Does “Below the Fold” Content Get Read?

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It’s a fact, content below the fold gets less attention. That’s why a best practice in content marketing is to place your best content above the fold.

As a marketer, it’s crucial to think about what it takes to ensure that your content gets read, absorbed, and shared by readers across the Internet. When it comes to high levels of engagement, the content below the fold tends to get less attention. Therefore, it’s essential to get your highest-powered content in as early in your piece as you can — no matter what type of marketing content you provide.

Unsplash/ Utsav Srestha

Since more content than ever before is being consumed on mobile devices, it’s important to tailor your content for these devices as well. When your audience is reading on a mobile device, “the fold” is significantly smaller, and it may only consist of the title and your hero image.

Let’s look at some best practices that can help make sure your points are getting made and your content is getting shared — markers that your business is on the right track.

Grab Their Attention in the First Three Paragraphs

You must use the earliest points in your piece to grab your readers’ attention. Ideally, you’ll have the most exciting, attention-grabbing content in the first three paragraphs. This area should appear “above the fold” on most displays, meaning that your readers will be able to skim it without needing to scroll down to read more. When you make your content more of a story rather than an overt marketing piece you increase the audience’s intrigue and interest.

When Should You Make Your ‘Ask’?

Decide on your call to action, and begin to guide your readers in that general direction early in the piece. Include an ‘ask’ early on in your content marketing so that readers know the goal before they reach the end of your writing. This transparency is often appreciated, and it helps the reader see that you’re not interested in wasting their time or beating around the bush. Avoid being long-winded, as content below the fold is often skimmed or skipped over entirely.

Customize Writing for the Reader’s Device

Design content for the device used to read it. If your target audience is mobile readers, you’ll have far less time to make your point than you will if you’re targeting individuals who are reading the piece on a PC. For mobile content, you only have one to three swipes to get your point across, and for a desktop device, your goal is to focus on getting your point across above the fold. Everything else is extra.

Pay Attention to the Space Your “Hero” Image Takes Up

It’s common to create an entire piece of content based around a specific image or thumbnail image that you’ve intended to use. However, pay special attention to the screen space that this image takes and make sure it’s worth it. Utilize pictures that tell a straightforward story and contribute to the message that you’re trying to convey. This image needs to be good, as it may be the main thing that keeps your reader engaged so that they scroll down to read your actual article.

Repeat Your Main Point and Your ‘Ask’

Invest the time to repeat the main point that you’re making in your content marketing piece and repeat your call to action. This information can go below the fold, but it’s an integral part of client engagement. You’ve front-loaded this information and have the reader thinking about it, but now it’s time to drive your point home. Spending the time to do this will help ensure that your reader takes the appropriate action.

Above the Fold Content When Sharing Content

More and more businesses are utilizing the advantages of sharing third-party content rather than creating their own original content. This presents a special opportunity to turbo-charge engagement by highlighting your comments on specific points of the article you are sharing. This gives the reader a ‘heads-up’ on what to look for in the content you share. It also allows them to go immediately to that section of the article, saving them time. It’s a proven and easy method to counteract the limiting factor of the ‘fold.’

Add a Dash of Something Special

It’s also important to focus on your writing style itself and to make sure that you keep the reader intrigued and interested enough to stay with you. Add a dash of spice to your content. Keep your subheaders short and mysterious, or ask questions that you’ll then answer in the body of your piece. Write with an eye towards creativity and maintaining interest — what would keep you interested and keep you reading?

Key Takeaways:

• The content below the fold is more likely to be ignored.
• The quality of your thumbnail image is paramount – make sure it earns its space on the page.
• Repeat your main point and your call to action.
• Keep your reader intrigued, so they’ll want to continue to read your content.
• Turbo-charge engagement by sharing and commenting on third-party content.

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