But wait…. There’s more!
It is an old marketing strategy. You hook a potential customer by offering more and more reasons to buy. You keep presenting information until they surrender. I think that is some of the appeal of a website with infinite scrolling capability. As long as a visitor is willing to continue scrolling, you keep presenting more information. There is always more!
Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites use a form of infinite scrolling. Just when you think you have read everything new, more status updates load at the bottom of the page. The promise of new and more information keeps you engaged longer.
This type of design can be applied to small business websites, but should you opt for infinite scrolling? There are good arguments on both sides.
The Appeal of Infinite Scrolling:
- These sites feel natural to someone accessing your website from any device with a touch screen.
- Since most social media sites use infinite scrolling, most of your visitors will feel comfortable and quickly understand how to navigate your site.
- It is a fun way to explore image rich sites. Do you have lots of pictures? Letting visitors scroll through one long page is likely to keep them engaged longer.
- It also works well for news sites, with lots of fresh information being added all the time.
- It is faster to browse a site with infinite scrolling than one which breaks information up into individual pages.
- It seems to create a sense of curiosity on the part of the viewer as they momentarily wait for what’s next.
- Long text articles are easier to read in an infinite scrolling format.
The Downside of Infinite Scrolling:
- Older browsers may not be able to handle all the information of an infinitely scrolling page and crash.
- There is no footer. You can’t have it both ways.
- Not ideal for eCommerce. It is hard for visitors to find their way back. Most bookmarks don’t work, since there aren’t individual pages. You have to make your sale the first time they visit. You may not get a second chance.
- There is no skipping to the bottom. Infinite scrolling is a leisurely browsing experience. If someone wants to get in and get out, they will prefer a more direct route to specific information. Search functions are critical on these sites.
- Infinite pages may hurt your overall SEO. Although it would seem the long pages would be just what Google is looking for when they say “content rich,” these pages aren’t. These pages typically exceed the maximum page length to comply with Google news guidelines.
Like many web design choices, this should be considered carefully based on your objectives for your site. The best way to start is with a web audit and a conversation with a web design professional to determine how to create a website which will help you achieve your business goals.