Recently I hosted a mini class with a group of talented and amazing women, and during that mini class I spent a ton of time on an area referred to as “above-the-fold.” I didn’t explain what it was, I just rolled with it and assumed everyone knew what that meant.
Well, you know what they say about assuming….
By time I finished and was feeling good, mentally patting myself on the back for a job well done, the questions started rolling in. Person after person started to tell me they had no idea what I was talking about.
Before we tailspin into a repeat scenario, let’s take a moment right now to talk about what I mean when I and others say “above-the-fold”.
Above-The-Fold: This is the space on your website or landing page that is immediately visible to the viewer before scrolling. This typically includes the space with your logo, menu, header image.
Now that we’ve got a clear definition, let’s talk about why I ALWAYS recommend optimizing this space above-the-fold for all the websites I do.
#1 reason? People often won’t scroll on your site. And did you know viewers typically make their exit in 10 to 20 seconds (Nielsen Norman Group)? This means if you’re not capturing their attention in the space above-the-fold, you may lose them forevaaaa [queue the bum bum buummm sound effects]. The area most viewed by unsuspecting visitors that land on your website is the space above-the-fold.
Note: This isn’t just for your home page. You can also optimize the space above-the-fold on any page on your website, including individual blog posts.
For this reason, I always recommend a call to action above-the-fold. You want to capture them as quickly as possible without having to scroll to find everything. This can be something as simple as a button that scrolls them down to a section further on the page, an email opt-in, a freebie, or even a contact form/button.
In order to make this call to action the most successful though is by ensuring the information you place at the top is engaging. Keep this area authentic and avoid going overly salesy – I always look for ways to connect with my audience whenever possible to continuing building trust.
Another route is to tap into an emotion for your viewer, which helps to build a sense of camaraderie with them as well as humanizes the experience. Be careful using too many “fluff” words here – you also don’t want to alienate your audience right from the start or scare them off. We want to be direct and we want to hook them and draw them in!
For example, let’s explore sales pages for a moment. When setting up a brand new sales page:
First: Start with a question that address WHO the audience is then follow up with WHAT you’re going to do for them (for example: Do you struggle and have no idea how to use social media? Take the mystery out of social media with XYZ.) “Struggle” helps to elicit an emotion – “Yes, that’s me” or “this person gets me”.
Second: Keep the area above-the-fold clean and super clear on what is being offered – usually with only one to three lines of text and then a button or an opt in form. This helps to encourage viewers to keep scrolling or take action right away.
Lastly: As they dig deeper into the sales page, here is where you now want to keep that emotion and grow it – you can talk about how you also used to struggle with social media, how it was a daily battle to remember to post, how you often would share photos of your dog because you didn’t know what to share, etc. We want to continue humanizing the experience and make it relatable.
Tip: If you have the ability to include a “partial submission” option when setting up your page, do it! That way you can still capture their email during the checkout process, and if they abandon their cart, you can send a follow up asking why they left and offer discounts or other incentives to get them to come back.
Let me know: Are you currently optimizing the space above-the-fold on your website or sales page?
You’ve got this!
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