What’s above the fold, affects SEO

The concept of above the fold dates back to early printing presses. Newspapers were folded over on news-stands, so only the top half of the paper was visible to the passer-by.

The newspaper industry quickly worked out that to sell papers, they must present attention-grabbing content in the top half of their front page. This basic principle remains the same for digital content.

How does this affect search engine optimisation (SEO)? The best search engines give us what we’re looking for quickly. They do this by mimicking human decision making, like whether or not to buy the newspaper. When a user lands on your webpage from the search engine results page, that search engine starts counting. 1… 2… 3… 4…

If a user fails to immediately spot what they want on the screen, the chances of them staying in your website are greatly decreased – studies have shown they will not stay longer than 10 seconds (far less if they’re young).

If 500 visitors find your site on Google and then stay there for less than 10 seconds, the search engine will record the verdict “This page isn’t really that interesting or relevant, so let’s put it a little lower down our rankings.” (a phenomenon known as Dwell Time Metrics and although officially unconfirmed, widely accepted as being used by the Google algorithm)

Simply rearranging items on a page is generally a trivial edit. On many of your pages, you can probably do it for yourself, but contact our support team if you need help.

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