Inbound marketing is vastly preferable in the digital era because there are so many things competing for the attention of the people you want to reach. Just think about how much the attitude to cold calls has changed over the years. Once upon a time they were perfectly normal. After that, they were viewed as annoying. And now that we all use smartphones with lists of fleshed-out contacts and rely primarily on messaging apps, we don’t even answer cold calls.
Instead of trying to actively market to people, you can set out your marketing platform, set out some tempting content, and wait for prospects to visit it of their own accord. Those prospects will be considerably more engaged and willing to find out what you have to offer them. But when you focus on inbound marketing, you need to make sure you’ve covered all your bases.
That means checking all the minute details of your content and your website, even down to the footers of your pages. You might not think they matter so much, but a bad footer can cause some serious issues — while a good one can keep people around. Let’s take a look at the best practices for your website footers:
Mention the current year
Yes, this may seem rather silly, but it is worth mentioning the current year in each of your footers. Why? Because it gives the impression that your website is updated at least somewhat regularly. When you go to a website in 2022 and see a 2017 trademark or copyright symbol in the footer, you can reach the conclusion that the owner doesn’t really care about it.
Keep them simple and clear
This is the most important thing you need to do with your footers. Clarity is chiefly about the layout and the contrast between the text and the background. However zany you make the background of the main site content, you mustn’t carry it over to your footers. They’re not supposed to look fun — they’re supposed to neatly convey important options.
Black text against smooth gray in the background (or another light background) is a good standard option. The cash4life page on Lotto247 is a good example of this:
Alongside having black text on a bright background (white text on a black background also works great), Lotto247 has kept the footer relatively uncluttered: it’s sectioned out the categories to keep it easily scannable. Moreover, this example uses the footer as an opportunity to showcase trusted payment methods as a trust signal. It’s strictly business here.
When creating your footer, it’s vital that you don’t make the mistake of waffling on for lengthy paragraphs (showing how bad footers can get, Roundpeg.biz has some solid examples: one is pictured below). All you need to do is make your point and be done with it.
Add your social links
Not all sites have social accounts, but if you do then it’s certainly worth adding them to your footers (just look at the footers on wazmagazine.com to see a good example of this). Adding your social to the footer will allow anyone who’s trying to find a way to contact you to have even more options — they might not want to send you an email and possibly wait several days to hear back from you, after all. Keep in mind that you don’t need text labels. Anyone who uses platforms like Twitter and Instagram will recognize the logos straight away.
Check the mobile views
Though any given website owner is far more likely than not to pay attention to mobile responsiveness for their site in general, they might not think to check their footers. This is because footers are often seen as afterthoughts — necessary but insignificant inclusions. In truth, though, a poorly-formatted footer can ruin the aesthetic of a page.
If a page generally renders well on mobile devices but culminates in a footer of haphazardly bunched-up content, the viewer will form a negative impression of the website creator. It’s such a simple thing to get right. So before you launch a page, ensure that every part of it — footer included — looks good on mobile devices.
Include FAQ material
The inclusion of FAQ sections (FAQ meaning frequently-asked questions) is great for SEO by covering top search terms. SearchEngineWatch.com has some good tips for this, including covering structured data to show up in featured snippets (see below).
But SEO isn’t the only purpose for including FAQ pages. It’s also excellent for user experience since it allows visitors to quickly hunt down the answers to their queries when they’re not immediately obvious from the homepage. If there’s a lot of content to get through, they’re vital.
And when you have that content written, you shouldn’t bury it in the main navigation: you should feature it prominently in your footers so people looking for it won’t be able to miss it. Don’t make the mistake of featuring the actual questions in your footer: this will completely ruin the look of it and make it a clumsy mess to use.
Order links by significance
The best way to use footer space is to include rows and columns, but you shouldn’t arrange links alphabetically. Instead, you should order them by their significance. How you do this is up to you: you could go in descending order of popularity (listing the most-visited page first) or ascending order of popularity (giving the least-visited page a chance to be seen).