Five annoying contact page mistakes

If your business website’s goal is to get in touch with (potential) customers, you should avoid contact page mistakes. It’s detrimental to UX if your visitors end up struggling to contact you. And believe me, that’s not good for you either! Here, we’ll mention five contact pages mistakes you should definitely try to avoid.

Before we dive in, if you want to learn more about user experience (UX) and other essential SEO skills, you should check out our All-around SEO training! It doesn’t just tell you about SEO: it makes sure you know how to put these skills into actual practice!

In my other 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, someone asked: “What do you think are the 5 most common mistakes on a website contact page?” A good question! I gave it some thought and ended up with this list of common mistakes that I find most annoying :-) Let’s dive straight in with number one.

#1 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 visitors could 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.

#2 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 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? 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.

#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 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.

#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 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.

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 I say more?
  • Contact pages that are flooded with distractions. I 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?

Now over to you

Feel free to spill your guts in the comments. Let me 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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50 Responses to Five annoying contact page mistakes

  1. Melina Reintjens
    Melina Reintjens  • 2 weeks ago

    We noticed 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 put it in an image (as another commenter suggested). 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. Hope that helps! Thanks for all your comments and good luck improving the other aspects of your contact page!

  2. freya riki
    freya riki  • 2 weeks ago

    Really informative!
    Could you please share an article regarding top features to be added in the contact page.

  3. Deepshikha
    Deepshikha  • 3 weeks ago

    My pet peeve – not sending me back an email summary of my message. My message is just gone.. in the deep dark web unless I had manually copied it over to a notepad on my desktop with a reminder.. ugh!!

    • Melina Reintjens
      Melina Reintjens  • 2 weeks ago

      I get what you mean, it’s nice to have a copy of the message to refresh your memory, it can be annoying if there’s no option for that! Great addition, Deepshikha!

      • Glen
        Glen  • 2 weeks ago

        A summary of an email is rather pointless unless you suffer from instant memory loss. I think the better use of a reply email is to notify the user that an email has been received and what the turn around time can be if they are expecting along with a ref number. A simple summary reply email manages no expectations whatsoever and would be a waste of bandwidth.
        If it is a simple contact form then just display a sent / not sent message after the user click’s send.

  4. justin Stewart
    justin Stewart  • 3 weeks ago

    earlier i fixed a contact form it was on Divi builder, I am facing a problem ” i checked the email is working or not i filled a form from Desktop so the data was accurate and in the format, but when i try to submit using mobile devices then its not showing the data in the format any body know why this is?

  5. Cristescu Bogdan
    Cristescu Bogdan  • 3 weeks ago

    About giving the email address on the contact page…
    I have done this for many of my clients by creating a short email address easy to remember and writen on an image, croped exactly at the font size and inserted on the page. This is standing out and they get the positive results and no spam for domains email accounts.

    Nice post! I really think about Contact page and it is really important for the health of the online business whatever this is.

    • Melina Reintjens
      Melina Reintjens  • 2 weeks ago

      Great tip, Cristescu! Thanks for sharing that! And you’re right, having a good contact page is definitely important for an online business’s health.

  6. Kees
    Kees  • 3 weeks ago

    People should never have to look for contact info. My contact page is only for people who directly Google for this info. The rest will find appropriate direct contact info in a small block on every product page. (Form, mail & phone)

    • Melina Reintjens
      Melina Reintjens  • 2 weeks ago

      Sounds like you’ve given it a lot of thought and set things up nicely. Great job, Kees!

  7. Marie
    Marie  • 3 weeks ago

    Hi, what do I need to avoid spamming ? I am always hesitating to enter email address to avoid it, am I right ? Thanks for advice

  8. Susan M B Preston
    Susan M B Preston  • 3 weeks ago

    I discovered I had removed the Contact form from the menu… well, it wasn’t on the new one.
    Rectified. Thank you

    • Melina Reintjens
      Melina Reintjens  • 2 weeks ago

      Hey Susan, good to hear you caught that!

  9. sharon
    sharon  • 3 weeks ago

    A pop up contact us form that doesn’t go away, or pops up every couple of seconds so i cant even see if i want to be on the website or not. Usually by the third time I’m gone.

    • Melina Reintjens
      Melina Reintjens  • 2 weeks ago

      You’re right, Sharon. It’s important that people can easily find contact information, but that’s taking it too far!

