Do you or your clients still bother about webpage content being “above the fold?” Let me explain if you have never heard this term before.
Content on web pages, visible at the top of the page without the visitor having to scroll at all is known as “above the fold.” During the 90s, people used to think that visitors could not view important content if it was not above the scroll line.
Contact information, calls to actions, menus, marketing messages, etc. are incredibly vital elements for all websites. However, the concept of “above the fold” is rapidly losing it value. Studies have revealed that people, in general, are becoming more comfortable with scrolling, which is as comfortable as clicking, if not more. A ClickTale report that analyzed 80,000 pageviews reveals that only 22% of users scrolled all the way to the bottom and 76% scrolled down a bit.
If you ponder, scrolling always made more sense than clicking. Clicking might be a minuscule action. However, most people use it to locate what they are searching for, which includes a page load. Anchor links on a page combined with scrolling offers a much more smooth action. (Note: anchor links on the webpage are fantastic for individuals habituated to having main navigation on the website, just like FrisMedia does the same with their side navigation).
What does this mean for sales?
You are thinking about earning money and have a website that is still not ranking on page 1 of Google SERP. You might not bother if users want to scroll or click. You want them to buy your goods. Let us understand how longer pages affect SEO and conversion.
Why do longer pages convert better?
Conversion guru Neil Patel ran a popular A/B test on his site. The contact form was way below the fold on the original version of his homepage on NeilPatel.com that consisted of 1,292 words. The second version consisted of just 488 words and had the form much higher on the page. Neil discovered that the original page, apart from yielding more top quality leads, also converted 7.6% better.
Following this test, he experimented on the co-relationship between rankings and the number of words. The results astounded him. He found the following conclusions based on the top ten results in Google for 20,000 different keywords.
The results consistently show that pages having greater word count (more than 2,000 on an average) rank higher in the top ten results of Google.
Long form homepages, including that of Neil Patel, convert better than shorter ones for a couple of reasons.
More calls to action
Your homepage offers room for more calls to actions (reminders to contact or buy as the user browses to the bottom of the page) if it is longer. We have observed a significant increase in rankings and leads after we configured our homepage like that.
As users scroll through your long form page, they are studying your infographics, watching your videos, or reading your copy. If you have done your job of convincing them, they will be sold. This is the appropriate moment to offer a sign-up form or contact button precisely there so that they do not have to search for it. Your goal is to take advantage of every possible manner of conversion on your site. Users are more likely to notice the conversion points if you place them strategically.
Neil Patel probably saw higher quality leads when he put his form at the bottom of a long page, as his content convinced his visitors. They understood what Neil was selling, read a bit about the product, and decided whether they needed his services or not, by the time they reached the form. You too are likely to see more conversions by the time your visitors reach the form if you write convincing copy.
Opt for five high quality leads instead of 20 low-quality ones, even if you do not notice an increase in conversions or leads, as the chances are excellent that those five will bring you more profit in the long run.
Why do longer pages rank better?
As of date, our homepage has more than 2,000 words, making it a webpage worthy of calling home about and one of the reasons it appears on the first page of search results.
This brings up the point of whether actual web page length or word count that influences rankings. Neil Patel stated that Google prefers content-rich sites instead of more content because they feel that the former is more valuable, and data shows that users like it. Pages with 2,000 words or more rank higher as they are shared more often.
Typically more high quality and non-repetitive content is always better for search engine optimization, be it a sales page or a blog post.
It helps to include as many variations of a particular key phrase as possible when optimizing a page for that specific key phrase. For example, if I am optimizing for “Vancouver SEO,” I might want to include “Vancouver SEO company,” or “SEO services in Vancouver” and others. The chances of bringing in more traffic increase with the number of variations; more content allows you to include additional versions of your targeted keywords.
I depend a lot on the Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin. I am convinced that if the little dot goes from auburn to green, it poses no problem, as long as my posts contained a minimum of 600 words. This holds true even if I did not fully optimize my posts. Google has not yet stated if word count affects the rankings of a webpage, but it is not just the word count that matters. Let us look at it from a different angle.
Higher word count leads to:
- An increase in the average page visit time
- Additional links, therefore, more clicked links
- More content for visitors to share
- More call to actions, therefore, more conversions
While word count affects search engine optimization and conversions, all of the above factors affect webpage rankings; hence, word count affects them indirectly as well. Therefore, you should include them while optimizing your website.
At the end of the day, what matters the most is making your content readable as well as optimized for users. Visitors will share and link to your web page naturally if you create content without keeping ranking in mind. This is unarguably the best way to increase the rankings of your website. Is that not what you are looking for?
Cary is the Co-Founder, Chief Technical Officer and SEO Specialist at Coronation Internet Marketing Ltd. He’s been involved in marketing, graphic design and web design for over 20 years.