A Quick Guide To Above The Fold Optimisation For Landing Pages
Why Above The Fold Optimisation For Landing Pages Matters
Above the fold optimisation of your landing page matters – a lot.
If the area above the fold is not succinct; if it doesn’t quickly communicate the value of your offer; and if it doesn’t compel the reader to continue reading – then your landing page will have more bounce than a rubber plantation, and all your marketing efforts will account for crap.
But the good news is, you can effectively optimise your landing pages to trounce that bounce by simply…
- Writing clear and simple copy
- Creating compelling headlines & hooks
- Keeping focused on your objective
- Understanding who you’re talking to
- Putting visitors needs first
So, here’s a quick guide to help point you in the right direction…
If At First, You Don’t Succeed…
Let’s see now. You have an awesome offer, you’ve built an amazing landing page, and you’ve gotten all creative with your copy – nice. Shouldn’t be too difficult to get the money rolling in then? Everyone’s doing it, right?
Doing it they may be, but are they doing it right? The reality is: making money online is never quite as easy as it looks. If you’ve tried, if you’re trying, or even if you’re succeeding, then of course: you know this.
You can at least take heart that nobody gets it right first time. What sorts the wheat from the chaff is those that don’t give up. They figure out where they’re going wrong, and adapt until they get it right.
Humility and determination are the foundations of a profitable online business, and quite often that begins with figuring out how to create landing pages that convert; which in turn begins with optimising the area above the fold.
So, let’s begin…
A few simple pointers to keep in mind, as you plan your landing page and specifically your above the fold optimisation:
- First impressions count
- You only have seven seconds to clearly communicate what your site is for – or your visitor will likely leave
- First-time visitors are more likely to scroll down, if the content above the fold compels them to do so.
It’s also tough but true to say that: every visitor will judge you.
Many elements feed into this judgement of course: page design, layout, colours, fonts, images etc. But, the more your visitors judge these things positively – the more time they’ll be willing to invest in your landing page, your website and ultimately – you.
And every visitor has valuable information for you too, unfortunately: they rarely share it.
For example; imagine you run your business from a prime piece of real estate on Google Street. Imagine lots of people are coming in. But, also imagine as they browse around; they just can’t see the point. Result? They leave in silent frustration – and you never see or hear from them again. Oops.
So, if you’re getting traffic, but not making conversions – there’s a message you need to tune into. And there’s a high probability that message is: you’re visitors just don’t get it.
However, the faster they can judge the value for them – the more chance they’ll scroll down (and you’ll get a chance to make a sale).
So, the words you use are important. But, how you use them is more important still. If copy is King, clarity should be your Queen.
So, let’s get clear then…
Headline Matters: Communicating Value
This is where it begins or ends. It’s life or death. You have a choice. Choose life.
We live in a world of information overload, fake news and mismatched promises/pay-offs. The result is micro attention spans and unforgiving filtering. Especially online.
Take me. I’m busy. I’m impatient. And I’m also quite intolerant. On top of that, I’m probably not as smart as either you or I think I am. In short – I’m your average visitor.
So, here’s how it generally plays out…
Once I land, I’ll give you three seconds to grab my attention with your headline. Get that right and you might earn another seven seconds (I said you ‘might’).
Within that ten seconds, you must clearly communicate the benefit I’ll get from hanging around. No? Too late. Back-button. Bye-bye.
Get over that hurdle and you might get one more minute to convince me to scroll down, and only then will you get the opportunity to move me towards a sale. Fail and I’m gone baby gone. Probably forever. Later, loser.
The bottom-line is this: if you don’t communicate value to your visitor within those first few vital seconds – you’ve blown it. All your smart-arse marketing tactics just went up in smoke, leaving behind nothing but a big black hole in your budget.
