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Above the Fold Content for Charities

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Get to know your above the fold

How much do you think about your above the fold content? When developing pages for your site, do you consider the above the fold vs below the fold split? If it’s an area you’ve not considered in too much detail, then here is our introduction to above the fold content, and why you should be looking at it.

 

A description of where 'above the fold' originated as a phrase, with the title highlighted in orange.

What is above the fold content?

Above the fold content includes everything that you can see on your screen as soon as a webpage loads. Any content that isn’t visible when the page first loads and requires the audience to scroll to be seen, is labelled as below the fold content.

‘Above the fold’ is a concept that originated in printed media with newspapers. Historically, newspapers were usually sold folded in half, showing the headline story. This meant when the customers viewed the different newspapers, they weren’t showing all stories – just the top half of the front page.

In digital content, the ‘fold’ of the newspaper is the bottom of the screen; anything that falls below that screen edge is deemed below the fold.

 

Why does above the fold content matter?

Above the fold content is the first thing your audience see when a page loads, making it core real estate on any page. From an SEO perspective, we know search engines expect the most important content to be at the top of a page too. It’s also important to consider how this content impacts user’s experiences on your site.  The content you include above the fold needs to be eye catching and able to immediately grab your audience’s interest.

It’s been a mass reported trend that user attention spans are shrinking. With so much content available at user’s fingertips, only to be inflated with the growing volume of rapidly generated AI content, attention spans are becoming shorter to help user’s filter through the noise.

What’s more, a user can form an opinion on your charity’s site after 1 second of seeing it. Just 1 second. That’s not a lot of time, so your page needs to work hard and work fast to engage the minds and hearts of your audience.

 

What do you typically see above the fold for charities?

For most charities, you will see some common themes in above the fold assets. This will include:

  • Charity branding elements (logo, fonts and colours)
  • Navigation menu, which may include donate or shop buttons
  • Main Header
  • Lead imagery, whether it be a banner image or side image

Often, above the fold content is kept simple and minimal with the elements listed above. Sometimes though, charities may also wish to include a short sentence or two of text to give users more context about the page when they first land on it. Additionally, if your charity has other visual assets, such as emotive videos, you may wish to opt for these instead of images.

What should charities consider when designing above the fold content?

When it comes to the performance of above the fold content, AB testing is key. Trial out different above the fold designs and actions to see which ones your audience responds best to! We have provided some questions below to help you brainstorm the best content when trialling different above the fold designs for individual pages or templates.

Is there a clear action?

Do you have a clear action you want your audience to take when they land on the page? If so, you can include it above the fold! Websites that include CTAs above the fold have found they have higher conversion rates than those that don’t.

Take the Royal Voluntary Service’s homepage for example; the above the fold is bright, engaging and has a clear objective with a CTA inviting their audience to learn more about the coronation champions awards 2023. By including this CTA at the top it is one of the first things users see on the page, which gives them a clear next step on their journey.

Royal Voluntary Service homepage above the fold content highlighting the coronation champion awards 2023.

Does it engage your audience?

Above the fold content should be engaging; in fact it should be the most engaging part of the page. The content at the top of your page should have a clear focus that is supported by the content below the fold. You want it to be easy to use, relevant and to help meet your audiences needs right from the start, to increase the likelihood of users staying on the page.

Some charities don’t include enough information above the fold, meaning that user’s don’t connect with the content and will bounce off the site in search of something more engaging. On the other hand, some charities go the other way and try to fit way too much information into this area. This failure to prioritise the true purpose and actions wanted from a specific page can also have a bad impact, overwhelming your audience and making it hard to understand what they should do.

A good example

Take the above the fold for Dementia UK’s homepage. As a charity focussing on providing nursing support to both individuals with dementia and those supporting them, they have opted for a topical and relevant angle with their above the fold. As soon as you land on the homepage you are immediately presented with a link to their page on admiral nursing support – information many people will be seeking on the site. The relevancy of this link means many users that land on the homepage will engage with it.

The Dementia UK homepage, which presents a link for users to discover more about admiral nursing support for individuals with dementia.

 

Top tip: We recommend keeping above the fold content focused on your organisation. Whilst it may feel tempting to link to external sites, especially if they provide relevant information, overall, this will result in your audience landing on a page only to be immediately be directed off-site. Instead, you can include references to external sites below the fold as part of the pages supporting information. Use the prime real estate at the top of the page to showcase what your own charity provides!

Does it contribute to your objectives?

Your above the fold content should aim to help meet your charity’s objectives and KPIs. Whether you want donations, volunteers or fundraising event sign ups, the content at the top of your page should contribute to your targets.

The objective you focus on will differ depending on the page you’re reviewing. For example, if a user has landed on on of you blog pages, a CTA offering them the opportunity to sign up to your charity’s newsletter may be more likely to convert than a hard CTA asking for donations. Considering the type of information your user will be consuming on that particular page and how far along they will be in the conversion funnel will help guide the choice of CTA you may want to place above the fold to meet specific objectives.

