All marketers know that the content above the fold is extremely important, but what key information should actually be included in this prime piece of real estate?
It should come at no surprise that the average internet user spends 80 percent of their time browsing content above the fold and only 20 percent of their time browsing content below the fold.
It has also been found that the average internet user has an attention span no greater than a gold fish, which means that your online business has many battles to overcome.
If you want to make an impact when it comes to the design of your website, if you want to get each and everyone of your visitors converting into hungry customers, then you need to have your most valuable content above the fold.
But this is not just about putting your best call to actions and best testimonials above the fold and being done, there is so much more to website design than this.
Take note: what you put above the fold is a highly strategic move and one that your brand needs to test and assess.
Having a truly efficient website is about being able to take your visitors on a journey so they understand what your brand is about, what your brand has to offer and how they can go about learning more.
Ideally you want to guide your visitors so they can become your number one customers.
And one of the best ways or really, one of the only ways to achieve this is by captivating them through the content that you use above the fold on your website.
According to Hubspot Marketing Metrics, 55 percent of visitors spend less than 15 seconds on your website. This means that you need to have your visitors engaged from the moment they come to your page.
This can be tricky to do, however there is a method you can follow.
By following this method and choosing to place key items above the fold on your website, you can make dramatic improvements to your conversion rates and of course, your profits.
In this article we are going to share with you the most important content that you need to keep above the fold and what content you can afford to keep below the fold.
Plus, we are also going to share with you how you can optimise the type of content that you share on mobile devices as well, so you can be certain that your mobile page is converting just as good as your website.
So, if you are ready to work out what needs to be above the fold on your website, let’s get started.
Hang on, what does “above the fold” actually mean?
Before we continue on, perhaps it is necessary to define what “above the fold” actually means.
Above the fold is the technical definition for any content that appears in the window of your browser when you first load the website.
It is essentially what your users see before they have to scroll on your website. It is what their eyes first land on when your website loads open.
To put it in perspective, above the fold would be similar to the content that is seen on the front page of the newspaper as it sits on the stand.
Like in the example of the newspaper, the content above the fold is often the most attention grabbing and is designed to get people interested in taking action.
Visualise your local newspaper for a moment, how does the top front page look compared to the rest of the newspaper?
Often the front of the newspaper has a larger image, larger font and the most gripping headline of the day, and in many ways your website needs to adopt this same mentality.
Really, the content above the fold is important for obvious reasons. Not only is it the content that people see first but it is also what attracts your audience to reading and learning more.
The content that you place above the fold therefore, needs to be carefully selected in order to appeal to your target audience and to attract the most ideal customers to your business.
If you are wondering what content to include above the fold on your website, here are some tried and true techniques that you need to test out on your website-
1.) Include Your Unique Selling Proposition
A unique selling proposition or USP is like your unique selling point. According to Tech Target, a USP is-
“a factor that differentiates a product from its competitors, such as the lowest cost, the highest quality or the first-ever product of its kind.”
This is one of the most important factors of your webpage, so having your USP above the fold is extremely important.
By having your USP in an easy to read place, it allows your visitors to understand what you offer and what they are going to learn through exploring your website.
The USP that you share above the fold should be a succinct and clear sentence that explains to your audience the advantage of your brand and what you do, without giving too much away.
The idea is that you want your USP to be easy and clear to understand and you don’t want to overwhelm visitors with loads of content and information straight up.
Above the fold, keep your USP clear, concise and to the point. You can then expand on your brand and what makes it unique in your “About Us” section or elsewhere on your website.
A great example of a strong USP comes from the digital marketing website Quick Sprout. Their USP is clearly defined above the fold in just one sentence-
“Grow your website traffic: there are important changes on your website that will grow your traffic. Quick Sprout tells you how to make those changes.”
This allows visitors to know exactly what type of company they are dealing with and what services they offer. It also allows users to know what they can gain or learn through exploring the website.
It also piques the readers interest and compels them to discover more about how the brand can take care of their needs and wants.
2.) Offer Brief Explanations About Your Products and/or Services
Your USP helps your visitors to know the basics of your products and services and what sets you apart from others. But, it is also important to offer some level of details, especially for your first time customers.
If your USP is your headline, think of your “explainer” content as your subheadline that helps to give substance and back up what sets you apart from the rest.
Here is a good example from the website Ahrefs-
“Ahrefs helps you to learn why your competitors are ranking so high and what you need to do to outrank them.”
This simple, clear statement allows your visitors to know how your brand delivers on your USP and can give them more insight into what your company is all about. This content also helps to expand on the promises that you have made in your USP and gives more detail as to how your brand can help.
Just like your USP, it is important that your explainer copy is short, concise and to the point so your visitors know straight away what they can expect.
3.) Include Your Brand Logo
These seems obvious, but your brand logo also needs to go above the fold. This is because brand recognition is extremely important and will help your company to become memorable.
Take a look at any big website or top company and you will always see their logo above the fold, often in the top left hand corner.
