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Above the fold

The topmost area of a webpage that is readily accessible to users without requiring them to scroll.

Above the fold

What is above the fold?

The content displayed on a website before the user scrolls are known as “above the fold.” The phrase “below the fold” refers to content that cannot be seen without first scrolling down the page. The ‘fold’ is where the browser window closes while the content continues below.

Where did the phrase “above the fold” originate?

In the early days of publishing, the phrase “above the fold” referred to information that appeared on the top half of the front page of a newspaper. Today, the term “above the fold” refers to content that appears anywhere on the front page of a publication. The title headlines and lead stories that appeared above the fold of a newspaper were the ones that readers were most likely to see when the newspaper was presented on a newsstand.

It was customary to practise employing catchy headlines and vivid pictures above the fold to draw the attention of the readers and persuade them to take the desired action.

The word remained widely used even as more and more publishers shifted their operations online and web design advanced during the 1990s. In modern parlance, “the fold” refers not to a physical fold in a newspaper but to the bottom of a browser window or a distance of around 600 pixels from the top of the page.

Why is it vital to be above the fold?

The arrangement and placement of content are essential since the stuff displayed above the fold is initially seen by a user when a page is loaded. Users focus their attention primarily on above the fold. It is the most critical real estate space since it offers them the most value.

The content you publish above the fold should be the most vital in attaining the business goals you have set for your company because of its increased visibility. The content should quickly capture the visitor’s attention and provide them with the content they are seeking to prevent the user from bouncing and going to another website.

When it comes to advertising, placing advertisements above the fold increases the visibility of such advertisements, which earns a more significant amount of advertising revenue than advertisements in less visible regions. Higher conversion rates are typically achieved on B2B websites by positioning essential call-to-action (CTAs) buttons or forms and other important information about product differentiation above the fold on the homepage or on different landing pages.

How does one determine how much is above the fold?

When referring to a website, it is impossible to designate a single-fold placement. Because of the wide diversity of monitor sizes (including those of laptops and desktop computers), screen resolutions, browser plugins, and sizes of mobile devices like phones and tablets, the specific location of the fold can vary from device to device.

Most web designers agree that the first fold line should be roughly one thousand pixels wide and six hundred pixels tall when selecting an average fold placement.

When the browser window is maximised, and there are no installed toolbars at the top pulling the content down, this is the best-case scenario for the most common monitor/browser combination of 1024×786 pixels.

The analytics package you use for your website can tell you which screen dimensions are the most typical for your users’ devices. New proportions such as 320×568 and 360×640 are becoming increasingly popular, even though 1024×768 has traditionally been the most prevalent resolution.

Things to think about mobile devices

Optimising site design for content that appears above the fold is even more complicated by the growing prevalence of web browsing on mobile devices.

There is a wide range of screen dimensions available on mobile devices. In addition, those who browse on their phones almost always do it in portrait mode rather than landscape mode, which flips the conventional page layout on its side.

Because so many people are accessing websites through such a wide variety of devices, the best practices for web design nowadays involve the usage of responsive design, which consists of the utilisation of adaptable layouts, pictures, and cascading style sheets. In responsive design, the structure of a page is not predetermined, and the information automatically adjusts itself to fit any size screen. Responsive web pages “respond” or perform differently depending on the environment in which they are viewed or navigated.

While the most crucial information should still be located higher on the page, websites should be structured in today’s world to encourage scrolling more frequently so that users get all the essential information.

SEO considerations

Although it is generally considered best practice to position advertisements above the fold to increase the likelihood that users will see them, excessive use of ads can also have unfavourable effects.

Websites that post so many advertisements above the fold that the page’s actual content is pushed below the fold, as a result, are subject to a penalty due to many algorithm adjustments that Google has issued over the years. Sites that place an excessive number of advertisements at the top of the page not only give a poor experience for visitors but also run the risk of seeing a significant drop in the amount of organic traffic they receive as a result of their efforts.

Maintaining a healthy equilibrium is essential for optimal ad view-ability optimization, which ensures that the user experience and ad view-ability are improved.

Improving the placement of content and advertisements

The improvement procedure is iterative and consists of data analysis, testing, and experimentation required to optimise the placement of content and advertisements on a website.

Look at your analytics tool to establish your users demographics (browsers, screen sizes, and device type) as well as their actual behaviors. This analysis is a solid starting point for page layout optimization (scroll depth, bounce rate, engagement rate). The results of this research will supply you with baseline metrics regarding how your users engage with your website.

The subsequent step, which occurs after an initial site audit has been finished, is the generation and testing of hypotheses. You can develop ideas for content and ad placements, utilise A/B testing tools to shift things around on a website, and test which works best to determine which option is the most successful.

Once you have those statistics in hand, you may revisit the information from your analytics platform to formulate fresh hypotheses about how to make your website more user-friendly.

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