  10. Russ Michaels
    Russ Michaels  • 3 weeks ago

    I regularly find contact forms to be broken on sites.
    So make sure you check yours periodically to make sure it is working and that you are receiving the emails.
    It is also a common problem that those emails go astray, so be sure to use a robust solution that also stores form submissions.
    If you receive a lot of communications from your website, then I would also suggest using acrm or ticket system to ensure all emails get responded to.

    • Melina Reintjens
      Melina Reintjens  • 2 weeks ago

      Great additional tips, Russ, thank you!

  11. Steve Biggs
    Steve Biggs  • 3 weeks ago

    Some web owners might rightly/wrongly only have a form (and not a visible email address) as they think it prevents people from scraping your email address and selling it to spammers?

  12. Lawrence Morrisson
    Lawrence Morrisson  • 3 weeks ago

    Seems the moderator has decided that my previous comment that it is not a good idea to put your email address on a website was not acceptable rather than discussing it. Never mind, I’ll pursue the topic via social media, obviously crediting Yoast as appropriate.

    • Hanneke
      Hanneke  • 3 weeks ago

      Hello Lawrence, that is not the case at all!
      We are always open to other opinions and views, it’s just that we’re not working 24/7… So approving a message could take a little longer sometimes. :)

  13. Linda
    Linda  • 3 weeks ago

    Great reminders … basic and essential as well as easy to implement. The mistake that bugs me most? Not knowing if my message has been sent. Either there is no notification or it’s in a hard to see portion of the page.
    Thanks for another helpful article!
    Linda

    • Melina Reintjens
      Melina Reintjens  • 2 weeks ago

      You’re very welcome Linda :-)And you’re right, not knowing if your message was sent succesfully is really annoying!

  14. Damian Cerini
    Damian Cerini  • 3 weeks ago

    Spam is a big issue from contact pages. We have a form, our postal address and contact phone numbers, but have specifically removed our email address as it was generated too much (bot) spam.

    Is there a way to list an email address that will avoid spam?

  15. Matthew
    Matthew  • 3 weeks ago

    Always annoying that I cannot add an attachment along with the contact form. For example, I need to buy a spare and want to add a picture of the broken part (to display the item number on it). I will keep searching for an email address? No. Just look for another supplier. We use Ninja forms, but this one hasn’t that feature either.

  16. Emma
    Emma  • 3 weeks ago

    What’s the best way to add an email address to the contact page – just by displaying it? All the doco I’d read previously recommended against adding your email address because it opened you up to getting spammed. What’s your view – have things changed?

  17. Teunis van Wijngaarden
    Teunis van Wijngaarden  • 3 weeks ago

    No mistake, but a tip: put your URL in the list of contact details. That way, if a visitor copy/pastes your details to an email, your website is included.

  18. David Levine
    David Levine  • 3 weeks ago

    I’ve always been concerned showing an email address because of the spam it attracts. How can one do that without attracting spam?

  19. Travis Pflanz
    Travis Pflanz  • 3 weeks ago

    Good points. Of course, it is very important to take the contact page on a case-by-case scenario. There are definitely situation, industries and individual businesses where requiring more in-depth information on a contact form is necessary or beneficial. I’m a big believer in developing content and user experience that allows website visitors to disqualify themselves when the product/service is not the right fit for them – so they don’t ever have to make the contact and waste time for either party. Especially if the website visitor cannot (or has not taken the time to) describe the very basics of the marketing or website development project they need completed. “I need a website” without any context about the business or industry at all is not a good lead for a mid-sized, or even a small, agency – for example.

    • Melina Reintjens
      Melina Reintjens  • 2 weeks ago

      Hi Travis! You’re absolutely right, requirements for a great contact page can differ, depending on what you’re trying to achieve with your website. It’s always important to have a clear strategy in mind. Great addition, thank you!

  20. Jon
    Jon  • 3 weeks ago

    Great article. Thanks for taking the time to research and write it. My footer contains address and phone information. I don’t have my email address there because on past websites this lead to insurmountable volumes of spam (yes, contacts forms lead to that also but it is at least surmountable). Do you think an email address is required if phone and an intuitive contact form is available?

    Thanks!

  21. WayneB
    WayneB  • 3 weeks ago

    Not contact us page specifically, but I suppose it will be relevant to state some online job application forms that ask for references (their names, email addresses, phone numbers etc.). Oh my gosh! they are the most annoying things in the entire universe!

