The Myth of "The Fold"

Sarah Yacko | 03.13.2015

Your website. It’s key to your identity. It’s often your customer’s first point of contact with you. It tells the world everything you want them to know about your business. But should it try to tell them everything at once?

As we build websites for our clients, we often hear that they want to make sure information is “above the fold,” meaning that users won’t have to scroll down to see the call to action or an essential piece of information. It’s understandable. And at first glance it makes sense.

Unfortunately, it’s also kind of a myth.

There’s research going back to 1998 demonstrating that people are more than willing to scroll through a web page when there’s information that interests them. And now, with the rise of mobile web usage, scrolling is practically a given.

As more people use smartphones and tablets to browse, scrolling their way into a website is going to be even more of an instinctive move. In fact, as we build our websites to include responsive design (so they present perfectly on every screen), we keep the mobile experience in mind throughout the entire process. And as a site transitions from desktop to tablet to mobile, the “fold” always changes and information needs to be moved so that it presents optimally.

66% of attention on a normal media page is spent below the fold.

What’s going to make someone scroll down to your call to action? Great content, of course, as well as design that allows the audience to focus on key points, giving their eyes a place to rest and digest all the information. When we’re designing our websites, we work on creating an experience that captures viewers’ attention and then maintains their interest up to the point where they decide to take action.

In a study of nearly 100,000 page views, people scrolled on 76% of the pages—22% scrolled all the way to the bottom regardless of the length of the page.

Hitting the user right between the eyes—with lead-generating forms, several callouts and a few different calls to action—doesn’t create the user experience that brings about conversions. In fact there’s ample evidence to suggest that it either has no effect or is less effective than leading the reader through the content to get to a well-placed call to action.

The legendary copywriter Howard Gossage once said, “Nobody reads ads. People read what interests them. Sometimes it’s an ad.” We think the same is true for web design. Find out what we mean when the Concentrek Group team puts our design and content to work for you.

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Contact Concentrek Group

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