Conversion Optimization: What do you Display Below or Above the Fold?

Andrei Iordache

Andrei Iordache

WordPress Developer

🚀 I Help People Get Found Online | WordPress Development, Core Web Vitals, Security&Maintenance

Offering relevant information in the right form and in the best place is key to getting the message across to your website visitor. But how do you decide which information to display below and which to display above the fold? And what effect does that have on conversion?

The Pyramid of Persuasion

The Pyramid of persuasion
The Pyramid of persuasion

A company’s website is its most powerful marketing tool—an interactive touchpoint that allows customers and prospects to learn about its products and services, and to make buying decisions.

To be effective, a website must be designed with a clear understanding of how people make decisions, what motivates them, and what information they need at each stage of the decision-making process.

The most effective websites are designed using a model of persuasion known as the “pyramid of persuasion.”

The pyramid of persuasion is a framework for understanding how people make decisions. It starts with a basic understanding of human psychology and builds up to a detailed understanding of how people make decisions in the digital age.

Whether a page is effective in convincing your visitor to perform the desired purchase or action depends on many factors. Those factors can be divided into 4 categories:

  1. functionality.
  2. usability.
  3. user experience.
  4. persuasion.

Functionality is about enabling certain actions on the website and usability is about removing barriers and difficulties in performing those actions. User experience and persuasion apply to removing any fears and persuading the visitor to perform actions on a website.

Resources at our disposal to optimize a page include copy, images and navigation items such as menus and buttons. An important factor here is the position where these resources are deployed.

Above the Fold vs. Below the Fold

You’ve probably heard the terms “above the fold” and “below the fold” before, but what do they actually mean? In the world of web design and development, these terms refer to the location of content on a web page. “Above the fold” content is visible without scrolling, while “below the fold” content is located below the visible area and can be accessed by scrolling down.

There is no concrete rule about what should be above or below the fold. However, it is generally accepted that the most important content should be above the fold so that users can see it without having to scroll. This is especially true for landing pages, which are designed to convert visitors into leads or customers.

While there is no hard-and-fast rule, there are a few guidelines you can follow when determining what content should go above or below the fold:

  1. Feature important content above the fold. This could be an eye-catching headline, an engaging video, or a Call-to-Action (CTA).
  2. Put secondary content below the fold. This could include blog posts, product descriptions, testimonials, or contact information.
  3. Consider the user’s needs. What kind of information are they looking for? What would be most relevant to them?
  4. Use visuals to your advantage. Placing visual elements above the fold can help grab the user’s attention and encourage them to scroll down.
  5. Test, test, test. Try different versions of your web page to see what works best. A/B testing is a great way to compare two versions of a page and see which one performs better.

Above the fold?

The amount of available space on a web page is limited and we also have to take into account that the majority of visitors only see what is displayed above the fold of a page. ‘The fold’ is a term that comes from the newspaper world. Articles, photos and advertisements above the folded portion of the newspaper were read more and better.

This science has also been applied to Website development for years. Information above the fold on a Web page is visible without the visitor having to scroll. In this context, people often talk about an 80/20 rule. Only 20 percent bother to scroll below fold, but things have changed in recent years in this regard.

A long Web page is fine these days

Years ago, people were not used to scrolling, but today a long Web page is fine if the content and purpose lend themselves to it. In fact, with the increasing use of different devices, “the fold” is no longer in a fixed location. And scrolling has become commonplace for smartphone users, as no story can fully fit into such a small screen without scrolling.

A scrollable page is usually a better solution than splitting (long) content across multiple pages. However, the portion of the page above the fold still gets the most attention. After all, the first impression of a compelling homepage or other powerful landing page is determined by the section above the fold.

Understanding scrolling behavior

By the way, are you curious about the scrolling behavior of visitors on your website? Through Google Analytics 4 it is possible to gain insight into this.

Google Analytics 4 is the latest version of Google Analytics, and it includes a number of new features and changes. One of the most notable changes is the way that scrolling behavior is tracked.

In the past, Google Analytics tracked how far users scrolled down a page using what is known as “Page Depth.” This metric measured how far down a page a user scrolled before leaving the page.

However, Google Analytics 4 uses a new metric called “Scroll Depth.” This metric measures how far down a page a user scrolls before taking an action, such as clicking a link or button.

This change is significant because it allows Google Analytics 4 to better understand how users interact with content on a page. It also helps to identify pages where users are most likely to take an action.

Overall, the change to Scroll Depth tracking in Google Analytics 4 should make it easier for users to understand how users interact with their website and content.

