Choosing the correct UX pattern for the listing pages is the key to improve the page experience on sites. It is very crucial which approach you follow for breaking content into number of pages on listing and search pages. Following UX patterns can be utilized based on the use case and business requirement:
Pagination: In ecommerce sites with products where aim is to show finite/available products to the users and improve the ease to purchase, pagination with links such as “next”, “previous”, and page numbers to navigate through pages is recommended. Pagination displays finite number of results on each page, allow the user to switch between pages easily to search for their desired product and bookmark/share the page with specific number with results if required. This will improve the user or page experience and purchases. Choosing the pagination for site may require you to do following:
- Make sure google indexes each page.
- Consider using preload, preconnect, or prefetch to optimize the performance for a user moving to the next page. Google no longer recognizes “next” and “pre” in link tags in header.
- Don’t use the first page as canonical page
- Choose the right numbering technique for pagination.
Load more: You can allow subset of results in initial load for better performance to appear and then increase the content based on the user interaction or click on load more, as fetching and displaying everything at once will be time taking. Incrementally increasing the content on the page will help in improving user experience, page performance and reducing network traffic. Content is displayed on the single page and user tend to see/visit more result pages as compared to pagination technique.
Infinite scroll: If you have pages like recipes, news, etc. where goal is to increase user engagement on site, then infinite scroll is a good choice. This will keep user engaged on the page for longer duration and keep giving results to user on each scroll while staying on the same page. There will not be any need to navigate between pages in this technique and everything will be displaying on single page.
Better the page experience, better will be the google ranking. However, do follow best practices for pagination, canonical links, etc. Duplicate content on pages may have negative impact on SEO.
Choosing the techniques for your site is dependent on your business goals and what end result you want.