Optimize your website copy to convert readers below the fold

It’s all about what’s above the fold, right? According to many studies, that’s what most website visitors care about.

But what about the 20% of people who make it to the bottom of your page?

Giving love to and optimizing your web content below the fold will give you more chances to convert the people who take the time to read to the end.


Common distractions stopping site visitors in their tracks

Okay, so your 20% is still reading. Let’s keep them going and eliminate some common distractions that stop people from moving down the page.


1. Too many offers

When faced with too many choices, most website users will do one of two things: make a choice they’ll regret or not do anything at all. Instead, there has to be one offer for the page to focus on if your goal is to get customers and leads to click.


2. Missing details

Pages that don’t provide enough information or hide critical details about your offers aren’t doing your site any favors. Think of it this way: You’ve already caught their attention above the fold. Now, the goal is to keep them moving down the page by participating in the conversation in their heads.


3. Messaging inconsistencies

Whether you know it or not, your site is making a promise to the people coming to it. Your copy on the page should match the message and tone they saw in the social post or ad that brought them there. Deviating from this breaks the reader’s flow, impacts user experience, and increases the chance of those visitors leaving the page.


4. Hidden or confusing calls-to-action (CTAs)

The build-up in your messaging leading 20% of possible buyers to the end of your page must include a clear, powerful CTA. Tucking away CTAs in favor of other on-page elements and vague button copy can frustrate customers who want to buy but can’t. The copy surrounding them has to let people know what to expect once they click through to the next page.


5. Unnecessary or conflicting design elements

False bottoms (the point on a page where it looks like you can’t scroll further) may seem like a nice design feature. But it will confuse a potential customer since it’s not immediately apparent that they need to scroll to reveal more information.

Because of this, readers have to figure out what to do. And the last thing you want to do is make people think too hard about what happens next.

The same applies when competing design elements are used, creating what could be called the “Too Many Club.” Too many colors. Too many fonts. Too many sizes. All of it works against the page’s ability to convert.


Making it easy for the 20% to convert

You’ve seen the roadblocks that get in the way of people converting. Now, let’s talk about a few best practices to keep in mind when optimizing your site below the fold for your target audience.


6. Design supports copy, not the other way around

An Unbounce study analyzed thousands of landing pages. They showed that copy has twice the impact on conversions compared to web design. Yes, design is important, but it must reinforce the page’s primary business or performance goal through great website copy.

Each button color, graphic element, and image should work together with compelling copy to move readers down the page.


7. Use sentimentality to your advantage

It’s a given that B2C copywriting strikes an emotional chord, and the same applies to B2B. Even though B2B has a reputation for using less emotionally charged messaging, you can still improve B2B page performance by speaking your customers’ language.

You can find this information based on Voice of Customer research about your audience. It provides you with invaluable insights to hit the right tone throughout the page.


8. Give website visitors one thing to do (and optimize for this task)

When people have too many choices, their capacity to make a good one decreases. Stick with one goal and one offer for your site. Don’t try and throw out too many offers or other information that could distract visitors.

To keep the flow going, break up your text into scannable parts. In 1997, a Nielsen Norman Group study showed that sites optimized for scanning performed 47–58% better than those with larger blocks of copy. And not much has changed since then.


9. Surround your CTAs with persuasive copy

High-converting CTAs don’t always need to appear as soon as someone lands on the page. Some readers want to see—and read—more before feeling confident enough to buy.

But the 20% of people who make it to the bottom of the page do so because they’re looking for more details about your solution. These readers are often—but not always—more methodical and analytical in their decision-making.

And taking them to the point of conversion requires using more persuasive crossheads and body copy. It can also include using microcopy around buttons and social proof near key areas where you’ve made a product claim.


10. Reorganize your copy as needed

Evaluating your site’s analytics and heatmap can reveal how well your page performs below the fold. These insights can also uncover areas where it would make sense to rearrange your copy. For example, moving it higher or lower in your messaging hierarchy could positively affect your conversion rate.


11. Understand your visitors’ awareness stage and intent

It sounds simple, but knowing what makes your ideal buyer tick is easier to do with good Voice of Customer data. Before writing a single line of copy, it’s essential to know people’s stage of awareness when they land on your site.

Are they coming in problem aware with low intent? In that case, you’ll have to provide more persuasive copy in your value proposition to move them from uncertainty to certainty. Then it’s easier to create messaging that meets them where they are so you can take them where they want to be.


Bonus: Long or short website copy?

What’s the optimal length for your page? Well, it depends. You may be able to hook 20% of visitors with a shorter page if they come from a more sophisticated, knowledgeable background.

But your visitors might need more information if you offer a more complicated or expensive product or service. This is where understanding who your reader is becomes important. You can only write a high-converting landing page if you know who’s arriving there and why.


Crafting your message for the 20%

It’s easy to focus so much on the area above the fold that you miss opportunities to close the sale beneath it. But for the few people who make it down to the bottom of the page, it has to be optimized for them too.

And this area has to contain compelling website copy.

Readers who make it that far are likely to be in a position and frame of mind to buy, sign up, or do anything else you want them to do. Why? Because your offer and messaging match their internal dialogue as they evaluate your product or service.

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