Website Footer: What Should and Shouldn’t Be in It (+21 Examples)

It might be at the bottom, but your website footer should have a top priority when designing your website. And here's why.

Sean Brison by Sean Brison | Last Updated: April 8, 2021

What is a website footer and what should it include? This curated list explains why you need one, along with 21 ideas you can start using right now to boost engagement, get more leads, and protect yourself.

What Is a Website Footer?

A website footer is the portion of content appearing at the bottom of your webpage. It functions as an additional navigation menu for visitors while displaying other relevant information not found in your site’s above-the-fold (ATF) section.

Here’s an example from the design platform, Sketch:

sketch website footer example

 

Among other things, it contains social media buttons, company information, and its copyright notice. These are things unnecessary for the ATF but still useful.

Despite existing at the very bottom, your footer plays an important role. And with more people scrolling farther down the page, it’s wise to ensure your site has the right elements.

But before we get to the examples…

Do I Need a Website Footer?

Yes, your website should have a footer. It’s a section with a different goal from your header. Your footer should act as a catch-all for your visitors and list additional information unrelated to the ATF.

While your header may include “must-have” information, your footer consists of the “nice-to-know” parts. Keep in mind; these are guidelines only.

Every website has different business goals, and that should be front of mind when creating yours.

An eye-opening study from Chartbeat revealed that 35% of people bounce after only interacting with your ATF while 65% stick around and scroll.

So, it would help if optimized your homepage to accommodate the 65% who stay.

But that’s not all…

The same study showed the “below the fold” portion of a web page gets viewed three times as long (with increased reader engagement, the closer they get to the bottom).

above the fold engagement

Image source: ChartBeat

An agreed-upon web design metric says the fold line is roughly 1,000 pixels wide by 600 pixels tall.

When you look at the above screenshot again, you see it’s not until nearly 1,500 pixels when engagement peaks (but scrolling continues beyond 3,000 pixels).

Why You Should Have a Footer 

Here are a few reasons why you should consider your footer as another place to draw in readers (and not as an afterthought).

Maintain Engagement

As already mentioned, people are scrolling farther down web pages. Your footer is the last place they’ll stop before deciding to leave. If you can hold their interest a little longer, they’ll stay on your site.

The Fact Is: When people stay on your site longer, it signals to search engines that your content is popular and positively affects rankings.

So, hold their attention, continue building trust, and make your final case why they should stay. You can think of your footer as your website’s closing argument in favor of your product or service.

Boost Conversions

Placing a call-to-action (CTA) in your footer is one way to capture leads. Ask them to take action by signing up for your newsletter. If you run a subscription-based service like Lasso, you can ask them to start a free trial.

Try placing website awards or certifications here. Social proof is a known persuasion technique and should help disarm any reservations people may have.

Take every opportunity to convert visitors into fans.

Give More Information

There are probably things you didn’t include higher up on your homepage. Those things (whatever they may be), can go in your footer. You might have helpful tips, resources, or branding info.

lasso branding link in footer

What Should Be On the Footer of a Website (21 Examples)?

There’s no right answer here. What belongs in your footer will vary from person to person. People visit websites for various reasons. A simple question to ask is, “what are your goals?”.

Is it more sales? More leads? More subscribers? Should you include items that protect you from legal action?

For example, if you’re an affiliate site, it makes sense to include your affiliate disclosure. If you advertise, include a link to your media kit.

Below are 21 examples of things worth including in your website footer.

1. Copyright Notice

I’m sure you’re already familiar with this copyright symbol “©.” It usually precedes the words “copyright notice” in fine print at the very bottom of the page.

copyright example appearing in footer

Including it is the best way to protect your website. Andy Crestodina from Orbit Media mentioned some helpful tips in this article on website plagiarism (which a copyright notice helps combat).

His advice:

You should protect anything printed on your blog.

2. Affiliate Disclosure

If you’re a Lasso customer, you likely earn a portion of income through affiliate links. And you probably have an FTC affiliate disclosure in your footer.

But if you don’t, now’s your chance. It’s an industry standard and should be included to have total transparency with your readers (and avoid getting fined by the FTC).

how a disclosure appears in your footer

 

Read our post about what to include in your affiliate disclosure (with examples).

3. Advertise

Are you actively accepting guest posts? Do you run a podcast and want sponsors? Anything your website does to increase revenue can go here.

You could include a humble brag that mentions your 50K Twitter followers or 100K email subscribers and make it appear advantageous to advertise with you.

An example could include the text “advertise” and link to a page that contains your monthly traffic or total number of social media followers followed by a contact form where they can get in touch.

You might say:

“If you want to reach more people, advertise on our website that reaches 400,000 monthly readers.”

Tip: Using a contact form instead of your email address helps prevent your inbox from blowing up with spam.

4. Disclaimers

Some websites have a disclaimer in their footer to avoid any legal liabilities not covered in their terms of service or privacy policy. Nobody wants to get sued, so including it helps protect you from lawsuits.

