While split tests have often shown that it’s better to make a page long than short, there’s one potential downside: you won’t feel the benefit if the reader isn’t aware that the page is long.
You won’t want to put a lot of hard work into creating the perfect long page, only for the visitor to not realise that they can scroll down further, or even wish to scroll down.
Defining the ‘fold’
You might well have come across the term ‘above the fold’ quite a bit when researching all things web design. It refers to the part of the page that a user can see without scrolling.
However, the fold isn’t always in the same place for different users. Instead, its position can be impacted by such factors as the user’s screen resolution, the number of bars – such as toolbars – that they have open in their browser, and whether they have zoomed in on the page.
That’s before you consider the even greater complexity brought to the issue by the ever-increasing variety of mobile and tablet web browsers these days.
But there are ways to get your users to scroll
Given such factors as the variability of the position of the fold, it’s fair to say there’s no single, universal solution to the issue of how you can encourage visitors to your long pages to scroll down.
There are, though, proven strategies that you can try. You could incorporate a distinctive background into the top, left and right-hand corners of your page, for example, so that it’s obvious to the reader when they still need to scroll down further to reach the bottom.
Alternatively, you could be a little less subtle, by actually asking the reader to scroll down in your sales copy – explicitly saying “Please scroll down for...” or words to that effect. Remember that users are more likely to follow such an instruction if they are given a clear incentive to do so – for example, if you have a discount code or a download link for a useful PDF to give to them.
You might even go as far as incorporating a ‘please scroll’ graphic just above the fold. You could simply place it where most of your visitors’ folds lie, or add it to a freestanding object attached to the bottom of the browser window. The latter tactic will ensure the graphic is always seen at the bottom of the reader’s screen, regardless of their screen resolution.
Why not talk to us about website design?
Long pages can certainly deliver great results for your organisation, but it’s vital to ensure your readers are quickly made aware of their length and are encouraged to scroll down them.
If you would appreciate the highest-quality bespoke web design services, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Piranha Designs team, so that we can discuss with you the best route forward.