Our series has mirrored the way users move through a website. Starting with navigation, leading to content, focusing on photography, we’re now attending to the next place the eye settles on the page—the footer.
The footer is the very bottom of your website. Although it is a navigational tool, the information displayed here differs from your main navigation. The footer typically contains the copyright, contact details, and policies or “fine print” information that needs to be present on each page.
A smart way to make the footer useful to your visitors is to repeat important navigational items. Adding links to your “About Us” page, or blog gives visitors a quick way to find what they are looking for. Just as we discussed in the navigation post, it’s critical to make finding common elements of your webpage as easy as possible. Repeating key items in both the main navigation and footer area is a simple way to do this while maximizing the value of this space.
It’s also common to see social media icons in the footer such as Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Pinterest, or LinkedIn. These icons link to your profile or page on each of the social media sites. Later in the series we dedicate an entire post to social media and your online marketing strategy. Keep these in mind when thinking about your footer.
Another common item found in the footer is an email sign up form. This is an area that allows visitors to enter their name and email address. Collecting email addresses through your website allows you to stay connected to current or potential clients. Building your contact list helps you build your business. Since we’re all on both ends of email marketing, it’s good to remember no one wants to feel overwhelmed with email. We could likely devote a whole post to this, but, the simplest rule is to keep your email communications to an effective minimum. Communicate regularly, but only when you have something worthwhile to say. Always include new or pertinent information. Including sales or giveaway information is one way to keep these messages engaging.
Return to your thoughts on navigation and content; what elements would be best served by being placed in the footer? Start a list, and as always, you’re not alone in this work—your designer or project manager is here to help.
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