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Expanded Footer Usability

Over the past few years, expanded home page footers have become de rigueur for sites for their search engine optimization (SEO) benefits. If done correctly, the expanded footer can also play a role in enhanced usability of your website – that is, if basic usability principles are not thrown to the wind in the name of SEO.
There are multiple usability benefits to the expanded footer driven by the ability to provide your visitor access to content that may not be easily accessed or addressed in your main navigation.

  • The footer can provide links deeper into your site and to particular content areas of interest to visitors
  • ­By doing this it can take the place of an outdated concept of a site map and reduce the need for visitors to turn to the search engine to find specific content of interest.
  • It can also be an area to place links (such as a store locator), short forms (such as for contact) or icons (such as for social media) that do not have a place in the main body of the page and may be crowded in the utility link area in the upper right.
  • The footer can also be used for showing a little more personality, providing links to frequently updated content like a blog or events and a quick way to contact a company by providing detailed contact information or a simple form.
However, in order to gain these benefits, the footer must be executed correctly. Following are the top five usability do’s and don’ts to think about for the expanded footer on your site:

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