I recently read two posts, somewhat related, somewhat in contrast, but both thought provoking.
The first was about our actions when we come to a site these days. We used to wait till the page loaded, then start at the top left, skim across making an “F” pattern. That meant that all of your important calls to action need to be above the fold. Apparently we don’t do that anymore. Today we start scrolling while the page is loading, making the area above the fold not so much “Prime Real Estate” as we thought it once was.
So where do you place your Calls to Action? According to the article, “More engagement happens right at and below the fold than above.” – that’s where the engagement is they say.
But there’s more to it than just putting them near the fold. More important is that the calls to action were placed where the reader would be more apt to take that Call to Action. On my Custom WordPress Order squeeze page I put ORDER buttons below every section. In my FAQs, I put Call to Action buttons right in the answers. When you’re ready, you are ready – I don’t want you to have to scroll up or down to find the CTA. That make’s sense, right?
Check out the article: LukeW | There Is No Fold
The 2nd article posed the thought that a slider might reduce the SEO of a website among other things. (a slider is a slideshow of images rotating usually at the top of your homepage)
They point out that a slider usually takes up a lot of space typically above the fold. They contend that, “When a slider is used on a page, there would be as many H1 tags as the images; so every time a slide changes, the H1 tag would change. This would disturb the keyword distribution mechanism and thus, this affects the SEO.”
I can see how that might make sense. How much disruption it causes I can’t say, it’s just their opinion.
They also go on to say that sliders have poor conversion. A slider will usually have text overlay with a title of the page or post and perhaps an excerpt describing the post. The article suggests that people don’t click on them. If that’s true, that makes them just eye candy. On two of the sites I’ve recently built we’ve stripped the title intentionally making them eye candy and not looking for ‘conversion’ at all. On both of them we have smaller teasers of the posts below the fold.
I can tell you that the web development community as a whole doesn’t like the slider. As for me, I don’t mind them. Probably half the sites I build these days feature a slider. What seems to be hotter these days are full width background images. The problem with large background images is that they slow down the load time. I’ve even built a site that has a slider as a background image. The client wanted ten massive background images to rotate behind a semi transparent content area even though everyone told them it would give them an incredible load time. There are ways to make it minimize it but it’s still one of the slowest loading sites I’ve built.
Check out the article: To Have An Image Slider or Not?
I’m not saying I completely agree with either of these two opinions but I don’t disagree either. As a matter of fact I’m working on a side project right now that has beautiful full width background images, virtually zero content above the fold, and doesn’t even have a sidebar! The site has a different image on each page yet loads lightening quick. If you want a sneak peek, just ask.
OOOOOH Look! A call to action (way down here)