Your content is what sets your website apart. By providing a unique online experience, you can help your business stand out and convert visitors into leads and customers.
After creating content for your website that is high quality, you will want the experience of browsing your site to match. This is something to consider when you are planning the structure of your website: How can I organize and display my content in a way that will make my users happy?
Websites can generally be divided into two categories: those that are paginated and those that use infinite scrolling. Paginated sites load new content onto separate pages, while infinite scrolling sites load new content onto the same page.
We will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both organization methods in order to decide which one works best on your website.
What Is Pagination?
Pagination is a way of organizing digital content into different pages so that users can click through them. The links are usually numbered and located at the bottom of the page. The pages usually have something in common.
Pagination is a way of dividing up content into separate pages. This is done so that users can easily navigate to the specific page they want to view. You’ll see pagination being used on many different types of websites, such as eCommerce sites and blogs. An example of this can be seen on the HubSpot Website Blog, where articles are divided into pages with numbered links at the bottom.
Advantages of Pagination
Pagination can help to improve user experience by making pages shorter and easier to navigate.
By presenting information in small chunks, webmasters make it easier for users to find the specific information they are looking for.
The navigation controls give the user a clear idea of where the product or information is located.
Pagination forces users to click through to the next page, whereas infinite scroll lets users keep scrolling down the page. This encourages users to purchase a product/service, as they are more likely to see what is on offer and click on it.
Pagination encourages users to take specific actions rather than scroll aimlessly.
Downside of Pagination
People are more likely to find what they’re looking for on the first page of a website because internet connections have gotten faster.
It’s easier to scroll through items on a mobile device than to click “next” after a random number of items.
What Is Infinite Scroll?
Infinite scroll creates the experience of an endless flow of information on a single page. When a user reaches the bottom of the page, new content loads automatically, giving the impression that the page goes on forever. This makes for a unique and interesting user experience.
Infinite scroll is a term used for a style of web design where new content is loaded continuously as the user scrolls down the page, eliminating the need for pagination. This technique is used on social media websites, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and on image-heavy websites, like Unsplash.
This web page loads new content automatically as you scroll down, and uses lazy loading to only load new images when they appear on the screen. You don’t need to click anything.
The following section will compare both methods and explain where and why they work best.
Advantages of Infinite Scroll
The advantages of infinite scroll that help websites and applications grow are that it allows users to keep scrolling through content without having to click to go to the next page, and it also loads new content automatically as the user scrolls down.
The vast majority of internet users browse feeds of websites that use infinite scroll. This is because it is appealing conceptually, and it is applied to processes that display products, support online shopping, and conduct e-commerce. Infinite scroll compels the user to keep scrolling until they find something that catches their eye.
Mobile Device Friendly
The 24/7 presence of mobile devices makes it much easier for websites/applications with infinite scroll to get users’ attention and keep them engaged.
Using infinite scroll to load content on a website is better than using pagination because it is faster and provides a smoother experience for the user.
The Downside of Infinite Scrolling
While continuous scrolling can be beneficial for content that is always changing, it should be used carefully. For example, on eCommerce sites, it would be difficult to find products by feature if all the products are presented in a linear fashion on one continuous page.
Since content is organized in a hierarchy, you can use sorting, filtering, or navigation techniques to help find the content you want.
If infinite scrolling is done correctly, users should be able to scroll through a list of products or results without interruption. However, because of this, users tend to scroll more and pay less attention to individual products on the list.
Scrolls that never end can be great for Category pages, but they might not encourage people to interact with the site.
While infinite scrolling does have some advantages, it is not ideal for users who want to be able to easily find specific types of information. These users would prefer a more traditional navigation system where each link leads them closer to their goal.
Pagination vs. Infinite Scroll
The best way to find out if pagination or infinite scroll works better for your website is to try out both and see which provides a better user experience.
Likewise, if a user is looking for a specific product on an eCommerce site, being able to jump straight to the product page is key. Pagination and infinite scrolling are popular for different reasons. Pagination is popular in eCommerce because it better enables product searching and cataloging. Infinite scrolling is popular because it allows users to keep scrolling through content without having to click to the next page.
While social media users may not be looking for anything specific, they still want to be entertained or informed. Infinite scroll provides a way to show relevant content in a way that will keep users engaged. This is why you’ll find infinite scroll on news websites and user-generated content sites.
