What is the fold of a website?
The section of a website that is visible without having to scroll down is called above the fold. This term originated with newspapers as the upper half section of the newspaper’s front page was considered to be above the fold.
Determining where the fold is on a website has become a hotly debated issue in recent years with the rise in usage of mobile phones, tablets, laptops and widescreen monitors. Although the location of the fold differs on the various device screen resolutions, on average, the fold is generally located at about the 600 pixel mark.
Since it is much more difficult to define the location of the fold nowadays, whether you should design above it or not has also started to become increasingly less relevant in web design. It is, however, still very important to design wisely on this prime piece of website real estate. The section above the fold on a website is, after all, the very first thing a user will see.
This entire section is not only the face of your agency, but it is also the area that makes a first impression on your visitors. Putting the most important information at the top of your website should be your number one priority. What visitors see here will determine whether they decide to leave your website or stay and take action.
With all this in mind, the most important thing to have in this area of your website is a clear call to action. Make sure it is easy for visitors to understand what it is you want them to do and how they should do it. You could even go as far as having three calls to action, but that should be the maximum amount.
Remember that simplicity sells. When you make things easy and organized for people, they are more likely to take action. Too many calls to action can make your website busy and overwhelming, which can cause your visitors to leave without doing anything like filling out a form.
Also, make sure you don’t try to cram in all of your information at the top. The best thing you can do is spread out your content into digestible sections down the rest of the page. Including important information such as your agency’s address further down the page will encourage your users to scroll down and stay longer.
It is important to remember that a certain percentage of people will scroll when they visit your website. Usability expert, Jakob Nielsen has suggested that users spend up to 80% of their time above the fold, while 20% of users will scroll down on their first visit to a website. You want your visitors to stay on your site and explore it. Make sure that the information at the top of your website is a preview of what will be on the rest of the page. Tell your visitors a story, and pique their interests along the way as they scroll down. This will keep them interested in what is coming next as they scroll.
No matter where the fold lies, keeping the most important information at the top of your website should always be a priority. People will be more likely to scroll down and stay on your site if you have a well-designed website. By focusing on usability and digestible sections of content in the right areas, you will entice people to explore life beyond the fold.