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Engaging Customers Above the Fold

Posted by in Conversion Optimisation

You know the old saying, first impressions count? It’s one of those sayings that was doomed to die and wither into a cliche – until the internet came along.

Now, more than any time since people realized how bad the mullet looks, first impressions count. The first impression your website makes can define how well your business does online. In the course of an average day in the Search Engine Marketing world, I talk to at least one client whose website completely misses that point.

The point of most commercial websites, in case you needed any reminding, is to convey the business’s strong points in an eye-catching and engaging manner. I’m here today to inform you about how you can maximise one of the most crucial pieces of real estate your website has.

You ready to see it? OK, let’s go. The first step is to go to your website’s homepage. In my case, I’ll type www.ewebmarketing.com.au into my browser.

E-Web homepage

Next step is…NOTHING! That’s it right there, staring at you in the face. That’s what we call “above the fold” – meaning what a user sees straight off the bat, without having to scroll down the page to “below the fold”.

Now, think about how well you have utilized this space. Studies have shown that the first place a user will look at is the top left corner of the page called the Golden Triangle. They then read down the page in a “F” pattern, scanning for information. So here’s how you saw the E-Web homepage in that crucial first split-second:

E-Web homepage with F scan

Interesting, isn’t it? Notice how E-Web carefully places testimonials, awards, free search engine rankings analyses and cute babies right where you see them. Notice how the interface is clean and uncluttered with simple clean colours and neatly aligned page elements. Notice how it engages the user to call, email, get a ranking report or read more. It’s a great above the fold impression.

So how can you get achieve something similar? All it takes a bit of thinking (by you) and then a bit of doing (by your web developer). A few questions you can ask yourself about your site are:

  1. What is the first thing I see?
  2. Is this snapshot clean and easy to understand?
  3. Does this convey what my business does?
  4. Does this convey why a potential customer should choose me?

By asking these simple questions, you’ll get valuable insight into how you can tweak your webpage to make your guests’ experience smoother and more engaging, one of the fundamental steps of conversion rate optimisation. Yes, I said guests – they are important and your website should welcome them the same way that you would welcome a friend to your home.

Because all that your SEO or PPC campaigns can do is drive more guests to your site. What they experience from there will determine whether they want to do business with you. So welcome them with a warm ambience, a trophy cabinet, complimentary treats and something damn cute to look at.

About

Dan is an slightly mad and wildly offensive online marketing consultant. He manages campaigns for E-Web Marketing with an irreverent style that inexplicably nets fantastic results. He is obsessed with all things online and can frequently be found blogging about Conversion Rate Optimisation, SEO and whatever random ruminations go through his questionable head.

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