Footer Links – Are They Really Essential?
You may have read the elaborate post on footer links at SEOmoz published last year. After going through many experts’ views and comments on this issue I have thought to share my take on using footer links on a website.
It’s about Usability…
Commonly, footer links are a way to implement internal links throughout the pages. There can be a debate over the issue on how Google values footer links. But links of important pages in the footer improve usability and accessibility to an extent that you can not ignore. Remember, the links used with targeted keywords is able to pass some link juice to your internal pages, which is good from SEO standpoint as well.
So, good Styling is necessary…
However, styling the footer is one thing you should take seriously. The design must be neat enough and easily understandable at a glance.
List styling that shows links in hierarchical order is always good from design perspective. Multi-column layout with prominent column titles and adequate space between columns adds to visual appeal.
Adjusting keywords in the anchor text may add some SEO benefits. But that should not be done at the cost of usability when one link wraps to two lines reducing the clarity of visual separation.
The common and Important elements are…
You may have used attractive color schemes and nice design layouts. But some irrelevant bad links can mar all your honest efforts. Let’s take a look at the common but important elements required to design effective website footer.
Usability is of ultimate importance while designing website. You should design for the user first. If it is good for the user it will be good for search engines as well. No matter how small your site is and how minimalist your design, providing a link to site map will always help.
There should be an About Us link on the footer of commercial websites, because people often scroll down to footer links for information about the company. It will be of good use if you provide company information accessible from all the internal pages.
The same is true about the Contact page as well. So it is good to include Contact page link to the common footer of the website.
Finally, you need to include links to pages that makes the site really valuable. It could be some important product or service pages that are specifically targeted for the primary keywords.