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Fat Footer Website Design: Pros & Cons

fat footer, website design and SEO
05 Mar 2015

Take a look at your current website and scroll all the way to the bottom. What do you see? If your site is like most, it’s probably a simple footer that includes some contact information, a copyright notice, and maybe a link to your site’s designer. But should you be doing more? After all, your footer shows up at the end of every page on your site, so it does seem like some valuable real estate, especially for SEO. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of what website design experts call the fat footer.

The Great Things About Fat Footers:

If you effectively capitalize on the space at the bottom of your website, you can reap the following rewards:

  • Keep Users Onsite – Footers are an excellent place to suggest where your readers should visit next—like your blog or your services page. Without any guidance, most users will just click off your site when they are done reading what they came for.
  • Encourage Social Media Interaction – Another great website design strategy is to use the footer to place the links to your social media profiles. That way, no matter what page a person visits, they will be able to connect with you in multiple ways.
  • Improve SEO – When it comes to Google ranking factors, footers don’t exactly hold the most clout; however, a keyword is a keyword, and the more times it is mentioned, the better (to a certain degree, of course). You can boost your SEO by displaying the popular tags in your blog or the names of the other pages in your website design. If local SEO is your goal, you can also mention the names of the cities you serve.
  • Reinforce Your Brand – Since footers show up on every page, they are an ideal place for you to further demonstrate your brand’s message. You can incorporate a clever illustration to show that your company doesn’t take things too seriously, or you can keep things streamlined and sophisticated to show that you mean business.

The Not-So-Great Things About Fat Footers:

So far, fat footers seem like a pretty smart thing to incorporate into your website design; wouldn’t you agree? But there are a few negatives you need to consider:

  • Slow Down Loading Time – The more details on the page, the longer it takes to load—and we all know what happens when a page takes too long to load: it never gets seen because the user has moved on. Luckily, there are tools like YSlow that can tell you exactly how much your footer is slowing down your page. As long as you don’t include images (excluding social media icons), you should be fine.
  • Get Hidden By Comments – Since the footers are at the very bottom of the page, they aren’t always viewed. For example, if you have your blog set to show all of the comments, they might get so long no one will scroll past them.
  • Turn Off Users – The final negative to consider is that the footer can make your page look completely disconnected if it doesn’t flow with the rest of the page. But luckily, when you use us for your website design, you don’t have to worry about that.

So what is the takeaway? Footers improve your SEO, can keep visitors on your page longer, and can encourage social media interaction. As long as you are smart about your website design, they can be the hidden gold at the end of the rainbow.

Contact Zero Gravity Marketing for complete digital marketing services, including effective SEO and website design.