contact page mistakes

Five annoying
contact page mistakes

Five annoying contact page mistakes

May 30th, 2017 – 44 Comments

If your business website’s goal is to get in touch with (potential) customers, you should avoid a number of contact page mistakes. Here, we’ll mention the mistakes we find most annoying. And we’re not unique in that.

In my previous post about contact pages, I already mentioned that the right content on this page can improve both user experience and SEO. In the comments on that post, Simon asked: “What do you think are the 5 most common mistakes on a website contact page?” What I think are the most common mistakes makes it my personal list, so I decided to dedicate this post to what I find the most annoying :)

Let’s dive straight in with number one. 

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#1 Just a form

If your contact page consists of a form and nothing but a form, you are not serving all of your visitors. Naturally, there will always be people that don’t understand the form. Provide a fallback option, like an email address or a phone number. Here are some reasons why people might dislike / do not understand your form:

  • Your form is too long. People get lost or simply don’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.

#2 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? In my opinion, there are two options:

  1. Add the menu item “Contact” to your main and/or footer menu.
  2. Add your contact page at example.com/contact/.

I won’t look in any other spots. It’s straight to your search or back to Google to find the next company that’s going to answer my question. Preferably, you want that link to your contact page to be above the fold. But I have to say that a footer link is common as well, both as an extra and as the main link.

Just like the link in the URL, I’d like the title of that page to be “Contact” or a variation of that, like “Contact us” or “Get in touch”. Don’t use “Let’s talk business” or whatever strange sentence that won’t cover the immediate goal of the page. It will confuse people, even in Google already. Make it clear that this is the page where they can get in contact with you.

#3 Outdated information

C’mon people. 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 rep? Change profile picture and email address. Make sure your information is accurate at all times.

Don’t take this lightly, I think outdated information is one of those contact page mistakes that we choose to ignore sometimes. “I’ll get to that one of these days”. “It’s on my to do list”. No, update it when it changes. And if your address changes, let Google know in the process.

#4 Make sure people can contact you privately

That means “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 that want to talk to you probably just want to talk to you. Make sure they can.

Is it wise to display links to social profiles on a contact page? I believe that only makes sense if you want people to contact you on, for instance, Twitter and 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 preferred way to contact you. In that case, that link shouldn’t be on your contact page.

Best case scenario: two options to contact you privately (form and email address or phone number would be a nice start), so if one fails, visitors can use the other.

#5 Not having a contact page at all

If only I got a penny for every website I came across that lacks a (clear) contact page… I’ve said it before and I’ll say 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 they can always have extra questions or interesting business opportunities for you. Make sure it’s clear how they can get in touch.

It’s probably the most obvious of all the contact page mistakes listed here, but I just felt the need to mention it.

Are there any more contact page mistakes you can think of?

For sure. And if you’d ask me the same question on another day, I could probably come up with more. The above ones are the ones I find most annoying, but what about:

  • No clear confirmation that a form is sent. So I’ll send it again. Just in case.
  • Crappy captchas. The horror! Need I say more?
  • Contact pages that are flooded with distractions. I just want to contact you!

Now over to you

Feel free to spill your guts in the comments. Let me know what annoys you the most about contact pages!

Read more: ‘What makes a great contact page? With lots of examples!’ »


44 Responses to Five annoying contact page mistakes

  1. Robert G. Johnston
    By Robert G. Johnston on 8 June, 2017

    Hey Michiel,

    WoW what a post… I’t’s bloody Fantastic!!

    Don’t you just hate it when “Big Companies” hide their Contact Details behind six layers of FAQ options…

    And when you do finally FIND the page your looking for they make you Sigh Up to their “Help Desk” before you can

    even submit your query to them

    or

    You eventually “FIND” their phone number so you can talk to a “REAL” person… Only to find out you’ve been

    Tele-Ported to the other side of the world to someone “Who Doesn’t SPEAK Your Language”??? – So to Speak!

    What ever happened to good old fashioned “Customer Service”??

    These guys are the ones I “DON’T do business with.

    Don’t they “Get It”…

    That if they make it this difficult to CONTACT them before you give them you’re Hard Earned Cash… They’re NOT

    going to “Get It”??? – Pun intended.

    Any way this is a bloody great article… So I hope you don’t mind…

    I was recently looking to join my Local SEO MeetUp in Glasgow to help Local Glasgow Businesses with their SEO…

    But there wasn’t one, well not one that had an ORGANIZER.

    MeetUp had created a “Listing” for Glasgow SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Meetup, which, they say, had over 50

    Members interested in the MeetUp.

    So Hell… I decided to become the ORGANIZER.

    I am now the proud “Daddy” of the Glasgow SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Meetup here in the UK.

    And although I was looking to help as many “Local Glasgow Businesses” as possible, it looks like the members who

    have “Joined” are all complete beginners at the start of their SEO journey. – Poor souls!

    So if they are thinking of doing any kind of Website design, because I do have a couple of “Web Developers” right

    out of college… One of the first things I’d like to do is Point them to THIS POST.

