We are so busy focusing on all the various elements of our websites that many a time, we happen to focus less on the website footer. Website footers carry information and navigation options, right at the bottom of web pages, with an intention to help users reaching out.
When it comes to a website footer design, it mainly comprises of the information or whatever has to be included in order to help the visitors, which, in turn, helps in meeting the most important business goals.
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To get the user attention to this part of your website design, it is important that you have a clear understanding of how important footers are.
Footers are that part of your website design that is visible and most of the time, visitors see these. Understand that footers are not distant on any page, however, long the page is. But then, if you really want to find out till where the users scroll on a website, you can opt for paid tools, such as ‘Click Tale’, ‘Lucky Orange’ and ‘Crazy Egg’ to find out more.
So now the question is how exactly should be designing your website footer such that it will catch the visitor’s eye?.
To help you with the process, we have come up with tried-and-proven ideas. Check these Website footer design best practices and try implementing these ideas the next time you design a website footer.
Let us start by ensuring that the content on your website stays unique and that no breach happens upon it. For this, it is important to include the copyright symbol and the year on the footer. It might seem to be a vague idea, but this is one of the best ways you can ensure that your website is protected against any kind of plagiarism. So copyright is an important part in website footer designing.
Get a little help from your developer to include the essential code to ensure that the year is automatically updated as required.
You might have found links across the footers, which link to the HTML version of your sitemaps. It is important to have a clear understanding that these are more or less similar to the XML sitemaps – not clicked by visitors frequently – but search engines can easily find your site or web pages related to these. So, adding the sitemap to your website footer design will ensure the search engines will find your web pages correctly.
This is one of the most important elements of a website footer design, similar to having a copyright on your website. The main objective is to provide an explanation of what information a website gathers, how it would be stored and the purpose of this. The major goal is to track analytics and remarketing, email subscriptions and form submissions.
The legal text in the footer design would ensure that you are providing maximum coverage.
This is another most important part of your website. One of the main reasons why this is a requisite for any website is that visitors might need help whenever they have a concern. So if you want your users to reach you when they need you, providing the contact information is the best idea.
Most of the time, users are expecting it to be available somewhere on the top right of the header. But the standard format is to find it toward the bottom right or center of the footer.
The best idea is always to place a contact form within the website footer design rather than having an email link. You can track the form submission within your ‘Analytics’ marking it as a goal accomplishment. Think of a scenario where the visitor is using a system or a mobile device on which they might not be using their email.
The forms direct users to thank you pages – they can find more information than with messaging and using the call to actions. Forms usually send auto-response emails to visitors, messages, and CTAs. In a case, where the mail isn’t delivered, forms can save submissions within the database.
Forms can be used for connecting to marketing automation and other systems. Forms have the ability to ask certain questions, direct submissions to specific people, on the basis of answers.
Most often, an email link would be considered as spam.
So, we can confirm that contact form has a very important role and you must include it in website footer design.
The location is one of the other most important aspects of any website footer that people expect to find on your website. This is a requisite when your businesses are targeting local customers, telling Google where exactly you are based out of.
When you have linked to the map, your visitors can easily find you. The map link is moreover like a button for visitors who are reaching out via mobile devices, taking them to the map app on the mobile phone or tablet device they are accessing these on. So ensure you have included this in your website footer design.
When you provide an address, it is ideal to provide a phone number with a local area code. This provides Google with a piece of evidence about your location. Just like the map button, when these are viewed over mobile or tablet devices, the phone number will transform into a clickable link.
This is somewhere you can utilize your footer wisely. In case, they could not find what they were looking for, this is where they expect to find it. Implement it.
These footers are often referred to as ‘fat footers’ – and it would include more than just the standard items apart from the ones listed here and navigation would be a part of it. Footers come with almost all the links as same as that in a mega-menu dropdown found in the header navigation.
Visitors from social networks are one of the heaviest sources of traffic. But when it comes to a website, it isn’t a great thing if the visitors abandon the site to go to the social media networks. This is one of the reasons why the social media icons are never placed within the website headers.
This means that the best place to have the icons in the footer. So next time you design your site, keep the social media icons within the footer.
So there are footers that actually implement social media widgets instead of icons. The latest post from any social media network can be found within the footer when social media widgets are used instead of icons.
Also, remember when you implement a widget on your footer, these social media posts would appear on every web page that your site has.
One of the places where users subscribe is the website footer. Not less than 20% of the well-to-do marketing sites have a signup box within their footer. When a user has found something that adds value to their lives, there is more probability of email sign ups happening in such cases.
Including email signup boxes within the footer is one of the best practices when you are looking for ways to offer social proof.
Let us put it this way – not all the people who visit your website are prospects. It can include partners, readers, employees or even affiliates. If you want to provide a login for these people, let us choose the footer area for that.
These are those visitors who frequently visit your site and know exactly where to find what they are looking for.
Apart from the kind of visitors we mentioned above, the other type of visitors includes ‘press’. Around 1% of these visitors might comprise editors and journalists. You need not provide a press link in the main navigation, but you can include it in the footer – where people can scroll and find it.
A site search tool is required for items that people might not be able to find within the content area, headers or footers. You can include it within the site footer – when you have it in the footer, there are chances of this tool creating a confusion – so label it for clarity.
Voice search is becoming one of the leading emerging digital marketing trends. you can also implement voice search in the site search tool option.
You can always add a little color to your footer by adding an image to it – this enhances the site’s personality.
These are some of the best footer practices that you can start implementing today. Easy, aren’t they?
Usually, people have a misunderstanding that footers are not as vital as a website’s header or body. This contradicts with our common perception that information above the fold is important and no one is going to scroll downward because people will always scroll toward the footer.
Many types of research and studies have found that people indeed like scrolling downward toward the footer. And there are brands that have accomplished an increased conversion when their website footer was optimized with the best practices in mind.
Here’s an example of an uncluttered footer by designyourway.net which have many of these implemented.
So start thinking of the footer best practices when you move toward the bottom of your website’s design and ensure that it is in line with the strategies that would drive user attention to the bottom.
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