The footer – it’s often the most neglected part of a blog. Some people assume it’s not very useful because it’s at the bottom of the web page. This couldn’t be further from the truth though. Start thinking of your blog footer as the last thing your readers see on every page, the ending note that either keeps readers on your site or drives them to move on to another site.
If you want the latter, then close out of this article right now, but if your aim is to keep up user engagement as they reach the botom of your pages, then you must keep reading.
Sections to Include
Legal Terms – This isn’t necessarily going to keep readers on your blog, but a copyright notice and any other legal terms your site has is very important to include on your blog. Common placement of legal terms are in the far left section of the footer, or below the main content of a footer.
Recent Comments – Including recent comments in your footer can be a great way to encourage user discussion. A comment can be a great way to catch a readers attention and pull them into the discussion as they reach the bottom of the page.
Plugin: Recent Comments
Favorite Posts – As your blog grows, and you build up a large collection of articles, some of your best may get lost in the jumble, buried on page 10 and never to be seen by many of your new readers. By including your favorite posts in your footer, you will be making them visible to everyone, and displaying some of your best writing.
Popular Posts – I prefer to put this section in the sidebar, but it works well in a footer as well if your sidebar is already full. Like a favorite posts section, having your most popular posts displayed will put your best content forward.
Plugin: Most Popular Posts
Random Posts – This is an excellent way to recycle your old posts and make sure they don’t get lost in the depths of your archives. It’s also a way to always have fresh content rotating on display.
Plugin: Random Posts
Page Navigation – Not only should your pages be listed in the navigation bar on the top of your blog, but they should also be included in the footer. This will eliminate the problem of users having to scroll all the way back to the top of a page if they want to contact you, read your about page, etc.
A Brief “About” section – Let your readers know who you are in your footer. This is a prominent place to tell about yourself because it shows up on every page and post. Make it brief, and be sure to link it to your “About” page, where readers can find out even more about you and your blog.
Links – The footer is the perfect place to link to any relevant sites. Although this takes readers away from your site, the site your linking to usually will exchange links with you, so you will ultimately benefit from including a link section on your blog.
Something to Remember
Although all of these things are great to have in a footer, you shouldn’t try to cram every single one of them into it. It is best to pick out three or four of these things and integrate them into your design. No one likes an overly crowded footer because it can take away from your main content. On the opposite end though, a bare footer can leave readers with nothing to do when they reach the bottom of a page but leave your site. Remember, balance is key.
What About You?
What do you think the most important things to include in a blog footer are?