What’s the best practice for having an infinite scroll on your website?

Estimated read time: 3 minutes

A well-designed infinite scroll on websites can keep visitors engaged with content and keep visitors on the site longer.

Traditionally many thought of infinite scrolls on the homepage. But less and less traffic is actually coming through the homepage as it’s going through landing pages, blog posts and other pages that rank in search we can also implement an infinite scroll on those high traffic pages that are not the homepage.

What’s the definition of infinite scroll?

Infinite scrolls happen when content keeps refreshing toward the bottom of the page as visitors are scrolling down. This can be a good strategy to keep people looking for more content. it can also be a pain when visitors are trying to get to the footer and they just keep getting stuck in infinite scrolling.

The reason it is a popular strategy is because it doesn’t require a lot of action by the user other than scrolling. They don’t have to click on anything to keep consuming content. As long as they’re moving down on a page they will be offered more content.

How to implement an infinite scroll on article pages

One way to do that is of course to use a tool that gives us related content and that related content just keeps refreshing as long as you’re scrolling. For you to read the related content you still have to click over to it.

All my articles on this blog have related content below like this picture shows. That’s one way to add infinite scroll by just keep showing more and more content.

Another way – one I’m a big fan of – is to just keep adding additional stories below.

NBC Sports Washington does this well. I follow them for coverage of the Washington Redskins. A lot of times I’m alerted by a tweet that there’s a new story I want to read. As is the case on most websites the story is at the top of the page.

Then as you keep reading you have the option to listen to a recent podcast and click on other content links.

Audio extra: Listen to my recorded Periscope broadcast discussing this topic here.

After that and you can see that area as you’re finishing your previous story you can see more stories in their entirety.

So instead of having to click over to the next story I can just read it below the story that got me to the website in the first place.

I assume that NBC Sports Washington is triggering an additional pageview when I get to certain places on the page. That’s fine and given that a new article is typically a new page that’s a fair measurement in my opinion.

They usually show three stories like this. Technically speaking this is not an infinite scroll it could be if we just keep adding more stories. 

I like the strategy as a consumer and hope that it’s a sign of how infinite scroll will evolve.

If you have a content heavy site end and why wouldn’t you since you are a thought leader in the industry-this is really a good strategy to keep people engaged with your brand. Have you tried it or how else do you keep people on your site? Tweet me your strategies.

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