Any web professional knows that most internet visitors on any given website are only going to be on that website for ten seconds or less. Designing a website around this perspective is essential to increasing how long visitors are staying on your website and learning more about your company. Traditionally, the goal for any site homepage is to identify the brand of a company “above the fold”.
Think of a computer monitor- and how you only have so much space to see what’s on a site when you land on it. The ‘fold’ is outside of that space where a visitor has to start scrolling down to see more. So, anything “above the fold” is what content that visitor sees when they first land on the site, before scrolling.
In the past, the general consensus was that anything of importance needed to be above this fold. While important elements should still be easy to find (which may or not be above the fold), web users have become more savvy over the last few years and 'the fold' no longer needs to be a wall between important content versus content of trivial importance. Research that dates back as far as 2007 shows that a large majority (76%) of users will scroll beneath the fold - many of those users will scroll to the bottom of the page.
You should definitely have the essentials above the fold and easy to find. These are things like your Phone Number, your logo, navigation, or other important Calls to Action. Users know that these items are at the top of the page- and they are meant to make the website easier to use.
The wall that was the fold has been replaced with a new successor- what is actually in place on the website. A high quality website with well written content, holds far more weight than what is visible at the initial load of the page. The modern website visitor needs to have something to keep them interested and wanting to see more of your website. Visitors need to find the website, identify what the website is, and be encouraged to learn more. We can showcase your brand above the fold, and that really is great. Winning this game is all about engaging the visitor with that brand.