7 Mistakes Small Business Owners Make With Their Contact Page
Have you ever been on a website and you wonder: How the hell can I contact this guy? Well, you’re not alone. We’ve all been in that situation, and it’s not our fault.
Some websites are merely hard to navigate. The thing that these business owners do not realise is that they are potentially losing sales and much more by making it hard on people.
But if there is one thing that can immediately improve the number of people who contact you via your website, it’s this: optimise your contact page.
Maybe you haven’t thought about it, but your contact page is one of the most important pages on your website. The primary reason for your site should be to connect with prospects and sell them on your products and services.
Below, I’ll share with you a few of the most common mistakes that website owners make with their contact page, and also how to fix them.
1. MAKING THE CONTACT FORM HARD TO FILL
“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Do you have to ask all these questions on your contact form? In most cases, I’d say you probably don’t. For example, you don’t need to enter your home address to contact a shop, yet some websites will ask you for these details. The worst is that they won’t be doing anything else with it. If they were going to send you some goodies, that would be another story, but hey, you want to send them a message, and they are asking for your address, postcode, country and gender?
No thanks! I’ll contact someone else.
Luckily, fixing this mistake is quite easy. Reduce the number of fields and ask only for the most critical questions. You can ask many more questions after you have replied to the prospect. But right now, you don’t need them to give you all the details. I’d recommend asking for their name, email, phone and message.
If you’re getting too many contact form submissions (which is a good problem to have), maybe you can add in qualifying questions such as “What is your budget?” to help you choose which one to prioritise.
2. HAVING DIFFERENT COLOURS AND BRANDING FOR THE CONTACT FORM.
This mistake usually occurs when the website owner is using some free tool that does not integrate well with the website itself. The problem with this is that it lowers the trust level of the prospect. They are thinking all kinds of things, is this a virus? Is it the same website even? Where will my information go?
To fix this mistake, use a consistent branding across all sections and pages of your website.
If your buttons are red, make sure that it’s red everywhere. If your website is on WordPress, you can use contact form plugins to make sure that the form matches your main template. Your web developer can help you set up all your contact forms to integrate with your pages seamlessly.
When using third-party services for your forms, make sure to choose one that has allows you to customise your forms and set the colours and style.
3. BEING HARD TO FIND
Here’s the sad truth: people will not spend a lot of time looking around for your contact page. Most website visitors will have a very short attention span. If they cannot find out how to contact you, they will move on.
Unless they desperately need you and only you, people will leave your website without contacting you.
Instead of hiding your contact page, link to it explicitly in your main menu. Don’t put it in a drop down, down use clever titles for the page, and for the love of God, don’t put it only in your footer!
Instead of fancy names for your contact page, go for the traditional approach. People quickly get confused, and when they are confused, they don’t buy.
Now, if you don’t want people to contact you, then go ahead, hide that link. Otherwise, make it prominent. I promise, your bank account will love you for it.
4. USING ONE FORM FOR EVERY SITUATION
What would happen if you ask 19 people the same question as soon as they ask any question? I’m guessing; you’d confuse a lot of these guys!
You see, contact forms can have different purposes, you can use a contact form for people who want a quote, another for people who want a job, and yet another for people who want to say hi!
If you send everyone to the same contact form, you are making it harder for them to explain their reason to contact you, but more importantly, you are making it harder on yourself to decide which messages to prioritise, and also how to gather the required data depending on the purpose.
Let’s say you have a request a quote form. In that form, you could add more fields than your default contact form. You could ask more questions specific to the project they have in mind. You can also add in some qualifying fields.
If you’re limited by the number of contact forms you can have, it may be time to change your website’s platform. Content management systems, such as WordPress, have various free plugins that will easily allow you to create multiple contact forms for each purpose.
5. UNHELPFUL ERROR MESSAGES
“A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.”
— Douglas Adams
Humans make mistakes. But what happens when they make errors when trying to contact you? Do you help them correct their mistakes? Or do you play the grumpy old English teacher? You know, the one who enjoys seeing blunders and simply grunts: “It’s Wrong!”
It could be a simple mistake such as not filling a required field. Do you tell them exactly which input is missing?
The good news is that it’s an easy mistake to solve. And the solution is to make your error messages friendly and super helpful.
It should be as if you are next to your visitor and gently helping him to give you his information so that you can provide him with what he needs.
Just telling your visitor that an error has occurred will never be as helpful as showing him exactly what he did wrong, and also how to fix it.
6. NOT PROVIDING ALTERNATIVES
It might sound odd to you, but not everyone on the internet prefers to use a contact form to reach you. Some would instead send you an email. Others would prefer to give you a call. Depending on your business, some people would fancy dropping by your store or office to see you.
The question is: are you giving them the options?
Provide your prospect with multiple ways to reach you. Email address, telephone number, mobile phone number, social media channels, google map, physical address. These should all be included on your contact page if possible.
Now, you may think that you don’t want to provide all this info. Honestly, that’s fine. I don’t either. It depends on your industry. Let’s say you have a shop. It would be a major mistake not to give your visitors the physical address so that they can come in the store by themselves.
On the other hand, if you have a home-based business, you may want to skip the address and phone number. There is no hard rule for this one, but the key takeaway is to make it easy for people to get in touch.
7. NOT HAVING A MOBILE-FRIENDLY CONTACT FORM
“Ease of use may be invisible, but its absence sure isn’t.”
This one is the last mistake you’d want to make in this era.
Nowadays, you’ll have more people using their mobile devices to access the internet than ever before. If they go to your contact page and the experience is a pain, they may postpone contacting you until they get on a computer.
But guess what? People forget fast!
Simply put, if they were not able to contact you when they wanted to, they are probably never going to contact you again.
So, it’s in your best advantage to make your contact page mobile-friendly and responsive.
Now you’re almost an expert at creating a contact page that converts! As a recap, here’s what you should do:
- Make your contact form easy to fill
- Be consistent with your contact form branding
- Make it easy to find
- Use multiple contact forms depending on what your visitor needs
- Provide helpful error messages
- Provide alternative methods to contact you
- Make the contact form mobile-friendly
Implement these subtle but powerful changes, and you will see a drastic change in the number of leads you can acquire.
May 15, 2018