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Footer Links for Better Site Navigation

Website footers serve an important, albeit background role across pages. While headers attract attention for housing main navigation and branding, footers operate as more of an index or site blueprint. Given their fixed presence across all site pages, the links contained within footers facilitate user experience and site performance in helpful ways.

Defining Website Footer Links

Footer links refer to the hyperlinks contained in a website’s footer section, which displays consistently at the bottom of all pages. Some other names for footer links include:

  • Sitewide links
  • Boilerplate links

For example, ecommerce sites often showcase policies like shipping returns in footers because while important, they don’t require prominent real estate space. Additionally, footers commonly highlight contact pages, social media channels, sitemaps, and other resources to aid navigation.

Why Footer Links Improve User Experience

Why Footer Links Improve User Experience

Well-organized footer links provide meaningful value beyond just taking up space at the bottom of pages. Specifically, great footers aid navigation and convert visitors more efficiently through:

Enhanced Site Navigation

While not as attention-grabbing as headers, visitors understand footers as secondary navigation hubs to find what they need. Grouped footer links help guide users who overlook menus.

Extra Informational Resources

Additional links beyond critical pages let visitors access helpful background content like materials guides or series archives when interested.

Familiar Location for Policies and Contacts

Users instinctively check footers first for legal pa

ges like terms of service, as well as contact channels like phone, email, and social media.

Contain Overlooked Links

Not every supporting page warrants cluttering up the main navigation real estate. Footers house secondary links still benefit some visitors.

In essence, well-designed footers anticipate user needs and questions to provide quick access points across pages.

Footer Link Considerations for SEO

Footer Link Considerations for SEO

Beyond enhancing user experience, footer links also influence search engine optimization in a few key ways:

Help Bots Index Full Site Structure

One of the most important footer link functions is facilitating site crawling for search engine bots. As internal links, they provide pathways for bots to discover and index all relevant pages.

Part of Quality Internal Link Profile

The contextual footer links search engines come across also serve as signals to help infer the focus and authority of different site pages.

Prone to Manipulative Link Schemes

Unfortunately, excessively overloaded footers trying to inject artificial authority have led to suspicion. Moderation is key for credibility.

Current Understanding of SEO Value

Many speculate footers have decreased in influence given other signaling factors now available. However, ties to user experience and navigation indicate they still hold meaningful SEO weight when crafted properly.

Best Practices for Optimizing Footers

Best Practices for Optimizing Footers

When used appropriately, footer links can mutually benefit users and SEO. However, they also have potential downsides if misused. Apply these guidelines to maximize their upside:

Organize Links Logically

Structure your footer links into coherent categories like Shop, Company, Resources to enhance scannability.

Mostly Internal Links

Aside from common social media links, aim to link internally. Avoid schemes with excessive or irrelevant external sites.

Avoid Over-Optimization

While footers can contain more links than headers reasonably, hundreds of forced links trigger manipulation alarms.

Highlight Contact Information

Ensure users can easily get help or answers by linking contact pages, forms, emails or chat functionality.

Submit XML Sitemap

Proactively provide bots a site index via XML sitemaps instead of solely relying on footer links for discovery.

Optimized footers strike an ideal balance between necessity and excess. They enrich site use rather than force components solely for artificial SEO gains.

The Role of Footer Links In Your SEO Strategy

The Role of Footer Links In Your SEO Strategy

While their popularity in SEO discussions has fluctuated, quality footer links do still influence search visibility through positive user metrics and internal linking foundations.

For Users

Enhanced site navigation, supplemental content access, transparent policies and robust contact improve visitor experience – the bedrock of sustained success.

For SEO

Proper page relationship signaling and site indexing facilitation via footer links pave pathways for pages to advance in SERPs through enriched content.

In essence, the user experience and SEO benefits of well-crafted footers work symbiotically, not independently. If your on-site content strategy already fuels high satisfaction and conversions, leveraging footer real estate to subtly connect resources provides incremental gains on top.

Conversely, overloading footers to artificially inflate pages risks sabotaging credibility. Ultimately quality matters most, in moderation.

Hopefully this provides a helpful evaluated perspective on strategically optimizing footer links!

Frequently Asked Questions About Footer Links

How many links should be in my footer?

There’s no universal ideal number, but aim for necessity over excess. Organize the critical site-wide resources, contact channels and policies users want along with supplemental helpful content – likely somewhere between 10-20 links.

Do footer links still help SEO rankings?

They don’t provide as much direct weight as in the past, but properly structured footers benefit page credibility through positive user experience signals and internal linking foundations.

Where should my contact page link go?

In the footer! Contact information is something visitors expect to easily access at the bottom of pages so they can get questions answered.

How can I organize a cluttered footer?

Audit what content is truly site-wide in nature and contributing value. Group remaining links into coherent conceptual buckets around elements like company, support and resources to enhance scannability.

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