Can parallax design be bad for a website’s SEO?
Hence the chatter.
But this shouldn’t deter you from considering parallax effects for your site, because any design style can be bad for SEO if it causes a site to load slowly or reduces it to a single URL.
But those are issues of execution and architecture, not blights on the parallax style of design itself.
Parallax effects on websites are hypnotic. That’s why you are seeing parallax effects pop up all over the web.
And parallax can actually help, not hurt, your SEO.
Parallax pulls your audience in
I told you not long ago that parallax effects help your website tell a better story.
As I mentioned in that post:
No other recent web design technique has done more to impact the way we tell stories online than parallax.
And if your site is telling a better story, then it’s connecting more with your audience.
And if you are connecting more with your audience, then important visitor behavior metrics are better and your content is likely being shared more widely.
And if your content is being shared more widely, then you are probably increasing your presence in social media and getting more attention and links from influencers.
All of which is not just good but essential for optimizing your content for discovery and conversion (which is what you really mean when you say “SEO”“).
This is why parallax design can be such a boon for your content optimization.
Provided you’re not a nincompoop about it.
Avoid these parallax pitfalls
There are some pretty simple ways that parallax design, when overdone, can negatively impact your site’s SEO:
- When it reduces your website to a single URL: A single page seriously restricts how search engines can see what you do, plus gives you just one URL that can appear in search results. Not good for discovery. (Be prepared to get cozy with jQuery if you want to implement a workaround for this.)
- When it causes your website to load slowly: Bloated code will reduce load times, especially on mobile devices. And site speed matters.
- When it limits the investment you can make it content and promotion: What is the opportunity cost in time and money of a large-scale, custom parallax design? Because it won’t come cheap and be good. Your site may look pretty, but will you have the resources left over so it says anything of note? Or so that you can drive people to it?
If the search engines have enough information to properly index and rank your site, it loads quickly enough, and your content is good and getting found … then your site is well on its way to being optimized.
The problem, of course, and the reason why you’re reading this, is that avoiding these pitfalls is easier said than done when you add parallax effects to a site.
So don’t do it yourself.
Let Parallax Pro for Genesis do the heavy lifting
If you want your site to be optimized, then it’s important to layer a design on top of an optimized core architecture, not the other way around. Foundation first, right?
WordPress provides a solid optimization foundation, and the Genesis Framework sits right on top to optimize it even more. (That’s why optimization is Feature #1 right here.)
And while the release of Parallax Pro for the Genesis Framework was an “amazing” event for our StudioPress team, nothing about Parallax Pro counteracts the SEO benefits Genesis was geared to deliver.
The reason is because the parallax effects of Parallax Pro are not overdone, nor do they reduce a site to one URL — so you keep the WordPress post and page architecture that you (and the search engines) love.
What our StudioPress team did is add a subtle parallax effect that doesn’t require a bunch of additional code. In contrast, most parallax sites have tons of layers and hardcore animations, which may look slick but are sure to increase load times and cost a pretty penny.
Parallax Pro enables you to add the parallax effects to your homepage that draw your audience into your story … but without the site shrinkage, code bloat, and cost explosion that can kill the optimization (and more importantly, the ROI) of a parallax project.
Bottom line: it’s a win-win that — at less than $100 — fits any design budget.
But enough talk.
Want to see it in action?
Here are three sites using Parallax Pro
Each of these sites is built on Parallax Pro for Genesis, and each is well regarded by audiences and search engines alike:
What I like about the dustin.tv design in particular is how the navigation bar is invisible upon first navigation to the page, thus highlighting attention on the logo and call to action.
Once you scroll down (indicating to the site that you aren’t ready to convert right now), then the nav bar appears to help you find your way.
And speaking of finding your way …
Get started with Parallax Pro today
In addition to all of these, one of the major benefits of every child theme for the Genesis Framework is that you can have one installed on your WordPress site, customized, and live for your audience within 15 minutes of purchasing.
Parallax Pro is no different.
And it’s the best way to get the state-of-the-art storytelling device on your website without sacrificing SEO.
Our Free Workshop
On February 19th at 3pm Eastern, Copyblogger partner Tim Stoddart is teaching a free workshop on SEO titled, Cut Through SEO Confusion and Get More Google Traffic. Simply fill out the form below, and we’ll save your seat for the upcoming live training. Learn more about the workshop here.