When a website is designed, the main navigation is usually placed at the top of the website’s homepage. And why shouldn’t it? That’s the first place where visitors look. It’s where you want to give them access to your interiors pages, so they can learn more about your company’s products or services. And this main navigation will most likely include a drop-down menu or animation, in order to create a visually appealing way of traversing through the site.
The main issue with creating a top navigation that is strong in the visuals department is the trouble that search engines will have crawling these links. It is unfortunately very difficult to create a drop-down or animated navigation that also searches engine-friendly. This battle is usually won by the designers, who suggest that the visual impact of a snazzy navigation will vastly overpower the potential SEO benefits of HTML links at the top. In order to balance this, recommend that footer links be used as well.
How do these footer links help the user? Well, they aren’t really for the user. Remember – you’re creating a fancy navigation scheme to draw the user deeper into the site and hopefully buy and/or convert. The footer, on the other hand, will be used for the search engine’s perspective.
This is what WebDesignValley.com includes in its footer:
At Webdesignvalley.com – Each of the main sections of content is linked (they’re separated by “*”). There are also contextual links within the bottom sections of text. These were created to improve the SEO value of some of our targeted keyword phrases and pages. These links aren’t quite as valuable as those you’d find in a header or main content of the page (the higher a link is on a page, the more value it offers), but they do provide some worth.
So, during the site redesign, certainly keep in mind what you’re going to include in your footer. By including these links, search engines are given the opportunity to “find” all pages of the site, regardless of how the top navigation or rest of the page is coded.