Excellent question, I am glad you asked. ‘Above the fold’ originates from way back before the internet was even a thing and information was largely consumed in newspaper form. Now consider how a newspaper is generally folded. ‘Above the fold’ is any content that fills the space on the top half or third of the page (depending on how it is folded), and as such, will be immediately visible to prospective customers. The newspaper printers made sure that the most eye grabbing and intriguing content was placed here to entice the observer to pick up the paper, check it out more and hopefully hand over a shilling to take it with them.
Nowadays, when discussing websites, we refer to the part of the page that is initially visible to the visitor on loading as ‘above the fold’.
Obviously ‘the fold’ is more dynamic these days with screens coming in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so we have to try our best to place the content properly. A safe bet is to consider the fold of your design at around 800 pixels down the page which will cover your bases for both mobile and desktop while still leaving some leniency. It is worth checking out your analytics to see what screen sizes your visitors are using and use this to factor in your fold line.
So, that’s what it is, where it is and why it’s called what it is. So how should you be optimizing?
Remember, you have on average around 15 seconds to hook someone visiting your homepage. When it comes to grabbing their attention and convincing them your site is worthy of their attention span, it’s a race against the clock. This is why optimizing your above the fold content is so vital for all pages, as you never know where they will land. So here are a few simple things you can do to optimize the ‘above the fold’ content of your site and convince them to click further…
A headline should have a healthy dose of SEO influence while ultimately being written for human consumption. Remember, it’s humans that click the search results and humans that decide to ultimately stick around.
To be fair, a headline can be quite limiting with what you can write. With it being of larger font, it can command lots of space. This means that a long heading can take up lots of ‘above the fold’ real estate. This is where a good subheading can come in. They allow for more text and can better supplement the message you are trying to convey to your visitors. This could be a short description for product pages.
Whether it be your homepage with a ‘Shop Now’ button or a ‘Buy Now’ button above the fold on every product page, the whole point of this eCommerce game is to get people to take action, action that is profitable to you. So include CTAs above the fold and make sure they stand out!
There is plenty of space ‘above the fold’ on your homepage for a banner or slideshow to showcase your best products, any special offers you have on or just generally anything you think that will garner interest and earn a click or a scroll. Free fast shipping? Add a badge to let people know!
The more beautiful and attention grabbing your images ‘above the fold’ are, the more attractive the page will be to people landing on it. Make sure you use striking colors to guide eyes to where you want them. Saturation, bright colors and pictures that pop (in the right places) will pique the interest of potential customers.
People love consuming media these days, there’s a reason that YouTube is actually the second largest search engine, next to it’s bigger, more well rounded brother Google. Products pages with videos have lower bounce rates, longer average page visit time and greater conversion rates. Put that stuff above the fold to help lock them in for long enough to be persuaded to purchase.
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