Infinite Scroll and the Load More button are two popular methods among today’s publishers to load page content. Both of them have different impacts on user experience, page loading, and even ad revenue. You need to consider various factors including your goals and the type of content on the site to decide the one that suits you well.
In this post, we’ll address all your questions and help you make an informed decision on Infinite Scroll vs Load More. Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
- What is Infinite Scroll?
- What are the benefits of Infinite Scroll?
- What are the downsides of Infinite Scroll?
- How to improve infinite scroll?
- What is the Load More Button
- Why would you want the Load More Button
- Why you may avoid the Load More Button
- How to improve the Load More button?
- Infinite Scroll vs Load More Button: What’s Best?
- What’s Next?
What is Infinite Scroll?
Infinite Scroll, as the name suggests, gives an unlimited stream of content to the user. How does it work? The page starts populating more content as soon as the user reaches near the end. As a result, there’s always more content available to be scrolled.
What kind of content is ideal for Infinite Scroll? This style of navigation is best suited for content like social media feeds, news feeds, etc. The users on the social media sites and news sites are open to consuming a vast spectrum of content for an indefinite amount of time, that’s why it makes sense to deliver the content continuously.
Can you monetize your content while using Infinite Scroll if you use Google’s services? Yes, Google allows you to monetize infinitely scrolling pages through dynamic ads. For a complete guide, refer to our post about monetizing your Infinite Scroll pages via GPT tag.
What are the benefits of Infinite Scroll?
Longer Engagement: The user can be kept engaged for a long time because there’s no interruption in content consumption. Without infinite scroll, the user has to stop and click on a link to go to the next page or to load the next batch of content. The requirement to click creates a friction point that motivates the user to bounce from your site.
More Impressions: You can keep serving more and more ads as the user keeps scrolling. As a result, the volume of delivered impressions rises significantly.
Increased Revenue Per Session: The revenue per session increases automatically when the user remains engaged for a long time. As you can serve more ad impressions, the overall revenue increases substantially as well. Read more about increasing revenue per session on AdTech Insider.
Content Discovery: Infinite Scroll can be used to bring your old content in front of the user. Highly engaging evergreen pieces of content can be added to the content stream so that the user can discover them. If the content is great, your old articles can get consistent traffic with Infinite Scroll.
Which sites should use infinite scroll?
Sites with user-generated content (say Twitter) generally have a huge amount of it. The content is produced in real-time and the user wants to see it within minutes of production. Infinite Scroll gives you the needed rapid delivery in such cases.
What are the downsides of Infinite Scroll?
Lower Viewability: There will always be some ads below the fold because the stream is loading in advance. Some of those ads will remain unviewed whenever the user decides to close the page. You have to make sure that the ads load only when there’s the highest probability of being viewed.
Lower CPMs: As viewability falls, so do the CPMs. The problem intensifies when your buyers are bidding on the basis of viewability.
Inefficient Navigation: Infinite Scroll can bring many navigational problems to the page. For example, reaching the footer doesn’t remain an option, finding what you have scrolled past a few minutes back becomes very difficult.
Running Footer: The pages with finite scrolling have a stable footer with important links like About Us, Contact Us, etc. You cannot reach the footer on pages with an infinite scroll. It can be irritating to the visitors who like to use the footer for the links.
SEO Complications: Google will expand your content on a very long viewport and it’ll crawl only the content that the viewport can accommodate. It means, your content may not get crawled by the search engine after a limit is reached.
How to improve infinite scroll?
Consider these suggestions to maintain a good user experience on your site:
Lazy Loading: No matter which implementation you are doing, you want your pages to be fast and efficient. You want your CPMs and viewability intact. Lazy loading is perfect for these goals. But if you are not sure, read this post about whether you should lazy load or not. You should also read about how to get the best out of lazy loading on adexchanger.
Sidenote: Do not confuse between Infinite Scroll and lazy Loading.
What’s the difference between Infinite Scroll and Lazy Loading?
Infinite Scroll loads the entire resources of the next page as soon as the user nears the page end, thereby removing the need to click to reach the next page. Lazy Loading requests just the necessary resources only when they are demanded.
Back Button: The user can go very deep and get lost when your content is very long. It can be a tedious task if the user decides to go back to the top of the page. Add a button to any of the right corners of your page to solve this problem.
Add the Load More button: Add the button to your infinite scroll to avoid the problem of the running footer. For example, let the user scroll for 5-10 articles and then ask whether to continue loading more content. It’ll save your page from becoming heavy too.
What is the Load More Button?
The Load More button is a hybrid method of implementing Infinite Scroll where instead of loading automatically, the next page is loaded on the user’s demand. In simple words, the next page loads only when the user clicks on the button. But, the Load More button can also be added to article pages with finite length to make them fast and organized with better possibilities of content discovery.
