I was reading a discussion among designers about clients wanting everything at the top of their websites. Usually this happens when marketing goals are not prioritized and an assumption that website visitors only pay attention to the top of a website.
Prioritize Your Marketing Elements
In our anxiousness to sell, it’s all too tempting to get a bit manic and try to squeeze all your call to actions above the fold. To overcome this – this is what I tell all my clients:
- Make a list of your marketing goals in order of priority. For example, selling books; professional services; newsletter sign-ups, etc. Now you have your marketing goals priority list.
- Next, make a list of website elements (I usually help with this) like a newsletter sign-up box; social media icons; a list of recent articles, any promotional items, etc.
Based on the marketing goals priorities list, you can now easily decide which elements are more important than the others. This is a huge help in deciding where elements should go on a web page layout.
Common Above the Fold Mistakes
- Social Media Icons in the header. Your site visitors just arrived – you want them to leave immediately? At the bottom of a sidebar or your footer is usually where a site visitor will check to see where else they can find you on the web.
- Busy menu bars. Although seven topics in a menu bar is no longer a golden type rule, overwhelming your site visitors will lead to decision paralysis. Keep it lean and prioritize your menu bar, don’t forget you have drop menus.
- Text inside your header image. Unless it is a fancy logo, don’t put your sales text in an image (plus Google can’t index that). It will resize horribly for mobile devices – no one will try to read tiny text.
- Sliders. Studies have shown they don’t convert people to buy; they just keep scrolling. Still not convinced, I collected some expert info for you "A Dying Trend – Sliders."
- Trusting Your Theme Template. Sorry, developers of themes are typically not user experience designers studying every click and behavior of website visitors! They are designing to sell to you the template buyer – not your clients.
Above the Fold Is Toast
Bubble bursting thought: there is no longer an above the fold! Yup, you read that correctly. There are thousands of devices accessing websites, that magical 700/750 pixels height mark previously defined as the fold, is pure fiction for most devices. According to the experts, over 60% of most websites are accessed via mobile devices.
Data supports people are actually spending almost no time at the top. Check out this amazing article "There Is No Fold."
I have to admit this has been a hard concept for me to wrap my head around. Belief should not eclipse facts and I prefer to serve effectively my clients. Time to let go of old concepts.
Do you still believe "above the fold" matters?