Marketing Glossary

Above the Fold

The visible section of a webpage that does not need viewers to scroll.

What is ‘Above the Fold’?

The section of a website page that is visible before scrolling is known as above the fold content. ‘Below the fold’ refers to content that must be viewed by scrolling down. The ‘fold’ is the point at which the browser window closes but the content resumes below.


What is the Origin of the Phrase ‘Above the Fold’?

‘Above the fold’ was a phrase used during early days of printing to describe information that appears on the top portion of a newspaper’s cover page. The headlines and leading items that ran above the fold were the most apparent when newspapers were presented on a sidewalk.

Quirky headlines and vivid pictures were frequently used to pique readers’ interest and persuade them to purchase the paper. The phrase stuck when publishers shifted their online businesses and web design progressed in the 1990s. Today, the fold refers to the bottom of a browser window, or around 600 pixels from the top of the page, rather than an actual fold in a newspaper.


Why is it Vital to Have Content ‘Above the Fold’?

Since material that displays ‘above the fold’ is what a user sees initially when they visit the website page, content arrangement and location are critical. The most interest from users is devoted to valuable real estate.

The information you publish ‘above the fold’ should be the most critical to attaining your business goals for its increased visibility. So that they wouldn’t bounce or go to another site, the material should instantly attract the viewer’s attention and provide them with the material they’re looking for.

Placing ads above the fold increases their visibility and produces more ad revenue than placing ads in less accessible areas. Placement of essential call-to-actions (CTAs) and other significant product differentiator material above the fold on the main page or other landing pages frequently leads to higher conversion rates for B2B websites.


How Do You Measure ‘Above the Fold’?

A website’s single fold placement is tough to specify. The specific location of the fold varies due to the wide range of display sizes (both laptop and desktop), phone and tablet sizes, browser plugins, and screen resolutions. Most web designers believe that the fold line should be around 1,000 pixels wide and 600 pixels height when establishing an average fold placement.

This is the optimal configuration for the most common browser/monitor combination of 1024×786 pixels with no installed toolbars pulling the content downwards and the browser window maximized. Your website’s analytics engine should be able to determine which display sizes your viewers prefer.

Please Note: While 1024×768 has historically been the most prevalent and favorable resolution, other proportions such as 320×568 and 360×640 are gaining acceptance.


Mobile-Related Considerations

The growing popularity of using mobile devices for web surfing greatly complicates the principle of above-the-fold web design. Mobile phones come in a wide range of screen sizes. Furthermore, consumers on smartphones prefer to surf in portrait mode instead of landscape mode, which flips the typical page design on its head.

Responsive design, which incorporates cascading style sheets, flexible layouts, and responsive images, is becoming standard practice in web design due to the large number of people visiting websites using a wide variety of devices. There is no fixed layout for a page in responsive design, as content reflows to fit any screen size. Web pages that are responsive react to the environment in which they are browsed or consumed.

While essential information should still be placed higher on the page, pages should now be built to promote scrolling so that crucial stuff is not missed.


Considerations for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Although it is frequently a smart idea to display advertising above the fold to improve their viewability, going overboard with ads can also have negative implications. Over the years, Google has introduced various algorithm modifications that punish websites that position so many advertising above the fold that the actual content of the page is forced below the fold.

Sites that place a slew of adverts at the top of the page give a poor user experience, and this can lead to a significant drop in free SEO traffic. Ad viewability optimization necessitates a delicate balance between ad viewability and user experience.