Infinite Scroll vs Load More Button: Which One Should You Choose?

Reading time: 5 minutes

There are two very popular methods for publishers to load their page content: Infinite Scroll and the Load More Button.

Both of these methods have different effects on things like the user experience, page loading, and even ad revenue. Because of this, publishers have to consider several different factors, including their goals and the type of content that’s on their site to figure out which method will suit their needs best. 

In this article, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about Infinite Scroll and the Load More Button so you can figure out which will work better for you.

Read on to learn more.

What Is Infinite Scroll?

Infinite Scroll is a web design technique that allows for an unlimited stream of content to the user. It works by populating more content as soon as a user begins to reach the end, ensuring that there’s essentially an endless amount of content to be scrolled through.

This technique, also referred to as a navigation style or lazy loading[2], works best for social media feeds and news feeds where the users are purposefully looking to consume an infinite range of content for an infinite amount of time. That’s why this style is designed to deliver continuous content. 

Infinite Scroll also allows you to monetize your content via Google’s services, such as dynamic ads. 

Advantages of Infinite Scroll

There are several reasons to go with Infinite Scroll:

  • This type of content navigation is conducive to endless scrolling (hence the name). Therefore, it contributes to longer engagement since there are no interruptions, such as clicking on a link to view the next page, during content consumption.
  • The endless scrolling allows for the opportunity of serving endless ads. Therefore, Infinite Scrolling provides the chance to garner more and more impressions as the user continues to scroll.  
  • When a user remains engaged for a long time, i.e., scrolling, the more ad impression[3] served correlates to an increase in revenue per session
  • By using this navigation style, you can move your old content from the back to the front for more views. This is referred to as content discovery, which is especially beneficial if you have evergreen content that not only adds value to the user experience but paves the way for more consistent traffic.

Disadvantages of Infinite Scroll

There are also several reasons not to go with Infinite Scroll:

  • Since the stream loading happens in advance, there will always be a handful of ads that fall below the fold causing lower viewability[4]. This means some ads will remain unviewed unless you make sure they only load when they have the highest probability of being viewed.
  • When your viewability decreases, your CPMs decrease as well, which poses an issue if your buyers are bidding based on viewability.
  • There are only two directions a user can scroll in — upwards and downwards — which means they’ll never “reach the bottom” and backtracking to find certain content becomes a hassle, making for inefficient navigation
  • Since there’s a running footer, as in no footer with Infinite Scroll, users will likely have trouble finding important links like About Us, Contact, and so on.
  • Google will only crawl the content within a viewport it can accommodate. All types of content come with a certain viewport limit, which means not all of your content will get crawled leading to certain SEO[1] complications.

What Are Load More Buttons?

The Load More Button is a hybrid navigational technique. Essentially, it takes Infinite Scroll and restricts it whereas it’ll wait until the next page of content has loaded to start loading the ads. 

In other words, it loads on the user’s command — as in, when they click on the button at the bottom of the content/page that reads: Load More.

However, you can also add the Load More Button to article pages with a finite length. This actually gives them more speed and better organization which contributes to more possibilities of content discovery.

Advantages of Load More Buttons

There are several reasons to choose Load More Buttons:

  • They make for a lighter page as there are fewer resources to load all at once. Since the user has to physically click the button for more resources to load, page speed is improved.
  • They give users a choice and control over how much content gets loaded, which keeps them from getting lost on the page.
  • They give publishers the chance to bring up ads below the fold. Even if the content on the page doesn’t make the user want to engage, the ads still have a better chance of getting viewed.
  • They don’t render the resources of the remaining content until the user clicks on the button, which contributes to better viewability since the viewport doesn’t hit capacity.

Disadvantages of Load More Buttons

There are also several disadvantages of choosing Load More Buttons:

  • They’ll always provide fewer impressions because the ads displayed with the remaining content depend on the user’s action.
  • They tend to act as a friction point since there’s a requirement to click the button to access the rest of the content, which can stop the user from moving forward.
  • Google won’t always crawl the content sitting behind the Load More Buttons, which can contribute to SEO complications

Infinite Scroll vs. Load More Buttons: Which Setup is Right for Me?

Neither navigational style is 100% perfect. The setup that’s best for you will depend on several factors, including:

  • Whether your users are browsing or searching. Infinite Scroll caters to the “less specific” needs while the Load More Button is better for users looking for certain content.
  • Your monetization goals. The Load More Button will increase your viewability and CPMs while Infinite Scroll will increase your ad impressions.
  • The type of content on your site. If your content is user-generated, like social media channels, then Infinite Scroll is the better option. However, if you’ve got long-form content or eCommerce pages, you’ll want to go with the Load More Button.
  • The type of experience you’re looking to offer. If you’re catering to the more care-free and relaxed type, then Infinite Scroll is more suitable. However, if you want the control to be in the user’s hands, go ahead and implement the Load More Button.

Your best bet in choosing between Infinite Scroll and the Load More Button is to weigh the pros and cons of both after determining which of the above factors apply. Of course, you can technically have the best in both worlds, as in, having an Infinite Scroll with a Load More Button. However, it takes some time to figure out.

Terms
1. Search Engine Optimization [SEO] ( SEO ) SEO, also known as Search Engine Optimization, is the process is optimizing a website to rank higher in a search engine. SEO is merely one of the many methods publishers use to send traffic to their sites.
2. lazy loading. With lazy loading, instead of all the content of a web page being downloaded and loaded all at once, content only loads when the users visit that specific part of the screen as they scroll down. The most significant advantage is saving on bandwidth usage which is especially important in countries where internet speeds are low, and data costs are high.
3. impression. Impression is when a user views an ad on a page or when an ad is displayed on a webpage.
4. viewability. Viewability relates to the amount of time a user saw an ad.

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