What Wiki has to say
Above the fold is the upper half of the front page of a newspaper where an important news story or photograph is often located. Papers are often displayed to customers folded so that only the top half of the front page is visible. Thus, an item that is “above the fold” may be one that the editors feel will entice people to buy the paper. Alternatively, it reflects a decision, on the part of the editors, that the article is one of the day’s most important. By extension, the space above the fold is also preferred by advertisers, since it is the most prominent and visible even when the newspaper is on stands.
The term can be used more generally to refer to anything that is prominently displayed or of the highest priority. Above the fold is sometimes used in web development to refer the portions of a webpage that are visible without further scrolling or clicking. In contrast, portions available via clickthrough are sometimes described as “after the jump.”
Important to your readers
Hubspot is a great example of the use of engaging the audience with a great image that tells a story along with a call to action and a chat button. Be careful to only use a chat button if you have someone dedicated to answering the chat.
Jeff Bullas uses a different tact, where they try to get your email address right off the bat. He also includes his social media and other important facts he wants you to know, up front and center. It isn’t about fancy tricks it is about giving the reader what they need to know right away.
Snack Nation does a great job of showing you exactly what their product is and an easy to find call-to-action button you can’t miss.
Content Marketing Institute gives you three options to access their content. This gets the reader to what they need quickly and easily without hunting.
Search Engine Journal is great at presenting their current information on a slider above the fold. It keeps you engaged and encourages you to read more.
Christmas Light Show is clearly looking to sell tickets to their show. If that is why people are coming to your website you should put that front and center and make it easy.
The point is to give people what they are looking for right on the front page. I also make design choices on the front page of the websites I design. I always include a contact us module on the bottom of every page. Then, in the menu and throughout the front page I provide links that send the visitor to the bottom contact section. This makes a website super responsive on a mobile device.
I’m sure you have lots of other examples above the fold design. Please share them with me below in the comments section.