First impressions are critical when it comes to digital marketing.
The online audience tends to be very picky, and will quickly turn away from your site for the littlest of things such as slow loading speed and too many ads.
This is why you should build a website that can hook an audience right above the fold, the screen that's visible the instant page loads.
This is where users are more likely to engage with page elements such as menus, toolbars, and search bars.
To build a captivating website, here are some of the best examples on how to utilise above the fold for maximum user engagement:
Display Your CTA
The online audience wants information, fast. They have little patience when searching for solutions to their problems. This is why you should offer them a clear course of action to help guide them right off the bat.
You can do this by making sure a clear call-to-action or CTA is visible right when your page loads. For example, take a look at BookMyVacay below.
Remember that a CTA must be compelling and can urge the user to take action in the soonest time. BookMyVacay.com immediately inspires action with the crystal clear CTA from their homepage ("Book Your Vacay Today!").
It must be brief, written in a clear font, have a conversational tone, and highlight the benefits of taking action. Most importantly, it must be instantly visible and not buried under a dense wall of text.
Make the CTA Actionable
By now, adding CTAs is already a widespread practice that online marketers use in web pages, newsletters, advertisements, and other content. However, some brands are guilty of major CTA mistakes such as using weak wordings, using the CTA as a text link, and making the CTA hard to find.
To reap the full benefits of your CTAs, you should incorporate a simple function that allows the audience to complete an action without having to load additional pages. Remember that speed is synonymous with great user experience.
For example, many websites only require the user to supply their email address. Take Blogging Wizard for example:
The same setup can be used by blogs and other informative websites that need to generate new email leads. This can easily be done using opt-in form builders and plugins available in Content Management Systems like WordPress.
Of course, the type of functionality you need to offer depends on the nature of your website. Aside from a CTA that requests an email address, you can also provide a tool that brings in price quotes, searches a database, and so on.
Related Article: Get With the Times: How to Implement Responsive Web Design
Offer an Opt-in Bribe
To further inspire action and increase conversions, you should consider offering freebies such as ebooks, exclusive access, or something else that offer value.
There are no rules when it comes to offering an opt-in bribe to your audience. Feel free to be creative and use your ideas. Just remember that the online audience long for convenience. They need something useful that's easy and reliable to use. For example, Smart Blogger offers a cheat sheet for writing viral blog posts.
It is a good idea to look at your audience, identify their needs, and come up with a tool that they can use quickly. For example, instead of offering an ebook that contains information on how to get fit, you can provide a tool or mobile app that can help users specify and keep track of their weight goals. You can check more examples of opt-in bribes from the Marketing Show Podcast from Leadpages here.
Make it Look Attractive
It is a CTAs job to attract and entice the already-selective audience. This is why you need to employ strategies and good practices for great design above the fold.
Apart from a great interface, a clear CTA, an actionable step, and an opt-in bribe, incorporating visual elements such as interactive presentations, slides, and videos can help improve the user experience and increase conversions.
However, it is important to ensure the visibility of your CTA despite the inclusion of added visual elements. For example, Brendon Burchard featured a looping video clip on his homepage and topped it off with a great combination of all the things you want in a CTA.
Remember that any additional content you use must empower the existing CTA and convince the audience that you are a legitimate business. Brendon Burchard included videos of him with major figures like the Dalai Lama and Oprah Winfrey.
It may not be an easily repeatable tactic, but there are other ways to offer social proof or other evidence of your expertise. You can provide a measure of your current user base, highlight one of your best accomplishments, offer statistical charts or graphs, and so on.
Just like any other aspect of your website, you need constant optimisation to achieve the best version of your above the fold area. Today, online businesses have access to various tools and analytics that can help monitor and improve the performance of web pages.
One of the most widely-used analytics tools would be Google Analytics, which help businesses access different metrics such as page views, session duration, bounce rate, and conversions.
However, since gathering data and optimising takes time, it is also a good strategy to use an A/B testing tool like Optimizely to evaluate multiple versions of your page simultaneously.
To avoid paralysis analysis, it is also a solid strategy to keep things simple. For example, you can rely on simple heatmap tools like Crazy Egg.
Heatmaps are visual tools that can track which on-page elements attract the most clicks. You can use this data to observe how your users interact with your site, where they go, and what you can do to improve their experience.
There's no question that above the fold is an integral aspect of any web page, but you the design process should not stop there. For businesses, it is merely an opportunity to captivate the audience and prove that your content is worthwhile.
As mentioned in this article at ConversionXL, it matters because “it sets the stage for future content and provides quality expectations, not because of some arbitrary, absolute rule.”