How well are you utilizing the footer section of your website? Does your website even have a footer to start with? And if not, do you even care about creating or using one?
If you’re thinking about a new website design or even redesigning your existing website, one particular area of your design project you shouldn't ignore is the footer section.
When it comes to designing the near perfect website for your business, it's so easy to become overwhelmed by the whole process.
I understand that there's so many things to think about.
And, I know that you can get so caught up with trying to get every piece of your web design project puzzle to fit perfectly, you can easily forget about some of the important, yet under-utilised parts your website.
If you haven't guessed by now what I'm talking about, it's the footer area of your website.
Oh wait, not the footer! I hear you say - "Who cares about the very bottom of your website that hardly anyone scrolls down to, anyway?"
I wouldn't be so sure about that -
Of course, paying special attention to the header section, and the above the fold design and content takes priority, because essentially that's where most of your visitors will no doubt spend most of their time, right?
Well, that may be so - However, the lower part, in particular, the footer of your website deserves just as much attention too.
Just check this out:
In an interesting case study, Chartbeat actually found that 65% of their engagement happened right 'below the fold'.
So people do scroll!
Yes, and if you've decided not to invest your time and energy into paying attention to optimizing your website's bottom half and footer area, you could be missing out on some unique opportunities, such as -
So - For those of your website users who wish to spend a little extra time on your site, by scrolling all the way down to the bottom to discover what they're looking for, perhaps a well-optimized footer area is just what's needed.
In this post, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about creating and using website footers, regardless of the type of website you have.
Here’s what we’re going to be covering -
OK. Now, let's begin.
What is a website footer?
If you didn't already know this, a website footer is the very bottom part of a website or webpage.
Website footers come in all shapes and sizes.
Some websites have very minimal looking footer areas, while some websites have very large multi-column footers and sub-footers.
Some websites don't have a footer at all, whilst some will have a design feature called "infinite scrolling" - Meaning there is no footer or end to the bottom of the site.
We won't get into infinite scrolling today.
Contact information, a search box, and navigational links to important pages, social media profile icons can usually be found in most website footer areas.
A website footer can also be used for providing other essential information about a website or business, such as a company's mission statement, location information (map), website statistics, social proof, an email signup form, registration or login details, other type of call-to-action, etc.
Why you need to strategize your website footer design?
It is not 100% necessary for your website to have a footer area at all, however, not using one may make it frustratingly challenging for some of your website visitors to find specific pieces of information about your website or business.
Contact information is a pretty popular one, mind you. Most people expect to find contact details in the footer.
Other than improving the navigational flow of a website as well as user-experience, strategizing a website's footer design has been proven to impact conversions for some brands and businesses. Maybe it can for you too.
Take a look below:
Website footer case-studies
During a usability test, UserTesting found that placing their conversion goals in the footer section helped them to increase their conversion rate by 50% over a two-week period.
SmartInsights also reported that they saw a near 24% growth in their sales conversion rate simply by optimizing their website footer.
Examples of beautiful website footer design to inspire you
Now. I want to share with you a small handful of website footer designs that I found and liked a lot. This is to help inspire you when you create your own footer design -
Web studio SparkBox makes use a full-width card-style interface footer design which is really simple but very attractive.
Their footer area clearly displays contact information, navigational links, and social media profile links.
In the video tutorial below, I'll show you how you can design a similar looking website footer using Thrive Architect.
Zoyo yogurt's website footer is another one that I liked the look of. Their footer design consists of contact information, navigational links, and a simple but attractive email contact form.
BlogVault's website footer displays a pre-footer section with a conversion goal (getting people to signup for a service trial), followed by a main footer area with a list of recently published blog articles, navigational links, conversion links and links to help and support pages, privacy and policy pages.
So - Are you feeling inspired to start revamping your website footer?
Need a few more examples to inspire you? Check out these below -
GiftRocket's beautiful footer area is made up of a pre-footer area for showing off their testimonials from reputable brands, and a main footer area that contains all of the important navigational links to other pages on their site.
Lastly, I really love the unique design of Bristol Archive Record's footer - Which consists of a graphic background image of the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Their footer section provides three widget areas with links to important pages, copyright info, and authority logo's to website and profiles they use.
OK, I really think that's enough inspiration for you. Now, let's look at 16 things to consider including in your footer design -
16 things to consider including in your website footer
Let’s start with what I believe to be the essential items -
#1. Copyright info - Make it clear that the content of your website is protected and copyrighted and that plagiarism is prohibited! Copyright info should ideally be placed in a sub-footer.
#2. Contact information - As I mentioned earlier, most people tend to scroll down to the footer section to find contact information. It’s essential that you add yours to your footer, especially if you haven’t included a link to your contact page in the main navigation, where most websites will have theirs.
Your contact information can be a mailing address, telephone number, and email address.
Telephone Number Conversion Tip - If you're displaying a telephone number in your website's footer area, you might want to make this clickable so that it offers users a simple way to click-to-call your business directly when browsing your website on a smartphone device.
#4. Terms of Service - If like myself and many others, you provide a service through your website or run an e-commerce website, the last thing you want is your customers/clients to become confused about the terms of doing business with you. Make sure you display a link to your terms of service page clearly in your footer.
#5. Feedback/Testimonials - This is optional, however, I believe it’s essential for online businesses to link to their feedback submission page or a testimonial page. Assuming you have one, of course.
