We all understand how important good website design is for businesses. But exactly what constitutes “good” web design isn’t always quite so clear. There are differing schools of thought when it comes to certain design features or layouts. One thing most people do agree on is that you need to make an impact as soon as visitors arrive on your site. A big part of this is having important components “above the fold.”
What does “above the fold” mean?
The term originated with print publications (i.e., the front page story that catches your attention before you ever unfold the newspaper), but it now applies to websites too. It’s the portion of the page that visitors see right away, without ever having to scroll.
“Above the fold” content is important because it’s what users will see first and pay attention to the most.
In fact, eye-tracking studies have found that people spend 80% of their time on a webpage above the fold. Around 63% of Fortune 500 company websites have content above the fold as part of their design because it instantly communicates who you are, what you’re about, and how you can help visitors with their problems. If you aren’t making good use of this space, you’re missing out.
Which web design options should you include above the fold?
- Unique Selling Proposition (USP): Your unique selling proposition is a concise way of expressing what your business does and how you can help visitors. It can be as simple as “generate leads and close deals” or “the data and tools you need to [insert service here].” This USP should instantly show them why they need the information, products, or services you’re providing.
- Brief Explanation: Your USP serves as the hook, but it usually won’t give many extra details. Visitors need to make a determination as to whether you’re the right business to help them with their problem. Therefore, you do need to give a bit more information to convince them. This explanation copy should be brief, but not too brief. In other words, be matter-of-fact but make sure what you write is intriguing.
- Company Logo: When you communicate to visitors what you do, you need to make sure they associate that information with your brand. A compelling company logo is the best way to ensure cohesion. Regardless of your industry, you probably have more competitors now than ever before; because the market is so saturated, you need to stand out. A great logo can help you make certain your branding is consistent and that you’ll make a lasting impression.
- Straightforward Navigation: When someone comes to your site for the first time, you should help them get their bearings. Part of that is making sure the navigation-related web design options options are clearly laid out above the fold and that they don’t have to guess where to go next. Some website solutions for this include having tabs across the top (rather than hidden drop-down menus) or a “start here” button for even easier direction. These web design options should be intuitive, allowing visitors to find their way around with little effort on their part.
- Contact Information: Most web design companies understand the necessity of the contact button, but some businesses may not. Visitors want to know that you are legitimate and easy to get a-hold of, if need be. Providing contact info above the fold can actually go a long way in terms of trustworthiness. In a sea of internet businesses, potential clients want to know that you have the integrity to include this information upfront.
While preferences in web design options may vary, most people in this industry agree that having immediate access to these features can make a huge difference in how your business is perceived and how much time a visitor will spend on your site. Therefore, the Atlanta website design company you choose should understand the importance of including these features above the fold. Now that you know what to look for, we’ll bet you’ll start taking notice of when this technique is used — and when it’s been overlooked completely — on websites you visit on a daily basis.