Every business needs a website to have a distinct online presence and every website needs to have a ‘Contact Us’ page. It may seem simple on the surface, but designing a ‘Contact Us’ page is not a walk in the park; a simple screw-up can throw users off. Here are some to tips to help you design an excellent ‘Contact US’ page for your website:
Same theme as the rest of the website
Many web designers try to get fancy with the Contact Us page in an attempt to make it stand out. However, all it does is annoy users who have to check the web address bar to ensure that they are at the right website. Keep the page simple and ensure that it follow the same theme as the rest of the website.
Employ multiple contact channels
You may prefer potential customers calling you on the phone, but not everyone likes to have a conversation on the phone. Some customers would rather prefer to send you an e-mail. If such a customer reaches the contact page and finds that the e-mail option is unavailable, they may very well not contact you and move onto another website. Losing customers is never a good idea, especially for something as trivial as not providing multiple means of communication. Allow your customers to contact you via email, phone and even provide a mailing address.
Incorporate a map
Quite often customers end up on the Contact Us page to look for the address to a particular business or office. Normally, your contact page should contain all the relevant addresses. However, you can go one step further and incorporate a map that provides directions to the various locations. No matter what CMS you are using, you should be able to find plugins that allow you to incorporate a map onto the page. Using Google Maps is a very popular option for Contact Us pages and usually appeals to most users.
Include a Contact Form
Research has shown that users consider the contact form to be the best way of getting in touch with a business. For users who want to contact you electronically, it is much easier to fill in and submit a contact form than to write an email. Besides, it lets you collect all the relevant information that you require. For example, if you run a carpeting business, you can ask users to enter the square footage of the room in the contact form so that you can provide them with an accurate estimate.
Use CAPTCHA to shake off spammers
Having a contact page on the website exposes you and your business to spammers. There are a number of tricks that can be used to prevent spamming, but the use of a CAPTCHA response is perhaps the best and most popular method. Bots and spamming software cannot discern the CAPTCHA responses designed for human eyes and are thus, unable to spam you. A simple trick is to use a contact form instead of providing an e-mail address. The ‘contact form – CAPTCHA response’ combo is perhaps the best way to keep spammers at bay.
Simply having a ‘Contact Us’ page is not good enough; it should be good or else don’t expect users to actually contact you. Follow the simple steps mentioned and you should be able to create a stunning contact page that seamlessly combines aesthetics and functionality.
UPDATE 25/02/2015 – Although some of you dislike (re)CATPCHA, I’d like to let you know about the latest update from Google for reCAPTCHA.
Using an advanced risk analysis engine, the new reCAPTCHA effectively separates out humans from bots and is even more secure. No CAPTCHA means no frustration. People get to where they’re going faster, and everyone stays happy, except bots 🙂