In my previous two posts, I showed you How to Optimize Your Website Sidebar for Traffic and Conversions and How to Easily Add a “Follow Me” Twitter Button to WordPress (fast).
Today, however, I want to discuss a website footer. More precisely, what to include in the footer to optimize it for maximum impact.
Before diving into the details, though, let me tell you why optimizing a website footer is necessary?
Your website footer is the last port of call for many readers. Therefore, you may want to ask yourself – what do you want your readers to do when they reach there. If this is some Call-to-Action, add it into your footer.
In my humble opinion, the cheapest, easiest, and fastest way to improve your blog footer is to learn from other success stories, do you agree?
[Sidebar: If you want to learn about my #1 work-at-home opportunity, check out THIS! You’re gonna like this (Yes, I am using it since 2013).]
So let’s do just that. Learn and apply.
What to Include in Footer – Most Popular Footer Designs
These days websites use widgetized footers. It means that usually, a footer has two primary layers:
- Widget Areas – this is the central area of a footer, which is generally divided into a different number of columns.
Let me give you two typical website footer examples here:
Dan Schwabel (Top 29 social media power influencer) has designed his blog’s footer like this:
As you see, the danschawbel.com blog’s footer has two widget areas (the columns). The footer text (with a light background), has a copyright statement and design notices on the left and social icons on the right.
Problogger’s Footer Text area includes copyright information on the left and Navigation on the right:
Adding Data to Footer in WordPress
WordPress themes usually provide you easy access to add data to primary footer layers.
Just log in to your WordPress Dashboard, then navigate to Appearance → Customize→ Footer. That’s where you will find the place.
Here you can determine how many widget areas (columns) you want to include in your footer. Also, type in your copyright statement.
My theme – WPZoom Diamond (a brilliant theme indeed) allows up to 4 widget areas.
What to Include in Footer – Multilevel Footers
Sometimes, the standard footer layout is not enough, though. Often, bloggers want to put more components into their footers. That, of course, requires additional footer layers as you see in the image below.
Swedish software company Cision (its content marketing blog is recommended by Forbes) gives us one of that great website footer examples:
Their footer is neat, elegant, and clear as a clear sky, isn’t it?
So let’s take it apart and see how their footer design looks like.
See! Layer #2 has 5 widget areas. And layer #4 (footer text) includes the copyright statement (aligned center).
Cision, however, has added 3 more layers to its footer. As you notice, they have lapped an extra layer above these 5 main widget areas. This layer is for social icons. Looks brilliant.
Just below these 5 columns, though, there is another layer for the company’s local branches. And at the very bottom of the page, there is a sticky footer with a Call-to-Action button (the orange bar).
Sticky footer, if you did not know, is a type footer that is always there, no matter the scroll depth.
In this post, I am not going to show you how to add these extra layers and sticky footers, though.
My goal here is to demonstrate you how the top-notch bloggers in the world have designed and optimized their footers for SEO and sales.
So by now you know the main parts of website footer design, and it’s time to focus on its components.
What to Include in Footer – A List of Components
I am almost ready to come to my blog footer case study: How 70 top-level bloggers have designed their footers.
Before that, though, let me start with a list of some of the most popular footer components.
Scroll through the list and you get the idea what bloggers and businesses usually put in their footers:
- Awards and Certifications
- Contact (postal address, phone number, email)
- Copyright Information
- Email Signup
- Image (Profile image)
- Navigation (Main Menu)
- Popular Posts
- Recent Posts
- Search tool
- Social Icons (Follow Me)
- Social Media Widgets
- Upcoming Events
See! It’s a long list. However, it’s not wise to cram all of them in. That’s why it’s important to know what works best and in what place. In other words, how to optimize a footer for SEO and sales?
Case Study: What Top-Level Blogs Put in Their Footers
Let’s do numbers.
I tested 59 first-rate blogs in the world:
- 44 of them are the blogs of the Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers.
- The other 15 come from the 20 Best Content Marketing blogs recommended by Forbes.
You can learn from them a lot, can’t you?
4 blogs (6.8%) out of these 59 had no footer. So what about the remaining 55?
