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Digital Marketing News & Views

Essential Tips for a Great Website Footer

Posted by Chuck Bankoff on Jun 26, 2016 5:56:28 PM

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My Footer Fetish: A Look at the Bottom

Probably the most underutilized section of any website is the footer. You know…the very bottom of the page where you usually see the outdated copyright?

Here’s your chance to add value to your visitors, find a place to put all that boring stuff that you’re sort of obligated to provide… and perhaps show off a little creativity in an otherwise underappreciated section of your website.

I usually think of the footer in terms of useful stuff and boring stuff. Traditionally it’s where you would stuff the boring stuff. You can do better…

Useful Stuff:

Links to Your Services: Since the footer by definition is at the bottom of the page, that’s a convenient place to add links to other important pages on your website. At this point they’ve already seen the content of whatever page they’re currently on, why make them scroll up to the top to navigate to additional pages?  

Link to your Site Map: Not necessarily exciting, but this can be useful to your visitors who want to get a more global view of your website to choose where to go next. It’s probably not going to hurt your search engine optimization by making it easier for Google to crawl your site and index the pages. It’s a no-brainer.

Contact Info: At a minimum, you should include a link to your “About Us” page, and without exception, your “Contact Us” page. Also a great place to reiterate your phone number (or multiple numbers). Most people won’t have much trouble locating your Contact page, but every time you put your phone number in front of their face, it’s like an invitation to call.

Locations: If you have multiple locations, the footer is a great place to list those. Not only will that be good info for your visitors, but if you link them to individual pages or even verified online listings, you just might get some of that Google love.

Social Media Icons: Wondering where to unload all those colorful little social media icons? Look no further… plenty of room on the footer. There’s only about a billion free social media icons out there. Pretty sure something will look nice on your background.

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Boring Stuff: (The stuff no one reads, but makes you look serious just by posting it)

Terms of Use: The main agreement for the public to use your website. Having a TOU sets the stage for preventing abuses, laying claim to your content, terminating accounts if applicable, limiting your liability and setting the jurisdiction in case of a legal issue.

Privacy Policy: What you do (and don’t do) with the information the public gives you. Just having it can make you appear more sophisticated (yes, that was sarcasm). On a side note, a great place to put a Privacy Policy is next to a contact form where the visitor is being asked for their contact information.

Copyright Notice: Lay claim to your intellectual property. If you ever used copyscape, you might be surprised at how many people might be stealing your stuff. A copyright notice can be written or include the small, circular “c” symbol. The text often includes the year of publication and name of the copyright owner. Ironically, I stole this last sentence from someone else’s blog post. Let’s see how effective their copyright notice is.  

Quick Tips for Footer Design:

  • Organize it so it makes sense at a glance
  • Keep your footer clean, concise and readable.
  • Avoid flashy graphics and fonts.
  • Make sure that you can read the font over the background color (hint: red or gray over black won’t cut it)
  • Keep with standard conventions when choosing how to make your links appear to your users. I prefer NOT to underline links (because that’s old school and make them look like trash) however I like my design team to have them change colors when you roll your mouse over them.
  • Many footers are centered. Having a footer align right or left can sometimes make the bottom of a site appear lop sided. Be conscious of how you balance out the footer section. It may be the last thing your visitor sees.
  • Be sure that the footer is the actual bottom of your website. If you put anything below that, it will probably never be seen.

How would you like me and my team to take a quick peek at your website and make some suggestions? No, we aren’t going to charge you for it. We’ll just run a website analysis and make some suggestions. Simple for us, valuable for you. 

Topics: Digital Marketing, Website Design

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