Your logo lets your visitors know who you are, so definitely don’t leave it out of the above the fold content.
When it comes to the logo design that you choose, it is best to select something that reflects your brand and is easy to remember or recognise. You can read more about choosing the perfect logo and branding here.
4.) Offer an Intuitive Navigation Bar or Menu
A simple navigation icon or menu bar is crucial to include above the fold so visitors know where they can navigate to next.
Your navigation bar is also crucial so your visitors know what type of content is offered on your website such as a blog, a store and so on.
What you include in your navigation bar is important and as a business owner, it is your responsibility to be able to guide your visitors through your site in a fashion that is going to yield the best results for your brand.
Simple, intuitive navigation is always the best choice, so consider this when creating your navigation bar or menu.
For best results, we recommend having around 3-5 different pages that your audience can navigate to, including an “About Us” or “Contact” page (more on the contact page later).
We recommend not offering more than 5 different menu options as any more can become overwhelming and lead to “click paralysis”. Less is definitely more when it comes to directing visitors on where to click.
As an example to get you started, here are the navigation options on the website Buffer-
“Products. Pricing. About. Webinars. Try Buffer for Business. Log In.”
What you choose to include on your navigation bar will depend on what goals your business have and where you want to funnel your visitors to next.
Choose wisely as your navigation bar is most likely where your visitors will head to once they have read the content on your home page.
5.) Include a Contact Page or Contact Details
Including a contact page or contact information above the fold is extremely important and is often overlooked by many businesses.
According to KoMarketing-
“51 percent of people think thorough contact information is the most important element missing from many company websites. 64 percent of people want to see contact information on vendor website home pages.”
More than half of the visitors that come to your website want to be able to get in contact with you, so make sure there your contact details are clear and included above the fold. This is especially true if you are an e-commerce store that is selling products online.
Having a contact page and contact information in a clearly visible position also helps to build the credibility of your website and makes your brand more trustworthy.
Research has also found that including contact information above the fold can increase click through rates and purchases.
6.) Include Your Call to Action
Including your call to action is extremely important above the fold, however there are some exceptions to this rule.
Several studies have found that the placement of your CTA above the fold and below the fold made no difference on conversion rates.
This means that where you place your CTA is going to heavily depend on your audience and the individual needs of your brand.
It may also be worth considering that putting your CTA above the fold may not be the best placement if you have a product or service that requires more information to be divulged.
If someone comes to your website looking to buy, having a CTA above the fold makes sense. But if your visitors come looking for information, statistics and testimonials, it may be beneficial to have your CTA below the fold.
This is something that is easy enough to split test once you have completed your website design, so be sure to check and see which placement works best for your brand.
7.) Include your Email Opt-In
Many brands have great success using an email opt-in box above the fold. Why?
When visitors come to your page they are in a curious mindset and are eager to learn more. If they see your USP and take interest in what your page has to offer, they are likely to want to sign up to stay updated.
The world wide web is a large place and very often visitors want to remember your brand and your services, so they sign up to your email list to avoid forgetting.
Remember, the average person spends around 15 seconds on a website, so if you can just get their email details in that short frame of time, you are onto something good from a marketing perspective.
Having an email opt-in above the fold along with a free offer or incentive is also a great way to entice visitors to become indebted to your brand and interested in following up about what you have to offer.
Above the Fold on Mobile Webpages
“Above the fold” doesn’t really have the same weight when it comes to mobile versions of your website. Mobile screens are often small and scrolling is inevitable.
In fact, unlike desktop websites where users are less likely to scroll, mobile users expect to scroll and often have no problem using their thumb to get to the bottom of the page.
Even so however, first impressions still count when it comes to your mobile website.
Here are some things we recommend including in the top portion of your mobile website-
- Your logo
- Your unique selling point
- A call to action
These three factors should appear as early as possible on your mobile page for best results, however if you are restaurant or brick and mortar store, you will also definitely want to include your phone number and contact details so people can find you.
What you choose to include above the fold on your website is equivalent to what an editor would place on the front page of the newspaper.
In order to generate interest, drive sales and get people talking you have to include the most attention grabbing and exciting information first.
While you don’t want to give away all your bag of tricks, the content you include above the fold needs to wet your audience’s appetite and get them interested in seeing and learning more.
If you keep this in mind when designing your website, it will dramatically help to improve conversion rates and over time, this will help to boost your profits.
Here is a recap of what to include above the fold on your website-
- Your brand logo: this helps to ensure that your brand remains memorable and recognisable by your visitors
- Your Unique Selling Point: A sentence that summaries your unique selling point using witty, catchy language
- Your Explanation: A sentence (or two) that backs up your unique selling point and what your brand has to offer
- Your Navigation: Navigation services that are simple to use and direct visitors to the most valuable content on your website
- Your Contact info: Providing your contact information helps to build trust and allows your customers to feel assured in doing business with you.
So, there you have it. The top things that we recommend to be included above the fold on your website. Of course, you may have to do some trial and error and testing, but following these steps would be a great place to start.