What makes a compelling contact page?

Posted by | January 28, 2011 | Marketing, Services, Websites | No Comments
Just found this excellent article on creating a compelling Contact Page on the Flying Solo site: http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/technology/business-websites/the-dos-and-donts-of-website-contact-pages Lots of sensible, practical, easy-to-implement ideas (which is true of many articles on Flying Solo), which I've already implemented for my clients across a number of websites. If you're unsure what to put on your own contact page, do read it. Most small businesses are very forwarding in providing contact details to their readers. But it's surprising just how hard it is to find relevant contact details for larger organisations. It's almost as if some of the behemoths only want to you contact them via Liking their Facebook page or following them on Twitter. Sometimes you only find the Contact link in the footer rather than logically in the menu. When I come across sites who don't make their contact details obvious - or worse, don't provide any contact alternative other than an email form - I'm suspicious about their commitment to customer service. The page with only an email form says, "Yes, I'll reply to your enquiry - sometime. But I don't want you, my customer, ringing me up and asking questions. That would be a bore for my staff. They're too busy to deal with you and I don't want to put any extra staff on just to man the phones." Think carefully about what your contact page says about you and your organisation and how you are prepared for people to contact you. Many of us, me included, are wary of putting our email addresses on the web as spammers harvest them and bombard our inboxes. While there are ways of obfuscating your email address so hackers can't easily grab it, one option for people editing their own site is to replace the @ sign with (at) and the . with (dot), therefore not creating a string of text that a robot can identify as an email address. Yes, it's a bit harder for your clients to simply click and send an email, but then you'll likely have a form they can complete as well. I hope. WordPress has several plugins which obfuscate email addresses and links. I'm currently trialling the Hikari plugin on this site. I've found a few little glitches but so far overall it's working well. It also obfuscates links; from praising you for plenty of links on your site several years ago, Google now punishes you in the page rankings for your links, even if you put a 'no follow' tag on them.  Why? Well, links used to be an easy way to get to the top of the tree, and spammers took advantage of this - and also harvested links from other peoples' sites. If you are still using a basic HTML site or a web builder program that doesn't give you a choice of options to obfuscate your email and other links, you might consider moving to WordPress. Contact me via my friendly contact page (which has a range of contact options), and find out how easy managing your WordPress site can be.

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