In this day and age, anything that helps find information more efficiently is welcome. That is where website footers come into play. They help put all the important information in one place at the bottom of a web page. Even though footers seem like an afterthought since they are located at the bottom of the page, they are still highly visible to users and provide an important function. Website visitors often scroll through the entire page so it is still important to include a thorough footer. In this article, we will explain the importance of website footers and website footer design best practices.
Why Are Website Footers Important?
Website footers are important because they encapsulate all the important information of a website in an easily accessible format. When users are scrolling for answers or content and they come across the footer, it can provide some much-needed guidance. Footers signify to a user that they have reached the bottom of the page and that they have completed the content at hand. They also provide another opportunity for website visitors to interact and take another action before leaving the page.
Generally, website footers enhance the user experience by putting all the need-to-know information in one location. A significant feature about footers is that they remain consistent throughout the website and have the same information no matter the page. It is almost jarring when a website lacks a footer because that is what users expect from professional websites. These footers also help with a website’s SEO and can improve it through keywords, which boosts rankings.
Reasons to Include Website Footers
- Increase Conversions: When visitors can not find what they are looking for, the footer is a useful place to go. Since it is one of the last things a visitor sees, it leverages another call to action, since they have more knowledge of the website and the services you provide.
- Increase Engagement: On the footer, you can add your company’s social media links, branding, logos, and other things that help drive up this factor. Users like the verification and professionalism that comes from the legitimacy of social media and artful logos.
- Deliver Purpose: The footer serves the purpose of providing information quickly and effectively in a neat box at the bottom of the page. It delivers key facts about the company and website to users who need it. Footers exist for a reason and most professional websites include them on theirs because of their usefulness to visitors.
What to Include in a Website Footer
Although a website footer is a small part of a website, it is packed with valuable information for visitors. Including these elements are important website footer design best practices.
Company Name and Logo
First and foremost make sure to include the company name and/or logo in the footer to help with branding. The inclusion of the name and logo makes your website look more professional, consistent, and trustworthy – which should draw in more business. It also provides aesthetic appeal to the footer and the website overall.
This is especially important when visitors have finished reading the page and are deciding whether to take action so it is necessary to include contact information here. This should comprise of the standard information like your business’s physical address, phone number, email, and other things if necessary.
Links to Socials
These days it is important for a company to have social media and stay connected with customers on a variety of platforms. The inclusion of social media on your footer aids this and adds a layer of legitimacy to your website.
This legal information in your footer is just to cover your bases and provide transparency to your website visitors. Once again, this demonstrates your website’s credibility and fulfills your legal obligations.
The footer is another place on your website where you can add keywords to improve your SEO. Especially since the footer is on every page keyword text can help with relevance and boost rankings. It is important to not overdo keyword usage on the footer because Google does not place much weight on them anymore, so just put an important word or phrase there and move on.
If your visitors get a little lost along the way this is where navigation links on the footer can help save the day and help keep users on your site. Oftentimes, visitors who made it this far down the page did not find what they were looking for so the footer aids with that. Do not make your footer the main point of navigation because that is what the primary menu should serve as.
If visitors make it to the bottom of the page then they are either really intrigued by the content at hand or need more help to find what they were looking for. Either way, the first group could be interested in receiving emails from your business and this helps grow email marketing with newsletters. Make sure to include some context for the email sign-ups like email frequency and content they will be receiving.
Photos help the design aspect of your footer and add some personalization. It can help break up the wall of text and improve your footer’s appearance. Choose something like a photo of the company’s founders or images of your work. Something that speaks to the core of your brand and demonstrates value.
Awards and Certifications
The footer is a great place to display your company’s accolades and it instills confidence and trust from users in your website. It is a good practice because it provides credibility through external sources like security awards, AdWords, and other types.
Similar to the awards and certifications, testimonials on your footer provide a form of social proof. It demonstrates that your business has experience and happy customers which is something potential customers like to see. The testimonial should be specific to the website page and claims so it does not appear like a generic, copy and pasted statement.
Call to Action
If a potential customer has not taken action by the time they get to the footer, a final call to action may be the perfect motivator. After a visitor has scrolled through your website’s pages and learned about your business this is where they can take action. So, a lot of conversions can happen in the footer with a call to action.
Website Footer Design Best Practices
While the information presented in the footer is important, the design and appearance matter as well. You want the footer to be readable, accessible, and nicely formatted so website visitors actually utilize it.
- Ensure that the links in the footer work and that they reach the correct information. Broken links are not a good look for your website and could frustrate users so they might click away.
- Use clear and direct language so that users looking at the footer have a good idea of what they are looking at without having to click on it.
- Some footers can be an information overload and this is where categories come into play. So it helps to organize it into categories to cut down on the clutter.
- The footer should be aesthetically appealing so that users want to interact with it. Keep design in mind when creating a footer to enhance user experience.
In order for a footer to be effective and serve its purpose, it should have an attractive appearance and feature accurate information. When done correctly, footers can enhance the user experience but they can detract if they are overwhelming or unappealing.
Worst Practices for Website Footers
Just as there are helpful things to add to your footer, there are some aspects that can take away from the value of the footer. Here are some of the practices that should be avoided when designing a footer.
- Broken links are bad for your business because it leads to users not being able to find what they are looking for. If a link leads to a page that does not exist then it makes your website look bad as if it cannot run properly.
- Overstuffing your footer makes it appear unorganized and overwhelming so users will not even interact with it at all. There is a lot you can fit on the footer but make sure to prioritize the most important information. If your website’s footer is overstuffed then the design will not look as good which might lead to less use.
- Indefinite scrolling will not help people view your footer because they can not even access it. This could also lead to frustrating users as they try to get to your footer and are unable to reach it.
- Navigation replacement is not ideal for the footer as it should serve its own individual purpose. The main menu is where people should go to find their way around the website. While the footer is there with supplemental information and as a secondary call to action.
Website Footer Inspiration
To see these website footer design best practices in action, it is helpful to look at website footer examples. You can visit any website, in any industry, and notice what they have included. You can use these website footer examples for footer design and content inspiration. Then, you will feel much more confident when it comes to designing your own footer.
- What is a website footer?
- Why are website footers important?
- How can I improve my website footer?
- Do website footers improve SEO?
- What should I not include in my website footer?
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