Nicola Richards - Operations Director

Nicola Richards

15th April 2013

Website Headers and Footers - Why they are important and what to include in them

The header and footer are key elements of a website. Typically, they contain links to important pages on your site that potential customers will often want to visit before making a purchase or enquiry.

It is important that these areas are used to their full potential, rather than being an afterthought or a ‘dumping ground’ for stray links that don’t fit anywhere else.

The header is the first thing that people will see when they land on your site. It sets the tone for the whole site, so think carefully about the colours and style you use.

You need to include enough information in the header to encourage customers to explore your site further. As well as clearly displaying your company name (and logo, if you have one), consider adding your USP. Tell customers why they should use your company rather than one of your competitors – do you offer free delivery, outstanding service, excellent quality or can you guarantee the lowest prices? If so, tell your customers!

If you do display your logo, ensure it is clickable, as it provides an easy way for customers to return to the home page. Always include a means of contacting you, whether that is a telephone number, a link to the Contact Us page or, preferably, both. Add social media icons that link to your social media pages – it’s another way that customers can connect with you.

The footer of a website is just as important as the header, as it is the last chance for you to grab a customer’s attention and encourage them to complete an action, such as making a purchase or requesting information.

Mega footers, or fat footers as they are also known, are becoming more and more popular. In the past, footers have generally been slim and only included a small number of corporate links to page such as a company’s privacy policy, site map and terms of use. As mega footers occupy a larger area of space than a traditional footer, it allows items such as images and even contact forms to be included.

Homebase is one company which makes excellent use of its footer space. The footer is well organised and the links are clearly laid out under useful headings so that visitors can quickly find what they are looking for. It adds a splash of colour with the social media icons, which encourages customers to stay in touch.

 

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