What should you place above the fold on your website? This is a question that many people never consider, and not everyone even knows what it means. “Above the fold” was originally used to describe the top half of the front page of a newspaper.
This is the part of the newspaper that you are likely to notice first, and what is here may make you more or less inclined to buy the newspaper.
On a website, the content that is above the fold is what people see immediately upon landing on your site, without having to scroll. This is extremely important, because if visitors aren’t captivated by what they see here, they can simply click away from your site. That’s why you should give plenty of thought about what you place above the fold. If you want to have more conversions and thus making more money online, you have to read my tips below!
Above the Fold on Your Landing Page
Your landing page can be considered the most important page on your site, as it’s the first page people see. Similarly, the section above the fold on your landing page is the most important part of this page. So if you have any critical information or call to action you are trying to get across, make sure that it’s located above the fold.
Suppose, for example, that you have an opt-in form on your landing page that offers people a free gift in exchange for leaving their email addresses. If visitors have to scroll down to see this offer, you will likely lose a high percentage of your potential subscribers.
The fact is, the simple action of scrolling down a few inches on a web page is too much trouble for many people!
Above the Fold on Search Engines
Incidentally, the same principle applies when people are using search engines, and this is why the top few sites get the lion’s share of the traffic. Do a search for any term on Google (or any search engine) and notice how many results appear above the fold. These are the results that get the vast majority of the clicks.
While some people will do an exhaustive search and may even check out several pages of search results, most will only look at what appears at the top of the first page. That’s why the goal of SEO is not simply to get on Google’s first page, but to make it to the top of the page!
This is more evidence that what is above the fold has more significance than what is below the fold, whether on a search engine or your own website.
Test Your Site on Multiple Browsers and Devices
You should be aware that not every website looks the same to all viewers. Some sites may load differently depending on the browser or device that the visitor is using. So “above the fold” may be different for someone using Google Chrome, Firefox or perhaps a smart phone.
Ideally, your site will look basically the same on every browser and device. You should regularly test this to make sure that this is the case. Sometimes a certain browser may have an update that causes things to change.
You should also consider making a mobile friendly version of your website. A normal website will often look very different on a mobile device. Since more and more people are surfing the internet from their smart phones, you want to make sure your site can be properly accessed by these users.
Don’t Put Everything Above the Fold
You shouldn’t take this principle to the extreme where you attempt to place everything above the fold on your website. You want the entire site to have a balanced look, and there is nothing wrong with having good content below the fold.
If you place too much above the fold, it will appear too cluttered. Meanwhile, the lower half of the page may seem bare.
You also don’t want to place too many offers, ads, banners and other high impact items above the fold. You do want to have your main offer or call to action there. However, if you have too many distractions, people will be less likely to notice your main offer.
Suggestions on What to Place Above the Fold
What, then, should you place above the fold on your blog or website? This will depend on the type of site you have, of course, but here are some suggestions.
- Your opt-in form and call to action
- A compelling headline
- A video or image
- A picture or description of your main product
There are many choices. If you do it right, you can use the area above the fold as a teaser to get people to scroll down to the rest of the page. This can be done with a good headline and opening article, or with a striking image. If you have an e-commerce site, you should feature one or more of your primary products above the fold.
Consider Carefully What You Place Above the Fold
The main point to keep in mind is that you should always be aware of the fold on your website. When you are very familiar with your own site and see it every day, it’s easy to forget how it appears to new visitors.
The area above the fold should contain some of the most important information on your site, or at least an enticement that will make people want to look at the rest of your site.
Image Credit: Google Browser Size