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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.

Ask Users to Learn if Your Website Works

You want your website to offer a good user experience. Does it? You need to get feedback and data from actual users to get the answer.

To create a good experience, you need to be sure you have the basics covered:

  • Fast to load
  • Mobile-friendly
  • Easy to read
  • Visually compelling
  • Working navigation
  • Links that connect related information
  • Clear and easy calls to action

These basic elements should result in a site that meets user expectations. But, to refine your site to one that creates a great experience, you need to get feedback from the people who use it.

How do you get feedback?

  • Survey visitors. Ask people to complete a short survey at the website. Many sites ask just one question to make it easy for users to give feedback. Have preset response options like “yes” and “no” and also room for comments.
  • Add a feedback link to your footer. Sometimes, all you have to do is ask. Having a feedback link on every page lets users know you want their comments. This can lead to a comment form or connect to an email address.
  • Analyze your metrics. Be sure to monitor your web analytics. What are the most popular pages? Where do people leave the site? How much time do they spend on the site? Look for insights into what users are interacting with and what’s falling short.
  • Set up a test. You can also take the step to invite users to help you test the site. You can use a testing tool or just ask people to complete a simple task and provide feedback.

No matter how you get feedback, be sure to thank the people that take time to provide their thoughts. Positive or negative, all feedback is valuable to ensure your website is working as you want it to.

And, certainly, be sure you act on the input you get. You may think that people are not paying attention or are missing what is obvious, but failing to act to fix issues identified is a huge missed opportunity. Make sure you are open to all ideas that help make your website a great tool for your business.

A Health Checkup for Your Website

Guest Post by Natalie Rose, NOVA Web Group

Your website is the most important asset of your brand online. Is it healthy? When was the last time your web presence got a good look-over?

Many behind-the-scenes factors could put your website at risk of not performing well. In just the last few months, WordPress has had a major version upgrade. This means many themes and plugins need to be updated too. And, most web software needs to run on PHP 7.2 at a minimum.

There are also content issues. It may seem like nothing ever changes, but I commonly find issues with sites that are 6 months or older:

  • Incorrect business contact details
  • Team members need to be added or removed
  • Products and services need to be updated
  • Broken links

Add to these issues the need to keep up with the latest strategies for mobile devices and search engine optimization. There is so much to pay attention to!

We can help!

Kurtz Digital Strategy and NOVA Web Group help many clients keep their websites healthy. Contact us today to learn more.