So, the place for communicating your value proposition is in your heading and intro, and the place for that is obviously: in the copy above the fold. Clear and succinct communication of your value proposition is more important than all your features, endorsements, qualifications and experience put together. Because this is where your success begins or ends. If you don’t get this right, if it doesn’t speak to the needs of the reader, if it doesn’t compel them to continue reading – they’ll never realise just how amazing you are.
And you are amazing, right?
Takeaway: Communicate your value quickly, simply and clearly with a headline and intro that compels the reader on.
Need help with your Value Proposition, heading and intro? Book a call here (first is free), and I’ll talk you through my VP Framework.
Hook, Reel And Landing
Make no mistake: a visitor is not a customer. And if you don’t hook them above the fold, then they probably never will be. You just wasted your time, you just wasted your effort and you just wasted your money. Don’t be a waster ok?
Think about what brought this person to your site in the first place. They’re looking for something right? Can you provide it? You can? Great! So don’t blow it. Communicate that. Communicate it clearly. Communicate it fast. You only get one chance baby!
If a reader is drawn in by your headline – they will read on. Your hook got them hooked – good job. But that’s only the beginning. To land your fish and put food on the table – you must keep your eye on the main objective; ensuring you don’t inadvertently sidetrack or distract the reader. You must gently – and skilfully – reel ’em in.
So, don’t lose focus. Your headline leads to the first paragraph; but if that first paragraph doesn’t do its job… You guessed it: Byeee!
Takeaway: Keep focused on your objective, and lead them to it line by line.
Who Do You Think You’re Talking To?
Not generally, but exactly: who is your ideal customer?
This is the first question you should ask before you write one word. If you don’t get clear on this, then:
- You won’t be able to engage
- You won’t be able to connect
- You won’t be able to convert
Repeat after me: “I Am Able!”
- One person
- One problem
- One solution
Work in, not only how you help, but – who you help.
Re-assure the reader – they’re in the right place, aren’t they?
Talk to them. Refer to them. Be specific. You don’t help ‘People’ – you help: Parents, Plumbers or Python Programmers!
Once you have a clear idea of who you’re talking to – you can better understand:
- What affects their life negatively?
- What problems are they seeking to solve?
- How do they perceive their problems?
- How does this make them feel?
It’s hard I know, but… Never lose sight of the fact: it’s just not about you.
Takeaway: Get clear on your target customer, talk to them directly and address their needs.
If you’re having trouble identifying your ideal customer – book a call here (it’s free), and I’ll show you how to nail it with my Awesome Avatar Framework.
Your Features, Their Benefits
Expanding on the last point a little further; when you specifically talk about your service, your product, your features – you must always, always figure out how to: align with your customer’s needs.
In short – how do your features actually help them?
As you list the features of your product or service, consider:
- What will they gain from your features?
- What solution do these features offer?
- How will your features improve the quality of their lives?
Takeaway: Convert your features into their benefits.
It’s Simple Stupid!
Or at least – it should be.
Just keep it simple. Keep it conversational. Write as they speak, use their language. Never use your technical jargon; if it’s not their technical jargon.
Think of your reader as an impatient child. What kind of language would you use?
How would you explain, what you do and the benefits you can bring?
Calmly, clearly – how will you get their attention and get them to stop and listen to you?
Takeaway: Keep it simple. Make it clear. Cut the fluff.
Putting It All Together
So, now the hardest part is done.
- Identified your target customer
- Identified their needs
- Converted your features into their benefits
- Clarified the value you can deliver
The next step is to simply link everything together into a clear, coherent and succinct Value Proposition…
Just Do It…
If you can:
- Reduce this information down into one headline and a few sentences
- Do it clearly, simply, and succinctly
- Use their language
- And of course – present it in the area above the fold.
Then, without them thinking about the back button – your visitors will have registered:
- What you do
- How you do it
- What’s in it for them
In other words, they’ll be able to make a much faster and more informed decision on whether to stick around or not. And that alone will put you in pole position to trounce that bounce and win the day.
Hurrah for that. Happy landing!