Load More button is suited for e-commerce sites and pages with definite purposes, for example, “how-to” articles, etc. A user looking for a specific piece of information, say how to monetize mobile traffic effectively, isn’t open to an unlimited feed of suggestions for every kind of monetization strategy on earth. So, it’s best to ask whether he wants to move forward after a certain point.
Why would you want the Load More Button?
Lighter Page: The pages become lighter as there are fewer resources to load until the user hits the button. It improves the page load speed.
Choice and Control: The user has the choice to load the content and has more control over the page than an infinite scroll. So, the ‘Load More’ button can be your preferred choice when giving control to the user is your priority.
Brings Up BTF Ads:
Why do publishers use the Load More button?
Many publishers also use the Load More button to bring up the ads below the fold. Publishers add this button after a few lines of an article and obfuscate the remaining portion. By doing so, they bring up the ads that otherwise would be at the end of the article. As a result, even if the article fails to engage the user, the ads would still have better chances of getting viewed.
Better Viewability: The Load More button doesn’t render the resources of the page’s remaining portion until the user clicks on it. As a result, there are no pre-loaded ads that are waiting to arrive in the viewport. The ads load only when the user has clicked on the button and is about to reach the newly loaded section. It results in improved viewability.
Why you may avoid Load More Button
Fewer Impressions: The Load More button will always have fewer impressions compared to Infinite Scroll because ads with the remaining content are loaded only after the user takes action. But, it shouldn’t be a problem if your improved viewability and CPMs can make up for the loss.
Friction Point: The Load More Button acts as a friction point when compared with Infinite Scroll. The added requirement to click before accessing the content can stop the user from moving forward.
SEO Complications: Google may not crawl the content that sits behind the Load More Button. It means you can lose your search engine rankings, organic traffic, and the revenue that it can generate.
How to Improve the Load More button?
Back Button: The back to the top button works here too. The user can go back quickly if he has hit the load more button too many times.
Change Ad Placements: The number of impressions falls because the ads aren’t loading below the fold (which is a good thing). But you can add placements at different positions to make up for the lost impressions. Read our guide to find the best placements on your site.
Use AXT: Active Exposure Time will give you more opportunities to deliver ads with limited ad units. It’ll deliver ads only when the user is active on the page, this will improve your viewability as well. Not sure how it works? Read our detailed article on AXT here.
Pull Up Your Ads: Make sure that the ads at the bottom of the article appear right below the load more button. These ads will compensate for the ones that are hidden until the user expands the article. It’ll mitigate the impact of the load more button on your number of impressions.
Unique URL: Search engines require a unique URL for a page to be crawled. It means that if the content loaded after the click event isn’t mapped to a unique URL then it wouldn’t be crawled. So ask your SEO experts to ensure the mapping. Kindly note that there’s no official declaration from Google’s end that says mapping will solve the problem for the Load More Button, it’s an inference that professionals have drawn from Google’s SEO best practices for Infinite Scroll.
Infinite Scroll vs load More Button: What’s Best?
None of the methods is perfect as both of them have their pros and cons. But, when we look at them individually, it becomes clear that we have to consider our needs before implementing any of them. You have to ask questions to yourself before making the decision:
Are your users browsing or searching?
If your audience is likely to be in browsing mode, i.e., keeping up with the latest happenings, reading a set of stories related to a specific topic, then infinite scroll could work. If they are most likely to consume something specific and jump off to a new different topic altogether, then load more could work.
How much are you dependent on organic traffic?
If organic is your preferred source of traffic, be very careful while implementing any of the methods. Work closely with your tech team and make sure that the desired amount of content gets crawled. You might want to drop the idea if it’s affecting your traffic.
What are your monetization goals?
Do you want to increase your impressions? Go with Infinite Scroll. Do you want to improve your CPM and viewability? Do you want to better monetize your BTF ads? Go with the Load More button.
What kind of content do you have on your site?
Do you mainly have images or small pieces of content (like Twitter)? Do you have a lot of user-generated content? If yes, Infinite Scroll can be useful for you. When you have long-form text content, the Load More button can be more useful.
What kind of user experience do you want to provide?
Do you want your visitors to lay back and enjoy the content? Go for Infinite Scroll. Do you want to give a lot of control to the hands of your visitors? Implement the Load More button.
Consider the pros and cons of both methods and compare them with your objectives to make an informed decision. Implement Lazy Loading and every other solution that mitigates the negative impacts of your chosen method. Go through Google’s doc about Lazy Loading to make sure Ad Manager works correctly with your setup. You can always contact us for help.