Today, parallax websites generate a lot of confusion within the SEO community. Since most of them have a one-page architecture, SEO professionals tend to notice that parallax websites literally feature just one single page and are extremely unfriendly for SEO. With multiple H1 headers competing with one another, the lost potential to incorporate metadata and the inability to target specific keywords on each page, parallax seems very problematic for SEO purposes. Here’s all you should know about the impact of parallax scrolling on SEO.
Having all website elements on one page seems a great idea, but the truth is that it creates more problems than it brings benefits. If you’ve got only one page to work with, you’ll be ready to stuff it with all the material you’ve got – images, text and videos. Consequently, you’ll create an extremely heavy homepage – and that’s something Google really hates.
Slow load time
Google doesn’t appreciate heavy pages because they take forever to load. Users are not fond of them either – we all know what long load time does to a website’s conversion rate, right?
Having a keyword in your URL is something every SEO professional is after. If you have other pages at your disposal, you can easily place other keywords there, but in parallax you’ve got just one.
This means that if you want to include more than one top relevant keyword, you’ll need to cram two or three of them in your URL – this kind of web address not only looks overly optimized, but also plain weird.
The H1 problem
Usually, you’d like to include one H1 per page. Readable to both users and search engines, it’s simply a good SEO practice. When your website is based on a one-page design… well, there you have it. Pile up all your keywords in a single heading and you’re guaranteed to look unreadable to users and strange to search engines.
Parallax is not mobile friendly
A parallax website might fail to work on mobile devices. Having a website that doesn’t work on tablets and smartphones is today a major web design faux pas – in case you didn’t notice, the global usage of mobile devices is rapidly growing. Users expect websites to be responsive and work as well on mobile as they do on desktop.
Parallax might be unfriendly to some browsers
That’s not the end of trouble. Sometimes it happens that a parallax website doesn’t work properly across all web browsers – if it runs correctly on Firefox, it might fail on Google Chrome. Sadly, the same goes for Safari and IE.
What does it mean for you? Before you launch your parallax website, you’ll need to spend much more time than usual in testing it in all possible configurations of browsers, operating systems and devices.
Parallax design can be problematic if what you’re after is user engagement – and believe me, every SEO specialist and web designer with a knack for UX will be interested in this kind of data.
How to deal with all this? There are various techniques out there that adopt a sort of hybrid or combined approaches to improve the website’s SEO, while maintaining its engaging parallax style. Have a look at this collection of solutions and examples on the Moz blog – they will provide you with a firm foundation for creating your own, custom solutions.