Putting your contact information out there and inviting sales questions and customer service can feel unimportant — or downright scary.
But making contact information visible on your website can get you more leads and improve your sales, conversions and search engine rankings.
You don’t have to just take my word for it, though. Display your contact info – or make it more prominent – for a month. Then watch your sales and key metrics in Google Analytics. I’m willing to bet they’ll change for the better.
Build Trust with Your Future Customers
Once you’ve created a professional-looking and easily navigable website, providing easy-to-find contact information is the most important thing you can do to make your website feel trustworthy.
Contact information can provide potential customers a sense of security. They know if they buy that widget from your company and it breaks, they can get in touch with you.
Whatever actions you want visitors to perform on your website that will lead to conversion, their decision to take each next step will be conditioned subconsciously — or even overtly — by their sense they can trust your website, and your company. Trust becomes even more important if you’re asking people to type in their credit card number.
A website with no contact information, or contact information that is hidden or hard to find, makes me wonder why that website is trying to hide from me — and I often assume the worst.
Improve Your SEO With Contact Info
For businesses that rely on local customers, including contact information can help their search engine optimization. What local business wouldn’t want to get more customers who search the web before they leave the house or from their smart phone while on the go? A website that has easily found contact information can get better rankings in search engine results when people’s searches include the city, zip code, state, and/or area code.
For example, if a Portland, Oregon, widget company’s website clearly displays its full address, then someone in Portland who searches for widgets, or searches for “widgets Portland,” may be more likely to find that website. For more information on local SEO, read this article and our article on Google Places / Google Maps.
Some search engine experts feel that search engines use contact information as an indication of trust, and so sites and web pages with full contact information could be ranked higher in search results. This seems very logical to me, and if Google.com had a contact page I could tell them that I think it’s a good idea to favor websites with contact information. If you’re interested in how search engines determine trust in ranking websites, read this Search Engine Journal article discussing possible on-page trust ranking factors.
To get the SEO benefits of including contact information, make sure it’s displayed as plain HTML text. Search engines won’t “see” contact information if you’ve included it as an image, or if you make it hard to find. Read further for tips on where to place contact information.
Increase Sales With Contact Info
“I just have one question before I buy.”
It’s common for someone to be 99 percent ready to purchase, and to want to ask one quick question, or double-check one detail. If you haven’t provided an easy way to contact your company, that person will probably just vanish, and take their business with them.
Let People Help You!
Wouldn’t it be great if a friendly person could easily alert you that:
- a link on your website is broken
- you’ve got an embarrassing typo
- something on your site doesn’t work with a specific web browser
- their shopping cart isn’t working and they can’t pay for your product
- they want to link to your site (remember, backlinks help your SEO)
What Type of Contact Info Should I Provide?
I suggest including at least one of the staple contacts that everyone should know how to deal with. It’s really better to include all of these:
Some people really prefer to talk to a real live person, and because it’s the highest level of customer service it is reassuring to see a company is open to receiving customer phone calls.
Suggestions: List your business hours and time zone beside your phone number. It will save people from getting frustrated by trying to reach you outside of business hours. If you have a toll-free number, do list your local number for international callers and people who want to save you some money.
I personally prefer the actual email address to a contact form, but a contact form that includes an actual email address listed is fine.
Suggestion: Make it easy for people — let them to see and copy the actual email address to paste into an email. For bonus points, make it a clickable mail-to link.
While people probably aren’t going to write you a letter, seeing a company’s address can be reassuring and make it feel more legitimate. Listing an address with the city, state and zip code can help you with local SEO.
Alternative contacts methods
Other contact methods can be an added bonus:
- A link to your company’s Twitter handle or Facebook page.
- A Feedback tab – for example, GetSatisfaction.
- Live chat – with a real person who works at your company, please! We have a chat button on our contact and product pages here on AboutUs.com that we love. Want to try the chat widget we use? Click here.
- An FAQ, Help or Support page that offers people do-it-yourself help.
Where Should I Put My Contact Information?
Where you place contact information will affect how many people find it, and thus how much benefit you will receive.
Don’t bury or hide your contact information. If someone has to click “About Us” and then “Support” and then scroll all the way to the bottom of that page, they probably won’t bother. And now you’ve probably turned that person into a frustrated non-customer.
I suggest choosing one or more of these locations for contact info on your website:
A “Contact” link at the bottom of a website or in its main navigation is pretty standard, and people look for it in these places. Make sure the link says something obvious, like “Contact Us”.
Contact info in the web page footer
To cash in on SEO benefits, place contact information in the footer of every web page, making it clearly available to search engines.
The site pictured at right has both their contact info and a “Contact” link right there, visible to search engine crawlers and people.
Contact info “above the fold” – no scrolling required
Placing contact information in such a prominent location provides a lot of visibility. This placement is commonly used on websites that trying to sell something.
The site pictured at right has their phone number right there at the top of every page on their website.
- If you provide contact information, make sure you provide decent customer service to anyone who gets in touch through all the contacts you offer.
- It’s helpful to set expectations by letting people know how soon they can expect a response to an email, or the hours during which your company answers the phone.
- Want to know how important contact information is to your business? Compare your important website metrics and sales numbers before and after giving site visitors a way to get in touch with you.