Above The Fold

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In this video, five elements are shared to put above the fold of professional services and B2B product company websites to enhance brand impact and increase leads.



Okay. Hello everybody.

My name is Andrew Schiestel. And today’s conversation is useful if you have a B2B products website or a professional services website, and you’re looking to obtain a bigger brand impact and more leads from that website. The topic is what to put above the fold on your website. For those that are unfamiliar with what above the fold as a term is, it comes from the newspaper world. So, you would have newspapers, and they’re typically long. And they typically get folded. So, if this was a newspaper [Schiestel picks up a notebook], it gets folded. And that’s the fold. Publishers typically want to put the most important information that they feel above the fold. And so this applies to the web world as well – desktop, mobile, tablet. When users are landing on a website, before they scroll…so what they see…is what’s considered above the fold.

And so therefore that’s very important. Real estate, digitally speaking, for a company… Because every user that gets to a subpage, it’s in their peripheral vision, whatever information that you provide. So, there’s five elements to cover today that’s recommended to go above the fold on your website. The first recommendation, probably the most obvious, but it’s still important nonetheless is your logo. Put that above the fold. And it’s recommended that it goes in the top left or top center of your website. And the reason being, users, when they land on a site, their eyes normally go to the top left first. So, you have an opportunity to create a mark with that user. You should identify the site that they’re on, and you can do that through listing your logo. The second recommendation is have a top menu navigation but only put the most important links in that top menu navigation.

You’ve probably been on some websites in the past where a website has like literally dozens of links in their top menu navigation, and a lot of them just aren’t… You can tell they’re not necessarily the most important ones, at least in terms of what most users would be looking for when they go to that website. So, what’s recommended is put the most important links in the top menu navigation. Put the rest in the footer. If it’s a website with let’s say thousands of products, say you’re a B2B, or you’re a professional services company with dozens of services, you can sum it up in the footer as well. That stuff should go in the top menu navigation, but it should be in categories. And you can also summarize that stuff in categories as well – whether listing products, or the categories themselves, or the service categories, etc. But the point with the extra links is you’re putting most or all in the footer area.

You might recall 20 years ago or so, there used to be Sitemap pages. Do you remember those? Where you’d go to a subpage, and it’d be a white background. And you’d see rows and rows of hyperlinks. And literally every hyperlink associated to a website would be on this subpage. It was called a Sitemap or a Sitemap page. Those are almost obsolete. And what’s a more common practice these days is to… Almost obsolete in terms of they’re not listed for users to get to. And what’s more common these days is to have the sitemap listed in the footer area. So, recommendation number two is have a top menu navigation but only put the most important links in that top menu navigation. The third recommendation is to have a clients’ inquiries centric call to action button. And typically that goes in the top right. So, as the user is kind of working their way over.

And so what a lot of websites have is contact us pages. And that’s better than not having one. But what the particular recommendation here is having a call to action button that’s specific for new business, new client inquiries. And there’s ways to have that button stand out. You can change the text, so you don’t… It can be called something different than contact or contact us. You can use terms like work together, work with us, new clients, client inquiries, etc. You can change the size of it a bit. You can change the color of the background to be a different color than the other links in the top menu navigation. So, you want it to stand out in some way. And when users click on it, direct them to a subpage that’s dedicated to new client inquiries. There’s still a need to have a general contact us page, but the recommendation there is put it in the footer with the other links. Recommendation number four is have a hero banner image. That’s a bigger horizontal image below the logo, the top menu nav, and the call to action button.

But don’t have this image rotate. And that’s a very common practice out there is these rotating hero banner images. But the problem is that area is very valuable real estate for you. And when you start to rotate, you are diluting the opportunity to really leave a mark on every user that comes to your website. There’s even websites that put their services. So, they dedicate like information about each service on a slide. That’s not recommended either. A lot of users don’t even get to the third, the fourth, the fifth slide. So, they might not even know what you do as a result of that web design element. Services should go in the top menu navigation, along with what would be deemed important links for your website.

You can also repeat services underneath the hero banner image as well. So, the recommendation here is have a hero banner image that’s static. And this is a good segue to the fifth recommendation, and that’s have a brand statement above the fold. And for even better results, have the brand statement be a Promise Statement. And a promise statement is a statement that you make that is a promise for clients about what outcome they’ll obtain by using your services. It’s short. So, it’s eight words or less. It’s client centric. And it’s benefits oriented. And the recommendation is it can go as an overlay, as an option, above that hero banner image.

So, in summary, have a logo in the top left or top center. Have the most important links in the top menu navigation. Have a client inquiries centric call to action button typically in the top right. Have a static hero banner image, and have a Promise Statement. What is the outcome clients get from working with your company? I hope that today’s conversation was helpful. A lot of what we covered today is pretty easily implemented, minus possibly the Promise Statement. That typically does take a little bit more work. I encourage you to do that work with your team. You’ll know that it’s effective as a statement when it feels right. It’s, again, eight words or less, benefits oriented, client centric. And it’s usually a very simple statement when it’s complete but can take some work to get there. So, again, I hope today’s conversation was helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comments section below. I always love to hear from you. And I look forward to connecting with you again soon.

Take care.

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