For example, Nerdwallet says it “strives to keep its information accurate and up to date.” It also follows that up by telling its visitors to always check the financial provider’s official website for current terms and details.

nerdwallet's disclaimer

 

A few disclaimer examples if you need to add one to your website might be:

Lasso has a Content disclaimer in its Privacy Policy.

5. Terms of Service

A Terms of Service (aka terms of use) explains what users can expect from using your product, service, or website.

For example, Lasso’s Terms of Service details what to expect when using our WordPress affiliate plugin.

Similar to the disclaimer, it removes your responsibility by having visitors agree to certain things.

6. Privacy Policy

A privacy policy informs people how your website collects, uses, and discloses information.

For example, if your business collects personal information from its visitors (e.g., banking details, a home address, or phone number), disclosing a policy revealing what you do with that information is a good idea.

Customers like to know what you do with their data.

7. Security

How do you protect sensitive information (e.g., bank account numbers)? Many financial institutions display a Security badge on their footer to give peace of mind to customers.

Making them feel safe might be the gentle push that gets them to do business with you.

Loan comparison and provider site, Credible, places a security link in its footer leading to a page explaining its encryption and https security precautions.

link to a security page in the website footer

 

8. Email Signup Form

Since email has a $40 ROI for every $1 spent, it makes sense to have a call-to-action for it. What’s on your footer appears on every page, so having an email sign-up displaying at the end of your blog posts is a great way to stay in touch.

Opportunity: Think how many times you’ve reached the bottom of a fantastic blog article and signed up for a newsletter?

I’ve done it on more than one occasion. Having an opt-in form is great for generating leads too.

Check out Backlinko’s simple newsletter link:

newsletter displaying  in the footer

 

9. CTA Button

Call-to-action buttons can be for any action you want your visitors to take. In Lasso, we use a “Start Your 14-Day Free Trial” CTA.

Other actions might be:

If you’re selling something (e.g., a service), invite people to sign up for a free trial or consult. Check out live chat software Olark’s footer (notice the sticky header stays with you as you scroll down):

including a free trial in your website footer

 

10. Customer Support & FAQs

If there are common questions, objections, or confusing topics on your website, link to a support page. Anything visitors always ask is worth including in the footer.

You might have yours read:

11. Site Search Bar

Some websites have hundreds of web pages. That’s tough for presenting all information on your homepage (even in both ATF, body, and footer).

Instead, hand over control to your visitors and let them find it via a search bar. If they’re scrolling to the bottom, perhaps they were unable to locate a point of interest.

A search bar serves as a last attempt to capture a visitor about to bounce. Design your site to increase user engagement at every step.

Advanced Tip: Use Google Analytics to find out what your users are searching for when visiting your site. Use their search terms to create new content.

Head to Analytics Behavior > Site Search > Overview.

using google analytics site search function of behavior site search overview

 

You’ll see your site’s frequently searched topics.

Here’s an example of a search bar from Ahrefs blog:

including a search bar in your website footer

 

12. Case Studies & Success Stories

Case studies are more in-depth than a mere quote. Many times you’ll see a testimonial on the homepage praising the product, service, or website.

But if you want to get detailed, show people your customers’ success stories. It helps generate excitement about your brand.

Seeing a link to “Case Studies” in your footer might be exactly what your visitor needs to see before reaching for their wallet, joining your newsletter, or scheduling a consultation.

Plus, it triggers the psychological persuasion technique of social proof, which is a strong motivator.

13. Comparisons (So You Stand Out Against Competitors)

If you’re doing it differently than the rest, leave a link in your footer. Showing your visitors how you compare against competitors is worth sharing when you’re doing a good job.

For example, your product might feature a free trial, but the other brands don’t. That’s worth a mention. Lasso lets you compare our plugin against others in the footer.

adding a comparison

 

14. Social Media Icons

If you want to increase your reach using other channels, try social media buttons or icons. Placing them at the bottom is the better option. You want your readers to stay on your page rather than leave for another website.

Once they’ve absorbed everything your site has to offer, then they can head to a social network.

See how Orbit Media uses social icons in its footer (along with an excellent CTA and humble brag stating how many email subscribers they have):

using social media icons on orbit media's site

 

They also mention:

15. Affiliate Partner Program

If you have a partner program (like ours), here’s a place to include it. Many sites have affiliate programs in their footer linking to an easy sign-up process.

You probably don’t need to include it in your header, which is why this “nice-to-have” detail is perfect for adding at the bottom.

Tip: Head to Lasso’s 1,500+ affiliate program database if you’re looking for programs to join.

16. Contact Form

Contact forms are great for letting you connect with your visitors. They can leave all of their contact information in it, and you reply at your discretion.

Perhaps you’re running a freelance consulting business or you do speaking gigs. Having one makes sense when the lifeblood of your income depends on getting hold of other people.

