- You Have A Contact Page, Right?
- Writing a “Contact Us” Page That Connects
We’re seeing contact pages out there that don’t quite hit the mark, and so today we return with the flipside — some common Contact page mistakes that you should definitely avoid.
You Have A Contact Page, Right?
The first and most obvious Contact page mistake is pretty simple — not having one. This seems like it would be a no-brainer, but I stumble across sites making this mistake all the time! Usually, this is because people are working under the erroneous assumption that social media links (usually in icon form) will be enough for people who are looking to get in touch. Not so!
Sure, social media links are great for people looking to connect with you, especially in a casual way, but for those who don’t engage in those particular networks, or who are in need of direct contact to solve a troubleshooting issue or get answers to pre-purchase questions, they are relatively useless.
So, if you don’t have a Contact page, get one. You need one, no matter what you think.
Don’t Hide Your Contact Page
Oh, you say you do have a Contact page after all, I just didn’t see it. Well, that’s on you, bub! I shouldn’t have to spend precious time figuring out where you decided to keep your Contact page away. If it’s not immediately obvious to me where your Contact page is, it might as well not exist. Stick that link in your main navigation unless you absolutely can’t for some reason.
Contact Forms Should be Just Right
Think three bears porridge. Add too many fields to your form and people will bounce off of it like a wren hitting a patio door. Add too little, and they won’t be able to tell you what they need. What you need to do is hit the butter zone between those two — include only fields that people need to communicate with you, without leaving anything crucial out.
Don’t Ignore Responses
There are two parts to this mistake. The first is pretty obvious…don’t forget to reply to people who contact you. Period. Even if that response is super short, it’s critical to let people you are corresponding with that you received their message. Consider setting up automated replies that at least let people know they’re in the system, but don’t neglect the power of a personal response.
The second part of this mistake is more subtle…don’t forget to adjust your form based on the submissions you are receiving. People will usually indicate if they have an issue with your form, and even if they don’t the type of messages they send you can help inform edits to the form.
The Lonely Form
Sure, forms are fantastic ways to facilitate communication, but they aren’t always the best way for everyone. Make sure you offer alternative ways to contact you if they exist. If you have a public phone number, include it. If you don’t, consider alternatives like linking directly to your email, or offering a live chat interface. Social network links make sense here too.
CAPTCHA’s are annoying. They used to be one of the only defenses against spammers, but we’ve moved on for the most part, with much less obtrusive and much more accessible solutions. Don’t CAPTCHA, unless you’re buried in spam and you’ve tried all the solutions first.
Fire & Forget
Just because your form was working when you set it up doesn’t mean it’s still working now. Plugin updates and other gremlins may have caused it to stop working at some point, so make sure that you periodically test all of your contact forms to make sure that they are still functioning as planned, including any automated interactions that should happen after the message is received.
Writing a “Contact Us” Page That Connects
There are some pages on your website that are viewed more than others, which makes them more important. Like the Contact Us page. No big surprise.
But, what does surprise me is how many people don’t use this obvious information to their advantage…to optimize that page to get people to connect with their organization. That’s why this is such an important area to focus on.
Your prospects and customers need your contact information, like a phone number or email address, to get in touch with you. Plus when it’s done well, “…an amazing contact page has the ability to entice visitors and convince them to either make a purchase or hire your services,” according to the Search Engine Journal.
Make it sound great
Of course, your entire website should have a well-written copy, but it’s particularly important (and often forgotten) on the contact page. Many sites consider the contact page as an afterthought. They throw in an address and phone number and call it a day. But you can do so much more to start building a relationship with people who view the page.
To attract and keep visitors you should use language that is action and value-oriented. This means including a call to action (with an offer!) and information on how visitors will benefit from you or your brand. This will help you set up further communication. Furthermore, keep the page short and to the point. People don’t want to spend a lot of time filling out forms.
Be sure contact details are current. “It sounds obvious, but having an out-of-date telephone number or email address could not only lose you a sale but might also send alarm bells ringing,” warns SEO consulting company moz.com.
Make it simple and functional
Keep the contact information short, sweet, and to the point so visitors can find what they’re looking for fast. Please take the time to double-check everything on the page. Having links that are broken or won’t send properly is just bad for business. If the email or phone number links are not working correctly, how can people communicate with you? That sorta’ defeats the purpose of the contact page.
Don’t ask for too much information up-front. It will discourage people from getting in touch with you.
Make it look terrific
Your design and visuals are a big part of your website and your brand. The contact page should look and feel as interesting as the rest of your site. Your Contact Us page’s design and style will be part of their initial impression. If you have a poorly designed contact page, people won’t be interested in dealing with you.
Show off your personality. If your audience is the casual, fun-loving crowd, consider a light-hearted, even comical tone for your Contact Us page. Whatever your brand, make your contact page brand-consistent. Make readers just SO excited to contact you now!
Make it mobile-responsive
Since most of the web has gone mobile, make sure your contact page works on all mobile devices. Plus, it makes life easier if you have a physical location when people can access a map on the contact page to locate your place of business from their phones.
Give visitors another way to engage with the business through your social media accounts, like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn.
Use this handy contact page checklist
It’s especially easy for you to make sure your contact page is doing a great job of connecting with prospects and customers. Simply include:
- A sentence or two in a friendly, informative introductory blurb
- Company name, actual business address, phone numbers (landline and cell), and email address
- Skype username (especially important if you deal with clients outside the U.S.)
- Email address
- Hours of operation and/or appointment information
- Map and directions (if people will be coming to your place of business)
- Links to social media pages
- Photographs of key contact people
- Call to action with an offer