Above vs. Below the Fold: Which Ad Placement Will Earn More Conversions?

Get More Engagement with Your Call to Action—and More Conversions in the Process—with Proper Ad Placement

It’s a debate many don’t even know exists: should ads be placed above or below the fold? What seems like a no brainer—many would assume above the fold, considering newspapers made that the gold medal of ad placements—actually requires significant consideration in the digital marketing world.

Now that your world is turned upside down, it’s time to explore the ad placement debate and determine the best practice for your business.

The Case for Above the Fold

It seems the obvious choice—but only if you meet certain criteria. A simple, recognizable product with a simple call to action (CTA) will do better above the fold than a complicated product with a more complex CTA.

If, generally, when you introduce your product people have a good picture of what it does and why they need it without excessive explaining, then you are a good candidate for an above the fold ad.

Above the fold ads are more expensive than ads placed below the fold, and there’s a good chance that visitors will scroll past them anyway. Not sure you’re willing to shell out that money with such a risk of it being ignored anyway? Consider placing an ad below the fold.

The Case for Below the Fold

While it seems that shoving an ad below the fold is just filler for the website and a waste of money for you, there is actually valuable strategy to placing an ad further down the webpage.

Below the fold ads are not only cheaper but also have a better chance of being seen on mobile devices. Research has shown that most mobile users automatically scroll down when a website loads, so the jig is up: the public knows that the juicy info is below the fold, past the attention-grabbing headlines of above the fold.

If you have a more complicated product or CTA, placing your ad below the fold will give your visitors time to learn about your product and decide if it’s right for them.

How Do You Know Where to Find the Fold?

The fold is in a different place depending on the size of a device’s screen. No one expects you to be responsible for knowing every device’s screen size, and thankfully Google Analytics can help.

Google Analytics can tell you what the most popular devices used for viewing your website are, and it can even help you test your layout in different screen size settings. However, regardless of the most popular devices, your site should be properly designed for every screen size.

You wouldn’t want to put in all that work to get something below the fold for it to pop up first thing on a mobile screen.

Bottoms Up!

Before you check off “ad placement” on your to-do list, remember to beware of false bottoms.

False bottoms on a website (where it looks like there’s no fold and therefore nothing below it) discourage scrolling, making your visitors miss vital information. Consult with your web designer to find ways to achieve the modern look you want while showing visitors that your site is worth a scroll, avoiding cutting yourself off from valuable conversion rate optimization (CRO).

Whether you are looking for guidance on where best to place your ads, in need of a Google Analytics campaign, creative ideas for a web design that will encourage conversions, or all three, Kraus Marketing is the digital marketing agency that has you covered. Contact us today to learn how our web design and SEO specialists can optimize your website to expand your web traffic and get those coveted conversions.