Written by Jessica Ann on September 6th, 2013
You determined that you want to regularly create content. Now where do you place it? According to a Jakob Nielsen study, most people don't like to scroll. In fact, the study found that only 23% of first-time visitors and only 16% of second-time visitors to a website are willing to scroll. The other 77% of visitors just look at what they're able to see above the fold (that's the area of the page that's visible without needing to scroll down) and judge the quality and usability of the website based on what they see there. Even though some people believe this is a myth, positioning your content in the best way possible just makes sense.
So, what does this mean for the placement of your key content? And how can you get that content at the bottom from feeling neglected?
Use Prominent Positioning
-Above the Fold
The area above the fold on your main home page is by far the most important area of your website. This is the first thing that every single visitor to your website will see. Whether people stay and check out the rest of the site, or ever return again, will depend on how fast you're able to make them fall in love with what your website has to offer and how you're offering it. Make good use of the area above the fold by putting your highest quality and most popular content in this area. Once people see that you’re about quality, they'll most likely want to see the rest of your site.
-Below the Fold
Once you win people over and they decide to enter the minority realm of being a scroller, you get a second chance to win them over even more. You've put your best stuff above the fold. The visitor likes it and scrolls down. Now, make sure the visitor gets your next best set of content immediately below the fold. This will make them feel validated in scrolling and probably make them a return visitor of your website.
Don't Cram Content
You want to make sure you use your best content on your homepage and especially above the fold, but this doesn't mean you need every last bit of your best content to be put there. Overloading your homepage with content, even if it's all great content, will just overwhelm your visitors. Think about it. If you're jewelry shopping and there are one hundred top of the line high priced diamond rings, you're definitely being given a lot of high quality content. But, you're going to mostly feel overwhelmed and not know where to start. However, if there's a simple little display case with say 3 or 4 of these diamond rings, you'll have a much easier time focusing on each one and really taking them in in a meaningful and memorable way.
When it comes to getting people to stay on your website and even take a chance on scrolling around, placing a few of your highest quality pieces of content above the fold is key. Keep the content organized and you'll surely get people to check out the rest of your site and come back to do it again and again.
Do you use prominent positioning of content for your website? What are some usability tips that have worked for you? Please comment below.
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