Optimizing Above the Fold
Written by Emily Topham, Internet Marketing Specialist on February 18, 2015
The phrase “above the fold” has taken on a whole new meaning since the revolution of the webpage. Before, when the concept only applied to newspapers, if an article was above the fold, it had the best, most important information to which everyone gave a little more attention. Now, above the fold can relate to what webpage viewers see when they first open a website. What a website has on that top section of its landing page can make all the difference in the kind of attention a viewer gives the site. When designing a website, it is crucial to keep in mind these few principles that will get your site the attention it deserves.
You have to earn it
It’s clear that with the technology boom in the last decade, users are becoming more and more impatient. When they whip out their laptops and smartphones, they are carnivores of information. They know exactly what they want and they aren’t willing to waste their time on irrelevance. When designing your landing page, you have to earn the attention of your viewers. You have to seize their attention before they decide that your website is inapplicable and useless.
One of the best ways to make the viewers notice your site from the millions is to put the most important information at the top of your page. Do this reasonably. Even if you think that all your site’s info is important, keep in mind what your users want to see first. Cover the main ideas and use only the necessary words.
The landing page above the fold should be about more than advertising the rest of your site. When a viewer opens your site, they want to know exactly what your website will help them with. It shouldn’t even be a question that crosses their mind. In this case, it’s more than just words—it’s about the feeling the viewers get to learn more.
Allude to the idea of more
Once you have captured the attention of the information-seekers, you have to give the information to them simply and clearly. The worst websites are the ones that confuse these seekers into believing there is only a single page. If a viewer wants to know more but doesn’t know where to find it, their search will end just as quickly as it began. You must give the hungry viewers simple tools to access more information. This could be as easy as adding a scroll bar. You could also add columns or images that trail below the fold. This is your chance to add the additional information that didn’t fit above the fold without bombarding viewers with unneeded knowledge.
Don’t forget the rest of the page
A common mistake that new above-the-fold-ers make is neglecting the below the fold content. Doing so is another great way to make viewer go running in the opposite direction (or just “x” out of your site). If you have done your job of enticing people to your site, you have to continue to prove your website’s worth. This goes back to the idea of earning the attention of viewers. You can’t expect them to forgive a sloppy website if everything above the fold is beautiful. One well-crafted page does not make a helpful site, and viewers are not so loyal to your page that they will not leave it the minute they doubt its authenticity.
When optimizing above the fold of your website, it is important to remember that it is your responsibility to appeal to your audience. The Internet users of today will not show mercy. They want the most important information and they want it immediately. They are interested in the energy of your site. Using these principles to create a site will be the first step to providing your viewers with the valuable information they are searching for.