Best DIY Websites, Part 1: Creating a Stellar Contact Page
Welcome to the first part of our new series, “Best DIY Websites!” For small business owners who are creating their own sites, it’s important to know what pages you need, what pages you don’t, and of course, how to create the ones you do. Have you ever wondered “How do I create a contact page for my website?” This post is for you.
A contact page is one of the most visited pages of a business owner’s website, making it at the top of the priority list for your site. And yet, despite that fact, many businesses are still making the mistake of ignoring how it looks. That’s why many of the contact pages you see are boring and purely functional. At its worst, some contact pages just list a phone number or address and nothing else. Simply put, when this happens, it’s a missed opportunity for the business.
Yes, your contact page is meant to give your customers details about you or your business and how you can be reached. But it’s also a branding and marketing tool, and by adding a bit of pizazz to it, you’ll see increased engagement, retention, and even conversions.
Here are some tips for creating an effective contact page that will not only tell people where to find you, but will also bring you business:
Tell them who are are, not just where you are
Let’s assume for a moment that your contact page is a place that a customer visits right before contacting you. So think about it as an opportunity to build a relationship and ‘introduce’ yourself even before you’ve actually been contacted. The best way to do this is to include creative copy at the start of the page about who you are, what you do, and what you stand for. You don’t have to make it long – a short paragraph or a handful of sentences will do.
Don’t make it too “salesy.” You’re not trying to sell your products and services here. But be careful about sounding too casual. The goal is to strike the right balance between professional and fun.
After you give your readers the relevant information in a fun, informative way, take it one step further and tell them when they can expect to hear a reply. Nothing instills more confidence in a brand than being told they will get a response, and then actually getting one.
Quick tip: Your Contact page is also good place to drop a keyword or two into a sentence in order to improve your site’s SEO. But only do this if you can make the sentence sound natural.
Include all the essential elements, not just some
In addition to your name, location (if you’re a brick and mortar store) and phone number, essential elements of a contact page include a contact form, an email address, and social media links. The key to a truly successful contact page is including all of these elements, not just some.
For example, if you’re simply putting a form and nothing else on the page, you will lose any customer who is looking for a chance to reach out to you directly and you risk sending the message that you don’t care or have time for interpersonal communication. If you provide a phone number but not an email address, you will lose the folks who want to contact you but aren’t as inclined to pick up a phone.
Forgetting your social media links is a big mistake because they not only give your readers an alternate way to connect or engage with you, but they also instantaneously increase a brand’s credibility. Even if you don’t have a big following or haven’t ramped up your social activity yet, a customer will see those links and automatically label your business as a legitimate one they can be comfortable purchasing from. And that’s an invaluable benefit you do not want to miss out on.
As an added bonus, whether you’re a brick and mortar store or an online shop, consider adding a map to your contact page. It’s a sign of web savvy as well as a nice visual that paints a picture about where you are. If you are operating out of a brick and mortar location, consider providing written directions on your contact page as well, especially if it’s tricky to find.
When in doubt, remember this rule of thumb: The more information on your contact page — without it being cluttered and text-heavy — the better.
Keep the form simple
An effective contact form has one simple feature – as few fields as possible. As soon as you ask for lots of information, you risk turning the customer off and overwhelming them. Remember, the form is not intended to be a survey tool to collect information from potential customers. There are other places for that. A contact form’s purpose should be solely to help your customers get in touch. That means only including fields that are strictly necessary. Often that ends up being just three fields – name, email address (so you can answer the query), and message.
Be sure to use validation on the fields that you do include as it will help maintain the integrity of the messages you do receive. This is particularly important with email address fields because validation ensures the entry matches the structure of a normal email address.
Another thing you can do to make your forms more effective is to rewrite the automatic messages. These occur in a number of situations, such as when a form is filled out incorrectly, or when it sends successfully. When you personalize these messages it shows that you care. And with any business, but particularly with small ones, caring can go a long way.
Quick tip: Consider customizing the automatic reply that shows up once a customer has completed the contact form with a thank you message that directs them to a special page of your website – one where they can watch a video or download a special gift.
Have a little fun with it
Don’t be afraid to get creative with your contact page, making it stand out from the rest. This doesn’t mean going overboard with images or videos. But your contact page should have the same personality, style, and tone as the rest of your website and brand.
When you communicate creatively you can communicate your contact info effectively and also win the hearts and minds of your customers. There’s no better way to be.
Hope these tips help in making your contact pages great. Feel free to leave questions or feedback in the comments section below! Keep an eye out for the second part of our DIY website series…coming soon!