Does it look good on all device types?

Don’t forget to consider how this content looks on different device. Where the fold falls on a page will always differ slightly, depending on whether users visit your charity on mobile or desktop and taking into account different screen sizes  However, with sites deploying responsive designs, where that ‘fold’ falls on sites is roughly the same across desktop and mobile layouts of a page.

 

Final thoughts

User’s will only scroll down a page if they feel there is a good reason to. When user’s see a lack of valuable information, they will stop scrolling. If your content above the fold doesn’t succeed in capturing user attention, there’s a high chance they’ll exit your site and bounce back to the search results. So it’s an area you need to get right.

Hopefully the insights above have given you some good starting points for you to begin optimising your own charity’s above the fold content – we’d love to see some of your examples in the comments below!

Looking for love at first *web-sight*?

Have a chat with us about how you can refresh your above the fold content to enhance SEO and user engagement on your site! You can email us at hello@upriseup.co.uk or visit our contact page to drop us a message – we can’t wait to hear from you.

 

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    Important Update For Ad Grant Accounts

    Ad Grants Accounts Must Enrol for the Google for Nonprofits programme

    Today we received emails for all our Ad Grants accounts informing us that Google have updated their eligibility guidelines. Therefore, Google Ad Grants have now become part of a larger programme called Google for Nonprofits.

    As a result, anyone with an Ad Grants account must enrol in the Google for Nonprofits programme in order for their Grants account to stay active. This also includes Grantspro accounts and since Google has suspended Grantspro applications it is especially important to enrol for Google for Nonprofits before the deadline.

    Once you have signed up for the Google for Nonprofits programme, you will be able to continue using your current Ad Grants or Grantspro account and will not need to create a new one.

    Google have set a deadline of the 31st of March 2017 for Grant accounts to enrol so time is of the essence!

     

    Google for Nonprofits Programme

    The Google for Nonprofits programme began in 2011 and launched in the UK in 2013. Google states that “Google for Nonprofits offers organisations like yours free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently and tell your nonprofit’s story”. If you want to learn about the benefits of the Google for Nonprofits programme, read more in their help centre.

     

    Eligibility

    Before you enrol in the Google for Nonprofits programme, you must first check you are eligible. Below are the eligibility requirements for the United Kingdom:

    England and Wales

    • Registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales; and/or
    • Registered with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as a charity for tax relief

     

    Northern Ireland

    • Registered with HM Revenue & Customs as a charity for tax relief

     

    Scotland

    • Registered with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR); and/or
    • Registered with HM Revenue & Customs as a charity for tax relief

     

    Jersey

    • Member of the Association of Jersey Charities

     

    Guernsey

    • Member of the Association of Guernsey Charities

     

    Isle of Man

    • Registered with the Index of Registered Isle of Man Charities

     

    Falkland Islands

    • Registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales; and/or
    • In the list of charities prepared by the Attorney General, approved by the Governor, and published in the Gazette under the Taxes Ordinance 1997

     

    It should be noted that governmental entities and organisations, hospitals and medical groups, schools, childcare centres, academic institutions and universities are not eligible to apply for Google for Nonprofits, but philanthropic arms of educational institutions are eligible.

     

    Validation Token

    You must then ensure that your organisation is registered with tt-exchange (TechSoup Global’s regional arm). You can only register with tt-exchange if you are a UK registered charity. Registering involves signing up for the tt-exchange programme and getting validated. Once you are validated you will receive a unique code called a validation token which then allows you to enrol for the Google for Nonprofits programme.

    Next you need to enrol in the Google for Nonprofits programme using your TechSoup validation token. Google has said that enrolment may take up to 20 business days so it’s important to apply as soon as possible to avoid your Ad Grants account being suspended!

     

    Linking Your AdWords Account

    Once you have a Google for Nonprofits account, you can then link your current Ad Grants account by following these steps:

    1. Sign in to your Google for Nonprofits account
    2. Click Sign up now
    3. Under “Google Ad Grants”, click Enrol
    4. Enter your AdWords Customer ID (CID), which is the same as your current Ad Grants Account
    5. Enter the referral code adgrants2017 and complete the rest of the form
    6. Click Enrol

     

    What it means for our clients

    If you are one of our clients, then we will be in touch shortly to discuss this recent development and to decide what steps you would like to take. We can enrol for the Google for Nonprofits programme on your behalf and ensure that your Ad Grants or Grantspro account remains active so we can continue to make the most of your AdWords account.

     

    Our initial thoughts

    We think either Google has decided to merge the Google Ad Grants programme into the Google for Nonprofits to leverage the Ad Grants to promote the Google for Nonprofits programme, or to give themselves the opportunity to review any current Grant accounts to ensure that only appropriate charities are using the Google Ad Grants programme.

    Regardless of why Google has taken this step, it is important for anyone with an Ad Grants account, and especially a Grantspro account, to enrol for the Google for Nonprofits programme before the 31st March deadline in order to keep taking advantage of free Google AdWords advertising.

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