Is Your Website Footer Effective?

Footers can be found at the bottom of almost every web page. Their presence is critical and highly underrated, according to new research from
Nielsen Norman Group.

User the Footer Element Wisely

Footers serve as an important reference point for people as they complete a variety of tasks on websites. While footers get less attention than the top of the page, they still receive a fair amount of use.

NNG found two common uses:

  1. Users scan or read the page and either don’t find what they want, or need more information.
  2. Users scroll to the footer to find information they expect to appear there, such as contact information, details about the company, and social media posts or links.

Best Footer Elements

The best footer elements for your site depend on your goals. NNG lists these as the most common footer components and recommended situations in which to use them:

  • Utility links, such as contact information, customer service, privacy policy and terms of use
  • Repeat of main navigation
  • Links to items not in the main navigation but of high interest to certain audiences, like apply for a job or investor information
  • Site map showing a combination of the global navigation and other important pages not present in the global navigation
  • Testimonials or awards
  • List of other brands within the organization
  • Customer engagement (email newsletters and social media)

Footer Pitfalls to Avoid

  • Too much content: A footer should be devoted to only important information that should be discoverable.
  • Unclear link names: Adhere to conventional, clear terms.
  • Tiny text: Sometimes companies opt to use a tiny font size for footer links but people use it and rely upon it, so make it legible.