The area of your website or landing page that is above the fold is not just the first content visitors see. It’s often the only content they see. Here’s how to make it count.
On a website page, the area above the fold is what displays on the screen without the users having to scroll. In other words, it’s your page’s first impression.
Unfortunately, for many websites, this impression is painfully short because the content above the fold is so feeble that visitors immediately hit the back button.
We’ve analyzed thousands of business websites and we see two main problems with design and content above the fold.
- The only messaging is a vague value statement that fails to communicate pertinent or persuasive information.
- Most of the page real estate above the fold is taken up by an irrelevant image.
Here’s an example of what we’re talking about:
So we have their message. A life with clear vision…discover the freedom…quality care.
What does any of this actually mean? It reads more like somebody’s (bad) poetry than business website copy. The only call to action is to “learn more” but they’ve already lost my interest so I’m not motivated to continue.
Then, of course, there’s the stock image of someone in glasses. I guess that helps affirm that this is an optometry website, but does little else.
The image itself isn’t so much the problem as the inordinate amount of space it takes up above the fold. What you see here is the mobile screen, but on a desktop, it’s even worse. You’d think this stock photo was the most important content this business has to offer, when in fact, the most it can do is serve as background.
These two problems are really common on today’s SMB website designs. They usually crop-up when amateurs do their own designs on DIY templates, or when business owners force designers to create content based on their whims rather than developing a page designed to convert visitors.
Fortunately, these problems aren’t hard to fix. Here’s what you need to do.
Get to the Point
The first and most important step is to put your value proposition and main call to action above the fold. This content specifically states why people should choose you and tells them how to contact you.
Here is another optometry website designed on UXI® platform:
Consider how much more content there is above the fold on this page than the previous example. They have strong headlines using Top Rated Local® and they identify a specialization. The 40-second video gives an excellent overview of their practice, providing the main information someone needs to evaluate this optometrist. A call to action to request an appointment is right in the middle.
There is also an image of a woman in glasses, but she slips into the background, not taking away from the main content.
Above the Fold is Gold
The area above the fold on a web page is prime real estate. If there is vital information a visitor must know about your business, this is the place to put it.
Here are some other types of content to put above the fold:
- Your contact information including address, phone number, and embedded map of your location.
- Your service areas (city or regional names).
- Special offers or discounts.
- Customer testimonials or review links.
- All calls to action including click to call buttons, contact forms, or email sign-ups.
Here’s another example of how to do it:
Giant images of models, city skylines or mountain vistas won’t impress anyone. You can use them (in fact, using faces in design can be effective), but make sure they don’t dominate your content above the fold.
Evaluate your website pages without scrolling. Is the most important information there? Can you convert visitors?
If not, you need to improve your design above the fold.