#6. Google Map - If your website is the online portal for your brick and mortar business, perhaps you run a guest house, restaurant, or local events centre - Then certainly consider adding some location information to your footer. This could be a simple address and postcode or a local Google Map integration.
#7. Secondary Navigation - Add links to your about page, FAQ page, and other important pages of your site that you think would provide additional assistance for your website users.
Now let's take a look at some other items you could add to your website footer design that are non-essential -
#8. Social Proof & Follow Us Icons - If you want to show off your social media influence or get people to follow you on your most active social networks, consider adding some social profiles and perhaps the number of subscribers/followers you have for each profile in the footer for social proof.
You could even create a pre-footer area for these, like the one shown below!
#9. SiteMap - A SiteMap essentially helps search engines to get a better understanding of the structure of your website and content. Many websites will choose to have a link to their SiteMap besides their copyright info in a sub-footer.
#10. Social Sharing Tools - Social sharing buttons can also be placed in the footer to make it easier for your visitors to share your page with their social media friends and followers.
#11. Email Opt-in Form - A great way to boost your email opt-in conversion is to display a simple signup form. Alternatively, if a signup form is simply too much to add to your footer, consider a simple call-to-action button or link to your main lead generation page.
#12. Contact Form - If you don't wish to place your contact information on display in your footer, especially your email address. To reduce the risk of receiving email spam, consider adding a simple contact form instead.
Using a form in the footer area of your website can help make it easier for your users to contact you, and from practically any page on your website.
Remember, however, a form can take up a considerable amount of footer space.
#13. Mission Statement - If you want to show your visitors what your website or brand stands for, what your goals, aspirations are, etc. Consider adding a short version of your mission statement in your footer.
If you have an extended version of your MS, you could always add a link to it.
#14. List of latest blog posts - You may want to add a feed to your latest blog posts in your website's footer, or an even better strategy would be to link to just a few of the best and most popular blog posts.
My advice to you would be to keep this minimal, though. Four or five links should be more than enough.
#15. About/Bio - If your website is a personal brand site or blog, you could also add a short bio about yourself including a photo to help add some human element to your website. You can then add a link to your about page where visitors can click on to learn more.
#16. Conversion Links or Call To Action - Do you have sales pages, best selling product pages, affiliate pages that you want to promote further? How about linking to them in your footer anchor text?
Things to avoid adding to your website's footer
OK, so what about items that shouldn't be in your website footer? Let's take a look -
Note: You may agree or disagree with some of the items I've included in the list of things to avoid adding to your website footer. The reason I've added them is because I don't think they're really beneficial for your visitors.
What tools can you use to design your website footer?
It really depends on what platform you're using to build your website.
For WordPress users, for instance, there are a number of premium quality footer plugins you could try out -
Smart Footer System is a plugin that works with a wide range of page builder plugins such as Elementor and Thrive Architect.
Site-wide footers or single pages/posts?
Some websites use different footers on their pages to meet their conversion goals. Some website owners prefer to only use a footer section on the homepage - In which case, something like Thrive Architect is a great page builder plugin to use to build a custom homepage with an optimized footer area.
In the short video tutorial below, I show you how to design a great looking footer section for the homepage/landing page of your WordPress website using the Thrive Architect plugin.
OK. So you've read enough of how I feel about optimizing your website's footer design, now let's ask a few other experts what they think -
Founder of MadLemmings - Ashley Faulkes
"I use the footer for a few key things that are often not found elsewhere or should be easy to find.
- The company details (name, address, phone etc)
- List of important pages that are either not in the main header or deserve repeating (shipping, privacy, terms, and conditions, about the company etc)
- Lastly, an important call to action: Further ways to get in touch, an email opt-in (newsletter), a booking button, donate button etc.
Yes, the footer is often forgotten about and under-utilised, but it can be a very useful place indeed."
ASHLEY FAULKES // SEO & WordPress Specialist
CEO of NextLevelWeb - Andrew Lowen
"The footer area of a website should help website visitors navigate the website. We like including important links (such as most/all menu items), contact information, and the copyright info.
Mistakes in the footer are to add social media feeds or “join our newsletter” forms. When a user looks at the footer, they aren’t interested in your social media... they missed what they were looking for in the main body of your website! If you fail to navigate them to someplace closer to what they were looking for, you are going to lose out on potential conversions.
People don’t go to the footer on purpose - they go there because their scroll action led them there by accident, often due to their lack of attention to detail. Your footer should help them find what they need!".
ANDREW LOWEN // CEO of NextLevelWeb Marketing & Design
It's a wrap!
So there you have it. Hopefully, this post has been useful for you. I also hope that it has motivated you to rethink the way you utilize your website's footer section.
Whatever your conversion goal might be with your website or blog, when designing your footer area, just experiment to see what works and what doesn't.
Start by adding a few of the most relevant elements and items you believe will help improve navigation and user-experience for your website users.
If you believe that people aren't scrolling to your footer section, consider setting up some simple heatmaps and scrollmaps to find out for sure.
What ever you decide to do, I hope you won't let your website footer go to waste.
Time to have your say!
- Does your website or blog have a footer area?
- Are you making the most of it?
- What do you have in your footer right now?
- Do you have any additional tips or suggestions you'd like to share?
Leave me your comments below as always.