For readers, websites should be convenient to use and intuitive to the needs of the audience. As a site owner, you might be surprised to know that your footer can play a major role in just that. The footer is often referred to as a “safety net” and that is exactly what it is. A well-planned footer design can provide readers with quick access to necessary information, which is more likely to keep them on your site for longer periods.
If you still aren’t quite sure how to best utilize your website footers, let us break down the how, what and why of what makes these such useful tools.
Getting to Know Your Website: What is a Site Footer?
If you are familiar with website design, the idea of a footer might be brand new, so what’s a footer and what does it do?
A footer is the band of content found at the very bottom of the page. Footers often feature consistent points of reference, company information or navigation. If your site has many pages, the main navigation can become cluttered or confusing. After a minute of looking around, your readers might just leave your site and try to find information somewhere else, like a competitor. By offering simplified navigation menus and easy to access core information, you are more likely to see relevant and meaningful engagement.
More than just offering up important information, a website footer is a huge opportunity for search engine optimization. SEO is a hot topic for businesses of all sizes and standing out from the competition means maximizing your efforts. Proper website footer design can help to incorporate important keywords but a poor footer design can hurt your Google rankings. Before you jump into a DIY design, it is important to consider everything that goes into building an effective footer.
Common Footer Features Include:
- Contact Information
- Page Navigation Menu
- Call to Action
- Subscribe to Newsletters
- Social Media Icons
- Copyright Notice
- Logos / Company Branding
- Land Acknowledgments
- Credentials and Awards
Website Footer Design: What to Know
Footers are often overlooked but they can be a quick and easy lifeline for readers and should be seen as an extension of your main navigation. The header on a web page will often offer complex navigation and the more specialized services or extended company information. The footer offers a simplified design, core navigation and a minimalist view of fundamental details that the majority of users are looking for. If users are having a difficult time navigating your site, this can help them out and encourage them to stick around.
The cardinal rule of any website footer is:
Don’t Overdo It! For many site owners that want to take full advantage of SEO efforts, the footer is a golden opportunity. The trouble comes when footers are over used, stuffed full of keywords or too many other features. Whether it is in your body content or in the footer itself, keyword stuffing will negatively impact both the visuals of your site as well as your overall Google ranking. A basic rule of thumb is to stick with information that users expect to find, namely: navigation, call to action, contact details like the company address, phone number and social media links.
If you are trying to figure out which features are most beneficial for your business or industry, we have created a quick guide for what features your website footer should/could offer.
- Logo: This one seems pretty obvious but it is important to incorporate branding and company colours for a cohesive and consistent design. Footers should be part of the overall web design and not look disjointed.
- Navigation: If your site features multiple information pages and sub-pages to go along with them, it can be difficult for readers to find the one piece of information that they are looking for. By offering a simplified navigation menu, you can help to narrow down menu options for a more clear view of where they might find the information that they need.
- Contact Information: Some readers will visit your website only to get a phone number or street address. In this case it is common to just scroll to the bottom of the page to find it in the footer. Having this readily available is convenient for readers, lends credibility and builds trust that you are a legitimate business.
- Offer Support: If you are planning to offer customer support on your website, the footer is the ideal place for links to resources, as well as FAQ pages, contact form submissions or direct call buttons for mobile use.
- Company Information: Add a quick link to important company details, such as an “About Us”, blogs/newsletters, product or service options, a careers page and more.
- Social Media: Many businesses spend tons of time, energy and resources into building a strong social media presence. Including social icons and links in your footer will draw new audiences to your social media accounts, increasing the follower count but followers aren’t the only reason to include these. For potential customers being able to view multiple social media accounts, products and reviews will encourage trust in your brand and increase your chances of making a sale.
- Call to Action: The footer is a great opportunity to incorporate a call to action but it has to be relevant and add value. The best type of call to action is one that encourages real engagement, such as email signups, free trials, demos, free estimates, etc. This can be hugely beneficial for lead generation and can help to drive business forward.
It is easy to become caught up in overall site design, logo creation and even on-page content, but you shouldn’t take the footer for granted. A well-designed footer with relevant content can help to increase customer experience, generate leads, improve organic search results, and boost conversion rates.
Website Footer Design: Add the Function Without Losing Your Branding
In the same way that website designs can be completely customized, so should your footers! Whether you haven’t incorporated a footer because it doesn’t fit your design or you haven’t considered just how big of a benefit it can be, it’s never too late to add one in! Working with an experienced web designer can help to showcase what type of footer is best suited for your site, and will build one for you!
From fat footers full of navigation links, narrow filters with only core information or even “no footer” footers with a simple aesthetic and only a few buttons, there is something for everyone.
Depending on the amount and type of information that you would like to feature on your footer. There are plenty of design styles out there that can accommodate your needs.
The web developers at Quake Media have years of experience in not only site design but in maximizing every aspect of a website from top to bottom. All it takes is a quick consultation with one of our designers to create a functional and beneficial site footer that suits your branding and business goals. Don’t miss out on conversions or get stuck with a high bounce rate when you can have an expert designer, develop and build the ideal footer.