It’s a well-known fact that most people have very short attention spans… are you still listening?! Good! Anyway, back to above the fold. It’s fair to say that most websites are missing a trick with how their homepage designs welcome visitors in. Hubspot states that approximately 55% of visitors will spend fewer than 15 seconds on your website.
You’re probably thinking that’s a very short amount of time, less than you thought – and you’d be right. People need their attention grabbed early on if they’re going to stay on a website, which is why all your key information needs to be above the fold.
So What Does ‘Above The Fold’ Mean?
The official definition of ‘above the fold’ according to Tech Target is ‘the portion of a web page that is visible in a browser window when the page first loads’.
It’s a tried-and-tested design practice that actually hails back to newspapers and how their main stories were always kept on the upper half of the page so that when the paper was folded, you could still spot the headline.
Why Is It Important To Your Website?
Research from Jakob Nielsen dating back to 2011 still stands the test of time – he completed eye tracking research that showed visitors looked at a website above the fold 80% of the time, with just 20% looking below the fold.
With that in mind, it’s easy to understand why keeping important information above the fold can make or break a website. This content will be what people see first, so it should attract their attention and encourage them to stay on your site.
What Should It Include?
This will always be a matter of opinion, but good practices encourage you to include these five key things above the fold on your website:
- Your business USPs
- Some short ‘explainer’ copy
- Your brand logo
- Simple site navigation
- Contact details
Your USPs are absolutely essential – it’s a way of helping visitors get their bearings on your site and you can instantly tell them what you’re offering. Make sure it’s clear and concise.
Some simple content adds more detail to your USPs, actually filling in the blanks for visitors that have now got their bearings but want more information. Use this to quickly add value and give visitors a reason to stay.
This may sound basic, but make sure your brand logo always sits above the fold. You want to reinforce your brand at every opportunity, so keep things consistent and include your brand logo at all times. All the big players in your industry will do it!
Site navigation is the gateway to a sale at this point. Once a visitor has seen all of the above, they’ll understand what you’re offering and now they want to learn more. Keep your menu options simple and easy to spot, so users can find what they want with minimal effort.
Last but by no means least, make sure your contact details are easy to locate. Users value accurate and comprehensive contact information, and this is especially important if you’re running an eCommerce website.
Add all these elements together above the fold of your website and you’ll give yourself the best possible platform to convert visitors into customers.