From multinational corporations to local mom and pop shops, every business can benefit from having a website. Whether they use it to move merchandise or simply for marketing purposes, an online presence is absolutely essential in the modern era. But as important as they are, most websites contain at least a few errors. Some of these mistakes are relatively minor, while others are critical and may limit your online success.
Because it is the first page most visitors will see, your homepage is obviously the most important one on your website. It should contain links to all of the content on your site, including a page that is often ignored by new owners. The Contact US page gives guests all the information they need to reach you at anytime. It can also help convince them that your business is a legitimate rather than a fly-by night operation. With that in mind, let us take a moment to discuss 10 things you should always include on your Contact US page.
1. A Physical Address
Even if you do not have an actual brick-and-mortar office or store, you should include a mailing address on your contact page. Failing to do so will immediately raise a red flag for potential customers, who might simply assume you’re running some kind of a scam. Why else would you choose to remain invisible? The address you include need not be a commercial residence. Even a PO Box is better to nothing at all. It is also imperative that you update this address whenever you relocate. Trust us, people will check. And if they find that your current address does not match your listed one, they will not do business with you.
2. Several Contact Options
The average Internet shopper doesn’t know the meaning of the term “normal business hours.” The web is always open and she expects to be able to shop anytime she wants. Even if your business does not return phone calls after hours, potential customers like to know that they can at least leave a message. Your contact page should include a phone number, an email address, and a fax number, if you have one.
3. Social Media Links
One of the easiest and most affordable ways to market your business on the internet is to create a free page or channel on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. These pages can then be linked to your website so that interested users can follow discussions about your business. They can even be used to improve customer service via message or tweet.
4. Valid Email Addresses
You don’t have to be an IT expert to make an email address a clickable link…it’s incredibly easy. Even so, many website owners make their clients copy and paste their addresses into their email programs. Why make them take the extra step? There isn’t a good reason.
5. An Electronic Submission Form
In addition to providing clickable email links, you can also add an electronic form that can be filled out and submitted without relying on email. Although they fulfill the same basic function as email, forms are more professional and more exigent, or at least they appear that way.
6. Interactive Maps
If you own a restaurant or retail store, including maps on your contact page will make it easier for guests to find you. Maps from popular websites such as Google are not only easy to use, they can also be added for free.
7. Written DIRECTIONS
Some folks are old fashioned when it comes to driving directions. They like to follow them step by step, instead of relying on GPS or electronic maps. Therefore, it is often a good idea to add directions in written form, if you have the room on your contact page.
8. A Few Photos
Even if you have pictures on your About Us or Bio pages, adding them to your contact page can help your business come across as more human and legitimate. Potential customers will get to see the people they will be dealing with.
9. Avoid Information Overload
All of the aforementioned tips should not be taken in too. Your page would appear cluttered and disorganized if you added maps and numbers and forms, etc. You have to pick and choose those that are most important to your business. At the very least, you should include an address and several contact options.
10. Constant updates
Whenever you change a number, address, email, etc., make sure you update your contact page as soon as possible. There is nothing that turns customers away faster than an invalid phone number or email address.