Place the first call-to-action above the fold
Although, depending on the situation, it can be expecting too much of the newly arrived user.
Placing the first call-to-action (CTA) button above the fold is widely known as being the best practice. Even though it is in many cases the smartest choice, it all depends on the context.
If the product you sell is complex, you might want to postpone asking (forget the fold) for action until the user has actually had a chance to understand it. If what you are selling is relatively simple, placing (at least) the first call-to-action above the fold makes perfect sense.
A typical solution is to simulate a miniature landing page experience, containing all critical elements of your page, but packed into a block of content above the fold. Ensuring that you both present the value proposition and the call to action, will help decrease any confusion. Supporting content can then appear below the miniature landing page experience to further convince users to take action.
But don’t cram everything above the fold. There is plenty evidence showing that users are willing to scroll – when they know there is something to scroll for.
You will have to decide yourself, when it makes sense to save the CTA until you’ve made some key points. It’s usually when users aren’t fluent in your product category or industry and need some education first.
To determine whether to put the first call-to-action above the fold, it makes sense to divide users into 3 segments:
Certain users. Users familiar with your brand and product know what you offer and whether it will solve their problem. As long as you don’t go out of your way to hide your call-to-action, they will find a way to convert. For this group, having the call-to-action above the fold is of great convenience, but if not, they are willing to scroll to find it.
Uncertain users with a simple Value Proposition. Users not familiar with your brand and product aren’t convinced that your product is the best solution for their problem, yet. However, if your value proposition is simple, clear, concise, and doesn’t require much elaboration, chances are that new uncertain users could be convinced and ready to take action without additional information. Go ahead and place your call to action above the fold.
Uncertain users with a complicated Value Proposition. Similarly, users not familiar with your brand and product aren’t convinced that your product is the best solution for their problem, yet. However, if your value proposition is complicated, asking users to take action at the top of the page, above the fold, doesn’t make much sense. Visitors who are uncertain won’t be ready to take action just yet. They’ll need additional information.