A footer is a section at the bottom of a website. It helps users find what they’re looking for with useful pieces of information. In most cases, the footer design provides links to content users may not find on a website’s main navigation.
Think of it as secondary navigation, where visitors can find policies, social media links, contact information, job opportunities, etc. Essentially, the footer has two primary purposes — marking the end of the page for users and featuring additional information to learn about the company.
Designing a website footer includes various practices to maintain consistency and valuable user experience. Below you will find the best rules you must follow to create an excellent footer for your website.
1. Maintain SEO
SEO (search engine optimization) is crucial for ranking in search engines like Google. While Google won’t prioritize footers over the header and body content, it still has value.
Think of where the links on the footer lead to your site. The links should open the door to deeper pages, which will help increase SEO authority.
2. Optimize for Mobile
Sometimes, you may need a large footer to include a group of necessary links. While this is easy to implement on a desktop, you may need an optimized footer for mobile users since mobile devices carry smaller screens.
When it comes to the footer design, a best practice is to keep your footer from confusing users and creating a frustrating experience. Instead, consider placing only the most pertinent information for the mobile version and keep it compact.
3. Keep the Design Consistent With the Page
Even with a complex website design, it’s always best practice to keep the footer clear and simple. While the footer design should be consistent with the rest of the branding — it shouldn’t have the same elements as the header.
Instead, it should have different information across the bottom and should add value for the user. While the footer will contain various details, the design should be similar to the rest of the page.
Use shapes, colors and other visual elements without breaking the design. It should also help users learn that they’ve reached the end of the page.
4. Avoid Overcrowding
It can be easy to stuff your footer with information you think will be important to users. However, this can lead to overwhelming visitors quickly and easily.
If you need to include a large amount of information, ensure you break it down into digestible groups.
Even though you may have lots of links to important content, you can still divide them into clearly titled sections with lots of white space.
5. Consider Different Layouts
The footer design doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all solution. You have various ways to arrange the footer. For example, if you have little information — you might consider using a narrow footer design.
Meanwhile, a wide footer may look more presentable if you have multiple columns. However, you could also consider something more visually appealing, including graphics with custom icons to display important links.
Make the Most of Your Footer Design
There’s more to a footer design than one containing a few links. Make it a goal to enhance the user experience. Answer the most common questions, construct the footer clearly and keep it consistent with your branding.
Implement the best practices to create an excellent footer design and make the most of it.
About The Author
Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dogs, Bear and Lucy.