Philosophy of Above the Fold
Getting visitors to your website is hard work and can be expensive. Keeping those visitors engaged after just a few seconds is even more difficult… so don’t make them scroll!
Research shows visitors must be immediately engaged in order to keep them on a particular webpage or website. Here are the sobering statistics:
- 60 seconds is the average time an individual spends on any one webpage
- 15 seconds represents the time 55 percent of visitors spend on any one webpage
- 6 – 8 seconds is the average attention span of an adult website visitor
Consequently, you have roughly 7 seconds to gain and retain the attention of any website visitor. If you can keep an individual on your webpage or website for 15 seconds, chances are they will continue to consume your content for at least 2 minutes (120 seconds).
Importance of the Content Above the Fold
Journalists, particularly newspaper editors, have always known the importance of content ‘above the fold,’ the upper half of the newspaper that is visible to onlookers when a newspaper is presented within a newsstand. Because only this content is immediately visible, the most eye catching headlines and graphics must be placed here to gain the attention needed to make a sale.
Your webpage content is no different. With so little time to gain visitors’ attention, your most valuable content must be visible without those individuals having to scroll down the screen to see it. Requiring visitors to scroll for content wastes some of the precious little time you have to prove your content’s relevance to their needs.
Keeping the Message Above the Fold
To ensure your most value-adding content remains above the fold, consider applying the following principles:
- Headlines: Use impactful, concise headlines to convey your message
- Summarize: Provide a very high-level summary as the first paragraph of your content
- Bullets: Use bulleted phrases to convey your main points
- Images: Select images supporting your main themes
- Calls-To-Action: Ensure the visitor knows what to do next by placing your call-to-action above the fold
- Layout: Don’t push your headline, message, or call-to-action below an image or graphic
Remember that in today’s world, many of your visitors will arrive on your webpages via smartphones and tablets with even smaller viewing areas. Thus, you need to strive to forever make your communications more concise and immediately value-adding.