In this video series about creating a user-friendly website, I’ve already talked about the roles of mobile responsiveness and readability, and I would encourage you to go back and watch those videos if you haven’t already done so.

And then in this video, let’s look at a third component of creating a user-friendly website, and that is related to your contact information.

If you want to convert your visitors into actual inquiries, do not hide your contact info or make visitors work to find it.

It’s a bit mind-blowing the number of websites I still see where it is not immediately obvious how to take the next step to reach out to the business owner.

Where do you serve?

If you are serving a specific geographical area, ensure it’s clear where you work!

I’m constantly surprised at how many small business owners assume their website visitors know where the business is located.

If you are a florist that specifically services wedding couples in Seattle, then that needs to be abundantly clear to your website visitors.

You do want inquiries from potential clients.

You don’t want inquiries from couples who aren’t potential clients because they’re out of your service area.

I think sometimes business owners are just so close to their businesses that it escapes them that this key piece of information is missing.

They don’t even think to highlight their location because they know who they serve and they simply assume that once someone lands on their website, that they have already been looking for somebody who does what they do in that area.

But I should not need to Google your phone number’s area code in order to know where you’re located.

If you do serve other areas, make that clear as well.

For example, if you are a wedding planner based in Dallas but you also regularly travel to photograph your clients somewhere else, that has to be obvious.

Provide multiple ways to contact you

Don’t only provide a form on your contact page.

Not everyone likes to use a contact form.

I’m one of those people who would always prefer to reach out to a potential service provider directly via email. At a minimum, I’d strongly encourage you to ensure you provide an email address as well as a contact form.

Additionally, if you’re a service provider or a retailer or what have you, you should list your phone number as well.

At the end of the day, you should provide a variety of methods for potential customers to connect with you.

If you’re working from your home office, I know that you may not want to list a physical address, but ensure that you list as much information with as many different ways to reach you as you are comfortable.

Not everybody reaching out to you is a potential client.

Some of the people who are reaching out to you might be the media. It could be a colleague that wants to contact you for some sort of collaboration and asking them for details that are specific to clients only can create friction.

You don’t just want a client-friendly website. You also want a press-friendly website and a potential collaborator-friendly website.

Use a professional email address

If you are a business and you have a domain name, do not list a Gmail or a Hotmail account as your business email address.

Using a non-professional email (that is, an email that does not share your website’s domain name), creates a negative impression of your business’s credibility.

Some folks don’t feel it’s a big deal, but I have not met a business owner yet who would feel completely confident hiring a professional service provider from a Hotmail address listed on their website.

You want to give every signal you can to your potential clients that you are an established professional who takes your business seriously.

Having a professional email address that looks like you mean business helps to say that to your website visitors.

Contact Forms

You don’t want to be asking two million questions because you’re trying to collect as much information up front as possible.

If you just want to get a potential client on the phone to have a consultation, ask them the minimum required information to encourage them to take that next step.

The more difficult you make it for your website visitors to connect with you, the more friction you create in regards to them potentially doing business with you, and the more likely you’re going to have drop off on your website conversions.

I would strongly recommend that you carefully review the questions you’re asking on your inquiry page, and on your forms.

How many of those questions are actually necessary to know before you’ve even gotten on a call with them?

You definitely need a name and you need an email address.

You can also ask for a phone number because perhaps that’s their preferred way of contacting them. You can provide fields for both of those options and then add a checkbox to inquire which is their preferred method of communication.

Perhaps your contact form asks one more question in order to help vet them. Be specific about what information you want to obtain.

You don’t want to waste your time and you don’t want to waste their time.

Then, once a potential client actually reaches out to you, once you’ve established that yes, they may be a good fit to work together, at that point you can direct them to an additional questionnaire or set up a meeting where you request all of those additional details.

If you start asking them for gobs of information, which they may not know the answers to yet, you’re unnecessarily creating friction and reducing the chances of them reaching out to you in the first place.

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