You hear people talking about the importance of headlines. I know I’ve written about them several times, myself. For this article, I want todiscuss getting the last word in on your website.
What I’m focusing on today is your website footer. This is a very overlooked piece of most websites. The footer is actually an importantpart of your website and from studies I’ve seen, Google looks at your footer for SEO purposes as well.
I know what you’re thinking/asking… Frank, what does my footer have to do with getting the last word in. Well, you see if your site is looked at from top to bottom either visually or by search engines checking out your website, the footer would be the last words that are read.
What Not to Do
I want to pause a moment and share what I normally see. It is usually a single line footer at the bottom with a copyright (usually out ofdate), the website name, with the “powered by WordPress” or theme name linking to WordPress or the theme company. Neither do you any good if you don’t have anything on your website that looks up-to-date and your copyright date in the footer says 2010. It will looklike you’ve abandoned your website, not only to website visitors but also to the search engines.
What You Need in Your Footer
While there are many things I like to see in a footer, one that I feel is important is a brief description of your product or services. This should be concise and to the point but also include your main keyword. If your keyword is for your product and/or service, create a link to that product or service on your website. Search engines like the internal links to your own website and it creates a focused link since it is using your keyword.
This is where “getting the last word in” is used. By having this description block in your footer with your keyword in it, it literally gives you the last word with that keyword. I’m not saying the keyword should be the very last word but if you can work it in to be the one of the first five words or last five words this will make a difference in SEO. I generally recommend that this block of text be to the far right of the footer.
The reason I recommend that spot in the footer is that Google is looking at mobile first on your website. This means that the searchengines will check how your web page appears in a mobile browser setting. If your footer is in a three or four column layout thatmeans the last column will be displayed as the final block in the mobile browser if constructed correctly.
Your mobile browser restacks your layout (again, if constructed correctly) so that it fits nicely on your device without the need toresize the content. The page is read left to right and will restack the information accordingly. So, the far-right column will be the lastblock for that row in the stack. Making that “your last words.”
Other Items Needed in Your Website Footer
Copyright—The copyright date with the copyright symbol. I highly recommend you have the current year listed. In many cases this can beautomated with a small bit of code so that displays the current year. If you’re unsure how to do this, just ask your web guy. If you don’thave one, message me. In some cases, I see the first year the site went live with a dash and the current year along with the copyrightsymbol.
Contact Link—Every website should have a “contact us” link. Not only do I think it is a good idea, search engines like to see that the customer or website visitors can contact the website owner if needed. If you’re a business with a physical address, I’d highly suggest you add Google Maps to the contact page, as well. This is looked upon favorably by said search engine. And, of course, it helpsyour customers find you easier.
Social Media Icons—I recommend this ONLY if you actually keep your social media accounts up to date. It does little to no good if your most recent post is from a year ago or longer. People go there to find out a little more about you or your products. With these types of links, I recommend that they open in a new tab or window. This is an easy setting you can check when creating the link. The reason to have this link open in a new tab is so thatyour website stays open in case they want to come back and buy or contact you through the website.
Navigation—This is a good spot to add a menu to your most needed links on the website. This might be a good place for the“contact us” link and links to products and services. On my website, I have a link to my most popular blog post categories as well.As my block of text on my main website says, I like to help others overcome their fears and frustration with taking their businesses online and reach the next level of success, and I do this frequently from my blog posts and/or videos.
Site Map—The site map is a generated page on most websites that shows a link of all pages on the website. Some website visitors like to visit this page just to locate things in a different manner. In most cases this allows the search engines to find your content easier and more quickly.
Featured Product—This step isn’t for everyone one, but I know for many authors and coaches they may offer their most recent course or their book in the footer. I currently have a link to where visitors can buy my book 50 Biggest Website Mistakes. Thiscreates an external link for me that links to major sites. Search engines link to see outbound links to external sites when possible.
Wrapping it Up
I imagine you’re probably thinking that there is way more to your footer than you possibly thought. I’m sure there are other items ifI really wanted to go deeper, but these are the key things that will help you with your online presence. We only have a mere fewmoments to grab someone’s attention when they visit our websites. It is critical that they can find what they’re looking for and by covering all of the bases or sections of your website you have a better chance of converting that website visitor into a lead or even a buyer.