When we search something online, a page with a list of websites pops up. This page is called the Search Engine Results Page, or simply SERP & the very first things you see on this page, without scrolling down, is called “above the fold.”
Long before the internet, people read news on big sheets of paper called newspapers. The top part of the newspaper, the section you’d see first before unfolding it, was the most important space. This is because it would grab readers’ attention first.
That’s why it was called “above the fold.”
Fast forward to today, and this term has found its way into the digital world. When talking about websites and search results,
“Above the fold” refers to what you can see on your screen before you scroll down. This space is crucial as it’s the first thing people see, much like those top stories in a newspaper.
In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the importance of being “above the fold” on the SERP, and why it matters so much in our digital age. So, let’s get started!
How to Determine What’s ‘Above the Fold’
The term “above the fold” sounds simple, but what you see first on your screen varies. Why?
Because we all use different gadgets and settings. For example, what appears on your mobile’s screen without scrolling is different from what you’d see on a desktop. Even on desktops or laptops, the number of toolbars or add-ons you have in your browser can change what’s visible at first glance.
To ensure you know what your audience sees first, there are special tools and methods. These tools can show how your website or content appears on different devices and browsers. By using them, you can adjust your content to make sure the important parts are visible immediately.
There’s more to “above the fold” than just screen size.
How your content ranks on search pages plays a big role.
Good SEO practices can push your website higher on the list. But, there’s competition too. Paid ads or PPC can claim top spots. Also, Google sometimes showcases “featured snippets”—bits of information that directly answer user questions. These, along with other SERP features, affect what content lands “above the fold.”
Optimizing for ‘Above the Fold’ Visibility
Ensuring your content pops up immediately when someone opens a website or a search page is vital. But how do you ensure that prime spot? Here are some steps:
High-Quality Content: It’s essential to have content that grabs attention. Users are more likely to engage with a well-written, relevant piece than something hastily put together.
Keyword Usage: Including keywords is like giving your content a map so users can find it easily. But remember, using “easy to understand language” makes your content relatable and accessible to more people. This isn’t about dumbing it down, but ensuring clarity and simplicity.
Mobile Optimization and Responsive Design: Many users now access content from mobiles. Ensure your website adjusts well to different screen sizes. This ensures that regardless of the device – be it a smartphone, tablet, or desktop – your content appears clear and compelling.
Strategic Placement of CTAs: A Call to Action, like ‘Sign Up’ or ‘Learn More’, is a nudge for users to take a specific step. Place these CTAs wisely, making sure they’re clearly visible without overwhelming the content.
Common Myths and Misunderstandings
There are also some myths about the “above the fold” concept.
Users Don’t Scroll: Some believe users don’t scroll down. That’s not entirely true. While the first impression is critical, if users find the content engaging, they’ll keep scrolling.
All Important Content Must Be Above the Fold: While it’s crucial to capture attention immediately, not everything vital needs to be at the top. It’s about balance. Ensure your top part is engaging, leading users to explore further.
Misunderstandings about Ad Placements: Some think placing ads at the top guarantees success. But if ads disrupt user experience, they can do more harm than good. It’s about placing them smartly, ensuring they complement, not dominate, the content.
So, there you have it. Being “above the fold” on SERP means being in that top spot where eyes land first. While it’s a prime position, it’s crucial to remember that the whole page matters.
Businesses should aim for that top spot, but also make sure the rest of their page is filled with helpful and relevant info. As times change, and as people use the internet differently, the way we see and use search results will also shift. The key is to keep up, stay informed, and always focus on providing real value to those who visit your site. Stay on your toes, and you’ll be ready for whatever comes next in the world of online searches.