Above The Fold  (©  tutul_1410 / Fotolia.com)
Above The Fold (© tutul_1410 / Fotolia.com)

Above the fold is a term that describes everything on a web page that is above the bottom of the screen. The term can also be used to describe anything that appears on the first page of the search results for a particular search term. Both these terms are highly relevant to marketers. In short, above the fold means anything seen on the screen before you scroll down your page.

What Does Above the Fold Mean?

Above the Fold has two meanings in internet marketing. On the one hand, this can describe a position in Google. You are above the fold if you manage to get your site on the first page of Google because the user doesn’t need to scroll at all in order to see you. Meanwhile, you are below the fold if you’re on page ten because then the user will need to scroll down.

One your own website, you also have a "fold" which is the bottom of your screen. How you design your site here can have important implications for your ability to rank and more. In this glossary entry, we’ll be taking a look at both terms and how they should be applied to your own campaigns.

In Web Design

In web design, knowing about the fold is important because it will allow you to choose what should go above the fold and what should go below it.

The temptation that many website owners might have, is to fill their front page with adverts. PPC advertising describes advertising that only costs the advertiser per click. For a publisher – someone who shows the ads on their website for instance – this means they only get paid if the advert gets clicked on. More clicks means more money. This creates incentive for publishers to send as many visitors as possible to their websites, but it also creates incentives for them to try and force their adverts on their visitors so that they can’t possibly miss them! And that might mean placing too many ads above the fold.

The result is that some sites can end up being so thick with ads that the visitor needs to wade through them in order to find what they’re looking for. Of course, that’s not ideal and can result in them leaving. Google then forced publishers to change this practice with their page layout algorithm sometimes also referred to as their top heavy algorithm. This dictated that more than two ads above the fold would hurt a site’s position in the SERPs.

Of course, that only goes for PPC ads and Google can’t identify a banner ad versus a link on your site. If the ad is for your own product or if it is for your own then you can place as many as you like and not risk getting penalized.

That said, you still do need to think about the ‘onboarding’ experience for your users. What they see when they first arrive on your site is highly likely to influence whether they stay or go. Psychologically, users will start to look at the page they land on from the top left and move their way down to the bottom right, though the visual elements used in your design can help to direct their attention as you see fit.

Try to make sure that the elements you include guide the user’s eye where you want it to go. Ask yourself this: what is the next action you want the user to take when they land on your site? Common answers include a ‘Start Here’ button, or perhaps a mailing list.

And remember, the precise point of the fold will vary from display to display. Consider this when building your responsive design.

In SEO

In SEO, above the fold refers to being on the first page of the SERPs. A SERP is a search engine results page.

Now of course, nobody is going to be on the front page for every search! Your objective rather then, is to try and be on the front page for just those topics that you are particularly interested in ranking for. These will be the phrases that will bring the most potential customers to your site.

When choosing your keyword though, you need to remain realistic. If the term you are aiming for is incredibly competitive (buy clothes online) then you will have an immensely difficult time reaching the top spot. SEO is a slow and laborious process that involves posting lots of well-written content to your site and building links that get published on other sites around the net.

One of the best strategies you can use then is to pay for Google AdWords. This is a form of PPC advertising, that allows you to pay ‘per click’ for adverts that will appear on specific SERPs. These are the ‘sponsored results’ that you will see at the top of Google above the natural results.

This can be an expensive strategy for a lot of smaller businesses. However, it is one way to get immediately to the front page above the fold. And what this then allows you to do is to test how that keyword works for you. Which term that you’ve tried paying for is resulting in the maximum income? Which is bringing the most people to your site? Once you’ve identified that, you can then go on to try and get their organically with regular SEO.

Regular SEO meanwhile involves a lot of different techniques. However, some of the most straightforward options include building links from the sites that Google most trusts, as well as filling your site with lots of high quality content that people will want to come back for and will want to link to.

Remember, getting above the fold is not everything. Even more important is to have loyal fans that come to your site for the content. But it is still a very valuable achievement and one that you should definitely aim for in your own marketing.

Above the fold optimization

The #1 of your website is to make sales, and to make as many sales as possible. There are several ways that you can make your website a valuable tool for enhancing your business, such as ensuring it as visually appealing as possible. While the design and the layout are all important parts of your website’s visual appeal, perhaps the most important element is its’ above the fold portion.

There’s a lot of terminology associated with a website, and many new website owners aren’t aware of these terminology. Certain terms are used to describe certain elements of a site. Of all the terms you should familiarize yourself with, above the fold is one of the most important.

