Above the fold is stupid

A short post for those in Internet Marketing who still believe the “Put everything above the fold because people don’t usually scroll down” myth. Unfortunately whoever originally said this didn’t quite think the data through and it has been repeated ad-nausium by Internet Marketers ever since.

Here’s why you shouldn’t worry about putting your stuff above the fold and it may even be counterproductive to jam it all up there:

  1. Most people aren’t interested in what you’re selling. Especially if your traffic isn’t pre-sold or coming from relevant locations. Not all traffic is equal and I really wish people would stop a/b testing like it is.
  2. 60% of people don’t scroll down because they don’t like what you have to sell, not because they don’t know how to scroll.
  3. Putting your signup form above the fold is counterproductive. Just because people don’t scroll dosn’t mean they’re going to be like “Oh wow a signup form, I better add my details”.
  4. If you had better content or marketing in place of that signup form you’ll probably (test this!) get better results as you hook people in and get them to register later.

The core thing you should be putting above the fold is content that sucks your visitors in, something that within 5 seconds makes them think “Hey this is a problem I have and they may have the solution”.

Here are things that should not be above the fold:

  1. Videos that start slowly (boring)
  2. Signup forms (seriously the only person who would sign up without reading is your Mum, or heavily presold visitors, in which case it doesn’t matter where your signup form is).
  3. Pictures that mean nothing to fresh visitors (your logo, stock photography, banners etc).
  4. Links (If you want your visitors to do something don’t overload them with options).

Now go build a landing page people actually enjoy and remember: test everything. If you think I’m wrong run a test then come back here and tell me how wrong I am. Being told I’m wrong is fantastic, because it helps me constantly grow and be a better market and human being.

 

tim