If you weren't able to make WordCamp Seattle in June, or didn't catch the livestream,…
You have probably noticed that many WordPress themes now have widgetized footers. Often there is between 2 and 4 spaces left hanging there for widgets.
When you design your blog, you add what you feel are the best widgets to include in your sidebar. After that, you might be left staring at those empty spots in your footer. You wish you could ignore them, but damn, if you don’t put fill them, they sit there blank—or, worse yet, with those annoying words, “Widget #1,” “Widget #2,” and so forth. You can always choose not to use them, but still.
So you get desperate and decide to start filling it with whatever, anything to make use of them. It’s just a footer anyway, you’re thinking. Does anyone really pay attention to it?
Well, yes, they probably do.
And to be honest, from what I hear, Google also pays attention.
Think of your reader. They read your page or post all the way through, and maybe even browse through your comments. And where do they end up? At the proverbial bottom of the barrel.
At your footer.
Here are a few ideas to maximize your footer space and make it work for you:
1. Use the image widget.
For example, you might place a logo of an association or organization you belong to—maybe even two of them.
2. Use your custom menu widget and re-list your pages from your main navigation.
This gives your readers a chance to visit another page without scrolling to the top again. An added benefit: Google likes the links.
3. List your contact info again.
But for God’s sake, don’t make it the only place where we can find it because not everyone will read the stuff in your footer.
4. Create a linked list.
You may already have a list of your favorite blogs on the sidebar, but consider creating another linked list of favorite vendors, or some other list that compliments your site.
5. A call to action.
This is a perfect spot to include another call to action. You might include a newsletter signup, a link to your next webinar, your ebooks or something else.
6. Your latest tweets.
Maybe you don’t want your tweets filling valuable real estate in your sidebars. What better place for them than in the footer?
7. Pull in another blogs feed
If you regularly guest post on another blog, this might be the perfect space to showcase you recent posts there. You can always create an RSS feed for you, as an author. If you look at the right bottom, you will see my feed from the BlogWorld blog.
8. Finally, think outside the footer.
Don’t think of it as just a footer, but another place on your homepage to highlight posts from certain categories, specific pages, products, or even a small bio. Your choices are practically endless.
Stop thinking of your footer as the leftover on a page, the bottom of the barrel. Instead, consider it another great opportunity to drive your messages home.