A common reason people visit websites is to find contact information. Making it easy for a visitor to find what they’re looking for can be the difference between gaining a new customer or losing them. According to Hubspot, 55% of website visitors spend less than 15 seconds on a site. That’s why we recommend making the search for contact details on your website as efficient as possible. In most cases, a stand-alone contact page is the best option.
We’ve noticed a trend of websites without a contact page. Instead of placing all the pertinent information on a single page, we find email addresses and phone numbers in tiny letters above the header, in the footer or placed arbitrarily throughout a site. While it may look nice, this alone isn’t the most useful option for the site visitor.
The importance of a contact page
Your website is likely to be the first contact someone has with your business. As harsh as it sounds, your site will be judged and it will be judged very quickly. In fact, it takes 50 milliseconds (that’s less than one-tenth of a second) for site visitors to judge the visual appeal of your page. Make the first impression a good one. Be clear and organized. A contact page helps make this possible.
What details need to go on the contact page?
If you want people to reach out to you, then the more options you provide to make that contact, the more likely you are to be successful. Whether they are looking to call, email or visit you in person, having a comprehensive contact page will make it easy for everyone to find what they need.
- Hours. Whether you own a brick-and-mortar location or a virtual office, whether you have an open door policy or are by appointment only, people want to know when they can contact you.
- Phone Number. Our clients often want to put two phone numbers on their website contact page, just in case they’re not available at the first number. We say, reconsider! Remember, you’re trying to make a good impression and you’re trying to make it as easy as possible for the potential customer to contact you. Don’t make them have to guess which is the first number they should call. To expect that someone is going to hunt you down by trying multiple numbers is unrealistic. Choose one main number and, if you need to, find a way for the call to be automatically forwarded. Finally, be sure that the phone number is click to call.
- Email Address. Everyone has their preferred way to contact a business online. Some people want to click a button that automatically opens their email program and inserts the email address into the TO: field. (Unfortunately, you cannot control what program opens on a site visitor’s computer when they click that address.) Also, some people don’t like clicking links. They want to type an email address directly into their email program. In both these instances you need to make sure that your email address is visible, not hidden on the page.
- Links to Social Media. Not only should you list all your social media on your contact page, be sure to include links to each individual account. However, we do not recommend Embedding Social Media Feeds on Websites.
- Contact Form. Some people prefer to use a contact form. And since we’re trying to make communication as easy as possible, it’s important to have a contact form on your contact page. An email contact form contains, at a minimum, fields for name, email address and message. Of course, you can add more fields, but consider carefully which fields should be required. The more required fields, the less likely someone is to fill out the form. However, you want to require enough information to make communication possible.
- Map to Your Location. If you have a physical location that customers must visit, then it is critical that they be able to find your business easily. We recommend embedding a Google Map (or something similar) on your contact page.
Gaining new customers Is difficult and necessary
We all have busy lives, with rote ways to accomplish everyday tasks. Most of us shop at the same stores. We eat at the same restaurants over and over again. Getting someone to try your new product or service is not easy. So when you are successful at interrupting a person’s routine enough that they want to reach out to you, you should consider it an accomplishment. Pat yourself on the back. Well done!
However, the job is not yet complete. Continue to draw that person in closer. Entice them to take the next step—get them to reach out, step into your store, make a reservation. This needs to be handled carefully. A clear and comprehensive contact page is a good first step.
Don’t skip the contact page
If you want to put your phone number and email address in the header, fine. Those people who expect it to be there, will be delighted when they don’t even have to click once to get the information they’re looking for. Additionally, Google wants you to include your primary contact information in the footer. However, you still need a contact page where a site visitor can find all your contact information in one place.