After all the time you’ve spent creating a logo, gathering everything you need for your website, and designing the perfect homepage, you might be tempted to throw together a contact page quickly and call it a day. But before you pop the cork on that “I just finished my website” Champagne, consider the original purpose of your small business website. Isn’t it to turn visitors into leads, and lose leads into customers?
Let’s put that bubbly on ice and take a closer look at the humble contact page, and some guidelines you should follow to put it to work for your business.
- Thou shalt show thy contact page some love. This is the page that all your marketing efforts have been aiming your visitors toward. If you can get visitors to engage with your contact page, they’re much more likely to become customers. Consider the design and layout just as carefully as you did the rest of your website.
- Thou shalt not combine your contact page with your About Us page. This required visitors to stop and think (never a good thing on the web) in order to figure out where your contact details are. Also, you don’t want someone deciding to contact you, and then getting distracted by your business’ fascinating history. The contact page should have its own link in your main navigation.
- Thou shalt provide multiple means of contact. Don’t just throw an email address up there and think you’re done. People want to feel like they can get a human on the phone should they want one. If you have a physical location, all the better. This makes your business feel more credible. Also with that physical address, consider providing a map.
- Thou shalt not leave visitors guessing. If you have a brick-and-mortar location, include a photo of your building’s façade. Not only does this make you seem more inviting and personable, it will let people know what you look for and they’ll feel more confident from the get-go.
- Thou shalt manage expectations. In an ideal world, you would have someone watching for contact form submissions 24/7 and responding right away. If you do, that’s awesome, and you should tell people about it. State your commitment to customer service with pride. If you’re a bit more thinly spread, be honest about that too. If you know that you will need 24 hours to respond, or that you only reply on business days, put that on your form. If people know when to expect a response, they’ll get less antsy waiting to hear from you.
Now, doesn’t that look better? Remember, filling out a contact form is often the first step your visitors will take toward forming a relationship with you. Set yourself up for success from the start. Need some inspiration? Check out this list of great contact page from Blog Tyrant.
Now, about that Champagne…
From our How To Make a Website Series:
How A Blog Can Make Your Small Business Website a Success
Five Commandments For A Great Contact Page
How To Make A Great Website Homepage
Dos and Don’ts of User-Friendly Website Navigation
How To Make A Website: Breaking Down The Pieces
Prepare Yourself: What You Need to Start a Website
Checklist: 10 Steps to a Successful Business Website in 2013
Building a Website: Do It Yourself or Hire A Pro?