Every square centimetre of your website design is significant and helps you to meet your business goals. Making sure your website footer has been curated to increase your website user experience is crucial but more importantly, the need understand what not to include in your website footer can be just as crucial.
Okay, so modern internet users do have short attention spans. There’s no getting away from the fact that website visitors want swift answers to the question ‘what’s in it for me’. However, don’t imagine for one minute that’s a good excuse to shortchange them!
Making a website too top-heavy with information – or chunky around the middle – could mean you’re neglecting some important spaces. Especially ‘what lies beneath’ the page footer! Let’s take a look into what you should be including in your website footer.
Making the most of web page layouts
How are website pages structured? Generally, with a header, content, sidebars and a footer.
It’s natural to put much of the ‘meat’ above the fold, which means the top of your page. That’s primarily where visitors’ eyes would go to, and generally the section of a website that loads in plain view.
That means much is written about making your website header work and creating strong content to grab and hold attention. Which can lead to less attention paid ‘below the fold’ and especially to the information in your website footer.
This is the area that’s a fixed feature, carried over to every page. It is coded using either Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) or Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). As visitors navigate around, the footer remains consistent.
So, the less effort you put into it, the less attention it gains, leading to a serious waste of space on every website page!
Where to put the small print on websites
One of the most popular uses for footers is a place to put necessary content that doesn’t offer as much ‘selling power’. For example, a link to your Terms & Conditions, privacy statement or full contact details. It’s often where copyright information is placed too.
This makes sense, but are you missing out on its digital marketing and UX potential?
Repeating menu bars
Another common feature of a website footer is an echo of the header tabs, to aid site navigation. This too seems logical. If your website visitors have scrolled down the page, they can find a link of interest without returning to the top again.
Making website footers matter
There are advantages to including more impactful and influential content in footers though. Keep in mind, they ‘hold up’ the rest of the page layout. It’s natural for website users to glance to the thing that makes the site consistent.
It’s where website visitors expect to see social media links, and any accreditations or trade body memberships you hold, for example.
It’s a great place to put ‘supporting’ information which reinforces your credibility and outreach.
Calls to action
Website footers are also a wise place to put ‘further information’ links and such things such as enquiry forms and quick contact information.
Wherever they are on your site, the user has the reassurance of being able to scroll down and click on your transactional process, phone number or email address.
Having this sort of information accessible at the base of each page could make a significant difference to UX and lead conversion.
Keep in mind though, that your collection of features that represent a ‘call to action’ should not be entirely confined to the footer.
Internet users want convenience and speed above all else.
You must offer quick ways to contact you – and compelling engagement aids – throughout page layouts. For example, you can ‘contact us’ from any Factory Pattern website page header as well as footer.
The quick answer to this is, everything but the kitchen sink! Don’t be tempted to pack the bottom, repeating sections of web pages with a dense amount of content and links.
Having glanced at the rest of the page, a scrolling visitor will want to find their next action with ease. Whether that’s going to your Twitter feed, giving you a call or progressing to e-commerce check out. An overwhelming footer could increase your bounce rates!
Incidentally, some sites benefit from having no footer at all! It engenders a perception of continuously flowing content, and endless scrolling possibilities. News sites often do this, providing links to associated articles instead of a uniform footer.
Most companies would benefit from a footer that firms up their brand identity and reinforces USPs and calls to action.
To make this work for you, contact the website design agency that works hardest to make every part of your site brilliant!