If you want your webpage to attract buyers and/or interest readers, if you want it to be successful, you need to understand about the importance of ‘the fold’.
When people ask my friend Brendan to take a look at their website and review it, he talks about this every time. Far too many websites devote acres of screen space to one thing – their header. And although that may be be very pretty, it’s not a money earning part of your web store or blog. You need to put your attention grabbing content ‘above the fold’.
SEO Content Writing Advice
It’s one of the most important tips you’ll ever get about writing content, but what does it mean?
The phrase ‘above the fold’ comes from newspapers. Newspapers, like websites, are too big to display completely, so they are usually displayed folded. As a result, they put all the stuff designed to grab your attention where you will see it, on the front page, about the fold.
Websites are similar, and many store and blog owners do the same thing, they concentrate on providing good, eye catching, attention grabbing content on the home page, ‘above the fold’, but is that wise, and where is ‘the fold’?
In an interesting blog post, Blog Tyrant talks about the importance of knowing about the ‘fold’ on your internet site and the fact that it depends not just on what you design, but on the screen size used by those who visit/read your site.
Above the fold refers to the area of the screen that you see before you scroll down. So, everything you see on your screen when you load a new website is the area above the fold.
Of course he is talking about blogs, but the same thing applies to every type of website, including (and maybe especially) a web store.
But a website isn’t a newspaper. J. Jonah Jamieson knew that he could grab anyone’s attention by putting a picture of Spiderman on the front page. For website owners it’s not so easy. Why? Because we have no idea which page visitors to our sites will see first. Which makes the whole ‘first impression’ thing a bit harder for us. What’s more, we don’t know what sort of browser our visitor will be using, or what sort of equipment they are using to look at the page; these days it could be anything from the tiny screen on a cellphone to a giant wall sized monitor, and that’s something people forget. It’s not just that the top of the site is more important, it’s also that the left is more important than the right.
The prime piece of screen real estate which appears on every page of your site is your header, so why just use it to display a logo? If you offer free shipping, if you have a fabulous money back guarantee, if you have a toll free telephone number for inquiries, all these can be mentioned in your header, so you can make use of the space and be sure the information is available on every page. And if you have a blog the same applies. Just putting up a logo seems an awful waste of space!
SEO Blog Content: The Three Rules
- Don’t waste space on your site with huge decorative headers.
- Put important information ‘above the fold’ i.e. on the top left.
- Introduce your article by saying what’s in it for the reader, why should they bother reading?
Think carefully about the height of the header. You don’t need pretty graphics, what you need are interested customers/readers who want to buy, so make it easy for them. Let them see, clearly, what you have to offer, and let them see it as fast as possible. If they have to scroll, they are just as likely to click.
And then they’re gone.