One of the most important parts of almost any website is the contact page. I will cover a few tips that will help you get the most out of this key aspect of your website.
The first key to having a good contact page is not relying on the contact page in the first place. You want to use your website as a way to help you connect with people. Whether it’s to connect with potential customers or to keep in touch and offer support to past clients. Either way you don’t want to make your visitors work to get in contact with you. Finding your contact information should never be a scavenger hunt. Many websites list the phone number in the header, on the side, or the bottom of the page. Email links or contact forms are also commonly found in the sidebar of a website. Even though you have a contact form you should find a way to incorporate as much contact information as possible on every single page.
Keep the contact page on the far right hand side of your menu. When looking from left to right the contact page should always be the last thing that is seen. Most websites and all good websites follow this model. This is what people expect. There are situations where you want to be fresh and unique. Displaying your contact information is not one of these times. It should be incredible intuitive for site visitors to figure out how to reach you.
Email link, contact form or phone number? Best to use all three. You want to make it as easy and inviting for people to contact you as possible. Personally I prefer to use a contact form when I want to contact someone on a website. However some people prefer to call or text (if you accept texts then make sure you indicate that on the website). Occasionally you will even find someone that doesn’t want to fill out an online form but will send their own email. This makes no sense to me. But if these people want to pay me money for my services then I will humor them and offer a email address along with my contact form.
When you use a contact form it is best to use one that stores a copy of all entires. If your website is a WordPress website then Gravity Forms or Visual Form Builder are good options. Theses plugins will send you an email with every form entry. But they also store a copy of each entry in the site database. This way if your email service or the site email services goes down, or the email accidentally gets deleted, you will be able to retrieve a copy of all form entries. I can tell you from my own experience working with a web design company that managing email is one of the hardest tasks. We had contact form entries fail to send because their was a problem with the site email server and the emails didn’t go out. There was issues with the clients email accounts and they failed to receive emails. There was also issues with emails going to spam folders. Even clients who have no site traffic suddenly think that they are getting tons of entries on their contact form when they realize that the form isn’t working properly. But when you can log into the website and check form entries then you avoid losing these form entries.
In summary providing a way for people to contact you is one of the most basic functions of a website. People don’t want to hunt to find your contact information on the website. The longer they have to look and the more links they have to click to find something, the more likely they are to leave the site before finishing their task. So make it easy and intuitive to find your contact information. Also provide as many methods to contact you as possible. When using a contact form strive to have a backup system in place for when there is an issue with the emailing of the form entires. These rules are key to having an effective website.