Above The Fold: What Does it Mean and Why Is It Important?

Above the fold is the first thing you see when clicking on and loading a website. It’s the top of a page and it’s the web developer’s job to make sure it’s appealing. It’s important to make sure the top portion of your landing pages are attractive because many users click away almost immediately if they don’t like what they are seeing. 

You can usually tell if a website has bad above the fold content because the bounce rate is really high and dwell time is really low.

Where is the Fold?

There really isn’t an exact location you can point to and say that’s where the fold is because of a variety of reasons. Monitors have different sizes, resolutions of those monitors, plugins and different types and sizes of mobile devices. The rule of thumb the search engine optimization (SEO) experts have come up with is that the fold line is about 1,000 pixels wide and 600 pixels tall given common screen sizes.

 Feel free to look at your website on different devices to see exactly where your fold is. Then below that, you have the fold line which is what separates above the fold from below the fold.

Are Ads Good or Bad?

If a display ad appears “above the fold,” it means that the ad appears on the top of a page when a user clicks on it. Since 100% of the users are seeing this page you would think that cramming ads at the top could be a moneymaker. If you did that you would see your ranking in Google tank fast. 

Google punishes the websites that stuff ad’s at the top of the website because the algorithm understands people hate that.

How to View The Mobile Version of Your Website

Optimizing for mobile devices isn’t easy because of all the different phone sizes and weather there in landscape or portrait mode. If you’re on a desktop and want to find out what a website looks like while on a mobile device there is a way. On Google Chrome right-click > inspect > toggle device toolbar (Ctrl + Shift + M) > then choose which device you want to view from. (https://prnt.sc/tv4045).

Website Banners

Many people think that a cool looking banner or large image is the best thing to first greet a user upon arriving at their website. SEO experts would disagree for a number of reasons. Users want their information and they want it now! 

You shouldn’t expect them to not see any information right away and continue to scroll down the page. If you have a banner or image above the fold just make sure it’s small enough to allow the first paragraph a location above the fold line.

Call to Action

Immediately you might think “That means I have to put a call to action button above the fold!” you’d be correct if it’s done the right way. Studies on this exact topic have shown that users usually have their minds made up even before they come to the website if they are making a purchase or not. Your focus should really be on the people who don’t know yet if they are making a purchase or not.

 Putting a giant call to action button at the top of your website could be a little overwhelming right away. Instead, put a smaller less threatening call to action at the top then you could put a bigger one at the bottom!

Keywords are #1

Experts in the field of SEO will always tell you to put your keywords or keyphrase in your opening paragraph and it holds true. The most important keywords should be in your first paragraph because users scan for the information they are looking for and you don’t want them to have to look for a long time. To make sure you have the best first impression possible then your key content should be above the fold or you risk the user bouncing. 

When they arrive at the screen you don’t want them questioning whether this page is worth my time or not?

Catch The Eye of Your Readers

The headline is obviously important because it’s the first thing users should see and it’s probably why the user clicked on your website in the first place. You should try and have a heading that sticks out but isn’t big enough that it leaves no room for the information below it. If you are having a tough time coming up with ideas then check out your competitor’s websites and maybe you can draw some inspiration there.

A/B Testing

Analytics tools are essential to making sure you’re above the fold content is the best possible version of itself. A/B testing is when you are comparing two versions of a website to figure out which one performs better. So don’t be afraid to try different things to see where your website can go.

Don’t Make it an Advertisement

Don’t word your text above the fold like an advertisement. Consumers don’t hate ads that are most likely why they’re on your website in the first place, but consumers do hate bad ads. Don’t use phrases like “You won’t believe what product x does!”. 

A study has found that “Obnoxious or intrusive ads give me a poor opinion of the websites that allow them” (85% agree) and “a poor opinion of the brands that are being advertised”(84% agree).

The History of Above the Fold

Above the Fold isn’t some new fancy term SEO specialist or web developers have come up with. It’s actually been around for quite some time. Centuries ago when newspapers were one of the only forms of getting the information, they were folded in half and put on newsstands. 

When people would walk by they would only be able to read the top half of the paper. News companies understood this and to gain readers they had to add attention-grabbing headlines and images on the top half of the page. That’s the same basic principle people use today.

If these statements are true about your website I bet you have quality above the fold content!

  • Does my website make users want to stay and scroll? Is it attractive?
  • Is my website optimized for all mobile devices and desktop monitors?
  • Ads aren’t the first thing that greets users when they click on my page.
  • There is information right away. 
  • No images or banners make the user scroll for information.
  • My keywords or phrases are in the first paragraph.
  • A subtle call to action button is available.
  • I have a strong headline.

Learn how you can further optimize your website by contacting WebFX today!

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