    It’s just fantastic, It’s such a small part of a website build, but as you Know… It’s probibly THE MOST

    IMPORTANT PAGE on the site and this article will make that abundantly CLEAR & will set them off on the RIGHT

    footing, right from the get go!

    Well done again Michiel!!

    Maximum respect,

    Robert G. Johnston.
    Glasgow SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Meetup

  2. Jack Samuel
    By Jack Samuel on 5 June, 2017

    no sir
    thankfully I don’t have any of these mistakes on my contact pages.
    But its nice post thanks for sharing it

  3. Jon
    By Jon on 1 June, 2017

    Good piece, thanks. Also just made me think that I should add a Google Maps link and our address to our site – so that’s a help! Cheers :)

  4. Jefferson CRIAVALE
    By Jefferson CRIAVALE on 31 May, 2017

    I loved these tips, it will help me a lot with my clients.

  5. Brian
    By Brian on 31 May, 2017

    Thanks for the great info! I am going to be sure to apply them to my own SEO site and others I create in the future. One thing you touched on in the closing remarks was people accidentally sending multiple forms. I struggled with this in the beginning but now after submitting a form I redirect them to a hidden thank you page so there will be no confusion. If you have time, check out my site http://totallydigitalmedia.com and let me know if I could improve anything. Thanks!

  6. Christoph Daum
    By Christoph Daum on 31 May, 2017

    I haven’t read all comments.

    But I would add 2 things.

    1. A contact page without contact form, its as bad as a page without e-mail address. When you are on a device that has no access to your desired e-mail address. Like contacting a business contact from your private pc, or reaching out with a private issue from your work device.

    2. A contact form that is malformed. I read a lot about the disadvantages of using only placeholder as label, I expected to find something alike here.

  7. Dominic McCanny
    By Dominic McCanny on 31 May, 2017

    A really useful piece of information. Well done for bringing this to everyone’s attention.

    • Michiel
      By Michiel on 31 May, 2017

      Thanks, Dominic!

  8. Pattipie
    By Pattipie on 31 May, 2017

    I always pay attention to this page! I mean this is the most important page of your site! Great tips!

  9. rene dela pena
    By rene dela pena on 31 May, 2017

    It’s annoying when companies have contact pages but contact phone numbers are no longer working. At first website building, we’re trying hard to get that SEO ranking but just a simple updates of contact numbers is being taken for granted.

    • Michiel
      By Michiel on 31 May, 2017

      Agreed. Just a minor edit, but so important!

  10. Tricia
    By Tricia on 31 May, 2017

    Great article!

    Really hate it when the form include required fields that is not relevant to me. For example, US States as drop down list without an “other” option. I’m based in Australia.

  11. David
    By David on 31 May, 2017

    The absence of a location address and/or phone number and/or visible email address for the business certainly reduces credibility, whether or not the site is selling something online. Of course it is understandable that people want to spam-protect their email address, but for most people that horse already bolted long ago. It is also understandable that home-based business owners don’t want to publish their residential street address, but at least a PO Box is more reassuring than no address at all. It’s even less confidence-inspiring when there’s no identifiable person behind the business. Why would anyone buy from or trust an anonymous business owner who provides no contact details?

    • Michiel
      By Michiel on 31 May, 2017

      Yep, being clear about who you are and where you’re located is indispensable to gain trust.

      • Scott Webb
        By Scott Webb on 6 June, 2017

        If you only sell things online, should you add your address and add your address on Google for it too?

  12. John N Mason
    By John N Mason on 30 May, 2017

    The most frequent ‘Contact page’ problem I encounter is business’ that don’t reply when you contact them by email.
    The second is, large corporations that only have ‘chat lines’ or ‘call centres’, no email contact.

  13. Joe Goldstein
    By Joe Goldstein on 30 May, 2017

    If your website is for a local business and you *don’t* have hours listed on your contact page, that’s a problem. I’ve seen a few surveys find that users are much more tolerant of a non-mobile site than they are of a site that doesn’t show your business hours.

    • Michiel
      By Michiel on 31 May, 2017

      Yep. Simple information like that can make such a difference!

  14. UniqueThrows4Less
    By UniqueThrows4Less on 30 May, 2017

    You are so right about the Captcha nightmares- I avoid it at all costs!
    Great input. I think a good rule of thumb when creating a Contact Us page is, what would you like to see if you were visiting the website? That applies to building the website as well- is it tricky to navigate for you? It will be for them as well, and if they visit isn’t seamless, you’re simple an exit click away

    Keep up the great work!

  15. Thierry Gustin
    By Thierry Gustin on 30 May, 2017

    Good Post and advices. Thanks to share

  16. Norbert
    By Norbert on 30 May, 2017

    Some articles on this topic mention contact form conversions of 1-2%. I wonder how much better it would be if it only has a simple contact form with email and phone number?

  17. Joel Mielke
    By Joel Mielke on 30 May, 2017

    All good, solid “best practices” advice. Thank you.

