Conversion Optimization – If They Can’t See It, You Can’t Sell It

by | Nov 7, 2011

If a customer falls onto your webpage, and the content is below the fold, does it make a sale?

Many business owners don’t realize that it’s not just the quality of website content that can help improve conversions (turning visitors into customers) – the layout and design of the site, right down to the placement of the text, has a massive influence on profit and sales.  Conversion optimization is all about maximize the number of opt-ins and sales that occur within your site, effectively minimizing the number of people who leave empty-handed.

One of the best ways to improve conversion and reduce your bounce rate is to improve the content that is “above the fold”.  This is a term adapted from the newspaper industry that refers to information on the front page, in the top section, where content is the most visible.  In website design, “above the fold” is extremely important because it refers to the content and design elements that people see as soon as they land on your page.  Anything below the fold is below the bottom of the browsing field, where users have to scroll to see it.

Conversion Optimization – To Sell it They Need to See it

Having traffic land on your site organically from the search engines is always great but that chances are good you’re also bringing traffic from other paid sources whether it’s PPC marketing, radio spots, print marketing, direct mail, etc.  The more you spend, the more you’re investing in each set of eyeballs that hits your site.  That means you want to present the information in a way that hooks your reader immediately and encourages them to take some action (that doesn’t involve leaving).

Conversion Optimization – Eye See You

Google has performed a countless number of eye tracking studies with heat maps that reveal how people perceive website data.  100% of users focus their field of attention on the top of the search results.  With website content, many tend to look at websites in an “F” or triangle formation, scanning from the top right to the left, down the left side of the content as they skim and into the center of the page.  If you set up your content in this format you’ll see a noticeable change in conversion rates.

Here’s an Article from Search Engine Land on Heat Mapping, Browser Sizes and Content Below the Fold

Conversion Optimization – What Goes Above the Fold

The information you put above the fold for conversion optimization depends on the page.  Different content pages on your website serve a different purpose.  Some pages may focus on graphics with minimal content to get the point across while others may set the hook with empathy within the content, selling the service through solutions, bullet points and the “hero shot” – which paints your product or service as the ultimate solution to their problems.

Here are some of the best items to put above the fold on your site.

  • A strong title that hooks the reader
  • A leading paragraph the engages their interest and shows that you understand their need.
  • Your contact phone number
  • A contact field
  • Top product categories and pricing (especially discount offers)
  • A strong call to action
  • Trust indicators like secure site logos, accreditation and BBB membership info
  • Credit card and PayPal acceptance logos


You don’t have to include all of these elements on one page, or on every page, but keep these conversion optimization factors in mind when you’re improving your layout and refining your internet marketing .  The important part of conversion optimization with content above the fold is that you want to immediately create value in the mind of the visitor.  This promotes engagement and encourages people to stay on your site.  Once you engage them and they begin to navigate the content you can focus more on education and moving them through your sales funnel.

No matter how people come to your site, the information you have above the fold is going to be one of the biggest factors that determines whether you keep your audience or lose a great deal of potential customers.  Conversion optimization is something you need to put on your holiday hit list for marketing improvements.