Pixel Fish Website Design Blog

10 Ways To Improve Your Website Footer

Posted by Mark Fouche on Aug 22, 2018
Mark Fouche
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Your footer is one of the most important elements of your website. While your footer may not grab your users’ attention from the get-go, it is often the first place your users will look for information, making it vital. Here are some great tips to improve your website's footer.

10 Ways To Improve Your Website Footer

When planning your web design project the footer should never be overlooked. Taking the time to consider what content to include and how to organise this information in a coherent way is important.

Likewise, when revamping or looking for ways to improve your existing website, your footer should not be ignored.

Before tweaking or adjusting your footer, ask yourself:

  • Are my website footer’s design values cohesive with those of my website as a whole?
  • Is my website footer too conspicuous, chaotic or cluttered?

Have you considered that the footer is where lost visitors will go for help? If these lost wanderers are unable to navigate the footer to find the information they need, they will most likely click away from your site.

If your footer merely replicates a “mega-menu” dropdown from your header navigation (containing the exact same links) it will probably be of no use to these lost visitors. After all, if they didn’t find what they were after in the header above, why repeat the same information below?

If you think your footer could use improving, but you are not sure where to start or what information to include, here some great tips to keep in mind for your business website footer:

Top 10 Tips For Improving Your Website Footer

1. Perform a navigation health check

To check how your existing footer rates as far as navigation is concerned you can give it a health check:

  • Check the “Site Search > Queries” report in your Analytics. Make note of what your visitors are searching for on your site.
  • Next, check the “Behaviour Flow” report in Analytics. What is the top path through your website?

Now, consider:

  • What do these two reports tell you about your visitor’s wants and needs?
  • How can you make this information easier for them to find?
  • Where are your visitors wanting to go when they reach your site?
  • How can your footer aid their navigation through your site?

2. Simplicity

When working with a lot of information, clean and simple design is important. Organise with purpose and provide plenty of space to avoid confusion.

The size of your footer will depend on the overall size of your website, as the footer’s size mostly correlates to the amount of site content and the site’s number of pages. Consider individually each piece of information in your footer and why it should be there.

When it comes to footer design two main considerations should be space and spacing. Text is usually small, and space allows your footer to avoid looking cluttered and cramped. Space aids click-ability and tap-ability – which is vital when the items within your footer contain links.

3. Provide Links

Your users will frequently want to know who you are and what your business is about. The two most important links you can provide in your footer will go to your “About Us” and your “Contact Us” pages. This information should be easy to find.

While a link should still be provided to your “Contact Us” page, a main telephone number, email address and physical address should appear in your footer to make life easier for your users. Ideally, you should ensure each of these (phone/email/location) are created to auto dial, email or call up a map when clicked.

4. Organise

Grouping is a great way to organise your links and information. You can use several columns (or rows) of relevant information in groupings, such as services, social media, links and contact information. You don’t want lost visitors clicking away – grouping is a great way to help make information easier to find.

5. Copyright notice

It may be small, but this single line (usually including year of publication and name of copyright owner) is important to include. If you don’t already have one, why not design it to integrate with the rest of your footer? Even if your copyright notice is just a single line of text at the bottom of your page, it is important to have. However you choose to incorporate it, just don’t forget it!

6. Include a Call to action

Always include a call to action in your footer. If a user is after more information has navigated to your footer, why not seize the opportunity and encourage them to fill in a contact form, follow you on social media or sign up for your newsletter? There is value in the footer space for converting clicks, so ensure your call to action is easy to see.

7. Get graphic

To avoid your footer looking like a block of text, add some graphic elements, such logos and icons to create visual interest. Footers are usually hierarchical in nature: the important information sits towards the top, with information of lesser importance (such as copyright notices) sitting lower.  When using graphic elements, be sure to balance your footer visually and maintain any relevant groupings.

8. Readability

Footers generally contain small text that is normally a few points smaller than the text used in the main body of the site. Text, icons and images all need to remain readable at whatever sizes you choose.

Take a look at your footer from a user’s point of view by taking the time to use it. Go ahead and click through the links from both a desktop and mobile device. Each element should also be large enough that they are easy to click or tap on.

As everything in the footer is generally smaller than the rest of your site, the colour, weight and contrast between text and background needs careful attention. Simple fonts and high contrast (think white background/black text, or dark background/white text) are best for keeping text readable.

9. Maintain your design aesthetic

Take time to consider whether your footer matches your website’s overall design theme. You can improve the look of you entire site by ensuring your footer mirrors the style, graphic elements and colours found across rest of your site. You don’t want your footer to look like it was cut and paste from somewhere else!

10. Consider a sub-footer

Your sub-footer is your footer’s footer. A sub-footer is usually where the boring stuff goes, simply because it has to go somewhere! Think Terms of Use, Disclaimers, Privacy Policy, Security Certificates and the Copyright Notice. It isn’t uncommon to place the Site Map here. Your site map helps search engines index pages or URLs on your website. Rearranging your current layout to include a sub-footer can help your footer appear clean and uncluttered, even when it contains all the information it held previously.

The good news is, a sub-footer doesn’t have to be boring! You can use it to highlight your accolades or insert your call to action. Ideally, your sub-footer becomes another layer in your hierarchy of information. Levels of navigation often make it easier for users to skim and click through.

Taking a second look at your footer is well worth your time, energy and effort. After all, your footer provides a wealth of important information to your user, from who you are to where you are, from what your website is about to how to navigate it. Including the right mix of information, graphic elements and functionality will ensure your footer is a usable tool.

To get the best our of your website, every element should be working with you to the same end - even the humble footer!  To ensure you have the right mix of content, aesthetics and structure in your website footer design, simply click here to arrange a chat with the team at Pixel Fish. Whether it’s an element of your site - such as the footer - or overall web design you’re after, the team at Pixel Fish would love to discuss your project with you.

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Topics: Website Design