Above the Fold and Below the Fold

The terms Above the Fold and Below the Fold are elements of a website. This is often part of online marketing in the areas of AdSenses or Affiliate Marketing. They appear here in the form of an advertising banner, as ads or as links. The decisive factor is the immediate visibility of the area. Depending on whether the user has to scroll to see the content, these parts of the page are considered Above or Below the Fold.

Where does the term "Above the Fold" come from?

The terms originally come from web design. Above the Fold is the area of a website that is already visible without the user having to scroll - in other words, the top half. Below the Fold, on the other hand, is everything that lies below this imaginary line. The user must therefore scroll for this content. 

The term fold originates from the printing industry and symbolizes the fold line that is created when newsprint is folded. Transferred metaphorically to websites and design, this fold line stands for the point at which the newspaper must be opened or the website scrolled.

What is the meaning of "Below the Fold"?

On e-commerce websites, additional products are often displayed Below the Fold. This also applies to editorial pages. Here, the Below the Fold section is used for similar articles or further information. This area is therefore optimal for positively influencing user behavior. 

The following effects, which belong to the user experience, can be obtained from this:

  • Longer dwell time on the website
  • higher click-through rate on the website
  • better customer loyalty

The technological revolution means users are increasingly accessing the Internet from smartphones or tablets. Mobile use is changing the way we operate on the Internet. Smaller screens bring with them more intensive scrolling. Constantly switching screen views is also making its presence felt. In the wake of changing behaviors, the conception and design of websites must be adapted.

Since not every screen is the same size, the positions of the folds also differ from device to device. Factors such as the screen resolution or the page magnification play a role here. These factors must be taken into account when designing the fold.

What content belongs where on the website?

In general, the most important content appears at the top of the page. However, this space should not be packed with too many elements. The mixture makes the difference.

How can you control user behavior with Above the Fold?

It is important to arouse the user's interest in the Above the Fold area. The user should therefore be encouraged to scroll further. In order to enable clear navigation, boxes and columns are suitable that signal to the user: "There's more at the bottom". A targeted cut in the fold can also help.

How does Above the Fold affect SEO?

Since 2012, websites that use a lot of above-the-fold advertising are no longer ranked by Google. The reason for this is an unsatisfactory user experience. This update is called the Page Layout Algorithm Update.

For a good ranking it is important to balance the ratio of content and advertising well. Onpage optimization in this case is not only about the technical aspect, but also about user-friendliness.

Experience shows that the upper part of a web page is the one that receives the most attention. Of course, it is plausible to place advertising banners here. But as already mentioned, this has a rather bad effect on the ranking and traffic.

Does the call-to-action belong in the Above the Fold?

The placement of the CTA (call-to-action) can be approached differently. In principle, however, it is not a mistake to place the CTA right at the beginning of the page. Because the more concisely the user recognizes how to buy a product or get in touch, the better.

Visitors convinced already?

Are users already convinced of the product when they come to the website and visit it only to complete a purchase? Then they are likely to respond to the CTA right at the beginning of the page. They have already made their decision before the visit. Thus, the placement is not crucial.

Visitors unsure but know the product?

If visitors come to the page with prior knowledge of the product, it is important to place the call-to-action directly on the Above the Fold. This makes successful completion more likely.

Visitor unsure and product complex?

If it is not directly clear what is being sold on the website, a targeted explanation is needed as to why the user should respond to the CTA. Only then is it presented. You have to act with conviction.

As a SEO Agency in Munich, we will be happy to assist you with your projects.

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