What is a website footer?

Michael Groff
Michael Groff
Screenshot of a Fitr Media website footer mockup

So you're curious about this thing called a footer? What is it a website footer and why is it important? We're going to go over all that in this article. But, if you're in a hurry, below is a quick answer to your question.

A website footer is a section of a website that is appended to the bottom of every page. A footer usually includes helpful links to other parts of the site, contact info, and legal links. A website footer also has crucial implications for SEO.

That's just a quick overview of what a website footer is. In the rest of this article I'm going to dive a little deeper in each of the most popular reasons why a website footer is important. They're as follows:

  1. Footers help with user navigation
  2. Footers help with SEO
  3. Footers help hide legal jargon
  4. Footers act as a catch all place for random stuff

Website footers help with user navigation

I don't know if you noticed or not, but usually the footer on a website has more links than the navigation bar. The navigation bar displays the most important, and helpful, links to a user, while the footer usually displays the same links as the navigation bar as well as additional links like:

  1. Additional company pages
  2. Legal pages
  3. Directions
  4. Contact info
  5. Etc

A footer helps provide a well-rounded browsing experience for the user. If the user has problem finding a page on a website, they can usually go to the footer and find a relevant link for the page they're looking for.

Website footers help with SEO

One of the biggest reasons websites have footers is because it helps with SEO. SEO simply stands for Search Engine Optimization. And having a footer helps to optimize your websites for these search engines and can help to increase your rankings on popular search engines such as Google.

A footer helps with SEO in a few different ways, the first way being internal linking. Internal linking is just when a website links to its own pages. The reason this is important is it helps Google to understand your website better and know which pages are important by looking at your link's descriptive text. For example, if I link to my Website Audit page the descriptive text is "Website Audit".

Another way a footer helps with SEO is to prevent orphan links. An orphan link happens when there is a page on a website that has no incoming links from anywhere else on the site. This means that the only way someone could find the page is to use the direct URL. This makes it a harder for search engines to index the page meaning it will probably have lackluster rankings.

Website footers help hide legal jargon

For company's who need to have large amounts of disclaimers on their website, the footer is usually the place it is put so it's kind of out of site and not intrusive to a website visitor. For example, if you go to Apple.com and scroll to the very bottom of their website you'll see like 1-2 paragraphs of solid legal disclaimers.

Another form of legal text that is always included in the footer is the copyright notice. Using this website as an example now, if you scroll down to the footer on this page you'll see something like "Copyright © [current year] Fitr Media LLC. All rights reserved." This is a standard copyright notice that every website has, or should have, and it's always put in the footer.

You're probably starting to see a theme here, the footer is usually the place for important miscellaneous things that needs to be on the website but not up close in the visitors face.

Website footers act as a catch all place for small things like social media icons, addresses, contact info, and legal pages.

The last reason on this list why a website footer is important is because it acts as a catch all place for the small, random things that need to be included on a website but don't make sense anywhere else on the website.

We covered this a bit already, but some things you'll put in the footer could be:

  • A clickable address for a local business
  • Contact info (email, phone number, etc)
  • Legal pages (Privacy policy, Terms of service, etc)
  • Social media icons
  • Email marketing form
  • Etc

In conclusion

A website footer can seem like a weird section on a website, but it's actually very important. If you still have a question about a footer or you're having trouble creating one for your website feel free to email support@fitrmedia.com and we'll try to point you in the right direction.

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