of content
The entire content of the website comes in the form of a single web page. Thus, Bing, Yahoo, and Google can only rank the site for one URL as opposed to other websites that can have multiple pages ranking high on the search engine results page. It also entails fewer internal links. As a result of all that, your organic search visibility suffers beyond comprehension.
Mobile devices are not as parallax-friendly
It might come as a shock to you, but most modern mobile devices do not encourage parallax websites. With Google’s mobile-first policy, your website rank is bound to suffer if you try to serve your audience with a new design that their mobile devices cannot understand. In reality, unlike responsive sites, parallax websites need two versions – one for the standard desktop users and the other for smartphone users. It can rank as duplicate content, and it can attract penalty from Google. It also involves the processes of mobile detection and redirection. It significantly slows down the page loading process.
No particular stress on navigation
Parallax design rarely has the chance to make a site quickly navigable. It is quite annoying to scroll to the very bottom of a page for one line of information that the visitor needs. Several sites provide dedicated pages for individual chunks of data. Parallax sites often lose their visitors to these well-designed multi-page responsive websites irrespective of devices. Just adding a down arrow and a “return to top” pointer is NEVER enough to elevate UX. Poor UX will contribute to a below average optimization and low organic traffic.
Several designers are still harping on using parallax since they claim to have bypassed the SEO challenges that this design trend poses. However, punching different pages such as About Us, Contact Forms, Subscription Forms, List of Products and Services, Case Studies, Business Ideals and Payment Options together in one page can never be good for your brand reputation. Start putting more stress on your customers and website UX, and you will automatically be able to prioritize the design trends that your site needs.
Author Bio – Barrack Diego is blogger and content writer for BigDropInc.com who write many articles on Web Design, business, SEO and technology. He enjoys reading new thing on internet. He spends lot of time on social media.