This article will define what a website footer is, what it should contain, and some steps to take to make your footer effective, regardless of whether you use WordPress or any other website platform.
You may think the most crucial aspect of your website is your content. After all, if people visit your site, they’re probably looking for information on a specific topic or are considering using your services.
Your website content is extremely important. Your text must be easy to read, understandable, and generate leads. But what if you could significantly boost traffic, improve your SEO, and generally improve the quality of your site by paying more attention to your website footer?
What is a Website Footer?
The website footer is at the bottom of your website’s pages. Your visitors will see the same footer throughout the entire website, so you only have to build one.
Long ago, businesses used footers solely as an afterthought, displaying copyright information or boring, hard-to-understand legal language. Anything else the developer didn’t have a place for in the body of the website could end up in the footer.
Now, we’ve come around to the idea that footers can serve multiple functions along with providing legal protection. site maps and accessibility statements.
The Importance of an Effective Website Footer
Website footers are now generally seen as serving 2 primary purposes:
A “net” at the bottom of your page
Let’s say one of your customers is interested in your service or product. They’ve searched Google, and your site popped up. They’re scrolling through your information, but they aren’t entirely convinced when they get to the end of your content. The footer is your second chance.
It serves as a net to catch people ready to move away from your website. Don’t let these visitors leave! Your website footer can prove you’re the best service/product, and the information included in the footer should reinforce the case you’ve made throughout your web pages.
The go-to place for important information
If you’re like many people, you usually go to a site with a specific purpose in mind: to find contact information and pricing options. For example, you might know what the company does and need their services. So you want to get in touch with them to get a cost estimate.
You can assume that many customers coming to your site feel the same way and navigate web pages in a similar manner. Therefore, your footer NEEDS to make information easy to find. If users can’t scroll down and find information quickly and easily, they may abandon your site for the next company on their list.
What Should a Website Footer Contain?
At a minimum, your website footer should contain the following:
ALL of your contact information needs to be in the footer. No matter how your potential customers want to communicate, your footer should have every way to get in touch with you. So include your email, phone number, “contact us” links, physical mailing address, and any other applicable method. BUT don’t add your phone number if you don’t answer the phone. If you do, you’ll only frustrate people.
Example: David P Shapiro Law Firm Site
The attorney website gives extensive contact information in their footer. An address, phone number, a contact form, business hours, and even a map to their office! They also have their legal disclaimer in the footer.
Even with all this information, the footer is still easy to read and use.
Take a look at the footer for DavidPShapiroLaw.com.
Again, your website footer is a second chance to reinforce your brand and your message. Make sure to include your logo and anything that distinguishes your brand from other companies in your industry.
Christy Teigen’s site Cravings is dedicated to her cookbook and recipes. She has a beautiful logo and uses it well in her stylized footer. The little chili pepper and the waves across the top give her footer a finished look.
Check out the branding in the footer of CravingsbyChristyTeigen.com
While few visitors will thoroughly read your legal disclaimers, verify your copyright information, or visit your site map, they’re still essential to include in your website footer. They help convey your professionalism.
The 3 items above are the minimum of what you should include in your footer. Here are the bonus features to add to your website footer to help your SEO and connect & communicate with customers & potential customers.
Legal fine print done right in the lower right at GravityForms.com.
Links to Articles and Posts
You can direct visitors to your blog by including links in your website footer. Then, if a blog title catches a visitor’s eye, they may click through and stay on your site longer than initially planned.
For SEO purposes, Google wants people to visit more than one page on your website. If someone visits only one page, Google considers that a bounce, no matter how long they stay on that page. So links in the footer to other pages and posts can get people to venture deeper into your website.
Example: Out of the Sandbox
Their recently viewed articles and related articles stand out against the black footer. These are 2 widgets, related articles, and recently viewed articles positioned in the widget area of the footer.
This is a great example of article links in a footer at OutoftheSandbox.com.
Social Media Links
Over half the world has at least one social media account. You read that correctly: approximately 4.48 Billion people are on social media! So, if you aren’t updating your social media accounts and linking to them, you’re missing an enormous group of people.
Best of all, it’s easy to link to your social media simply by using each social media company’s image. So, for example, the little Twitter bird is going to be immediately recognizable for the vast majority of your audience.
WordPress has default social media icons on every site. So no need to add additional plugins.
Mailchimp does quite a few things right and their footer is still clean and usable. Their social media links and links to download their apps are easy to see and use.
They’ve added their branding and have related links across the top of the footer. Their Privacy and Terms and Cookie Preferences are linked in the footer. And they have a way to change the language the website is delivered in if English isn’t your first language.
Mailchimp.com is a great example of a well laid out footer.
Because your footer is seen on every page of your website, it’s the perfect place for your subscription form. Add a form on the footer, and it’s seen on every page of your site.
The footer isn’t the only place for your subscription form, but it’s a great place to start.
Part of the challenge with footer subscription forms is to make sure they grab attention. WPRocket’s subscription form does just that! The bright orange subscribe button and the orange in the logo draws the eyes to the subscription form.
A good example of a subscription form on WPRocket.
Other Website Footer Considerations
Take a look at these examples of great footers to get your creative juices flowing.
Pictures communicate louder than words
Example: CentalUMC Stockton
Here is the footer for Central United Methodist Church in Stockton. Check out the icons as a navigational menu. They give the footer a spacious feel and make it easy to see what actions to take quickly. They have great social icons also.
The icons in the foot of CUMCStockton.org are worth checking out.
Example: Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is one of the most used SEO plugins in WordPress. Plus, they have SEO training available to their premium plugin users. And as you may have guessed from their name, their footer is a brilliant example of a beautifully SEO’d footer.
The first list on the footer is some navigation links. The second list is their plugins. They use keywords for their plugin names, local SEO, WooCommerce SEO, etc. The third column is some of their most popular blog posts and a video series the company’s owner Joost Van de Valk, does on SEO. Again, the names are exact keyword matches for what people type into the search engine to learn SEO. Finally, the last column has their courses, and again they use highly related keywords for the course names.
Check out this footer from Yoast.com
Bonus points go to WordPress.org for showing the large companies using their software in their footer. This social proof is almost a testimonial about the effectiveness of their software. After all, if Rolling Stone uses WordPress for its website, it will more than accommodate your plumbing business website.
+1 for social proof in the footer on WordPress.org.
How Can I Improve My Website Footer?
After you’ve read this far, there’s no doubt you see the power of an effective website footer. But where should you start to improve your footer?
Start by adding one feature at a time. Add your contact information and social media icons. Later go back and add your branding, then add your related posts and articles.
We’ve given you lots of ideas of what to include on your website footer. You may think: “who in the world is going to read all that information in a footer!?”
That’s a great question. Here’s where creative and effective writing comes in handy. You could include all of the information above in a few sentences by hyperlinking to your blog, “contact us” page, and legal information.
Pictures and videos can communicate some of the other essential items. That’s right, pictures! And no words are needed to include your logo and social media links.
However you choose to arrange the information in your footer, the object is to have a clean, easy to read and use footer.
Have questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out!
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