First Fold Optimization: The Definitive Guide

First Fold Optimization: The Definitive Guide

You’ve probably heard the adage, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” It does not, however, apply to the World Wide Web. In truth, the situation is just the reverse. According to one research, a web visitor takes 50 milliseconds — or 0.05 seconds — to establish an opinion on a website! People make snap judgments about a website based on its appearance. First fold optimization heavily influences the first impressions of the website visitors.

first fold optimization

However, if user behavior evolves, the conventional use of the fold may become obsolete. This blog delves further into the issue and provides you with concrete suggestions to boost conversions.

What Does It Mean By First Fold?

First Fold‘ refers to describing the information that appears on the top half of a newspaper’s first page. These headlines and items were considered most important once the newspaper was presented. The use of catchy headlines and vivid pictures were prominent. These helped capture the reader’s attention and persuade them to buy newspapers.

As publishers’ operations migrated online and web design matured in the 1990s, the phrase stuck. Today, the fold refers to the bottom of a browser window, or around 600 pixels from the top of the page, rather than an actual fold in a newspaper.

Why Is It Vital To Have First Fold Optimization?

The layout and placement of information are critical since the content is shown in the first fold is the first thing a person sees when they load the page. The most attention is paid to valuable real estate by consumers.

Because of its prominence, the content you post above the fold should be the most crucial to accomplishing your business objectives. The content should quickly capture the user’s attention and present them with the content they seek, preventing them from leaving and visiting another site.

When it comes to advertising, placing ads above the fold increases visibility and earns more ad income than placing ads in less accessible spots. For B2B websites, positioning essential call-to-actions (CTAs) and other significant product differentiator information above the fold on the homepage or other landing pages frequently results in greater conversion rates.

How Is First Fold Calculated?

A website’s single-fold location is tough to define. The specific placement of the fold varies due to the wide range of display sizes (both desktop and laptop), screen resolutions, browser plugins, and phone and tablet sizes.

Most web designers believe that the fold line should be roughly 1,000 pixels wide and 600 pixels in height when establishing an average fold location.

For the most common browsers and monitors, 1024×786 pixels are the best option. This results in a maximized browser window with no installed tools bars at the top to pull down the content.

The analytics tool on your website should tell you what the most frequent screen dimensions are for your visitors. While 1024×768 has traditionally been the most popular, new dimensions such as 320×568 and 360×640 are gaining popularity.

Mobile Considerations

The growing use of mobile devices for online surfing challenges the notion of optimizing web design for above the fold even further.

Mobile devices come in a wide range of screen sizes. Furthermore, most smartphone users browse in portrait mode rather than landscape mode. This flips the standard page design on its head.

With so many people viewing websites on so many different devices, modern web design techniques include adopting responsive design. This includes adaptable layouts, graphics, and cascading style sheets. There is no fixed layout for a page with responsive design, as content reflows to fit any screen size. The responsiveness of web pages depends on the environment where they are viewed.

Significant content should be placed higher on the webpage. More emphasis should be on building a site that promotes more scrolling. This will prevent readers from missing critical content.

Considerations For SEO

Although it is frequently a smart practice to position advertising above the fold to enhance viewability, going overboard with ads may sometimes have negative implications.

Over the years, Google has introduced various algorithm modifications that penalize websites that focus on advertisements above the fold. This results in actual content being forced below the fold. Sites that go beyond ad placement at the top of the page give a poor user experience and can significantly decrease free SEO traffic.

Optimizing for ad viewability necessitates striking a balance between user experience and ad viewability.

Actionable Suggestions To Increase Conversions: 

Here are a few actionable tips to encourage people to scroll through and interact with your website.

1) Inspire Users To Scroll

Consider your website to be a tale. Each Content line and element should compel your viewers to scroll the next area of your webpage.

The web page story’s conclusion should be followed with a CTA.

Here are some methods for getting your users to scroll down:

  • Include a web element that lies on both sides of the fold. On the first page of the website, viewers are greeted with a partly rectangular image.

To achieve your purpose, you can substitute any site element for the video – even plain text!

  • Provide a preview of the content regarding the web page below.

The preview informs users about all the web page has to offer. Users will scroll if they wish to go over the information provided in the preview.

  • Provide a clear indication for scrolling.

Instead of offering subtle clues, you might alert your visitors that more content is available below the fold.

You can show a downward arrow, a scroll symbol, the words “Scroll down,” or something similar.

2) Display The Website’s Differentiators Above The Fold.

There have been several situations when displaying a website’s credentials — trust badges, social proof, and so on — above the fold increased conversions.

Higher conversions signal that consumers were more engaged when websites presented their distinctive qualities.

However, you should not place these site components above the fold without first assessing their usefulness. You may do an A/B test to see which version of your website performs best.

3) Maintain High-Quality Content.

Content remains king.

Following all best practices or having a visually beautiful above-the-fold design does not ensure strong user engagement. The quality of your content, in large part, influences how far readers will navigate through your website.

As a result, a well-thought-out above-the-fold design should always be accompanied by fantastic content.

4) Content And Ad Placement Optimization

Optimizing the placement of information and advertisements on a website is ongoing, including data analysis, testing, and experimentation.

Looking into your analytics software to establish your users’ demographics (browsers, screen sizes, device type) and their actual behaviour is a solid beginning point for page layout improvement (scroll depth, bounce rate, engagement rate). This study will give you a collection of baseline measurements on how your site’s visitors interact with it.

Following the completion of an initial site assessment, the next phase is hypothesis creation and testing. You may generate content and ad placement suggestions, then use A/B testing tools to move pieces around on a website and see which one works the best.

Once you have that information, you can go back to your analytics data and build fresh hypotheses for optimizing your site.

Hope this guide on first fold optimization by ThatWare was helpful for you! For more informative blogs, you can visit our blog section.