Contact page mistakes: Five annoying errors to avoid
If you have a website for a business, it’s essential to maintain a good contact page so that (potential) customers can contact you or find your store. Not only is it detrimental to UX if your visitors struggle to contact you, but you could also lose out on sales. So it’s not good for you either! Here, we’ll mention five contact page mistakes you should avoid.
In our other post about great contact pages, we mention that the right content on this page can improve both user experience and SEO. In an earlier comment to that post, someone asked: “What do you think are the 5 most common mistakes on a website contact page?” A good question! We gave it some thought and ended up with this list of common mistakes that you want to avoid. Let’s dive straight in with number one.
1. Not having a contact page at all
If only we got a penny for every website we came across that lacks a (clear) contact page… It’s been said before, but there’s no harm in repeating it again: every website should have a contact page. Most websites are set up to interact with the visitor, get them to buy products or provide information. But visitors could always have extra questions or interesting business opportunities for you. Make sure it’s clear how they can get in touch, or visit you if your business has a physical location by adding a store locator for example (this is especially important for Local SEO).
2. Just a form
If your contact page consists of a form and nothing but a form, you are probably not meeting all of your visitors’ needs. Naturally, there will always be people that don’t understand the form. So it’s a good idea to provide a fallback option, like an email address or a phone number.
Here are some reasons why people might dislike your form, or not understand it:
- Your form is too long. People get lost or simply won’t take the time to fill out all the things you want to know. Keep forms short and clear.
- Your form isn’t responsive. This ruins the mobile experience on your contact page. Labels might get lost, as a mobile browser will focus on the form fields.
- Your form can get broken. Perhaps you missed an update of your favorite contact plugin, just to name one reason.
3. Unclear, fancy names for your contact page
Don’t you just hate it when you have to do an internal search on a website just to find their contact page? Not making your page easily findable is arguably one of the worst contact page mistakes. There are two really simple ways to make your contact page easy to find:
- Add the menu item “Contact” to your main and/or footer menu.
- Add your contact page at example.com/contact/.
For the most user-friendly results, you want the link to your contact page to be above the fold (the main menu is a popular choice). But that being said, a footer link is common as well, either as the main contact page link or as an extra route to access it.
Just like the page name (or slug) in the URL, we would suggest giving the page a title like “Contact” or a variation of that. Alternatives like “Contact us” or “Get in touch” are self-explanatory enough. “Let’s talk business” and other catchy paraphrases can backfire and confuse people, even in Google already. Make it clear that this is the page where people can get in contact with you using simple language anyone can understand.
4. Outdated information
Like all your other pages, your contact page needs some tender love and care from time to time. Moving offices? Adjust your website. New sales reps? Change their profile pictures and email addresses. Make sure your information is accurate at all times — keeping everything up to date is essential for local SEO.
Don’t take this one too lightly. Unfortunately, outdated information is one of those contact page mistakes that many of us sometimes ignore, saying, “I’ll get to that one of these days”. “It’s on my to-do list”. Don’t let this one slip to the bottom of your to-do list — we recommend updating your content info when it changes. And if your address changes, make sure you let Google know in the process.
5. No option to contact you privately
Only the option to “Reach out to me on the WordPress Slack”, “Talk to me on Twitter”, or even “Drop a comment below” isn’t enough. And yes, contact pages that use a comment form as a contact form do exist! People visiting your contact page probably just want to talk to you (not the rest of your audience), so it can help to be considerate about the contact options you offer.
Is it wise to display links to social profiles on a contact page? That depends if you want people to contact you on, for instance, Twitter and whether you monitor these social profiles for questions. If you mention Instagram on your contact page and don’t check Instagram at least every other day, it’s probably not the best contact option for your website. In that case, that link shouldn’t be on your contact page.
Best case scenario: offer two options to contact you privately (a contact form plus an email address or phone number would be a nice start). That way if one fails, your visitors can use the other.
Will spammers find your email address if you add it to your contact page?
We received a lot of questions about leaving your email address on your website and becoming the target of spam. Here’s our answer to those questions: yes, unfortunately leaving your contact information, such as an email address can mean spammers will find you. So, you’ll need a good spam filter!
There are also several things you can do to combat spam. As a basic solution, you could write your email address like name[at]something[dot]com, or you could also use code to obfuscate your email address for bots. There are plugins to help with that as well. It may take some time to figure out what works, and, of course, it’s up to you to decide whether you think it’s worth it.
More contact page mistakes
While the five mistakes in the list take the cake, these deserve a (not so) honorable mention:
- No clear confirmation that a form is sent. So I’ll send it again. Just in case.
- Crappy captchas. “Is that a ‘7’, ‘T’ or ‘I’? The horror!” Need we say more?
- Contact pages that are flooded with distractions. People just want to contact you!
- Forms that demand too much personal information. I’m not ready to share my age, home address and shoe size yet, and why would someone need that info anyway?
Local SEO: enhance your contact page
In this post, we’ve discussed what you can do to avoid some annoying contact page mistakes. If you want to enhance your contact page even further, our Local SEO plugin can help you with that. In just a few clicks and with no technical knowledge needed, your contact page will look great. Automatically showing your up-to-date opening hours and adding an awesome embedded Google Map. Ensuring that your online visitors actually make it to your place!
Get the Local SEO plugin for your website
Optimize address details on your site and in the search results with our Local SEO plugin!
Now over to you
Feel free to spill your guts in the comments. Let us know which contact page mistake annoys you the most! Or maybe you can add a mistake to the list?
Read more: What makes a great contact page? With lots of examples! »
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2 Responses to Contact page mistakes: Five annoying errors to avoid
Thank you for writing such an interesting article on such a niche aspect of website construction, as the contact page. Contact pages have always been an integral part of a site, even back in the early days of the web.
Thanks again for a great article
Hi Mark, thanks for the positive feedback! It’s true, contact information always been an important part of websites. Check out our article about What makes a good website for more essential tips.