Every business has a different reason for building a website – it might be to sell flowers online, promote their conveyancing services or both. However, if your potential customers need to contact you about the service or product and you don’t have a clear and easy way to do this, you may end up jeopardising your success.
This episode is all about how to create a contact page that fits you and your business. I’ll cover the features that should most definitely be on there and there’s even a mention of the customer journey for those who love to talk about UX.
INTRO: This is the Help! My Website Sucks podcast – your bitesize guide to web design. I’m Amy Gumbrell, a freelance WordPress web designer and when I’m not building udderly functional and beautiful websites, I love talking about them. In fact I’m on a mission to make websites next level easy and to make sure that your website doesn’t suck.
This episode is all about the contact page. Without it, your business website is going to potentially have some problems. My goal is to go over what a contact page actually is, why you need one and what you could include on it.
When you think of your favourite website or one that you use frequently, do you think of how wonderful their contact page really is? Probably not. However the contact page is typically one of the most visited pages on a website particularly for businesses. The reason? It is the easiest and most secure way for potential customers to get in touch. The title of the page is clear and unambiguous. You kinda know what you are getting if you click on that page title!
Just a quick disclaimer – what makes a great contact page for me and my business may be completely wrong for your business. It’s subjective and will depend on what you want the user to do when they hit contact. It must also reflect your brand and be consistent with the style, design and tone of your website overall.
As a general rule of thumb, I include the following 5 key elements on the contact pages of my own clients website:
1) A short snappy sentence to say why they should contact you. This may seem obvious to you but sometimes it is better to crystal clear and intentional with your copy rather than leaving it to chance. For example it might say something simple like ‘to find out more about my awesome new service, fill in the contact form’ or it might be a bit more lengthy perhaps describing how quickly they will get a reply such as on my own website’s contact page where I state very clearly that I’ll reply within 48 hours.
2) Direct Contact information i.e. at least one way they can directly contact you such as an email address or a phone number. There are many people who don’t want to fill out a contact form and that is fine but you should still try and engage with them.
3) Contact form -a simple contact form asks for your name, email address and the message you wish to share with that business. It might be enquiring about one of the services, it might be asking about the dimensions of a product sold on that website or it may be someone asking about opening hours. This is the most common type of contact form that you’ll find on a website. However if you want to level up your contact form, you can use it to help speed up the purchase process. For example if you sell bespoke wooden cabinets, adding questions to your contact form such as when you want your cabinet to be made, what wood you’d like it made of etcetera – it gives you more information about that potential customer than you would have if you had left it as a generic ‘message’ box. In fact this style of contact form may also be better for that potential customer. They may not have considered what wood they’d like their cabinet to be made of. They may not have thought about when they wanted to receive the finished product. It may actually help them solidify what they’re looking for.
However the downside to this levelling up approach is that some people don’t know what they want. They haven’t measured the space they have for the bespoke wooden cabinet and they’ve got no idea when they want the project to start. If you do decide to add questions to your contact form, try not to add too many. Remember – they’ve hit send on the contact form because they’re interested so try not to scare them away.
We could take the contact form a step further by using conditional logic. This is top level stuff and I get very excited when I see someone using this on their websites. It tailors the contact form to each potential customer. It selects the next question based on your answer to the previous one. This means that from your website visitor’s point of view, they don’t have to wade through a ton of irrelevant questions and they only fill in what’s fitting to their situation/enquiry.
4) Social Media Links – I like to use neat little icons here so your potential customer can engage with you on another platform. It’s a great way to instantly show where people can find you – everyone loves to see what others are up to on social media right?
5) Internal linking This is a way to keep them on your website by providing them with something else to do once they’ve hit the submit button on your contact form or sent you a direct email using the direct email method. For example you may have a frequently asked question section or a new blog post that you’d like to direct them towards. It’s great for SEO too as it shows those search engines everything you have on your website flows from page to page, it’s related and in turn relevant.
Other stuff to include – Does your business run from a shop? An office? Is it somewhere you want the customer to visit? If so, you’ll need to add an address and a map with directions. Perhaps you don’t want potential customers turning up on the wrong day or at the wrong time – your contact page is a good place to put your opening hours.
Before I wrap up this episode, I think it’s also important that if you use a contact form on your contact page, you consider the customer journey. Have you been on a website before and hit that submit button and a little teeny tiny message appears to thank you for filling in your form? It’s great isn’t it! What happens next? Some websites stay on the contact page and some whisk you off to another place on the website. Instead of a message, some websites go for the full on ‘thank-you’ page. Whatever you decide to do remember it’s quite nice to be thanked for getting in touch – it’s the little details that make the difference!
All in all a contact page shouldn’t be an afterthought It should be an integral part of your website planning journey. It gives your potential new customers a chance to get in touch with you and your business. It’s such a lovely way of opening the door for new opportunities without being too salesy or too all about the marketing.
OUTRO: If you’re hearing this message, you’ve reached the end of another Help! My Website Sucks podcast episode. Thank you so much for listening – I really appreciate it. If you need help with your website, get in touch at twocowsweb.co.uk and until next time bye bye for now!