As an SEO best practice, the above the fold area of a webpage should have at least some content which is unique to that page.
This is recommended by Google’s John Mueller during the weekly SEO hangout recorded on June 4.
A site owner named Jameson Sansone asks Mueller a question related to repeating the same content in the above the fold area of multiple web pages.
To be specific, Sansone is restructuring his site’s blog and intends to use the same hero banner, the same heading, the same blurb of text, and the same set of links at the top of all the topic pages.
He asks for Mueller’s opinion on this idea, knowing that Google wants to see actual content above the fold when it crawls a webpage.
How important is it for the above the fold content to be unique on each page?
As it turns out, Google considers it fairly important that at least some content above the fold is unique to the page it’s on.
Here’s Mueller’s full response.
The Importance Of Unique Content Above The Fold
It’s unrealistic for a site to have 100% unique content above the fold of every webpage.
There’s always going to be content that’s repeated across multiple pages, such a navigation menu, or a banner, or other elements that typically appear at the top of a page.
However, site owners should aim for placing at least a minimum amount of unique content above the fold.
It’s fine to have the same generic hero image at the top of a page, Mueller says, as long as it’s balanced out with content that doesn’t appear elsewhere on the site.
“The important part for us is really that there is some amount of unique content in the above the fold area. So if you have a banner on top, and you have a generic hero image on top, that’s totally fine. But some of the above the fold content should be unique for that page.
And that could be something like a heading that’s visible in a minimum case. But at least some of the above the fold content should be unique. So that’s kind of the guidance that we have in that regard.”
It sounds like site owners can get by with a minimum amount of unique content above the fold, though more is likely better.
If your site’s design limits you to a small amount of custom content in the above the fold area, aim to include something that’s useful for ranking purposes.
Including something that’s relevant to what the page should rank for may prove to be an effective strategy.
In addition, Mueller suggests doing some testing to see not only how Google treats these types of pages, but how users respond to them as well.
While Google may be fine with a minimum amount of unique content above the fold, will users find it engaging?
“It’s probably also something where you want to look at how users interact with those pages afterwards. But that’s kind of more from a non-SEO perspective. It’s always, I think, important for cases like that you take a look at see what actually happens with the users afterwards.”
Hear the full discussion in the video below: