What Above the Fold Means and 7 Optimization Strategies

What Above the Fold Means and 7 Optimization Strategies

Yusuf Shurbaji
Jun 21, 2023
min read


  • The term "Above the Fold" (ATF) refers to the content users see before scrolling on a webpage, and its design is crucial as it forms the first impression for your visitors.
  • ATF content, being the first content a new visitor sees, plays a significant role in retaining users; if not engaging, users may leave the website, missing out on the rest of your offerings.
  • A well-crafted ATF design, which is engaging and visually appealing, encourages users to explore further, contributing to higher conversion rates, longer page visits, reduced bounce and churn rates.
  • The importance of ATF content is that it should grab attention and highlight your business's social proof, increasing its credibility.
  • Effective ATF design strategies include simplification, ensuring content is streamlined, easy to navigate, and includes clear CTAs leading to other pages, which can enhance user interaction and enjoyment.


As the saying goes, there’s no such thing as a second first impression. It’s true for real-world interactions with other people, and it’s also true for your brand website. What visitors see when they first click on your e-commerce shop impacts whether they’ll eventually make a purchase, what they think of your brand, and much more.

Because of the importance of that first impression, you need to know how to design above-the-fold content and how best to optimize the above-the-fold experience for your website visitors. Let’s break down both of these topics in detail.

What Does Above the Fold Mean?

Above the fold” or ATF references any web content that appears on a user’s screen or browser before they have to scroll down. Therefore, the “fold” is where a loaded webpage cuts off at the bottom of a user’s screen. Anything above the fold is ATF and anything below the fold is “BTF.” It’s usually the top half of the front page and is crucial to the overall customer experience.

Imagine visiting a new ecommerce site for the first time. When you click on that site, the page's core header elements probably appear, including the title of the page, a navigation bar, and the first few paragraphs or lines of text content. Anything below that cut-off is no longer above the fold.

ATF content affects homepage content, product page content, and other digital real estate. It’s a key element of SEO or search engine optimization, and it can appear differently on different screen sizes and screen resolutions. 

Therefore, it’s a crucial element of website design, especially in the early days of your site — a responsive design paired with functionality and usability can capture a site visitor’s attention and play a key role in getting them to convert.

Where Does the Fold Appear on a Webpage?

The fold for a given webpage is at the bottom of a visible page when it first loads. If a user has to scroll to see a piece of content, it is below the fold, and that content won’t capture users’ attention.

Of course, where the fold is can vary depending on:

  • The type of browser the user utilizes.
  • The device the user utilizes – for example, the fold might appear differently on a desktop device compared to a mobile device.
  • The size and layout of a webpage.

As a general rule of thumb, a website's “fold line” is about 1000 pixels wide and about 600 pixels tall. While keeping this rule in mind, you can design engaging and converting content above the fold to encourage people to scroll through the rest of the page.

There’s no perfect fold design for every user or browser. That said, you can still design the above-the-fold content on your website so it’s optimized and engaging for most of your users.

Why Is Above the Fold Content Important?

Simply put, above-the-fold content matters because it’s the first impression new users have of your website. 

The above-the-fold content is the first content a new visitor will see on your webpage. If above-the-fold content is less than stellar or boring, there’s a much higher chance that the user will click away from the website or page without seeing what else your brand offers.

The reverse is also true. If your above the fold content is well-designed, eye-catching, and otherwise engaging, users will be more likely to scroll down to the rest of the page, click to other pages on the same website, etc.

Well-designed above-the-fold content and an intelligent website layout could yield your brand a number of benefits, such as:

  • Higher conversion rate
  • Greater time spent on page per visitor
  • Reduced bounce rate
  • Reduced churn rate

All in all, above-the-fold website content needs to be attention-grabbing and highlight social proof of your business.

What Are Some Above-the-Fold Optimization Strategies?

A person browsing a dress on an ecommerce site through a tablet.

Fortunately, you can design the above-the-fold content on your website using a handful of key, effective optimization strategies. Let’s take a closer look.

1. Include Engaging Content

First, and most importantly, include engaging content in the first bit of your page that loads for visitors. It seems simple, but it bears stating outright – the first content someone sees should be engaging, compelling, and emotionally resonating.

