“Above the fold” refers to the portion of the webpage that a user sees before scrolling down.
Google has made several major updates to analyze this region, especially affecting organic rankings on mobile, as far back in 2012.
Optimizing this area, like good SEO, is a balancing act. You want to make a great first impression both for users & search engines. It must be engaging yet not overwhelming.
Here are the essentials for above-the-fold content:
- An H1 with a keyword-based yet compelling headline.
- A high-quality image that doesn’t occupy the whole region.
- At least on desktop, a short paragraph or bulleted list describing subtopics. This inverted pyramid approach will also up the chances of a featured snippet.
- Usability features like…
- search function
- faceted navigation, or a way to filter & sort pages, especially for category pages.
- For blogs, consider author boxes, alongside categories & tags, if you have enough content.
- A CTA, at least for the homepage and other conversion-focused landing pages.
- Generally avoid placing ads here.
As a final note, let analytics drive change. Study competitor examples. A/B test your ideas. Get feedback on multiple devices & browsers to optimize your above-the-fold content.