What does above the fold mean? It’s a term that is used to describe the parts of a webpage that are visible without scrolling. This part of your website is important because most visitors don’t bother scrolling down unless they find the above the fold section appealing. It’s one of the most basic components of web design, but it’s also one of the most critical. You want to make sure that you take this concept into consideration when you are designing your website so that you can entire readers to scroll down and look at everything else your website has to offer, or the below the fold portion of your site.

When the above the fold portion of your website contains the best and most visually appealing attributes, visitors are much more likely to keep on scrolling down and interact with the rest of the content on your site. If this part of your site is dull, boring or contains content that is misleading, there’s a very real chance that your readers are going to click off of your page without giving the rest of the content on your site a glance.

Basically, the above the fold portion of your site is the first impression that visitors are going to have with your site, and as they say, first impressions are exceptionally important, especially in the digital age. Your online audience won’t waste another second on your site if this portion of your site is poorly designed, isn’t appealing and doesn’t pique their interests.

There are several elements that can negatively impact the above the fold part of your website:

  • Too many ads
  • Slow loading speed
  • Poor navigation
  • Unattractive images
  • Too many images
  • Too few images
  • Blaring color combinations
  • Text that is difficult to read

If you want to make sure your website visitors stick around, you’re going to want to hook them. The above the fold portion of your website gives you the perfect opportunity to do just that. If you nail this section of your site, you will see the effects in your conversions; namely, your conversions will go up.

So, how do you nail the above the fold part of your site? Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when you’re designing this crucial section of your website.

Remain Consistent

One of the very first things that you can do to increase your conversion rate is to invest some time into maintaining the consistency of your message. All too often, websites display PPC ads for products that are totally different from the landing page in the above the fold part of their website. This can turn off potential buyers, as it confuses them or makes them frustrated, which will ultimately stop the conversion process dead in its tracks – and that’s definitely not what you want to do.

Make sure this part of your site is consistent so that you can avoid any unnecessary confusion or frustration and increase your conversion rate.

Pay Attention to the Call to Action

One of the most important things that website owners need to realize if they want more conversions is that visitors want to find the information that they are looking for, and they want to find it fast. Patience is limited, and it is becoming increasingly less. That’s why taking the time to find innovative and unique ways to illustrate your message to your visitors in a quick and efficient manner is so important.

Your goal is to offer solutions to your potential customers as soon as they find your web page or an ad of your product online. It’s here that you want to make sure that you include a call to action that is highly visible and very engaging. Ideally, your call to action should load at the same exact time your page loads, without the need to scroll down.

It’s also important to keep in mind that you do have to exercise some caution when it comes to dealing with your call to action. They should capture the attention of those who are visiting your website, but they shouldn’t go over the top. Furthermore, a call to action should also convince your prospective customers to follow certain steps in order to take action quickly.

openPR tip: When you’re creating your call to action, it’s important to remember that you should write it in a font that is readable. It should also be written in a natural, informal, yet professional tone. You want your call to action to make your customers aware of any benefits that will be associated with their purchase. Spend some time creating buttons instead of merely creating a simple text link.

Continuously Test

The old saying “practice makes perfect” applies when it comes to designing the above the fold part of your website. Today, online businesses are more competitive than ever before. As such, the success of a business will be directly linked to the quality of the site.

There are several analytical tools available that you can use to assess the performance of your website. Google Analytics is one of the most widely used tools. It offers detailed data about websites, such as bounce rates, session time periods, conversions, page views and other important metrics related to consumer behavior.

Use an Awesome Headline

If you really want the above the fold portion of your website to stand out, you’re going to want to create a killer headline. It’s one of the first things that visitors to your site are going to see. Using simple words and phrases can dramatically impact your conversion rate. For instance, a headline that includes “How To” will likely see more interaction, as it piques visitors’ interests and lets them know that there’s more important information below.

You might also want to consider doing some research and checking out your competitors websites. You might be able to gain some valuable insight that you can incorporate into your own headlines and site pages. Sometimes you just need a little inspiration to get the creative juices flowing.

Provide Incentives

Another great way to increase conversions is to offer incentives to your site visitors. Everyone wants something for free, so why not offer some freebies in the above the page section of your website? Some options to consider include offering exclusive access to other products that are highly valuable, such as eBooks. This will certainly help to draw attention and invite your visitors to take action, which will result in more conversions.

It’s super important that you know your customer base in order to make incentives work in your favor. If you know what it is that your potential customers are looking for, you will be able to provide them with it. In turn, this will allow you to create tools that will afford your customers the opportunity to perform a specific function as easily as possible. For instance, your customers might prefer receiving a mobile app over an eBook.

Bottom Line

Website conversions are a vital part of your online business. Developing effective strategies that will help to increase your conversions is a necessity.


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