There are various aspects that are essential for a website to be truly successful. For instance, aspects like visual design, user friendliness, brand consistency, accessibility, and overall usability can collectively determine whether or not a visitor will have a pleasant experience using your website.
Besides being able to easily find their way around your website and trust your brand and content, visitors should also be able to quickly connect with your website to pursue their needs. And while it is important to pay attention to every aspect of the website, designers often neglect a website footer or design it as an afterthought.
Studies show that customers only spend 20% of their time ‘below the fold’. Even so, a footer is an important aspect that goes into making an eCommerce site great. It should be considered as an opportunity and designed with an intention to help visitors quickly navigate to the desired page as well as meet your business goals. A footer plays a role similar to any other part of your website. So, take a look at ten ways you can improve the lowest part of your website to provide better user experience and increase eCommerce sales.
1. Copyright: If you want your footer to have only one element, this might be it. The copyright symbol along with a year. Albeit weak, it is an easy way to protect against plagiarism. Just a few lines of code can help you keep the year updated automatically.
2. Sitemap: One of the most common links found in the footer. It is linked with the HTML version of your sitemap. Visitors seldom click the sitemap links but like the XML sitemap, it can help search engines to crawl through the links and locate things easily. It also helps in caching and indexing your site pages.
5. Contact: Displaying your contact information in the top right of the header is a web design standard. Additionally, there should be a contact link in the bottom right (or center) of the footer. This link should connect to a contact page that has a contact form, not an email link. There are various benefits of using a contact form including:
- It is easier to track the form submissions through analytics.
- Forms submitted by visitors redirect them to ‘Thank you’ page which can include additional messages, links, best-selling products, and call to action (CTA). This can help to boost user engagement and site conversions.
- Contact forms can be connected to marketing automation and other systems.
6. Navigation: As stated above, customers do not spend much of their time below the fold. So, if they have scrolled down to your footer, it is certain that they didn't find something they were looking for. Utilize your footer to offer some extra options, such as navigation. In the last few years, many websites followed the 'fat footer' usability trend. A fat footer includes more than just the standard items listed earlier, starting with the navigation. These days, footers often comprise of the same links you would find in a ‘mega menu’ dropdown in the header navigation.
7. Social Media Buttons: Just like CTAs, displaying social media buttons in the footer can increase the chance of getting more fans and followers to your social media channels. Customers love to interact with the brand on social networks. The page footer social media buttons directly takes the customers to your brand’s social media pages where they can follow or promote your products/business. If you are running your store on Magento or looking for Magento developers for hire, use the free Social Media Buttons extension to increase fans and followers for your profiles on popular networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Instagram, Flickr, etc.
8. Email Signup: The footer is a common place to let your customers subscribe to your newsletters, blogs, magazines, etc. Studies show that 24 percent of top marketing websites have an email signup box in the footer. Though email sign ups usually occur on pages such as a blog post, letting visitors subscribe from the footer isn’t a bad idea. Footer sign up box should still follow the email signup best practices to boost conversion rates.
9. Login: If you have a login area for visitors other than customers, like employees, partners, resellers or affiliates, then footer is the best place for it. These visitors access your website often to find relevant content and files. Adding a login link to the footer will provide them with an instant access to their accounts.
10. Graphic Elements: Adding logos, small image gallery or graphic elements is another great way of optimally using the footer space. It can create a visual appeal. Just be careful not to overload the space with too many elements. You can use a slider having note size images that are easy to view and read.
Despite its location at the bottom, a website footer plays a major role in tying the entire website together. Make sure you keep the website footer clean and concise. Avoid using flashy fonts or too many graphics. Ensure that the fonts are legible over your background color and maintain website’s design theme. Include the right mix of design elements, information, and usability to make the most of the lowermost space of your website. While your visitors may not often see the footer, there may come a time when a well-designed footer will keep a shopper engaged and save you from an abandonment.
Do you have any other suggestions or tips for website footer design? What elements have you included in your website’s footer? Share your views and opinions with us in the comments section below.