Creating a contact us page is essential when building an online presence through a website or a blog. It tends to be the page on your website with the least content, but is one of the most highly visited by your clients. Internet users have become accustomed to looking for a contact us page when searching for contact details like a phone number or address. Many website owners don’t give a second thought to the contact us page after it’s built. We ask you to give your contact us page a second glance with these best practices in mind.
What should I include on my contact us page?
General Contact Details
Telephone Number – Individuals often inquire as to how many phone numbers or what type of phone numbers should be included on the contact us page. Certainly the main office number and the fax number should be included. Beyond that additional numbers should be provided only if someone is available to answer them during the normal business hours.
Physical Address – Many businesses have moved to only providing an email and phone number as a source of contact, especially if they don’t have a physical office the client can visit. However, by providing an address you provide them the assurance you are local.
Email – In today’s modern world you need a contact email address. Even better it should be a domain name specific email address. For example, if your website is located at www.domain.com, your email address should be firstname.lastname@example.org rather than email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. By having your email address as a hot link (changing email@example.com with mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org) clicking on the link opens the user’s email system with the To: line filled in with your email address. This helps avoid typos and other mistakes by the user.
Web Form – The downside of providing the email address is an increase in spam as your website gets more traffic. One way to avoid spam is to have a contact us web form rather than an email address. You can have CAPTCHA code [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captcha ] in order to prevent spam submissions to the form. Or you can place a web form as well other contact details in the contact us page like http://www.netsolutionsna.com/content/contact_us/contact_us.asp
Include a Photo – Include a photo of your brick and mortar building/office. If you don’t have a brick and mortar store, include a photo of your employees dressed in a manner that reflects the style of your company. If you are financial planners then a photo in professional attire, if you are a 70’s disco bar then break out the beads and platform shoes.
Staff Contact Details (optional) – For some smaller businesses, you can place the contact details for each of your primary employees on the contact us page. If you have more than 7-10 employees, consider a separate page for staff contact details.
Map – Google has made it very easy to link your clients directly to a map of your business and the surrounding area. Map Quest and others have made providing directions to your business even easier. The day and age of written instructions are long past, give the clients a direct link to an interactive map.
A contact us page will be visited by a large majority of your website users. Search engines love contact us information because it is usually current, and very relevant to the consumer. If you can make your contact us page simple and easy to use your clients will find it extremely valuable. So take your time, less is more, work to build the most effective contact us page you can find.