Few people surfing the internet will ever make it to the bottom of your page, except for a cursory scroll to see how long the page actually is. Everyone knows that the meat-and-potatoes of any website are at the top, or close to it, so that leaves all the boring, but necessary, stuff for the bottom.
But does it have to be boring? I don’t think so, and that’s why I routinely head to the bottom of most websites I visit. Here are some of the things I see, and find quite useful:
- Copyright: Putting your copyright is a good first step, and one reasons you should create a footer right away. Tell the world that this content is yours, and you’re willing to fight for it.
- Back to Top: Also consider a button that will shoot the user right back up to the top of the page. This is especially handy when you’ve got a super long page that will take a lot of scrolling to get through.
- Links: But don’t stop there. Give your user all of the great options listed at the top of your page, but now in simple text format with links. Save the flashy stuff for the top of your page; put the basic infrastructure at the bottom. When I’m shooting around the internet doing work, I’ll often go right to the bottom of the page if I want to contact someone, learn more about the site, or just find the simple directional links that I know will be harder to find with all the content taking up space at the top of the page.
- Address: Go ahead and put your physical contact information down there in the footer as well, if you’ve still got space. Letting people know where you are in the world is a great idea for building trust, and you can even put in a cool link to a map that will pinpoint the exact spot. No one may ever use it, but hey, it shows you mean business.
- Language: Language selectors are a great option if you have a particularly large e-commerce site that’s pulling in traffic from all over the world. Letting someone choose Chinese when that’s their native language will go a long way in making them feel comfortable on your site, and coming back in the future.
- About Us: About us blurbs are another wonderful option for your footer. I’ve seen many authors put a small photo and a short bio of themselves at the bottom of certain articles or other content pages. It’s always nice to see a picture of the person who’s supposedly doing the writing.
- News/Awards: News organizations that have highlighted your website, or even given it an award, should be one of the first things you put in your footer. While you probably already have these on your In The News page, there’s no reason not to tell people again, or those like me who always rush to the bottom of the page first and ignore the rest of your site.
- Posts: Recent posts that you’ve noticed getting a lot of traffic might be a good candidate for your footer. It’s not always easy getting to past blog posts or articles when you’re adding new ones each day, and an article directory somewhere else on your site might not be doing as good of a job as it could.
With all of the great tips above, you should now have a massive footer that takes up half of your page. That’s not a very good option. It’s a footer after all, not a ‘knee-er’ or ‘legger,’ and certainly not an ‘armer’ or ‘upper bodier,’ whatever that is.
Keep the footer small, but keep your ideas for it big. If you run your website right and keep it fresh and relevant, you’ll soon have lots of options for your footer, perhaps even too many!