Websites are trying to offer better user experience to make them follow their pages. It is also an important factor that decides your website ranking. When it comes to improving user experience, there are many ways such as improving page loading speed, mobile optimization, good arrangement of contents and many more.
Pagination and infinite scrolling might be new terms for starters who are trying to establish their name in this field. For experienced webmasters, both terms might be familiar. But most of them are confused between the terms and they don’t know which is the best option for their website.
To give better user engagement and conversion, webmasters should have a clear idea about both pagination and infinite scrolling. Both have a direct impact on improving your website SEO and ranking. You can try the better option for your website in addition to other SEO efforts so that your website can get acceptance from Google as well as users.
The main areas where this confusion comes are e-commerce website and product listings. Let us have a detailed look at them.
What is Pagination?
Pagination is the process of linking multiple pages back to back. To explain it simply we can say that websites with ‘back’ and ‘next’ option below the content are an example of pagination. Another way is to include the list of contents that users can check after reading, this is also a type of pagination. When a website is divided into multiple pages it can be connected to each other using a navigation system which is known as pagination.
Websites can implement this technique in various ways such as including next or older buttons below or follow how Google search results are appearing with a number to the pages etc. By implementing pagination using numbers, users can check the content on any page they want and spend as much as the time they can on your website. It can be helpful in increasing the ranking of your website. This type of pagination using numbers is known as numerical pagination.
Search engine reads the XML maps while indexing a website. When you link pages by numbers it will be easy for the search engine to find out the upcoming and previous contents. This can help them to make the indexing process very easy. The best example of pagination is the Amazon website. They have a large database which contains various products. When a user searches for a particular product it shows hundreds or more results for them. But users can filter their results using appropriate filters and narrow down the product lists. If it is not set up like that, it will be difficult for the search engine to show relevant search results for users.
What is Infinite scrolling?
From the name itself, you might have got an idea of the term. Users have to scroll down to see next pages attached to that website. There will be back to back contents in a single page. All you have to do is scroll down the page and new contents will appear there. In this process, users can scroll unlimitedly without knowing the end of the page. The website will offer new contents below each without using a separate page. You might have seen this type of set up in new websites. So, is it a better option to give all information in a single page? We can find out that later.
Best example where you can find infinite scrolling is our social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. All of these sites have used infinite scrolling process to increase user engagement. You cannot even find the end point of a page in any of these platforms.
Pagination or Infinite Scrolling: Which is the better option?
When we consider options to make a website user-friendly, most experts agree with infinite scrolling option. Users don’t have to click on the next page and wait until it is loading if they can just scroll down through the page. If users are not searching for a specific item scrolling works better. The main reason behind it is that they can get a chance to introduce all other contents from your page using it. They don’t have to go anywhere to see other options available for them.
Scrolling is very easy when you do it from various devices. If you are using a mouse then it will be very easy. Even using laptops one can scroll down easily. The main benefit of scrolling down is that users can check any content they want if they feel the title as interesting. This can improve the traffic to various pages and also make users stay longer on a website. These are some important factors Google look on a website while ranking it.
We can say that infinite scrolling is the most popular way of improving users experience than pagination. The main reason behind it is the ease of use. Users always want to find what they want easily and it may take more time if they have to click on next and wait for each page to load. If you can implement infinite scrolling in the right way, it can help you to create a better user experience and can make users more reactive in your website.
Do you want to know better ways to implement infinite scrolling on your website?
How to use infinite scroll on your website properly?
You might have noticed infinite scrolling in various social media websites. Users can browse the content easily by scrolling down through a page. Sometimes there could be issues related to implementing infinite scrolling. Google bots can’t catch all the scrolling and clicking that happens in your page while indexing. You can follow some best practices to avoid such issues in your website.
Make page search friendly-: You can make your web page search engine friendly by setting up a paginated series of your contents along with infinite scroll in your content management system. This will help the search engine crawlers to find every element of your page while indexing. Also, it can help to avoid overlapping and duplicate contents.
Use the right tools and plugins:
Create a full URL:
While creating infinite scrolling on your website make sure to have full URLs for each component page. By giving full URLs to each component page you can avoid errors that can be occurred while running the page. You can also test the URLs for the right functionality. The URLs should bring the users to the right content and should be accessible from every browser.
Keep the navigation bar visible:
Even after scrolling down through the page you have to keep the navigation bar visible. It can help users to go back or search whatever they want from the page. Otherwise, they would have to go up to check what they want.
Push state/replace state can help the users to backtrack through the previous contents. You can use either of one and it may depend on the webmasters and user’s behavior.
Use visual indications:
If there are more contents on the way you can use any visual indication to show that. It will let the user know that there are more contents on the way. If there is not any visual sign it may represent that the page ended there. It may affect user engagement very badly.
Links should open in a new tab:
You need to set links in such a way that when a user clicks on any contents from the page, it should open in a new tab. It will help the users to stay within your page and explore more contents from it. If it loads on the same page, it can affect other contents adversely.
Try to avoid false bottom:
This is another option you need to try while implementing infinite scrolling. A false bottom can give an indication of the end of a page and people may not scroll below to see if there are any more contents left. To avoid such situation, you can avoid white spaces, horizontal lines, and CTAs below page layout.
Implement advanced searching functionality:
Even after setting up good navigation there could be situations where users need a place where they can search for anything they want. This can be achieved by implementing an advanced functionality in your page.
Give users an option to disable:
We cannot say that everyone likes to do infinite scrolling. Sometimes people want to avoid such a situation. For some users who like to see what they want from your page, you should provide an option to disable the infinite scrolling.
You can divide the contents into subsections so that users can easily choose the section they want to read about. Just by scrolling infinitely sometime they cannot find what they want from your website without going all the way down to get what they want.
That’s all about infinite scrolling. Try to implement it in the right way on your website to improve the user experience. Now you have to use the best place where you can use infinite scrolling.
Where to use infinite scrolling?
The main reason for using infinite scrolling is to provide a lot of content for users to explore. But it is not suitable to use everywhere.
For social media sites:
Social media tries to offer real-time contents to its users. For such websites using infinite scrolling can be helpful
For contents with equal importance:
For example, if you are providing some designs for a website or interior of an office, this can work well. Users are searching your website without any idea of what they want. If you can provide many options they will choose the one they like from your website easily.
While storytelling there will be a curiosity of what will happen next. So, you can use infinite page on a storytelling website
For mobile users:
It is easy to scroll down on a mobile device. If you want to implement infinite scrolling on your website, it is better to choose a mobile interface to implement it
From pagination and infinite scrolling, it is always better to implement the right one. It can affect your website’s efficiency and credibility among users and search engine as well. So, if you are trying to bring a better user -experience which is very important for SEO then try various options given above to make it more well-organized. Don’t try to use infinite scrolling where productivity and precision matters.
You can research well before implementing these factors with experts and know how it impacts your website’s overall experience. Have you implemented any of the two options? If yes, share with us your experience.