Effective website design is a delicate balance of several things, including visual appeal, good content, search engine optimization, conversion optimization, visitor navigation, and so on. Utilizing the ‘above the fold’ area (the place people see without scrolling) of your website is very important. It’s not only important for the purposes of maximizing your ability to convert website visitors into customers — it’s also important for your search engine optimization efforts.
In the world of copywriting, the headline is vital. But after that headline, the first paragraph is also very important. You’ve got a brief window of opportunity to hook the reader. If you don’t do it fast, you’ll lose their interest, and they’ll bounce.
In the world of web design, the above the fold area of your site is the area that people first see.
In fact, many people get the vast amount of their impression of you from the “above the fold” area. There’s a tiny window of opportunity here. You need to strive to have the right elements in place otherwise they’ll never scroll beyond what they can see on their screen.
Don’t rely on saving the best for last in online marketing.
Blending good web design and good copywriting elements on every page of your site is important and can help increase the chances that visitors will become customers. Beyond a good-looking site with text and images, that are easy to decipher, here are some things to keep in mind:
Is navigation clear on your small business website? Can people see, without excessive scrolling, how they can get around from point A to point B on your site? Can they get to where they need to go quickly?
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What’s in it for Me?
Does the top area of the page quickly get into the answer to the ever-important question, What’s in it for me?
People need to know quickly that they are not wasting their time on your page or website.
In case someone isn’t interested in scrolling, is there something in the sidebar of the page to capture their permission for future contact?
Is your site and the above the fold section not only friendly-looking to people viewing it on their laptop, desktop, or tablet but also on their smartphone?
Don’t forget to optimize that above the fold area to mobile users. Many mobile users aren’t interested in scrolling at all!
Google SEO and Above the Fold Value
In the world of search engine optimization, Google continually tweaks search engine algorithms so that it can effectively measure webpages and their potential value to Google searchers.
In 2012, Google started looking more closely at the ‘above the fold’ area of your website, too, to help determine how much value you provide to your potential customers.
That perceived value will directly impact how much organic traffic your site gets and it will also impact how Google views landing pages in pay per click advertising campaigns. The measurement of a page could impact organic traffic and your cost per click as well as page placement for paid advertising.
Many internet marketers and website designers know that they need to get enough info into the area people see when they land on a page. For this reason, some tend to over-clutter the top half of the page in case the visitor never scrolls down. Google doesn’t want you crowding that above the fold area and if you do, they may penalize you when ranking your pages.
Google search engine spiders look at quantity of content, keywords, number of advertisements, bounce rate (how many people leave the same page they entered on), how much time people spend on your page, and so on.
There’s a delicate balance here so the moral behind this post is to strive for good visitor experience on every page of your website.
Every page of your site that’s visible to search engines has the potential to be a gateway for business. An uncluttered, easy to navigate page that has a good amount of information and that gets to the important bits of info first (without info overload) can offer greater potential for the reader to want to scroll down or click deeper to find out more about whatever it is that you specialize in.