Your website footer, or the space at the bottom of your site, used to be just that – space at the bottom of your site. But in the last few years, more and more websites have been making use of this area. Menu options, contact information, copyright notices, and detailed graphics have all been used to give websites a little more pizazz while providing customers with a better experience.
For your new website, or current website overhaul, here are a few ideas that can help turn that extra footer space into something special.
Have A Clear, Concise Design: One aspect of your footer that cannot be stressed enough is to have a clean, clear, crisp design that’s easy to read and simple to navigate, just like any other area of your website. Use contrasting colors and avoid fancy fonts. You generally want your footer to appear as an extension of your site, so make it look like the rest of your site. While some footers have all their information to the left or to the right, you’ll find that most footers make the best use of space and design by placing all of its content down the center.
When choosing what information to include in your footer, avoid cramming too much in one spot. Instead, consider organizing your information into small groups with headers as if you were creating a second menu.
Include Contact Information: Even if you already have your contact information at the top of your home page, or a whole contact page within your menu, you may still want to consider adding your contact information to your footer, or at least links to where that information can be found. While spicing up the space at the bottom of your site is still a relatively new concept, it’s been around long enough that many of your customers will expect contact information to be placed there. It’s also a good idea to have your contact information in several places; if a page on your site isn’t loading right, or if your contact form isn’t working properly, customers will be looking for other ways to get ahold of you.
Add Social Media Buttons: Not only is your website footer great real estate to sneak in those social media buttons, they’re so frequently placed in this space that your customers will often know to look there to find them. When adding your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram buttons, make sure that you take the time to locate or design buttons that all look alike and all match your site. WordPress offers a handful of plugins that allows for this capability. Website building tools like Wix offer this as well.
When setting up your buttons, you’ll want to place them all in the same area and equal distance apart from one another. Double check that your buttons indeed link to your social media pages and not just a login screen. Lastly, don’t include buttons to social media platforms you hardly ever use. Linking to a bare-bones account will not present your company in a positive light.
Have A Copyright Notice: Including a copyright notice in your footer is a step most bloggers, business professionals, and website owners take to prevent their images from being copied and pasted into someone else’s site, and their web copy and blog articles from being reposted as another’s work. Copyright infringement is illegal and it’s a huge problem on the internet as many website owners either don’t recognize that they’re stealing, or they don’t think they’ll be caught. While a copyright notice may not prevent someone from using your graphics or reframing your blog post, it may cause them to think twice.
You can copyright your work just by including a copyright notice. This statement includes the copyright symbol, the name of the copyright owner, and the current year (or span between the year it was created and the current year). You can also add the statement “All Rights Reserved,” which means nothing on your website can be reused for additional purposes. If some of your information can be reused, or reused under certain circumstances, you can use the phrase “Some Rights Reserved.”
© 2015, A Small Orange, LLC
Copyright © 2015 Loot Crate
Copyright © 2015 Pizzaria Uno Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
© 1995 – 2015 Wizards of the Coast LLC, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
While including a copyright notice in your website’s footer is enough to copyright your material, some choose to go the extra step and register their copyright at the US Copyright Office. Registering your copyright can make it easier to prove that your content is truly yours should it ever be questioned.
Incorporate Additional Menu Items: Not really interested in clogging up your menu with your company’s history? Are you stuck on where to include your licenses and terms? Your website’s footer can be a great place to add a menu that includes additional information that’s necessary to have, but doesn’t make the cut for your main menu or doesn’t quite fit anywhere else.
If you don’t have additional information to add, you can also make for a better user experience simply by providing a more discreet version of your main menu inside your footer. This may be especially important if you have long website pages. With the same menu at the top and the bottom, your users don’t have to scroll around to get to where they want to be.
Use a Call to Action: Many small businesses find that including one last call to action in the website’s footer can be the little extra nudge viewers need to sign up for a newsletter, subscribe to a blog, or send an email requesting a quote. If you choose to add a call to action, there are a couple of points to keep in mind.
For one, your footer shouldn’t be the first time or the only time your viewer sees this call to action. Already have your offer prominently placed in another area of your website so that your footer acts as a simple reminder or as a quick avenue to obtain a product or service.
Secondly, keep your footer’s call to action brief and to-the-point. You don’t have a lot of room in your footer, so it’s probably not the best place to discuss all the advantages subscribers will receive by signing up for your newsletter, or to go over prices for your new bundle.