Over the last few years, you may have noticed that website scrolling has become longer and longer – this is no accident! Long-scrolling has now become a staple in the web design world.
This is not a recent development – web design has been firmly steering in this direction for many years, and the long-lasting popularity of long scrolling is the decisive result of current functionality issues and user experience. Long-scrolling is already widely used on social media platforms by users who scroll through images on Instagram or posts on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn!
Although long-scrolling is now the norm, it was very much frowned upon many years ago, as readers had become accustomed to print-based mediums like newspapers, where the focus was firmly placed on the front page’s top half fold. With the increased use of mobile devices, however, this is no longer the case.
High-speed internet is now available almost everywhere, and with the introduction of the 5G network in Cyprus earlier this year, people are now spending more time on social media than ever before. With more and more people becoming familiar with the interface found on social media, long scrolling has now become the norm for online mediums. In stark contrast to prior years, people now expect the same interface they see on social media to carry over onto other websites.
Telling a Story
Long-scrolling sites create a linear step-by-step experience that tells a story to the user. The mix of new and familiar features builds a rhythm that makes the user excited about what follows.
When done right, this can be an enticing experience, where the user fully engages with the website’s content and remains on the site for an extended period. This also encourages website owners to step up their game content-wise, providing quality material for their audience.
Why the Long Scroll is so Popular
As users are more likely to interact with websites on their mobile devices nowadays, the long scroll has become intuitive as it gives the user a sense of control and comfort. The appeal of the long scroll is twofold: should the user find the content before them interesting, they can stop scrolling and focus on it! If not, they can keep scrolling until they find something that does pique their interest!
Scrolling also helps keep the user focused instead of distracting them by forcing them to constantly click around. Furthermore, click-based website set-ups risk off-putting the user if the page takes too long to load, whilst long-scrolling websites do not.
As previously mentioned, the long scroll has benefits that a shorter, multi-page website does not. Through interactive storytelling, the user bounce rate decreases dramatically when engaging content is provided. This, in turn, results in the high immersion of your brand, business or service.
The Challenges That Come with the Long Scroll
Although the long scroll is massively popular, it does have its challenges. For starters, creating content that catches and sustains the user’s attention can be difficult. Choosing or creating the wrong content could make your audience to lose interest and push them to leave the site, resulting in a high bounce rate.
Additionally, a higher content percentage can also result in the site loading much slower which in turn causes a poor user experience, resulting in a disengaged user. Your audience expects your web page to load fast, and if it does not – they will not stick around.
One of the most significant impediments to single-page websites is keyword ranking. SEO relies heavily on keywords and most website pages can only be optimized for a single phrase. Single page websites are designed around a central topic or theme, so much so that single page websites can only target a single phrase.
Nevertheless, we have found that the creation of a landing page is the solution to challenges posed by the long scroll.
As SEO experts based in Cyprus, we acknowledge that the long scroll is not appropriate for all sites and businesses. When this is the case, we have that balance is key: by moderately incorporating the long scroll alongside interactive images and design elements relevant to the page’s content, we are able to maintain our high page rankings.
Is a Long-Scroll Feature Worthwhile?
Long scrolling can create a completely immersive browsing experience. If users like the UI and find it intuitive, then they will not mind a lengthy scroll.
Although it does have its challenges, long scrolling is now a staple of contemporary web design. When used correctly, the long scroll has numerous benefits that no doubt are the cause behind its extreme popularity.
In fact, we have noticed that when requesting a website revamp, many companies request that some pages be made longer! If you are looking to incorporate a long scroll within your website, make sure you get in touch with our Web Theoria team.
Published on February 15, 2021