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Your best website content belongs above the fold

Marketing comes with plenty of challenges.

From search engine optimization (SEO) to content creation and social media management, it may seem as if your to-do-list never ends. With every keystroke, you’ll either get your next big lead or nothing at all, right?

But, instead of trying to master everything at once, start with something simple: Your website…namely, what’s above the fold.

Although creating a beautiful website definitely takes some practice, and a keen eye for design, one thing is certain.

What you put above the fold either makes it or breaks it.


What Exactly is “Above the Fold” content?


The term “above the fold” originates from traditional print newspapers.

Each paper was folded for display at newsstands in a way that, when people walked by those stands, the content above the fold — the content editors wanted people to see first — was visible.

To entice people to buy, newspapers needed compelling, eye-catching headlines and content. If they didn’t stand out immediately, people kept walking.

This prime location remains the most important part of newspapers today. And, the same holds true for websites.

In terms of a website, content above the fold is straightforward. Simply put, it’s the content you see before you scroll down.

With so many devices used to access the internet, it may vary slightly from one user to another.

Desktops, phones, tablets, and even different browsers often display webpages differently. Thus, that above-the-fold experience may change from user to user.

Here’s a tip: Check out your site on as many different devices as possible to get the best idea of what it looks like to different audiences.

However, it generally shouldn’t change too much.



Why is It so Important in Digital Marketing?


Sure, it’s easy to understand why newspapers focused their efforts above the fold.

But, why is it so crucial in the digital world? After all, it’s not a hassle to scroll down, right?

Well, human beings exhibit incredibly short attention spans, averaging less than eight seconds, in fact.

But that’s only an average.

For every person paying attention for 14 seconds, there’s someone out there tuning out after only two. If someone lands on your page and doesn’t immediately understand both who you are and what you do, they’ll likely exit just as quickly as they arrived.

What’s more? You lose a potential customer AND your page’s bounce rate increases, which negatively impacts your SEO.

You need to make a clear, concise, and lasting first impression.

Alright, but how much time do people really spend above the fold? According to an eye tracking study from Jakob Nielsen, 80% of it.

And, the majority of website visitors spend less than 15 seconds on a page before leaving. And, once they’re gone, they’re probably not coming back.

Be clear. What is your page is about? Is it easy to understand and navigate? Are you guiding your readers through a journey?

If so, they’ll stay longer, maintain interest, and likely turn into warm leads.

Consider some websites you’ve visited. Which ones kept you around? Which sent you away quickly? We’ve all gone to Google to search for something, clicked the first link available, and thought, “this isn’t what I wanted at all.”

Imagine being so unclear that you confuse Google!

Yes, it’s easy for people to scroll, but it’s just as simple to hit that “back” button and try again.

Don’t miss your chance because your best information wasn’t immediately apparent.


Keep Things Clear, Clean, and Simple


In this prime visual real estate, state exactly what you do, clearly and succinctly.

No need for long-winded explanations – simplify your message.

First and foremost, you must include your business’s logo and other identifying information. You want viewers to recognize it as your website, and part of your brand.

As a bonus tip, placing your logo on the left-hand side of your page increases brand recall by 89%, as opposed to the right-hand side. Because, science!

For Content Marketing Pro, we tried to keep it as simple as possible. When you land on our homepage, you immediately see who we are and what we do.

We’re a digital marketing course, and we teach you about digital marketing.


*Content Marketing Pro above-the-fold content 


Now, you probably do something different. Just remember: keep it short and concise.

If you jam too much information above the fold, you’ll likely confuse your reader. Take the minimalist approach. Add more detailed explanations either further down the page, or on a separate page entirely.

As far as content goes, if you’ve got a particularly stunning image, video, or graphic, then use it! Show that viewer your best content right away.

But, also use caution, as this sort of content is heavy, so to speak. When you add too much media to a webpage, it tends to increase page-load speeds. It’s best practice to maintain page-load speeds of less than 5.3 seconds.

Tip: Check out Hubspot’s free tool to test your performance here.




Alright, above the fold is gold. But, what about your navigation bar?

People love to fill that area with everything from “about” to “services,” among other things. Truly, to get people to focus on the important message, to engage with your content, and to convert, you want to keep that simple as well.

The highest performing websites include very specific calls-to-action (CTA) in their navigation bars and hero section (above the fold). Sure, you might include a few other things, but keep it limited to, say, three or less, and make your main CTA very apparent.


*Content Marketing Pro navigation bar


You see, you want people to follow a roadmap, and all roads lead to one place: your business. If you want to include other sections in your navigation, add a secondary one at the bottom of your website.

You don’t want to distract your users with clutter. You drove them to your site to convert…show them the way. Use other sections further down the page to provide additional value instead of putting too much information out there at once.

Again, you’ve got eight seconds. Use it wisely.


The Takeaways


Consider your website’s above-the-fold section as your digital welcome mat.

It’s the first thing visitors see, and your first chance to make a lasting impression. It directly affects both the user experience and your SEO score.

Keep your mission clear, your content relevant, and your messaging concise.

Put your best content above the fold, not all of it, and try to include strong CTAs such as “get started,” “learn more,” or “buy now.”

And, remember to check your pages on different devices to ensure that everyone who visits gets a similar experience.

Not every homepage looks the same, so there’s no right or wrong way to set yours up.

But, by keeping these principles in mind, you’ll turn your website into a highly effective marketing tool…an extension of your business that generates revenue!

Ready to become a Content Marketing Pro?

Enroll today for full, lifetime access to the ultimate beginner-to-pro marketing course! It’s time to drive your own marketing success!

Still not sure? Reach out and talk with us directly.

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