Does the website footer really matter?

A common joke in SEO circles has it that the best place to hide evidence of a crime can be found on page 3 and beyond of Google search results. In a similar vein, the location of a website footer could imply that very few website visitors will actually scroll down to it and consequently it is often not given as much importance as other page sections. In spite of this, some companies dedicate a substantial effort to the design of their website footer. Our blog looks at why and what we can learn.

We’ll look at:

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Why the footer is so important :

The importance of the footer largely centers around 3 important areas –

1. Website Technical and Legal Information:

The footer is both the most visible and out-of-the-way place for the technical and legal information of a website that is necessary for the owner to share.

2. The Website “Map”:

Arriving at the footer signals to the user that it is at the bottom of the webpage and provides links to other areas of the website that the user may want to navigate to. It is the place most people still look to for an all-encompassing view and links to all content on a website. Many website owners try to leverage traffic arriving at this stage by adding other elements such as Call-to-actions like newsletter subscription fields, etc.

3. SEO:

Every page on your website passes its authority to the HTML sitemap-if it is linked to the footer-and vice versa. Without being linked to the footer, the sitemap alone is weak as it is just one page.

4. Credibility:

The footer is a place to showcase trust badges, cover awards, certificates and security stamps that can make customers trust your site more and feel more confident navigating around and completing a purchase.

 

What components to include in your website footer:

We can roughly categorize footer components into 2- content, structure and aesthetics.

Content:

We’ve compiled a list of most-used content placed in a footer. However, how much or how little is placed in your footer entirely depends on what is most crucial for your website.

      • About us section
      • Contact us section
      • Team Information
      • Social media links
      • Copyright notice
      • A Call-to-action such as a blog/newsletter subscription box.

A simple, well-organized footer by sony.co.in

To build credibility with your customer:

      • Security/ trust/award certification symbols/icons
      • Website privacy policy and declarations that website data will not be shared with third parties
      • Go to the top link

An interesting footer from dxc.technology with elements focused towards generating more engagement

 

Structure:

How content is organized in the footer will make a world of difference to how well utilized it will be.

  • Create columns of related links and give each section a title, if possible.
  • Determine the right hierarchy within the footer-Keep your most important items/links at the top
  • If it seems that there is too much information- decide if sub-footers (preferably collapsible ones) will help

Yes, this is the footer of cantilever-chippy.co.uk–with only content that’s most important to them-directions to the restaurant, opening hours and links that mirror their top menu bar.

Aesthetics:

  • Ensure it is readable-think about colour contrasts. This is especially important as font size in the footer is generally smaller
  • Maintain your site’s design theme-your footer should not look like an addition to your site
  • Keep adequate space between links.

a minimalist footer from intel.com

 

A unique webpage from emc.com that blends easily into its minimalist footer

What to avoid in your website footer:

  • Clutter and stuffing the footer with too many or unnecessary links
  • Making links difficult to click

Footer design for mobile:

With more websites being viewed through mobile devices today, traffic that travels down to the footer tends to be greater than that to a desktop site-purely due to ease of navigation with swiping on mobile. Developing responsive footers is therefore crucial.

Here are a few well-designed responsive footers -that make the footer on a mobile device look as attractive as that of the desktop website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The main guideline for modern design applies to the footer as well- design with the user in mind. The footer is not dumping ground for keywords and links that cannot be incorporated elsewhere on the site

“It’s supposed to be a nice closure to a page — a simple, navigable spot at the end of a webpage that signals the end”.

Neil Patel, Co-founder KISSmetrics

 

In short, make sure your website footer is not an afterthought.