What to put on your website header and footer?

 

Have you ever visited a website and gazed in awe at its creativity?

From the vibrant photos, cool videos, slideshows and font styles that describe the journey you’re about to go on as you explore the menu, all the way down to the bottom of the page where extra tidbits of information are available for you to read through, you may believe this is just extraordinary web design.

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While you are correct, when you go to a website and are greeted with those impressive visuals and handy links, you’re viewing the website’s header and footer.

Back when the internet, and its use, was still being figured out, the header and footer of a website contained not much more than the company’s logo, contact information and call-to-action (i.e. encouraging the reader to purchase, sign up or get in touch).

Nowadays, the header and footer are both responsible for some of the most beautiful and innovative web design that exhibits a business’s style and personality, as well as their services and products.

How you construct your header and footer can make all the difference in how potential customers view and navigate your website, and if they’ll get inspired to work with you!

When 80% of readers only view your website’s content that’s “above the fold” (or the upper half of your home page and/or website), building a strong header and footer to entice the visitor to read and learn more about why your business is awesome is crucial to your overall web design and conversion.

If you’re in the process of creating your own website, or if you need assistance crafting the best design for you and your business, you’re in the right place!

Here’s everything you need to know about what needs to be in your website’s header and footer to shape your amazing website!

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What exactly is a header and footer?

The header of your website is the first thing your customers see when they visit your site. It’s the banner that appears at the top of the page.

A header should contain critical information, such as your brand identity (aka your logo and/or social media icons), navigation keys to browse your site easily, links to your services and products, how to contact you and anything else you deem super important for your readers to know (like new offers or details about your business).

The footer of your website is found at the bottom of your website and includes less-critical but relevant information about your business. A footer consists of links to your website’s Term and Conditions, privacy policy, FAQ and other pages to help answer any questions customers couldn’t find within your website.

Headers and footers, respectively, are comprised of general information that does two major things:

  1. Invite the visitor to stick around and get to know you and your business.
  2. Provide additional support that guides the visitor to a call-of-action.

What should be in my header and footer?

Let’s talk about the branding first.

Just as you create content for your social media that implements your branding to showcase who you are, and engage with your target audience, your header and footer should be created with your branding in mind!

With that said, what should be included in your header and footer comes down to what’s necessary for your target audience to see when they visit your website.

Think of your brand colors, style, moodboard and other visuals that represent your business, as well as how it will appeal to your readers.

Here’s every navigational element that’s common for headers and footers.

You don’t have to use each and every element for your website! In fact, you shouldn’t, because a long and confusing navigation menu will just drive people away.

Only use what’s applicable to your business and customers. Ask yourself, “What would they search for?” or “What would they need to read/see/use when they visit my website?

Headers:

  • Logo and/or brand identifier
  • Navigation keys (i.e. “About,” “Services and Products,” “Blog,” “Contact,” etc.)
  • Sign-in or sign-up links
  • Search bar (optional)

Your header elements are diversifiable and could appear different based on your type of business, and, of course, your clientele.

For example, if it suits your web design tastes, you could use fixed headers that remain displayed as your reader scrolls through your website.

Examples of fixed headers are if you are a service based business like a health coach or virtual assistant, your header could prominently display your call-to-action or “book a call” scheduling link to encourage customers to work with you.

If you are in E-commerce, the customer’s cart and the search bar to find products would be a mainstay feature.

Footers:

  • Social media icons
  • Terms and Conditions (or Copyright notice)
  • Privacy policy
  • Cookie policy
  • Email subscription form
  • Sitemap (the complete list of pages on your website)
  • Business’s physical address
  • FAQ
  • Contact information and/or form

Your footer serves not as a last minute effort to maintain your reader’s attention, but as a tool to help them fully understand you and your business’s concept, as well as generate leads!

There are two different types of footers that could help to increase your website’s retention and conversion (i.e. how often readers come back to your site and if they sign up to your newsletter, purchase from you, or share your blog post).

  1. Traditional footer: Includes links to help your readers find important information that turns them into customers.
  2. Mega footer: Displays wider range of information for readers to explore and stay on your website longer. This could be a live feed of your blog or social media posts, an excerpt of your cookie policy or Terms and Conditions, as well as fleshed out navigation links to each page of your website.

In every way, your header and footer are examples of your business’s brand, Passion and unique services and products that cater to your customers’ needs.

These elements help to create and build brand recognition, trust, as well as a relationship with your readers. As your header is your business’s first impression, and your footer the last, to your readers, it’s essential to create a design that blows them away!

Don’t know where to start making your perfect header and footer for your website? Don’t have a website yet? Sign-up for the FREE 10 day website kick-start challenge!

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Need help with your website?

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Kaisa-Kapanen-Passion-KickStarter-2-sq

Hi there, I’m Kaisa!

I’m your coach, friend and webdesigner when you want to get serious about your Passion project and make it into a business with a beautiful online presence.

I’ll help you with tech, design and courage. Contact me and we’ll create some magic for your Passion Business!

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