If you market your business online, you’ve probably encountered the phrase “above the fold.” It refers to the most prominent part of your website, the one visitors can see before they scroll. It’s crucial to optimize this area—if you don’t, you risk losing visitors and possible customers.
When someone lands on your website for the first time, the home page will help them decide whether or not they want to click on other pages. Through well-written above the fold content, you will develop their interest in your offerings and get them to stay longer on your site.
Why is it Called “Above the Fold?”
The phrase “above the fold” relates to newspaper publishing. It refers to the content you can see before you unfold a newspaper—publishers usually place the most significant headlines above the fold because they quickly capture the readers’ attention. Marketers and web designers have adapted the term for the internet; today, above-the-fold content is anything visitors see by default on your front page.
This area, which visitors first see when they land on your page, isn’t meant for conversions. It’s for piquing their interest and leading them to other things that will further engage them. Conversions don’t have to happen until farther down the page or at another time.
Above the fold content is like your elevator pitch—it helps readers determine, in seconds, if they’re in the right place. People will scroll down to your offerings if your home page’s above-the-fold space is convincing enough.
How to Optimize this Type of Content
You can make your above-the-fold content more attractive to visitors by following best practices in SEO. Here are three basics to start:
Write a Compelling H1 Tag
The heading or H1 tag is what grabs people’s attention on your website. It sets the tone for the rest of your content, communicates your unique selling proposition, and helps visitors decide if they will click away or scroll down to learn more.
For a couple of sentences, that’s some heavy lifting, which is why you need to write an excellent H1 tag. Ideally, this is one of the last things you’ll write for your page—when you’ve written about your services, your history, and other details about the company, it’ll be easier for you to create an H1 tag that captures your brand.
Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal buyer—what would they want to see on your website? What will make them decide that your site is different from the millions of other providers, e-commerce stores, or enterprises they could choose?
If you’re creating the header for your homepage, you’ll want this to describe your company in as few words as possible while still making it stand out. Your header will communicate this unique value, while the copy further down the page will expand upon this headline or talk about your promise to your visitors.
Include Your Main Keywords in the First Paragraphs
Besides the H1, many websites have a paragraph or two above the fold. These paragraphs contain at least one keyword that the company focuses on. When optimizing for search engines, keyword location matters. Having keywords in the peripheries of a page, where they appear as footnotes or incidental to the main content, won’t do anything for your rankings.
Many experts say it’s best to include SEO keywords as early as possible, perhaps within the opening paragraphs. It allows search engines to learn more quickly what your page is about while showing your target readers that they are in the right place.
Optimize for Google Featured Snippet
Don’t focus on the home, about, and service pages only—optimize above-the-fold content for your blog posts as well. One way to do that is by trying to land a Featured Snippet. This type of rich result answers queries directly on the search engine results page or SERP. Typically, Google retrieves information for featured snippets from pages with high rankings. However, it can also pull from websites that aren’t as far up in the SERPs. It means smaller websites have a chance to jump ahead of bigger ones and land a prime spot.
There are various types of Featured Snippets, including bullet or numbered lists, paragraphs or phrases, tables, and videos. Besides increasing organic traffic, being in a Featured Snippet is also good for your website’s authority. If Google chooses your content to feature on its SERPs, it means they trust you, which lends your brand credibility.
You can try to land a Featured Snippet by focusing on answering user questions. Doing keyword research will help you uncover audience questions about the kind of services you offer. Instead of starting a post with an introduction or an overview, respond to a user question or provide the information the keyword is looking for.
Make your content easy to digest—if the keyword you’re targeting already has a snippet from another website, try to format your post the same way. You want your content to be easy to skim since people aren’t likely to read everything on a page (even if they click your link).
Bullet points and numbered lists, descriptive headers, relevant images, tables, and infographics are all helpful in providing people with the information they need without them having to read a wall of text. Make your responses brief as well. A Featured Snippet is usually between 40 to 50 words long, so make your sentences concise.
Your above-the-fold content is responsible for drawing visitors in and getting them more interested in what you have to say. This area of your website should demonstrate your brand personality in a few words and show people why they should trust you instead of your competitors.
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