Above the fold

What is above the fold?

“Above the Fold” refers to the part of a webpage that’s visible without scrolling. The concept of “Above the Fold” originates from the early days of print journalism. Newspapers were often displayed folded in half on newsstands, with only the top half visible to people passing by. To sell magazines, they had to print the most compelling content in this visible area to grab attention. Translated to the digital realm, “Above the Fold” refers to the part of a webpage visible without scrolling. While screen sizes and resolutions vary, the foundational principle remains: the first view should capture and hold your visitor attention.

Why it’s important

Immediate engagement: Your visitors spend 2-3 seconds to decide whether a site has what they’re looking for. A well-designed above-the-fold area will help them spend time browsing your site.

Conversions: The above-the-fold area often contains the most direct calls to action, such as “Buy Now,” “Sign Up,” or “Learn More”. Just by having a CTA in your above the fold area is critical for converting visitors into customers or leads.

Clarity and direction: By clearly stating who you are, what you offer, and what you want the visitor to do next, you remove uncertainty and guide visitors to the next step.

Key Features and Components

Headline: This is your main message. Your hook. Make it concise, clear, and compelling, directly addressing the needs or interests of your target audience. For an e-commerce site, highlight current deals, product benefits, or unique selling propositions.

Visual: A standout image or video can make a huge difference. For product pages, ensure the main product image is high-quality and engaging. Consider using a carousel of images to showcase the product from different angles. For homepages, use visuals that embody your brand or highlight your best-selling products.

Call to Action (CTA): Your CTA should be impossible to miss and easy to understand. Use action-oriented language like “Buy Now,” “Learn More,” or “Sign Up.” Ensure the button stands out through contrasting colors or design elements.

Navigation: Simple and intuitive navigation is key. Your menu should guide visitors effortlessly to major areas of your site like product categories, about pages, or contact information. Consider including a search bar in the above-the-fold area for larger sites.

Page speed: Page load time directly impacts visitor retention. Optimize images, minify CSS and JavaScript, and leverage browser caching to keep your above-the-fold content loading instantly. Aim for < 2 seconds.

The importance of the above-the-fold content can vary depending on the type of visitor. For first-time visitors, it’s about making a strong first impression. However, for returning visitors, personalizing this space area can significantly enhance their experience and encourage loyalty.

Here’s how Amazon personalizes their above-the-fold section:

Amazons website, showing 5 personalized sections.

Optional features in the above the fold

Personalization: For e-commerce sites, showing recently viewed products, personalized recommendations, or exclusive deals based on previous interactions can make a huge difference. This not only makes the shopping experience more relevant but also shows that you remember them and who they are.

Content freshness: Regularly updating above-the-fold content makes your website feel “alive”. For returning visitors, new content signals that there’s always something new to discover which drives repeat visits and engagement.

Behavior data: Use behavior segmentation to display different versions of your above the fold section to different visitors. Analyze metrics like click-through rates, conversion rates, and bounce rates to compare how the different versions perform, and get insight into what works best for different segments of your audience.

While the concept of “Above the Fold” is rooted in print media tradition, its digital application remains highly relevant. It’s mostly about grabbing attention, but also making that attention count through immediate engagement. By thoughtfully designing your above-the-fold section of your webpage, you can improve the user experience and your site’s overall performance

Felix Langlet
Felix Langlet

Felix is a self-taught marketer and the head of marketing at Triggerbee. He is specialized in SEO, content marketing, and copywriting. Outside of work, you can find him spending time with his family, listening to podcasts, or watching documentaries.

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