If your professional services firm – legal, real estate, finance or other – is considering a website redesign, you will likely hear about parallax, a trendy design option that was originally created for video games.
Parallax sites are attractive and easy to navigate while simultaneously telling a story about your firm, almost like a narrative in a book. Instead of requiring visitors to click from page to page to acquire information, a parallax-designed page allows the user to scroll up and down to find layers of information. For a good example of a site that uses parallax design, visit Iutopi.com.
Like anything new to the web world, a parallax design also presents some problems. First, it is not mobile-friendly, so you must design a separate site for phone and tablet access.
Second, if you are intent on boosting the search engine optimization (SEO) of your site, a pure parallax design will likely hurt you. That’s because a parallax site uses only a single page. You can place all your keywords on the page, but Google does not give that approach as much weight as it does to websites with keywords on multiple pages.
In addition, a parallax page offers fewer opportunities for traditional analytics because it does not invite viewers to engage by clicking links to sub-pages. The only engagement that can be measured on a parallax page is “time on site,” which is considered a dull instrument.
If your goal is an inviting page that also boosts SEO and allows you to understand how visitors are using your site, tell your designer you want a hybrid – a parallax home page with many links to sub-pages. This could be the best approach to telling your firm’s story in a compelling way, with a homepage that contains information on the services your firm offers, current news and contact phone numbers and emails. To improve SEO and analytics, the site would provide links to additional pages with more information — perhaps your firm’s social media pages. The New Zealand Tourism site is an example of how to make this work.
For a more detailed explanation of the promise and perils of parallax design, read http://searchengineland.com/the-perils-of-parallax-design-for-seo-164919