If you’re not yet familiar with the term above-the-fold, now is the time to become familiar with it. Above-the-fold is website jargon for the messages and images that a website user sees on a website page without having to scroll down. It’s the content that typically appears “at the top.” Optimizely provide us with the neat history of “above the fold”, which references back to newspaper print. Newspapers on a news stand often only displayed the top half of the front page. The newspaper had the job of trying to entice readers to buy the paper with catchy above-the-fold headlines.
The reason it’s important is because according to Google Page Layout Algorithm, it’s still an important factor for determining how well a web page will rank for keywords. That makes perfect sense. Website users want content that is relevant to their search. In this blog, we explore the key factors that help create good above-the-fold content and web design.
The “fold” is relative – thanks to mobile
There are such a plethora of devices, resolutions, screen sizes and web browsers, that it can be tricky to determine exactly where the fold should be; however, it is possible to check the web user behaviour of your visitors, by diving in to Google Analytics. Here’s a really useful guide from Moz on how you can check the screen resolution that most of your users are viewing your site in. If you can understand how your website visitors are viewing your web pages, you can optimise your above-the-fold content.
Use of keywords and descriptions
It might come as no surprise that if you want to rank for keywords, you need to mention those keywords on your web pages. Lifewire share their guidance on where to put keywords on your website. One of the most important keyword placings being the headline of the page. Somewhere very visible is a good bet, so that website visitors see something relevant to their search straight away.
It’s good practice to create keyword phrases that relate specifically to a question. Questions that start with “what is” or “how to” or “should I” etc. Blog titles should relate specifically to the phrase or question that is being asked.
Do you want people to scroll down?
Unless you’ve developed a landing page with all of the information above the fold, you’ll have some more information within the rest of the web page that you want people to navigate through. Understanding the behaviour of scrolling on a website will give insight on where to place your focus for your content on your web pages. It’s been quoted by a few sources that 80% of time spent on a web page is focused on above-the-fold content and only 20% on below the fold; however, if you have some useful information to share with people, you’ll need to make sure the below the fold content is just as striking and imaginative, particularly if you are creating blog topics. If you are encouraging people to scroll down through your content, you can make it subtly obvious that is what they need to do.
Above the fold is still a relevant concept, worth understanding to help improve the usability of your website and to improve your search rankings. If you need help or support in creating good above the fold content, speak to our web design team on 01604 419776.
Author: Tom Jullings
I work with clients to improve the digital marketing experience they present to their customers – from web design and SEO to outreach marketing and social media.
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