A few weeks ago, web usability expert Jakob Nielsen posted a new study that showed web users spend 80% of their time looking at information above the fold. They only give 20% of their time to information they have to scroll down to see. That doesn’t mean they won’t see the bottom part of your website; just that they probably won’t give much attention to it.
So, what does all of this mean for you? It means you need to put your most important information above the fold of your website so that visitors can see it without scrolling or taking any further action.
Here are 5 things I believe absolutely must be above the fold on your website.
- Strong headline—The headline is your introduction to the customer. It’s the first thing they see, and if it isn’t great, there’s a good chance they’ll just back out of your website. The good news is that writing powerful headlines is actually pretty easy. Just make sure you focus your headline around your USP/main benefit, and keep it clear and to the point.
- Top benefits of your products or services—In addition to including a benefit in your headline, it’s also good to try to get a short list of your other top benefits above the fold. Bullet lists are most effective because they’re easy to scan and they cleanly lay out the benefits of doing business with you. Just be sure every benefit you list passes the “who cares?” test, and don’t drag your list on forever. Just focus on 3-5 key benefits in your list.
- Clear call to action—Without a call to action, your entire website falls apart. You need to tell your website visitors what you want them to do. Otherwise, they won’t do anything at all. So, if you want them to call you for a free consultation, put that on your website. If you want them to fill out a short form, tell them to do that. And make sure you put this call to action above the fold so it’ll catch the attention of visitors immediately.
- Navigation—Web users expect to interact with your website in a certain way. They’ve come to expect your site navigation to be across the top of your website or along the left side. Personally, I prefer placing it across the top as it puts all key navigation links above the fold. This makes it easier for visitors to find what they’re looking for as quickly as possible.
- Search box—Speaking of making it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for, a search box could be a good tool for your website. This is especially true if your site has a lot of content or if you have a large inventory of products to choose from. Make sure you put the search box above the fold and label it clearly. Also, check out your search function on a regular basis to ensure it’s still working properly.
Are these 5 elements placed above the fold on your website?