To scroll or not to scroll – answer scroll

3:46 PM January 3, 2017

who-scrolls-websites-website-design

Image credit: Tony Haile—Chartbeat

Happy New Year and welcome to 2017, it’s going to be an interesting year for sure, well if you follow politics it will be.

A customer made a statement to me the other day that didn’t sound quite right and something I didn’t believe was true, so this post is about that statement. The customer said, and I quote here, “but people don’t scroll anymore Aaron, don’t you follow what Google says“.  (be sure to catch the funny at the end of the post). So I was like, um, well, where did you hear, or read that Google doesn’t like websites where visitors have to scroll? They didn’t have an answer for me, so I said, “well Mr. Customer, I challenge that statement and I tell you what, I will do some research, just to be sure.

I’ve been in web design and development for 14 years and while scrolling may have had a very short time where it wasn’t used in design, it’s back just as strong as ever. The time website scrolling wasn’t in was pre-2007 I think, if I’m wrong, please leave a comment and correct me, just leave some factual information I can read, I don’t like statements that can’t be backed up with facts. This comes from my wife who is in research and is always pounding me with, “where did you read that and what was their source”. So yes, it’s no fun to argue with her! (insert smiley here in case she reads this).

Don’t get me wrong here, I know that keeping the crucial elements of a page above the fold are very important and not just your visitors. Google likes to see the topic of your site/page as high as possible, where visitors can see it. Lets say you get more juice, bang for your buck, or Shazam so to speak, when your keyword copy is above the fold and as high on the page as visually possible. It’s also important to use what I like to call “Smart Visuals” at the top of the page, along with that important keyword copy. Smart Visuals are images/graphics/video that are the first thing that a visitor see’s. These smart visuals grab the visitors attention and tells them what your site has to offer, whether goods, services or what ever.

Ok on to the research on scrolling. A data analytics company called “Chartbeat” pulled data from 2 billion unique visitors and found that 65.7% of attention was spent below the fold, yup, that’s right, that’s over 50% of your visitors. Time ran an article on this topic, link here. This makes you stop and think doesn’t it, your hand is scratching your chin going Hmmm, interesting. See the key here is GETTING your visitor to scroll, that is the hard part, and why the “Smart Visuals” are so important, along with that copy. See, that’s it. I know I only have about 15 seconds you’re using to use to SKIM through this article, so I will keep it short and sweet, because I know you have more pressing things to get back too.

65-7-percent-scrolls-below-fold

Image credit: Tony Haile—Chartbeat

Just in case I haven’t proved my point enough for you, here’s a few more sources of information to take a gander at.

And now the funny graphic I teased you with above, hope you liked the quick article.

above-the-fold-cartoon-website-design

Image credit: Brad Colbow

Images licensed under: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Summary