Debunking the Fold and Creating a Website That Performs

If you’ve spent any time working around marketing websites, you have heard someone reference the term “above the fold.” It’s frequently used when designing the layout of web pages. But frequency doesn’t make it current, or correct. 

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a dated term.

-CrazyEgg Blog

The fold was never a digital thing.

The term “above the fold” is rooted in print. It's from bygone days when there was a literal fold in the newspaper that separated the top half from the bottom. So if you are designing the layout of the NY Times front page, you can reference the fold. For everyone else, screens and monitors don’t fold. Today we scroll.

Hello Scroll

"While you can still lead with your most important content, you no longer have to."
-Litmus

As if to prove the fold doesn't exist, data shows that top heavy web pages don’t perform.

Web designs created around “the fold” are often top-heavy and have several competing calls-to-action. If your best content is at the top of your page, you don't give visitors a reason to scroll or engage further down. Tools like CrazyEgg reveal this user behavior, and still marketers find their website traffic reports baffling.

Nearly 66%

of engagement happens on the bottom half of a webpage!

 

If you want to radically improve your site’s performance, stop trying to force the entire buyer’s journey into the top third of your page. Pages like this confuse visitors, and they ultimately leave without engaging.

Use the top each page to get attention and draw visitors in.

Like the opening line of a book, engage visitors with a grabbing first sentence or imagery. Then let your story unfold.

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Storytelling is older than paper, folded or not. It has withstood the test of time because of its ability to convey ideas and be shared. When told well, stories invoke emotion. According to research by Google, in partnership with Motista and CEB, 50% of B2B buyers are more likely to buy if they connect emotionally with your brand.

The mantra of above the fold is indicative of marketers wanting things to happen quickly. In today's relational and self-educating B2B environment, we must be patient. Marketers need to give time to strategy and planning. We must tell a thoughtful story our audiences can connect with and the payoff will come.