Living Above the Fold

Above the fold is the term used for the top part of a web page that is visible when the page first loads. Conversely, the part of the page that you have to scroll down to see is “below the fold”.

Your really “grabbing” content must be above the fold to really be effective. Otherwise, it is invisible unless you have some really strong content that entices your reader to scroll down below the fold.

Where the fold falls on your page is dependent on the screen resolution of the monitor that your viewer is using. A resolution of 800X600 will make the fold higher up on the page than a resolution of 1024X768 since more information will fit on the monitor with the higher resolution.

Current statistics on the Net show that 22% of the people use the lower 800X600 resolution. Approximately half of the people on the Net use 1024X768 resolution. The rest use higher than 1024X768.

With approximately half of your viewers using 1024X768, use that resolution as the target resolution for your pages. The fold will move down the page for the other viewers with higher resolutions.

Put the real meat of your content in the first paragraph and even the reader with the 800X600 resolution will see that above the fold.

We recently did a study on this phenomenon to prove the power of position above the fold.

The top two keywords for the Retirement Jobs Online site are “retirement jobs” with 82 searches per day and “jobs for retirees” with 32 searches per day (Wordtracker data).

In January 2007, the site received exactly the same number of visitors from each of these keywords.

Statistics say that the visitors to the site should match the same ratio as the Wordtracker search data.

Why wasnt this so?

The position for the “retirement jobs” keyword is seventh on the Google search engine results page. This puts it below the fold and out of sight.

The position for the “jobs for retirees” keyword is fourth. This puts it just above the fold of the Google results page. This keyword is easily seen.

Thus, the keyword with the lower search volume gets clicked a higher percentage of the time since it is above the fold.

When people are loading and reading a web page, they are scanning and moving quickly. They scan what the page holds and move on to the next page. Unless they are really taking time to look below the fold, they will not see you.

Remember —-

Live above the fold —– Die below the fold.