Below the fold?

Below the fold is an important area of a webpage, as it can be used to display additional content or information that may be of interest to the user. This area is also known as the “long tail” of a webpage, as it can be used to target users who are further down the sales funnel and more likely to convert into customers.

There are a few factors to consider when designing content for below the fold, such as the user’s screen resolution and the amount of scrolling that is required to view the content. It is important to ensure that the content is still visible and accessible to users, even if they have to scroll down to see it.

Some web design experts recommend using a “fold test” to determine how much content should be placed above the fold. This can be done by scrolling down a page and seeing how far down the content is still visible. The content should be placed so that it is still visible and accessible without the need to scroll.

When designing for below the fold, it is important to keep the following in mind:

  • The content should be visible and accessible without the need to scroll.
  • The content should be relevant and targeted to the users who are more likely to convert.
  •  The content should be designed to be engaging and encourage users to scroll down the page.

There are studies that show that you can achieve a higher conversion rate by moving the call-to-action (CTA) button below the fold (for example, the ‘Buy Now’ button).

There are different groups of visitors

Perhaps the copy that is now suddenly above the button is so strong that the visitor is extra enticed to convert. Or is the visitor who scrolls down anyway also the visitor with the highest chance of converting?

In my experience, there is simply no easy answer. A good solution can be found when you realize that there are different types of visitors. One visitor is not the other, but you have to take into account different groups of visitors on your website. This brings us to the next point.

MBTI model

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) model is a personality test that helps website visitors to understand themselves and others better. It is based on the theory of psychological types by Carl Jung. The MBTI model has been used for over 60 years and is the most widely used personality test in the world.

The MBTI model consists of four personality preferences:

• Extraverted vs. Introverted
• Sensing vs. Intuitive
• Thinking vs. Feeling
• Judging vs. Perceiving

Extraverted vs. Introverted

Extraverted people are outgoing and social. They are energized by being around others and tend to be more action-oriented. They enjoy being in the spotlight and often take on leadership roles.

Introverted people are more reserved and quiet. They are energized by being alone and tend to be more reflective. They often prefer to work behind the scenes and prefer to avoid the limelight.

Sensing vs. Intuitive

Sensing people are concrete thinkers. They like to focus on the here and now and are often very detail-oriented. They prefer to use their five senses to gather information and like to have everything well-planned in advance.

Intuitive people are abstract thinkers. They like to focus on the big picture and are often more creative. They prefer to use their intuition to gather information and are often more spontaneous.

Thinking vs. Feeling

Thinking people are logical and objective. They like to use their reason to make decisions and often prefer to keep their emotions in check. They tend to be matter-of-fact and can sometimes come across as insensitive.

Feeling people are compassionate and subjective. They like to use their feelings to make decisions and often prefer to express their emotions freely. They tend to be sympathetic and can sometimes come across as overly emotional.

Judging vs. Perceiving

Judging people are organized and decisive. They like to have everything in its place and often prefer to plan ahead. They tend to be punctual and can sometimes come across as inflexible.

Perceiving people are flexible and adaptable. They like to keep things open-ended and often prefer to go with the flow. They tend to be spontaneous and can sometimes come across as disorganized.

MBTI and Your Site’s Audience

The MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) model is also a psychological model used to identify the personal preferences of a Website’s visitors. The MBTI model is based on 16 different personality types, which can be simplified into the following four:

  1. Competitive visitor: decides quickly based on facts
  2. Spontaneous visitor: decides quickly based on feelings
  3. Methodical visitor: decides slowly based on facts
  4. Humane visitor: decides slowly based on feelings

For example, the competitive visitor makes decisions quickly based on facts. The humane visitor, on the other hand, will not decide quickly and pays less attention to facts, but rather to what others think. In the ideal situation, make sure your page is tailored to all visitor profiles. So the best solution might be to place a CTA button above and below fold.

The MBTI model can be helpful for website visitors in a number of ways. It can help them to:

• better understand themselves
• better understand others
• communicate more effectively
• resolve conflicts more effectively

Draw the right conclusions

Using best practices, you can learn a lot about where on a page which components are best placed. But be aware that what works well for company or page A is not always the best solution for company or page B. Therefore, take into account the customer journey, the 80/20 rule, as well as different visitor profiles, among other things.

To further optimize pages, it is indispensable to test a lot. And when you test, do it well. Don’t test multiple components at once, which means you can’t relate certain differences to the exact cause. So make a correct A/B test or multivariate test. That way, you’ll make sure you always draw the right conclusions.

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