We will now discuss the advantages and disadvantages of infinite scroll and pagination in detail.
The main purpose of infinite scroll is to keep users engaged and on the page for as long as possible. If users have no specific goal in mind, infinite scroll will continue to load relevant content in a way that is efficient, easy to consume, and uninterrupted.
Pagination is better for getting users to their desired content rather than freeform exploration. With freeform exploration, users have to click “next” regularly and wait for new pages to load which makes it time-consuming. However, if you lengthen your pages and optimize load time, it will limit this inconvenience.
Infinite scroll is not a perfect solution to slow loading. The more visitors scroll, the more content needs to be loaded, slowing page performance. To lower the bandwidth used, only reduce image sizing to what is required.
Ease of Use
If you divide your content into pages, you can be confident that users will know your site’s layout. As long as your pages are well-organized, visitors will have no difficulty clicking between them.
Even though it may not be “hard” to click on links, you should still try to reduce the number of clicks as much as possible. This is because people expect to do as little clicking as possible to get to the information or page they are looking for.
If your content type is appropriate for infinite scroll, your site will be easy to use. Most of us find it natural to simply scroll down to see more content. This is fast, easy, and responsive, which will lead to a positive experience for visitors.
The user-friendliness of infinite scroll is especially noticeable on touch screens. This feature was designed for mobile devices because it minimizes the need to press buttons, which can be frustrating on phones.
Ease of Implementation
Most site builders, CMSs, and blogging platforms use pagination as the default way to structure content. If you’re building a site, chances are you’ll have access to pagination features right away.
Adding infinite scrolling to a website requires more work than simply adding the feature, because it changes how users interact with the site. While this may make things easier for users, it makes it more difficult for website publishers. This is because you can’t just add infinite scroll to a paginated site and expect it to work perfectly.
Instead of having your visitors click through pages of content, you can use infinite scrolling to have new content load automatically as they scroll down. Keep in mind, however, that if you’re transitioning an entire site from pages to infinite scroll, you’ll need to spend time reorganizing your site’s content.
Although the amount of work may seem overwhelming, don’t be discouraged. Try implementing infinite scroll on individual pages and see how users interact with it and how well it performs. This will help you decide if it’s worth changing your entire site to use infinite scroll.
The advantages and disadvantages of each page type make them more suited to certain advertising strategies.
Sites that want to be brand-safe and have a sales team that attracts premium advertisers and agencies should protect the performance of their ad units to have the maximum viewability and view time.
If you are selling a large proportion of your advertising directly or in private marketplace deals, then protecting the value of your impressions will be very important and more beneficial to you than maximizing the potential impressions you could serve.
If you sell your inventory on the open exchange, then CPM and viewability will be less important. Yes, they are good indicators of performance, but the overall goal will be maximizing revenue and minimizing your unfilled rate.
Infinite Scroll Bar vs. Load More Buttons: Which Setup is Right for Me?
The best way to find the optimal layout and format for your site is to test different options.
Remember that your goal is to increase revenue, not just impressions. CPMs may go down on pages with infinite scroll, but you can make up for it with more impressions and slightly lower CPMs.
When considering how to design your website, you should also think about what kind of content you have and how users will interact with and consume it. Social media platforms know that they can keep users engaged on the site longer by providing them with an abundance of content.
A news site should be designed in a way that makes it easy for users to find the specific story or piece of information they are looking for. This can be done by building the site around pages or load more buttons. This will also make it easier for users to navigate to the areas of the site that they are most interested in.
Can I Have the Best of Both Worlds?
Yes, you can! … For the most part.
While lazy loading ad units with infinite scroll can help improve viewability, it can also lead to a decrease in served impressions. This is because lazy loading can cause some ads to not be served at all. However, if you can get it right, you will see a spike in CPMs.
We’ve worked with Google to improve the cost-per-milae (CPM) for 50 of our clients by 40%. You can read more about it in this case study from Publift.
There is a lot of experimentation in finding the correct page point at which to begin loading the ad unit to ensure you maintain page speed whilst making sure ads appear in time for users to see them as they scroll down the page.
This is something that our account managers spend a lot of time on when they are setting up pages with infinite scroll. This can have a big impact on the amount of money you can make per view.
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