Posted by Mitch Mitchell on May 31, 2009
In my last post on SEO & Common Business Sense, I said that I probably needed to write a post on my belief on contact pages. This is that post.
Let’s start with blogs first. If you look at the top of my blog, you see some individual pages that I’ve created. Two of the biggies, at least for me, are my About page and my Contact page. I got the idea of both from an article on Problogger titled 20 Types Of Pages That Every Blogger Should Consider.
The thing is, with blogs, especially WordPress blogs, you’ll usually get a blank About page link, but most don’t come with a blank Contact page link. With every blog, the writer gets to determine if he or she wants people to be able to contact them about anything, other than going through comments to do it. I’ve had to try to reach people by leaving a comment that makes no sense because they haven’t left any other way to contact them.
Now, you could add contact information to your About page (which many people do read) and be done with it, and that’s not all that bad, but it certainly is more reader friendly to have your About page completed and having some kind of contact information somewhere on the blog.
That takes care of blogs. Now, let’s talk about other websites, business websites, sales websites, etc. Do you really need a contact page? I’m of the opinion that, for most businesses and sales websites, no. Instead, what they need to do is make sure that they have contact information visible to anyone who comes to their site, period.
I say that because many sites I go to exhibit one of these three things:
1. There’s no contact information anywhere on the site, including where they are (I’m shocked by how often I see this)
2. They have contact information on their Contact page, and nothing else
3. They have contact information on their Contact page, and are trying to college some extra information also.
For number one, that’s just the most idiotic thing I’ve ever seen; yeah, I said it! What’s the point of being in business or product sales if you haven’t given potential clients a way to reach you? Actually, I see this on a lot of hospital websites (unbelievable, but true) where they just assume that anyone looking up their site will know where they are. Some sites won’t even put up a phone number; what’s that about? Why aren’t people contacting you for business? They can’t.
For number two, why have a throwaway page on your site that only has your contact information? If you’re really serious about getting business, you want to make it easy for your clients and potential customers to find you. Sure, they can click on Contact; or you can put your contact information on every page in a place where it’s easily found. Contact information doesn’t have to be your full address, by the way; it just has to be something that gives people a chance to find you.
On my main business site, I have my full contact information, including phone number and email address, on every single page. No need to mess with a contact page because, well, if you can’t find my information, you probably need someone else besides me to work with. On my SEO site, I’ve plainly written “Contact SEOX” and have my phone number there. If you click on “Contact SEOX”, you can send me an email; very simple.
So, for number one, those folks need contact information period, and it wouldn’t hurt them to put it in every page. For number two, I believe I’ve stated my reason for why a contact page on its own is a waste of time. That brings us to number three.
Most people put in this thing asking all these other questions and the like. Truthfully, I often wonder why they’re pushing their customers away like that. If anyone is like me, I don’t want to “have” to add any other information. Some of these sites do leave it voluntary, but others make it all mandatory. How customer services “unfriendly” is that?
Now, if you still want to have your contact page, then go ahead. Personally, I think it works better having information on every page, but that could just be me; I tend not to hold to tradition sometimes. But if you’re going to run a business, or you have a sense of ethical in you, which means you’d like people to have the ability to contact you for business purposes, at least put something on your site so people don’t have to jump through hoops to find out where you are, or how to reach you.
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