ETIP #45

Make sure your website’s footer has legs

Make sure your website’s footer has legs

Your website’s footers (that bottom part of the page you think no one looks at) have evolved to become more than a place to position a copyright statement, legal statement or a second navigation bar. Nowadays, the footer has moved up the ladder – figuratively speaking – in importance.

The reason for this is related to Search Engine Optimization. More web designers are now aiming for usability and SEO effectiveness, because the more cross-linked content and key words included in your site, the better your results are likely to be.

Additionally, the easier your website is for search engines to index, the better your SEO rank may be. This, too, is done in a number of ways, but a recent way to assist this process is to make your footer more robust and site map-like than ever before. Site maps are great tools for larger sites. They allow users to go to one spot and visually sweep over the titles of most pages within the site. This data used to be reserved for a site map page. Now, more and more savvy designers and developers are taking the time to create wonderfully useful footers.

Consider including these elements in your website’s footer:

  • A place to duplicate your primary and secondary navigation to your entire site
  • A location for reciprocal link exchange
  • A location for all social marketing connections associated with the website
  • A location for a truncated list of RSS or Twitter feeds associated with the website
  • Contact forms, as they have garnered more popularity in recent years for immediate contact ability for users
  • And lastly, a location for sharing tools, allowing other users to pass your information and messaging to others

By implementing one (or several) of these tips, you’ll not simply increase SEO, but you’ll also be increasing usability and effectiveness of the site. So next time you’re going through a redesign of your web presence, remember this: The last place you think a user might look may now be their first stop at your website.

More information: