Building on yesterday’s post, on the main reason for your website, I wanted to focus on the most core part of it:
Above the fold on your homepage
Above the fold is an old newspaper term. Often newspapers are displayed folded, with the top half of the front page visible, and the bottom half folded underneath.
So the most important content of the front page of the newspaper – the headline and image that would sell that day’s paper – was displayed “above the fold”.
Most websites are the same; there is the top half, visible in the browser window, and then the bottom half that you only see if you actively scroll down.
Since your homepage is your website’s equivalent of a newspaper’s front page, the ‘above the fold’ part of your homepage is the most prime piece of your site.
Which means you want to get the maximum impact – and benefit – from it!
This means you want to concentrate your “main CTA” (main call-to-action) on that above-the-fold part of your homepage.
Your main CTA is the principle action you want your site visitor to take.
It could be to read a specific article.
It could be to watch a video.
It could be an enticing reason to sign-up to your email list (my recommendation!).
Whatever it is, you don’t want to confuse the visitor by giving them multiple choices (e.g. lots of different links they can click, or actions they can take).
You want to keep it clean, simple and obvious.
Here is an example of a cluttered, confusing above-the-fold homepage (yes, sadly, this is a real website 🙁 ):
And here is an example of a clear, clean and obvious one (and a sneaky plug for my music site 😉 ):
Which do you think will likely lead to the most predictable action of the visitor?
So, when designing your website focus on the one main action you want your visitor to take, then make sure the above-the-fold area is completely focused on best driving that action.
Of course, this principle isn’t limited only to your homepage, you can (and should!) apply it to any page.
But your homepage should be your main, site-wide, CTA; it should be the most important thing you want the majority of your site visitors to do (as mentioned, I’d recommend it’s a mechanic to join your mailing list).
Thus your most important job in the design stage is not selecting colours, palettes, images, fonts, copy, etc, but knowing what primary action you want your visitor to take; then work everything towards that.
Questions, thoughts or comments? Share them below:
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