Infinite scroll helps readers navigate more easily through the content on a website, without having to click away to a separate page. In this article, we look at how infinite scroll works and how it can help publishers increase user engagement and revenue.

Summary 

What is infinite scroll?

Infinite scroll provides readers with an endless stream of content; it is a web design method that continuously loads content as the user scrolls down the page, removing any need for pagination. The concept behind infinite scroll is to provide users with a smooth browsing experience. They can browse the web and enjoy content without being interrupted by the “Next page” button. 

Nowadays, infinite scrolling is becoming more common. In fact, due to the general increasing use of smartphones, we tend to arrange lists of content vertically.

Each piece of content displayed on the infinitely scrolling page belongs at the same level of hierarchy and has equal chances of engaging viewers. In most cases, the informative pieces are highly connected and have the same level of granularity. Whenever the audience is in the mood for unplanned exploration and discovery, long, infinite pages are ideal for time-killing activities, and it keeps viewers focused on the content.

Marketers’ and other researchers’ reports and studies support the need for scroll-friendly site designs:

  • A study from the Software Usability Research Laboratory shows that users can read for a longer time and faster than with paginated layouts. They also absorb the same amount of information from the content.
  • Chartbeat, a data analytics company, examined data from 2 billion visits and discovered that “66% of attention on a specific media page is spent below the fold.”
  • Almost half of all users begin scrolling within 10 seconds on a mobile site, and 90 per cent start scrolling within 14 seconds.

Types of websites suitable for infinite scroll 

Some websites are better suited to infinite scroll than others. Websites that provide a discovery-based journey, in which the visitor is merely exploring and not looking for anything specific, can be suitable candidates for infinite scroll. These include photographic webpages, blogs and news websites. Infinite scroll also tends to work better on websites with a mostly mobile audience, where the simple navigation is particularly useful, as compared to those viewed via a desktop computer.

Infinite scroll provides several benefits, but it should be used with caution. For instance, it is not advised for sites that require individuals to search for specific content or compare different options. 

In order for infinite scroll to work for publishers, the site content must be varied and interesting, as well as easily digestible in single-scan pieces of content. Therefore, it is essential to consider the substance of your site and the user’s motivation.

Why is infinite scroll helpful for publishers? 

User engagement: As mentioned previously, an infinitely scrolling website’s key advantage is that it keeps people interested and on the page.

User experience: Infinite scrolling is ideal for touchscreens, particularly mobile ones, where conventional navigation can sometimes be more complicated. Instead of navigating to new tabs, a user may effortlessly slide down to continue producing fresh information. 

Monetization: The in-feed experience helps promote interaction with publisher content and has a stronger monetization potential. As the user scrolls, the publisher can continue to provide more and more advertising. As a result, the number of given impressions significantly increases.

More revenue per session: When the user remains engaged for an extended period of time, the revenue per session grows. Consequently, the publisher offers more ad impressions, and the overall income rises significantly.

What’s next? 

If your website setup and goals make infinite scroll appropriate, and you are interested in increasing your revenue and improving the user experience, Clickio provides two options: 

  • Clickio Feed is a feature that uses infinite scroll technology to load material continuously as the user scrolls down the page, using advanced algorithms to identify recent or popular articles within the same area as the user’s current article, improving user engagement and, as a result, monetization outcomes. You can see a full demo page here, or if you are already using Clickio’s monetization service you can activate Clickio Feed for free by contacting your dedicated account manager.
  • Clickio Prism is a cloud-based mobile template which makes it simple to produce fast-loading, user-friendly pages. Publishers using it have the option to add navigational features such as infinite scroll and instant swipe to help encourage users to spend more time on their site. In fact, publishers using Clickio Prism see an average 45% longer time on site and 59% higher revenue (session RPM). 

See what difference Prism could make to your site. Click here to set up a free A/B test, or contact us to find out more.