Is your website leaving the right first impression with your audience?
First impressions are the key to sparking interest in your brand. When potential customers stumble upon your webpage, their decision to stay or leave will happen in seconds… And it all relies on your above the fold website copy.
In this blog, I’ll go over what needs to be above the fold on your site to grab your audience’s attention, make a great first impression, and increase your engagement and conversion rates.
Above the Fold vs Below the Fold
The concept of above the fold website copy stems from the pre-digital era of communication – back in the days when everyone bought newspapers. Since newspapers were folded in half and put out for sale, passerbys would only see whatever was above the fold. The content above the fold had to entice people to buy the paper, without even picking it up. It had to convince people to buy with just a quick glance.
Above the Fold Definition
So what is considered “above the fold” when it comes to your web content? Above the fold website copy is any content that appears on the top half of your website when someone first arrives at the URL, without any scrolling or clicking.
Here is an example of what our website looks like above the fold:
As you might imagine, what content falls above the fold depends on screen size. Not everyone has the same sized computer monitors. Plus, people are accessing the Web through tablets and smartphones now too.
Here is what website visitors see above the fold when they are viewing on mobile:
So how can you figure out what falls above the fold on your website?
You can get a good estimate by using your website’s analytics program to find out what the most common screen dimensions are for your visitors. Then, you can use the average screen height as a guide for where the website “fold” is.
Below the Fold Definition
The majority of your website is below the fold. This is anything that is not initially visible when someone first arrives at your site. Visitors will only get to see it once they start to scroll down the webpage.
For instance, everything that is below the red line here wouldn’t be seen unless the visitor was curious enough to keep exploring the webpage.
Since a majority of your content may be below the fold, you want to lead your customers there! Let’s talk about how you can take full advantage of your above the fold website copy to do just that.
4 Requirements for Above the Fold Website Copy
To capture your audience’s attention, the above the fold copy on your website needs to:
- Target the customer
- Identify the problem
- Introduce the major benefit
- Call to action
1. Target the Customer
When it comes to making a powerful first impression in the real world, eye contact and addressing the person by name play a huge role. To achieve the same effect virtually on your webpage, make sure your above the fold copy targets the customer.
So what does copywriting that targets the customer actually look like?
Call them out. The most straightforward way to target the customer is to acknowledge them by name in your copy. For example, Scalable opens with “Attention all Founders & CEOs”.
Speak their language. Use words and phrases that your target audience is familiar with. Don’t be afraid to use jargon or slang if your target customer knows the terms. It shows that you’re speaking directly to them in their own language. For example, Wilson Murphy Law’s about page perfectly addresses what her audience knows – that they don’t want copycats or poachers. This isn’t language that you would see leaving an attorney’s mouth. And that’s okay. Speak your audience’s language.
Focus on them. Make sure your above the fold website copy is focused on the customer rather than your business. To check how well your copy does this, see if you use “You” about twice as often as you use “We”. Notice how Elementor doesn’t talk about themselves – they talk about “you”.
2. Identify the Problem
Targeting the customer will grab their attention. After that, you’ll only have a few seconds to engage their curiosity by identifying a problem they are experiencing.
Sometimes, your customer won’t even realize they are experiencing a problem until you bring it to their attention. Once the customer realizes the problem (and if the problem is important enough to them), they’ll continue to scroll down your website to find your solution.
What kinds of problems is your target customer experiencing?
According to Harvard Business Review, customers have 4 main kinds of problems they need solutions for. Let’s talk about the two major problems most businesses should address in their above the fold website copy: functional and emotional problems.
Functional problems are the most common type of challenge your customers will experience. These are problems that have an impact on their practical day-to-day functioning.
This can include things like:
- Not having enough time to accomplish a certain task
- Not making enough money
- Something is too complicated or unorganized
- A product or service they currently use lacks quality or variety
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that your customer is human! It may seem obvious, but so many businesses overlook this crucial fact. Because you’re writing for humans, you can also address emotional problems that they might be experiencing, like:
- Experiencing heightened anxiety
- Missing the past or feeling nostalgic
- Feeling exhausted or burnt out
Now, your above the fold copy doesn’t have to include every problem that your target customer is facing. In fact, it shouldn’t! You only have a limited amount of space and a short amount of time when it comes to above the fold content. Instead, your above the fold website copy should highlight the main problem that is most disruptive for your target customer. Then discuss the solution your company offers.
3. Introduce the Major Benefit
Once you’ve targeted the customer and identified their problem, you can’t stop there! The next piece you have to include is an introduction to the major benefit your company offers to solve the customer’s problem.
Here are some strategic ways to introduce the major benefit to your customer:
- Stand out among competition. Introduce a benefit that is unique to your company by creating a unique selling proposition. What does your company offer that others don’t?
- Use your brand voice. When you’re introducing customers to the major benefit, you’re also introducing them to your brand. Make sure your above the fold copy reflects your brand’s personality by creating a brand voice.
- Show the stats. Quantify just how much time and money they’ll save, or how much variety/quality they will gain. Try using infographics that are eye-catching and easy to read at a glance.
- Tap into emotions. Think about how you want your customer to feel after they have access to your product and reflect that in your writing.
4. Call to Action
Finally, your above the fold website copy won’t be complete without a call to action.
If you’ve structured your above the fold content with everything we’ve discussed so far, your target customer will be ready to (at the very least) learn more about your products and services.
Make it as easy as possible to do that – without any scrolling or navigating by adding a call to action button above the fold.
Here are some call to action ideas to include above the fold:
- Free offer. Offer free content, sample products, free trials, or consultations in exchange for an email sign-up.
- Learn more. Link to a page where customers can learn more about your products or see a demo of your services.
- Get started. Lead your customers directly to your product/service description page where they can sign-up, enroll, or make a purchase.
- Let’s talk. Take your customers to your contact page or a place where they can schedule an appointment with someone from your team.
Feel free to get creative with the words you use in your buttons/links/call to actions.
When choosing a call to action, keep your website visitors’ familiarity with your brand in mind. If you’re a new company and visitors might not be familiar with your brand, opt for a free offer or a link to learn more.
On the other hand, your call to action should look different if you’re a well-established company and a majority of your website visitors are already familiar with your brand. In this case, you’ll do better to have a call to action that gets customers started or puts them in touch with your team.
Start Writing Your Above The Fold Copy
With all of these guidelines in mind, remember that the space above the fold on your website is limited. Many companies struggle to fit in all of the key elements without overcrowding the space. If you want help writing clean and effective above the fold website copy that reflects your brand, FocusCopy can help with that! We help businesses increase their conversion rates just by adjusting their copy. For more copywriting tips, subscribe to our Insider’s List here.