July 16, 2011 | Branding, Design Basics, Web Design
On nearly every web site, there is the ubiquitous Contact Us button. But what happens when you go that page? What should you include on your contact us page?
- List a complete physical address. If you do not include a physical address people become very skeptical of you and your business. You may use a PO Box, but definitely provide a mailing address to show that you are legitimate.
- Include all the details. Your contact page is also a great way to list all of the ways to contact you. As fax numbers become less frequently used, they are not necessarily included in web site footers or business cards. But if you have a fax number, include it here because it’s where people are looking for that type of information. The same goes for Skype or any other communication medium that you use.
- Include social media links. The contact us page is a great place to list all of your social media channels in one place. You’re probably showing the icons elsewhere on your site, but this can be a place to explain how use use those channels. For example, is Twitter a good place for your clients to get a quick customer service issue resolved, or is it only live during week day hours?
- Make sure all email addresses are links. It’s a very simple thing to make an email address into a clickable link that will launch someone’s email program. Don’t make the viewer copy and paste. If you are worried about people harvesting your email address, then don’t list it at all, and use forms (see next item).
- Make sure you include a form. If you only include email links, you are forcing someone to launch an email program to contact you electronically. If someone is using a public computer, or prefers to access their email using a web-based program, they are stuck. Using a form allows an email to come to you without relying on the viewer’s email client.
- Include interactive maps. If you have a retail operation or other business that has in person traffic make sure you include a map from Google or other source that people can immediately customize to get directions from where they are to your location.
- Add descriptive directions as well. If there is anything tricky about getting to your store, finding parking, etc. write down some directions that will help. This helps to humanize you and your brand. It also gets the relationship off on a good foot, rather than having potential clients show up frustrated with the trek to your location.
- Consider adding a photo. Photos of your building or sign are easily remembered and will help someone trying to find you while driving or walking in a new area. They’ll get that “aha” moment as they recognize the same thing they saw on your web site earlier.
Depending on the type of business you have, you may not need all eight of these elements. Adding local information such as your address and phone number may help with search engine rankings and local search.
Most importantly, remember that being helpful can be an important way for your customers and prospects to begin to like and trust you. It’s an easy way to start a relationship making the right first impression.