You and your website designers give careful thought to every aspect of your website, which is what makes it so unique. But when it comes to the footer of your website, most people don’t give a well-designed footer much thought.
Most website visitors probably wouldn’t think twice about looking at a website footer, which might only have a logo, address and phone number. But even so, a professionally designed footer should encompass:
- the navigation links from the top of the website (or sitemap),
- social media icons with links to the respective platforms,
- the copyright year (which should be coded to automatically have the year update),
- your logo,
- contact information, and
- an e-newsletter sign-up form or other call to action
A well-designed footer with a sitemap can help with your SEO.
That’s because a sitemap in the footer helps Google's robots understand your website. By embedding a Sitemap SEO file in your website, you'll help search engines’ spiderbots index the content of your website.
A sitemap is a file in an XML format, which contains a list of pages in your website. That file works with search engine’s crawlers to collect information about the web architecture and validate its content. The bots, in turn, index that information and show it on the search results page.
The goal of your XML sitemap file is to make page indexing easier for search engines. The more complex your website, the more important it is to have that sitemap file. That file could also contain the date of the last page update, or the importance of a certain page, as well as the number of images. When done right, the XML sitemap helps your website's pages be indexed quickly.
How do you create an XML site?
With a quick Google search you can find helpful tools online, however, you can get to Google’s page for how to build and submit a sitemap here.
Once you create your XML sitemap you want make sure it’s playing by Google's rules. To do that, just upload the file on a server and add a link to the Google Search Console tool and the robots.txt file.
If that’s something you’re not comfortable doing, any good web design company should be able to handle it for you.
What else can go in an effective footer?
The footer can also improve your website’s overall usability if you include links to the most popular pages of your website. Just look at your Google Analytics to see which pages are most visited, and make it easy for your prospects to reach those pages in the footer.
Awards and certifications can also go in the footer, as you can see what we did for Dr.Dana Goldberg’s plastic surgery website.
Make sure it's responsive.
With mobile traffic making up a substantial portion of overall traffic, like the rest of your website, the footer needs to be responsive as well.
Mobile users may find it challenging to navigate your site if the footer isn’t optimized for their device. Make sure your footer is mobile-friendly and looks good on any device.
Keep the look consistent with the rest of your website.
Your website footer should match the design of your website. Using the same colors, fonts, and graphic elements will keep your footer consistent with your overall branding. A footer that seamlessly blends with your site design will improve the user experience and enhance credibility.
Designing a website footer may not seem like a crucial part of the web design process. However, it's a crucial aspect of creating a user-friendly website. The footer’s layout can easily impact your visitors’ impressions of your company. A well-designed footer can be an effective tool to help you guide visitors around your site, making it more user-friendly and potentially resulting in more conversions. By following the above tips, you’re sure to create an effective footer that helps users take the next step in their visit.