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What is Above the fold?

Above the fold refers to the area of web pages directly visible to the user. The term originally comes from the newspaper industry, where important or special content and headlines were placed above the fold. Applied to Internet pages, this means that the user does not have to scroll down for content Above the fold, but notices it immediately when calling it up
  • Is the area above the bottom visible edge of the browser
  • Usually gets most attention from the user
  • May vary depending on device, browser and resolution
  • Is important for usability, conversion and SEO

Above the fold in web design and online marketing

Above the fold is one of the important principles in web design. When an internet user calls up a web page, he immediately perceives this area first, without having to scroll down. Everything below is called below the fold by analogy. Even though user behaviour and the design of websites has changed in recent years, the concept Above the fold is still of considerable importance. Already in the early days of printing, newspaper publishers realized that they could attract the attention of readers especially by placing spectacular or important articles above the fold. The term was later borrowed for web design, as similar effects are used here. Many marketers are still convinced today that particularly important content belongs at the top of a page. But even basic principles like Above the fold are not set in stone, because nowadays many other parameters play a role. In addition, the loading times of websites have improved considerably and more and more users have accepted scrolling as a normal action. Quite a few visitors also find it interesting to explore a page themselves. Among other things, this fact is taken into account by so-called one-pager websites, where the content is presented on a very long page. Above the fold is therefore no longer as 100% decisive as it once was

Above the fold in practice

Important information texts and the navigation belong indisputably in most cases in the area Above the fold. Even common sense recommends placing important content and in many cases calls for action at the top of a page. Different browsers, end devices and screen resolutions can of course lead in practice to different Above the fold areas for the specific user. For this purpose, however, tools are available that provide information about the respective visible page content. Content that is placed below the fold not only serves to draw the user deeper into the page, but often simply gives the search engines enough “food”. For insecure users, however, it is very beneficial that they can find more details and deepen their knowledge even below the “bend”. In such cases, the length of stay increases and the bounce rate decreases. Here, intrusive call-to-action buttons above the fold would only be annoying. It iss hard to say in general terms what should be placed where best. The webmaster is assisted here by continuous tests and optimizations. However, it is important not to place too many banners in the upper area of a page, less is definitely more. Google and Co. do not like it at all if a website becomes too top-heavy in this respect. After all, users are not primarily looking for advertising, but for information and added value. Websites that take the above the fold principle sufficiently into account in terms of content and layout are understandably rated by search engines as user-friendly. However, there are also more and more minimalist designed websites up to sites that have completely abandoned this concept.

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