What Is Infinite Scroll? Is It Better Than ‘Load More’ Buttons?

Do you want to learn how you can add Infinite Scroll to your WordPress blog site? Well, in this article, I’ll show you how to easily add an infinite scroll option on your WordPress blog (step‐by‐step).

Most recently, I’ve seen a trend across many publisher groups transitioning away from infinite scroll pages towards load more buttons. Why? All this is in an effort to increase their display ad performance. So, it begs the question, what is the difference between an ‘infinite scroll’ and the ‘load more’ pages?

In addition to that, what are the pros and cons of each feature? Between an ‘infinite scroll’ and the ‘load more’ pages. And which sites are they more suited towards?

Sites which are looking to be a premium, brand-safe commodity with a sales team looking to attract premium advertisers and agencies will want to protect the performance of their ad units. They’ll want to have the maximum viewability and view time as much as they can.

In order to satisfy these buyers and make them willing to pay a premium over the open exchange. And if you’re selling a large proportion of your advertising directly or in private marketplace deals, then protecting the value of your impressions will be very important.

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Additionally, it’ll also be more beneficial to you than maximizing the potential impressions you could serve. And if you’re going for a heavier programmatic strategy where all inventory is sold on the open exchange, then your CPM metric and viewability will be of less overall importance.

Yes, they are good indicators of performance. But, the overall goal will be maximizing revenue and minimizing your unfilled rate. With that in mind, below is a clear definition of what Infinite Scroll is.

What is Infinite Scroll?

Infinite Scroll is a web design trend that uses AJAX page load instead of numeric page navigation to automatically load your next page content and display it at the end of the current page. Infinite scrolling makes it easier to browse more content by simply scrolling down.

In short, infinite scroll is a web design technique that automatically loads your next page content when users reach the bottom of a page. It allows users to see more content on your blog without clicking on the pagination. Or what is commonly known as the ‘load more button.’

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Traditionally, users would have to click on ‘next,’ ‘previous’ buttons or page numbers to see older blog articles. But, with this scroll option, it loads content continuously and infinitely as users keep scrolling. While enabling web apps to process user requests and deliver data without refresh.

Eventually, when using AJAX short for Asynchronous Javascript and XML, webpages can communicate with the server without reloading the entire page. The best examples of an infinite scroll web design are what you see on popular social media sites. Such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and more.

And as such, if you are using any of them, then you know how content loads endlessly on your social media timeline.

Why should I implement Infinite Scroll?

First of all, infinite scrolling is used most commonly on content formats where the user is browsing without necessarily looking for something specific. Say, for instance, in the case of infinite feeds of social media or entertainment content sites where content can be evergreen.

By not providing the user with an end, they are more likely to continue scrolling and browsing through your content. This continual browsing leads to more impressions on ads you have on the page. Meaning that you can have more ads per page as most are not in view until the user has scrolled to a certain point.

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And with more impressions, it usually means more revenue. Viewability is one of the key metrics today in determining the CPM you will receive. If all of your ads are located all the way down the page where few users are going to see them, your viewability percentage is going to be substantially lower.

Compared to if these units were front and centre on the page. And in that case, advertisers just aren’t going to pay for wasted ads that are rarely seen.

Not only that, but there is an optimal number of ads that can be on a page before your inventory starts to become saturated. There just won’t be as many buyers willing to bid on your users and so CPMs will fall.

Related Topic: Display Ads | How to Increase your Website Ads Revenue

Also, keep in mind, the time spent on your site by a user gives a much more accurate indication of how readers are engaged with your content.

Sometimes, the number of pages visited can be often high. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your readers are paying attention to your content. For instance, just imagine a number of 10 pages visited in 30 seconds. It means, the reader just skimmed through a couple of pages and left without much interest.

The time spent combined with the number of pages visited can give you the right reader engagement overview. For other ideas on user time on your site, you can check out the guide on how publishers can increase user time on site.

Infinite Scroll vs. Load More Buttons: Which is better?

As I briefly mentioned earlier, load more buttons are a way to find a middle ground between classic pagination (site pages) and infinite scrolling. And usually, it consists of a button at the bottom of the page that will feed more content when clicked. Giving the user the simple decision to see more or to reach the page end.

Load more pages are going to have increased visibility as ads will often pop up in view as a user loads the page. There is less opportunity for an ad unit to be left below the fold unseen and thus useless. These buttons also help with site speed, a critical aspect in user experience and SEO rankings.

Less content needs to appear upfront for the user, allowing pages to generate quickly. It is only once a user clicks the load more button that the page must generate.

Based on a recent eCommerce usability experiment, subjects generally browsed the most products on infinite scrolling pages. Followed by load more pages and standard pagination. However, it was noted that users engaged and viewed the content for longer periods of time on the load more pages than on infinite scroll.

This is obviously the priority when building an eCommerce page. And may translate over to other forms of content too. Like where you wish to keep the user’s attention for a longer period of time.

Can I have the best from both options?

Of course, Yes, you can! (For the most part.) Lazy loading ad units with infinite scroll do help to maintain a high level of viewability. You’ll see a decrease in served impressions but will see a spike in CPMs due to the improvement. It is not an easy process to get right, however.

Bearing in mind, the only downside of load more buttons is its switch. In particular, from an infinite scroll setup where impressions will decrease. Now that users are just less likely to view as much of your site’s real estate. And thus potential impressions will be lost.

Above all, there’s a lot of tinkering in finding the correct page point at which to begin loading the ad unit. While ensuring that you’re maintaining your site page speed. And whilst making sure ads appear in time for users to see them as they scroll down the page.

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As an example, you could request ads to appear when a user scrolls to within 400 pixels. And with infinite scroll, you would look to try this implementation with every ad unit on the page. At times, such implementation results in an overall 20% decrease in ad impressions on the site.

Simply, because the ad units that are not in view were not called. The result of this, though, is roughly a 25% increase in CPM. With viewability increasing from 45% to 78% and overall revenue increasing by 5%!

Which is the right setup for me?

As you can see, infinite scrolling is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a webpage setup that allows a user to keep scrolling a page without reaching its “end”. When you scroll downward, toward the “bottom” of the page, it simply loads more content. Providing an ever-growing and seemingly never-ending amount of material.

It is normally implemented with JavaScript, which asynchronously loads fresh content. That’s whenever it’s triggered by the user scrolling beyond a page or pixel point. In order to maintain ideal loading times, the new content begins background loading before the user reaches the load more scroll point.

As with everything in ad layout optimization, it is all about testing to find the optimal layout and format for your site. Always remember, the end goal and overarching metric we’re always looking at should be revenue.

In other words, CPMs will take a hit from infinite scroll pages. As you’re more at risk of unviewed impressions. And also, now that you’ll have far more inventory per page. But, if this still means you’ll generate more income through more impressions and a slightly lower CPM, then this should be what you’re looking at.

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On top of this, you’ll also want to take into account the type of content you have. And even how users are going to interact and consume this content. That’s how social media platforms know they can keep users engaged on the site longer. Especially, by providing them with endless content.

A news site or blog articles based site where users may be looking for a specific story or piece of information may need to be built around pages or load more buttons. So that users can easily find what they are looking for. And then easily navigate to specific areas of the site that best interests them.

Overall, the key is finding the right recipe. If you think you might need some help, that’s what the jmexclusives team of experts are here for. Therefore, feel free to Contact Us or even share your additional thoughts and questions in the comments section.

Finally, you can also donate if you’d like to support our online research work. All in all, we are so happy to have you on board!

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