  18. Rod
    By Rod on 30 May, 2017

    I find it most annoying when companies have contact pages but do not include phone numbers. Especially when I have a time sensitive question like when part way through completing a process etc and have a question. An example escapes me currently but I always assume that when I fill out a contact form it’ll be days before getting a response, if at all. So I don’t bother and move on.

    • Michiel
      By Michiel on 31 May, 2017

      Yes, I guess more of us feel that way when the only option is a contact form.

  19. Katelyn Bates
    By Katelyn Bates on 30 May, 2017

    This has been very helpful! Thank you so much!

  20. Olaf Lederer
    By Olaf Lederer on 30 May, 2017

    I see many sites which are selling online services, doesn’t provide any company information. Have they something to hide? I think this is a huge mistake as well. I don’t pay $20 for a product if the company information is missing.

  21. Tom Nguyen
    By Tom Nguyen on 30 May, 2017

    Local brick and mortar businesses need to have a contact page that is visible from the main navigation menu. I give the visitors multiple ways to contact us by providing a phone number, contact form, email address, and physical address.

    Contact form inquiries and phone calls are the top ways that our visitors contact us. On occasion, a visitor will contact us directly via email. Although we don’t accept visits without an appointment, we still provide it for SEO purposes and to give our visitors confidence that we are a real business.

  22. Laura Venturini
    By Laura Venturini on 30 May, 2017

    Is the contact page perhaps not the most important one? :)

  23. Shelley R Zurek
    By Shelley R Zurek on 30 May, 2017

    I love of your articles. I HATE that you don’t make a pinnable image such that I can pin it to my blogging board on pinterest. First, I have 10000+ followers on that board. Second, for me it makes it very easy to reference. You could at least make a simple word image or a hidden pinnable image. Can you explain why you don’t do this if there is a reason?

    • Michiel Heijmans
      By Michiel Heijmans on 31 May, 2017

      We’d like you to pin the article instead of the artwork, actually :) If you use this Chrome extension, you can pin the article including the image – no problem! This will make your life a tad bit easier, I think!

  24. Gary Braniff
    By Gary Braniff on 30 May, 2017

    I also hate it when I fill out a form and then when I hit submit I get an error and have to do it all over again just to get the same error. I then move on to another site.

    Site owners really should check that all the forms on their site are working the way they should.

  25. Paul
    By Paul on 30 May, 2017

    How do you make the contact page work in the traffic light system you have? I’ve tried hard to add some text but there is very little that can be added that can make it green.

  26. Susan Carey
    By Susan Carey on 30 May, 2017

    Thank you! I just checked my own site and I found out my contact form was not functioning. Great advice

  27. MATTHEW WAGNER
    By MATTHEW WAGNER on 30 May, 2017

    I have a “pop-up” contact form, with a tab that appears near the bottom right of the screen on every page. The /contact/ page lists our locations and contact info for each location. Thoughts on this strategy appreciated. Thanks!

    • Nicolas Steenhout
      By Nicolas Steenhout on 31 May, 2017

      The main problem with these “pop-up” features is that they tend not to be accessible, in other words, they don’t work for keyboard-only users, or screen reader users. So I’d strongly recommend you test your pop-up form by navigating to it, filling it, and submitting it using only the keyboard. That’ll give an indication as to whether or not it works.

  28. Ann
    By Ann on 30 May, 2017

    There’s nothing worse than searching for a contact on a website for like forever. it happens soooo often. very annoying.

  29. Liz Reuth
    By Liz Reuth on 30 May, 2017

    Thanks for the tips. The only problem with having a clearly named “Contact” page is that you increase your form spam A LOT. Even with a recaptcha in place, we found that naming the page (and extension) something other than “Contact” cut down on the spam significantly. However, there is nothing wrong with your navigation and links still saying “Contact.”

  30. Roger England
    By Roger England on 30 May, 2017

    Michiel, some good pointers here. One further suggestion is that unless there’s a very good reason why not to, I always recommend that local SME’s show their tel number in the header – often saves visitors searching for a contact page in the first place!
    Paul – Yoast’s contact Page is in the footer

  31. Mike Clegg - travelanddestinations.com

    Really interesting advice. I definitely don’t have the fallback option/email on my website so will be adding that shortly.

    Also I was wondering if the Contact page should be indexed and is ok that it’s a low word count?

  32. Phil Gregory
    By Phil Gregory on 30 May, 2017

    My bug bears are forms that don’t work. You fill out a long form and then get some javascript error. GRRRR

    Web masters should check that the form works regularly. Alternatively you could have a spam folder full of enquiries.

  33. Paul
    By Paul on 30 May, 2017

    I appreciate your educational emails. Interestingly, I don’t see a contact page listed for this website :)

    • Ruff
      By Ruff on 30 May, 2017

      Hi Paul, nice that you’ve pointed that out. Actually there’s a contact page link somewhere in the footer underneath. BUT.. your comment does make it pretty clear that it’s kind of hidden so it might be wise to add an extra one in the main menu. ;-) “Practice what you preach”

    • Mike Clegg - travelanddestinations.com

      I see a link in the footer for this?


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