Google the search term “contact form plugins,” and you’ll get a list of places to start.

You can leave your business’s physical address and phone number in your footer too. Imagine your reader scrolls down your homepage, loves your product, and now needs to find out where to buy from you.

An address and phone number help facilitate more leads and sales.

17. We’re Hiring (& Other Announcements)

You can add special news in your footer. See how 1Password includes a “We’re Hiring” announcement.

It’s another way to grab more applicants (as well as posting to your private communities or newsletters).

a we're hiring link in the footer

 

You could also include things like:

18. Extended Navigation Functionality

Some websites use what’s called a fat footer to act as a secondary navigation menu. For example, your header may include a “Features” section that prompts a dropdown menu when you click it.

The dropdown menu has all of the product’s features (but these are hidden from visitors unless they click “Features” in the header).

Here’s an example:

list of every product feature in the header

 

When you click “Features,” a dropdown menu appears with a list.

You might see all of the product features in plain view (not hidden) beneath the “Features” link in a fat footer. Here’s how that same section appears at the bottom:

fat footer with all features displayed like previous example in the header

 

In the above screenshot, you can see all of the links in plain sight, “fattening” up the footer from its slim counterpart with more navigation links.

A fat footer is like a regular footer on steroids.

19. Branding

Make sharing your brand’s color schemes, fonts, and logos easy with links to your branding page. It’s one form of free advertising that’s made simpler with a downloadable logo kit.

Check out Lasso’s Branding page here.

20. An “About Your Company” Page

Our Story,” “Our Team,” or “Our Company” are some ideas to include that let your visitors get to know you.

You may not have included it at the top of your website, but it could easily fit here. It can also feed into your company’s value page if you have one.

Here’s WP Rocket’s “About Us” page.

21. Your Mission & Values

Here’s another place for you to resonate with your readers. Tell them what you stand for, how you do business, who you are, or where you come from.

Make it personal. It’s another chance for them to get to know you.

Olark’s Values page has a great one.

example of olark's value page with a section called chill out and a smiley sunglass wearing emoji

 

They even go a step further and add a Statement of Inclusivity, so you know the standard being set.

What’s a Sticky Footer?

A sticky footer is a footer that “sticks” to the bottom of a webpage’s screen and remains visible as you scroll down the page – it never disappears.

Much like a sticky header (a header that remains visible at the top of your browser screen as you scroll down the page).

Footer Design & SEO Optimization

We’ve already mentioned fat footers and sticky footers as two design options. If you’re curious about color schemes, typography, and layout, I recommend reading Lasso co-founder Matt’s postExtreme Saas Makeover.

It’s the story of Lasso’s rebranding.

Another simple technique is to reverse your footer design’s color scheme, so it contrasts with the rest of your homepage. Our home page employs this tactic, as do countless other websites.

For example, if your homepage’s above the fold and body have light text on a dark background, use the opposite in your footer.

The contrast alerts them they’re in a new place. And can address any crucial questions you left off your homepage’s header.

Your Footer & SEO

A carefully planned footer should help search engines when crawling your website. All links pointing to other pages determine their relevance.

A strong footer compliments your website and assists with navigation. Use keyword-rich anchor text with every link.

Reminder: Your footer appears on every page, so think about where you want your visitors to go next when they reach the bottom.

Since over 50% of internet traffic comes from mobile and mobile users scroll due to smaller screen size, utilizing footer links to redirect visitors to another page on your site makes sense.

Check out our post on why you need a mobile-friendly website.

It’s always a good practice to have something waiting for your readers when they reach the end of a page.

Page Depth

A footer should help with page depth too. Page depth measures the average number of web pages viewed per user in a single session. Your footer should send users to your most relevant pages.

The longer people stay on your website, the better it looks to search engines (and, therefore, your ranking).

Keep in Mind: the farther Google bots have to crawl to reach specific pages, the higher the odds Google will think those pages are less important – and rank them lower.

So, be sure you’re strategic about where you send your visitors.

What You Shouldn’t Do with Your Footer

Don’t let your footer mirror your header. Tilt it in favor of secondary information unrelated to what’s already at the top of your page.

Your website’s strongest elements are at, or near the top (e.g., your value prop).

The footer has the supplemental, “nice-to-have” info and acts as a catch-all for the things your header missed.

How many times have you dashed to the footer of a page to quickly find info that’s unlisted at the top?

A few more things to avoid.

Don’t:

Last Words

It might be the last thing a user sees, but a great website footer design can help increase (or retain) engagement, boost leads, and generate conversions. There’s no wasted real estate on your website; it should all have the goal of getting more traffic, subscribers, or sales.

Sean Brison
Sean Brison is a dad, writer, business owner, and Chief Growth nerd at Lasso. He's spent the past several years in cahoots with Lasso's founder, Andrew, creating awesome things for people. He's also addicted to perfectly-balanced cocktails, the outdoors, and John Mulaney's stand-up comedy.

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