There are a lot of different ways in which you can do this. 

For example, you can add a featured image, a GIF, a video, or other form of content that catches the eye and makes it worthwhile for a new site visitor to keep browsing.

If your above-the-fold content is text, make sure the text is snappy, concise, and interesting. The worst thing your ATF content can be is boring, so do everything you can to make sure the content above the fold is as engaging as possible.

2. Simplify Your Design

At the same time, you don’t want to overstuff the above-the-fold space on a given webpage. If there’s too much going on, people can become confused, annoyed, or frustrated trying to navigate your site.

Try to simplify your ATF content design. Work with UI and UX experts if needed to ensure that the above-the-fold content is:

  • Streamlined and simplistic
  • Easy to navigate through and browse through
  • Built with buttons that lead to other pages of the site

By simplifying the design of your ATF content, people will have more fun looking through it.

3. Include a Clear Tagline

In many cases, especially for landing pages, you should have a clear tagline for all ATF segments. The tagline can be:

  • A description of the page and its content, like a summary paragraph or title
  • A header that describes what the page is about

In either case, the tagline must be clear and understandable. It should tell a prospect, lead, or site visitor everything they can expect to see on the webpage before scrolling. That will give them the confidence to continue browsing through the page itself.

4. Have a Call to Action
Laptop on a table with an ecommerce site on its screen.

It’s also wise to include a call to action, particularly for product pages or other areas of your website where you want to convert a visitor into a paying customer. The call to action or CTA should:

  • Be short, sweet, and to the point
  • Contain “action” words like “buy,” “sale,” and “today!”
  • Speak to a prospective purchaser

Placing a call to action at the top of the page is smart, even if you plan to include another call to action at the bottom of the page, at the end of its primary content. 

The more you graciously offer a product or service to a prospective customer, the more likely they are to take you up on that offer if and when they’re convinced by the rest of your content, your site design, or the overall user experience.

5. Anticipate and Answer Visitor Questions

One of the best ways to optimize above-the-fold content is to anticipate and answer potential visitor questions.

Visit some of the most essential pages on your website, like the landing page and flagship product pages, and ask yourself:

  • If you were a new visitor, would your questions be answered?
  • Can you find the information you’re looking for, even in summary format, within the first few seconds of reading?
  • Do you feel cared for and understood by the brand?

If the answer is “no,” you need to make serious adjustments quickly. On many pages, it’s actually smart to outright answer visitor questions within the first few paragraphs of text.

Say that you need to write a blog post about a topic that concerns your industry or niche. If the topic is a question, have the answer in the first few sentences. Then promise to go into more detail over the rest of the blog post.

This not only piques visitors' interest but also instills them with confidence that you know what you're talking about and your brand will provide them with the information they seek.

6. Include Imagery

While getting the text right for above-the-fold content is crucial, you should also include imagery and visuals wherever possible.

People tend to skim text, even if it is masterfully written, and no one wants to read through a blog post or product page filled with big paragraphs and no visuals. Humans are visual beings, so it’s a good idea to include imagery in the first content that a new visitor sees.

At the same time, don’t put up too many pictures such that the ATF content appears crowded or busy. Similarly, if you have to include one or more advertisements, keep them tasteful and small. If someone clicks on a new site page and is inundated with advertisements right from the start, they’ll be annoyed and much more likely to bounce to another page or site entirely.

7. Offer Incentives

Don’t hesitate to sweeten the deal and offer incentives to site visitors in the ATF content. For example, if you’re having a sale on a product, that product’s page ATF content should include the information about the sale or the discount in question. That way, a new site visitor will immediately be informed about this value and will be more likely to consider making a purchase later on.

Again, don't overstuff the ATF content with too much information. Highlighting only the most important bits of information – such as deals or discounts – can inspire customers to keep browsing or scrolling through a page beyond the fold.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, good above-the-fold site design and layout can improve conversion rates and reduce your website's bounce rate.

If you're not sure where to start, Prismfly’s CRO or conversion rate optimization experts are well-equipped to help you redesign and improve your website, particularly above-the-fold content. With our assistance, you’ll make sure your site’s ATF experience is compelling and engaging for your site visitors from start to finish. Contact us today to learn more.