A website footer is found at the bottom of your site pages. It typically includes important information such as a copyright notice, a disclaimer, or a few links to relevant resources. Can you recall what’s in your website footer?
Many site owners focus on designing the tops of their websites. After all, it’s what visitors first see when they land on a site. Although it’s very important to design the perfect header and an attractive banner, when it comes to designing the footer, don’t exhaust your creativity. A footer should also serve to accomplish one or more of your specific site goals.
With the knowledge that your site footer might dictate whether a visitor continues interacting with your site or leaving for good, let’s review why a website footer matters, and what goes into creating a compelling one.
The anatomy of a website
Most web pages are structured similarly. They typically include headers, which appear at the top of site pages and house a logo and navigation menu. The body of a website is where the main page content is displayed. Lastly, the footer appears at the bottom of site pages. It usually contains small-print items like copyright information.
Technically, websites don’t require footers to function properly; however, they do provide effective locations to add to your website’s functionality. This is especially true when combined with tools that help website owners create and deliver their content more efficiently.
Why use a website footer?
A website footer provides site visitors with a sense of consistency, as the same information will appear at the bottom of every single one of your site pages. Due to evolving user behavior, creating a sense of consistency is increasingly important.
Looking back on traditional print publications like newspapers and magazines displayed on newsstands, many people are still under the impression that the header is the most important part of any page. This might be true when you go into a store where newspapers and magazines are placed on stands that reveal headlines and covers, but not much else.
But with the rise of digital media, site owners don’t have the same worries as print publications. Online, users have the option to scroll down a page before it even finishes loading.
Even site visitors who carefully read a page’s full content might reach the end of an article and close the page. To keep this from happening, you can offer a way for readers to discover more attractive content at the bottom of the page. This makes your footer the perfect place to invite visitors to further engage with your site.
What goes in a website footer?
A footer is one of the best places to put your copyright notices, disclaimers, and other fine print items. However, to maintain visitor engagement, secondary site navigation is a must-have footer item (even if it duplicates your header menu).
Certain features and functionalities will position you to optimize this valuable website real estate.
- A call to action (CTA): Calls to action direct site visitors to take a specific course of action once landing on your site. Depending on the nature of your site, you’ll want to place a CTA on every page. It might take the form of a button to schedule a call with you, or a link to subscribe to your services.
- A contact form: Contact forms can live on any page of your website, making the footer an accessible, consistent location to house one. It’s never a bad idea to give visitors more than one place where they can go to get in touch with you.
- Addresses or maps: If you have a physical store location that you want to direct visitors to, an address or map should be included in your footer. The Contact Info Widget provides the tools you need to make this information available to your site visitors.
- Images: Images can set your footer apart by adding an inviting touch and splash of color. A tool like Jetpack’s Tiled Galleries lets you showcase several images at once. You might display titled images of the various items that you sell on your site.
- Links to your social accounts: Social media is a major tool for bloggers, website owners, and marketers alike. Social Media Icons gives you a unified interface to place links back to your social channels, encouraging interaction on platforms other than your website.
- Newsletter signups: This CTA serves to engage your audience now and in the future. Subscriptions alerts subscribers whenever you publish new posts. Alternatively, you might use the MailChimp Subscriber Popup Widget so users can sign up to receive your newsletter.
- Popular posts or articles: After a site visitor reads a post, you should present them with the opportunity to discover related ones. The Display WordPress Posts Widget showcases your most recent posts, and the Top Posts & Pages Widget gives you the option to display your most popular ones.
Don’t miss the opportunity presented by your footer
Remember, your footer might be the last thing that visitors see before leaving your site. To keep them coming back, offer information that is informative and enticing. A well-crafted, cohesive website footer can have a greater impact on user engagement than any other area of your site.
What goes into your website footer? Share tips and tricks with other site users in the comments section below.
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Thanks for the article Zach. Agree with you on all points, except google maps. This will slow down the site , and these days the speed is very important.
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Take a screenshot of it,then replace the widget with your (cropped) screenshot, linking to the full map.
Loads faster, infringes less privacy, and also is less much annoying for people on touch screens.
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Very good article!
This article would have much more weight if the footer of the website it’s posted on actually had the suggested footer elements.
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