The term ‘below the fold’ describes the portion of a web page that can only be seen once you’ve scrolled down. The digital marketing conventional wisdom is that above the fold content gets more attention and is, therefore, more valuable than below the fold content. The positioning of content on a web page affects how users interact and engage with it. Content which is below the fold is hidden to the user at the time when the page first loads. So if they leave the page before they scroll down they will never see it.
Data generated from several studies indicates that the placing ads and content below the fold on a webpage radically reduces the likelihood of being viewed. Advertisements which are above the fold have approximately a 73% viewability while ads that are located below the fold have a 44% viewability. In the advertising and digital marketing world, an advertisement is deemed to be a ‘viewable impression’ if no less than 50% of its pixels are seen on a user’s screen for at least one second. Owing to its reduced visibility, ads which are placed below the fold typically generate less ad revenue as opposed to those that appear at the top of the page. Businesses which sell advertising on their websites usually charge a discounted price for placement below the fold because of its lower visibility.
The online advertising has been sluggish in adopting technology that ensures an impression is an impression – in other words that a real live human user has viewed the creative. The challenge with counting impressions, with no thought of taking viewability into account, is that the advertiser is regularly paying for inventory that isn’t being seen by people. The notion of viewable impressions provides a superior metric that captures how many ads are being seen in a better format. Recognising that the ad is being seen gives advertisers the option of more precisely measuring ad performance. The move from impressions served to impressions viewed indicates that ad placement and ad performance are essential metrics for publishers to keep track of to maximise their ad revenue.
How Is Below the Fold Calculated?
It is not possible to define the exact placement for the fold on a webpage as its precise location can change according to screen resolution, browser and screen sizes for phones, tablets as well as computer monitors.
When gauging an average fold placement, most web designers are still in agreement that the fold line is at roughly 1 000 pixels wide and 600 pixels tall. This was the ideal scenario for the most common monitor/browser combination of 1024×786 pixels when the browser window maximised, and there are no installed toolbars at the top which will push the content down.