Courtesy of USA Today
The term “Above The Fold” was used in the newspaper business which represented everything above the fold on the top half of the page. The Premium Content Area.
Internet marketing for a B2B and B2C site today requires the same key concepts that were once only in the news print industry. Deciding what to place at the top of the web page may be the most important marketing decisions to make.
How do you design a page that is going to capture the attention of the reader when they first visit a web site?
How do you make a page search engine friendly at the same time?
Key factors of understanding
First, it is important to understand that someone will arrive at a website in one of two ways. The first is they know your website by name. The second is they found your website through a search engine, web directory, or reference link. Each of these has its own set of variables when deciding what to place above the fold.
In some businesses it may be very easy to sum up and describe what your company does. Others may find this exceeding difficult to place a description on it. Take for example a B2B business which fabricates widget pieces for hundreds if not thousands of broadly different industries. Each of these industries has a different understanding of the engineering terminologies involved in the manufacturing process to fabricate the various components used in their company’s final product. This might actually be more typical then what most might have thought.
Bridging the gap between the first time visitor and a repeat customer is definitely a challenge. In the example above it is important to cover the bases to the best of your abilities on each web page. Graphics can tell a lot about the company brand. Sometimes the graphics displayed just does not tell the right brand story. Typically most websites have a graphic image at the top quarter or third of a displayed page. Using this area wisely can provide a powerful E marketing impact. Many times the company name can give a great indication of what the company is all about. Highlight the name if this is the case. Other times providing an image of what is manufactured can bring a viewer quickly to an understanding of what your company does.
The old adage that “A Picture Tells A Thousand Words” can certainly be true right here. Graphic logos can even be used both as a functional tool and a visual advertisement of what the site is all about.
Then comes the meat and potatoes. This is where you want to place your most important online information at the top. Get to the facts and issues as quickly as possible. Some have said that you only have three seconds to grab the attention of the viewer. If attention of the reader is captured in these first few seconds, they are much more likely to expand their knowledge of your business or consumer website by reading more information online. Just like in writing a newspaper article the facts and issues are at the top, and from there the story details are expanded upon.
Stories are great to read if they are interspersed with helpful illustrations or pictures depicting the subject matter. Going to new sites I personally want to find out as much information as I can especially if it is something I am interested in. Improperly assuming the new visitor is going to have an understanding of what it is you do with only a few words and a few pictures may be the wrong assumption indeed. Not only that, but with few words in the body, this will not provide the search engines enough information to really categorize the web page and place it in the search engine results pages.
Yes, it is possible to go overboard on your webpages at times. From an Internet marketing perspective it is important to continually revise and improve the story line. Online revision is an area that should never stop occurring.