Well, that’s what I’m going to show you next. Keep reading.
To make it easier to understand, I take it layer by layer.
Our first stop is:
1. An Additional Layer Above the Widget Areas (columns)
8 blogs (14.5%) out of the 55 tested blogs with footers have an extra layer above the widget areas.
For example, Dan Zarella (Top 48 social media power influencer) blog footer has Social Icons in this field:
Below you see the upper layer of the Inbound Marketing Agency (PR 20/20) blog footer:
Now, what about the other tested blogs?
Most common components in that upper layer are:
- Social Icons: 3 times
- Navigation (horizontal menu): 2
- Logo: 2
- Email Opt-in: 1
- Copyright: 1
Almost always the components are aligned center. Only Moz.com uses left-right alignment. MOZ logo and navigation are aligned left and the copyright statement is aligned right:
By the way, this was the only time I found copyright so high in a footer.
2.Widget Areas (the Columns)
This seems to be one of the most important areas of widgetized footers. Jeff Bullas’ Blog (top 7 social media power influencer), for example, uses four widget areas in its footer:
However, 9 blogs out 55 (16.4%) have decided NOT to use these widget columns (After all, it’s not required, is it?)
What about the other 46 blogs?
- 1 column: 11 times
- 2 columns: 4
- 3 columns: 15
- 4 columns: 12
- 5 columns: 3
- 6 columns: 1
See! The most popular website footer designs include 3 and 4 widget areas, followed by one single (center aligned) column.
Steve Farnsworth’s (top 27 social media power influencer) blog Steveology has one single widget area for Email opt-in:
The next obvious question is, what are the most popular components in these columns?
Here are my findings:
- Social Icons: 17 times
- About: 14
- Email Opt-in: 11
- Navigation: 11
- Resources: 10
- Logo: 9
- Branding: 8
- Social Widgets: 8
- Contact: 7
- Products: 7
- Categories: 6
- Copyright Statement: 6
- Postal Address: 6
- Designed by/Powered by: 5
- Search: 4
- Archives: 3
- Events: 3
- Featured: 3
- Join Us: 3
- Popular Posts: 3
- Services: 3
- Blog: 2
- Hire me: 2
- Profile Image: 2
- Recent Posts: 2
- Calendar: 1
- Contact form: 1
- Pricing: 1
- Sitemap: 1
There were other, more specific components, which occurred only once. My aim, though, was to show you the most popular things in these columns.
See! The emphasis pops quickly out here:
- Social Icons, Email Opt-in, and Social Widgets are there to build one’s tribe.
- About, Logo, and Branding introduce the business and build trust.
- Navigation, Resources, and Categories keep visitors on the site longer while making navigating smoother.
3. A Footer Text Area
Finally, the very bottom layer of a footer is a Footer text.
So, what are the most familiar things in a footer text? Let’s do the numbers again:
13 blogs (23.6%) leave the footer text area empty. You can do this, if you want, right?
Well, what about the other 42 blogs?
Here are my findings:
- Copyright statement: 36 times
- Designed by: 10
- Social Icons: 9
- Navigation: 8
- Powered by: 7
- Contact: 4
- Email Opt-in: 3
- Logo: 3
- Product ads: 2
- Back to Top: 1
- Home: 1
- Postal Address: 1
- Refunds and Cancellations: 1
- Sitemap: 1
It’s pretty clear, isn’t it?
These top-notch bloggers put into the footer text:
- Essential but not but not immediately vital information:
- ‘Designed by‘ and ‘Powered by‘ links
- Social Icons and Contact (if not used already in the upper layers of the footer)
By now you should have a clear understanding of how to design website footer and what to include in footer. And what are the most popular things in the upper layer if you decide to use it. And also, what are most popular components in the Widget areas (the columns).
And finally, you also know what to put into a footer text area.
Following the trends described above you surely can optimize your website footer for SEO and sales.
Before You go:
Now you should know how to design your footer and what to include in footer. What are your thoughts on the topic – how to optimize a footer for SEO and sales? Please drop me a comment below. thank you :)