  22. Lawrence Morrisson
    Lawrence Morrisson  • 3 weeks ago

    I didn’t think it was a good idea to include an email address on a web page? I was under the impression it could be found by the spam spiders.

    • Melina Reintjens
      Melina Reintjens  • 2 weeks ago

      Hi Lawrence! Apologies for the delay in replying to your initial question! To answer your question: Unfortunately, you are right, leaving your email address on the internet (or any contact information, for that matter) can make you a target for spammers.
      There are 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 put it in an image (as another commenter suggested). Another option is to use code to obfuscate your email address for bots, and there are plugins to help with that as well.
      It may take some time to figure out what works. Of course, it’s up to you to decide whether you think it’s worth it. Hope that helps!

  23. David Cammack
    David Cammack  • 3 weeks ago

    Thanks for the article. All websites doing business in the UK need by law to have an email address displayed somewhere on the website, the contact page being the most obvious (and helpful) place to put it. This is one of the greatest failings of UK websites.

  24. Rick Lomas
    Rick Lomas  • 3 weeks ago

    I’m always reluctant to put an email address on a site for fear of it getting spammed to death. What are your thoughts about that?

  25. Monique
    Monique  • 3 weeks ago

    a nice contact form is one thing, but getting a reply after 2 or 3 days is killing. So its not only the quality of the contact page. Great article btw…

    • Melina Reintjens
      Melina Reintjens  • 2 weeks ago

      You’re right Monique! A good contact page is the first step, but it won’t matter if the follow-up isn’t handled well.

  26. Rafiki Technology
    Rafiki Technology  • 3 weeks ago

    What do you suggest people do about their email addresses being easy to scrap off the page by spammers and simple bots? Do you encourage the scripting of the email address into a shape or another to make it a little harder for spammers?

  27. PJ Wassermann
    PJ Wassermann  • 3 weeks ago

    How do I add my email address to my website without offering it to spammers?

    • Melina Reintjens
      Melina Reintjens  • 2 weeks ago

      Hi! Good question, unfortunately that is something to take into account.
      There are 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 put it in an image (as another commenter suggested). You can also use code to obfuscate your email address for bots, and 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. Hope that helps!

  28. Paul
    Paul  • 3 weeks ago

    Also contact forms mostly do not allow the sending of attachments when a customer wants to do just that !

  29. Georgia
    Georgia  • 3 weeks ago

    Good clear info. I was happy that I hadn’t committed any of the 5 errors you listed. Just seems like common sense.
    All I ask for is a first & last name as far as info is concerned. If communication progresses I’ll eventually get other info I need.
    My only concern is that I use a double-opt-in process for sign ups that confused some people. On the other hand it reduces spam and I only get people that want to be on my mailing lists.

  30. Cindy Tittle
    Cindy Tittle  • 3 weeks ago

    What I really dislike is when there is no contact page but just a list of FAQ. Sometimes FAQ doesn’t answer my question completely!
    Or there is only a phone number that is only answered between certain hours. I want ask my question now while it is on my mind!

    • Melina Reintjens
      Melina Reintjens  • 2 weeks ago

      Hi Cindy! Oh, yes, very annoying when your question isn’t in the FAQ and there’s no way to get in touch. Or when there’s just a phone number, no other way to submit a question. Thanks for those additions!

  31. Jetse
    Jetse  • 3 weeks ago

    Having an email address on that page is a disaster considering all the bots that crawl that with bad intentions (spam).

    If you have an entire back office working trough the contact page you should prioritize the contact options. Beginning with the cheapest option first (example : social) and the most expensive option last (phonecall/videocall).

    • Melina Reintjens
      Melina Reintjens  • 2 weeks ago

      Hi Jetse! Unfortunately, you’re right, leaving your email address on the internet (or any contact information, for that matter) makes you a target for spam.
      There are 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 put it in an image (as another commenter suggested). You can also use code to obfuscate your email address for bots, and 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. Hope that helps!

  32. dajov4
    dajov4  • 3 weeks ago

    Thanks for the article, I will take the advices for adding some things to my contact page, because it has one or two of this mistakes. (I only had a form and no way to direct contact me)

    • Jim Clore
      Jim Clore  • 3 weeks ago

      I like to try to gather all the contact information from my form… Name, email address, phone, and message field. But, I usually make the “phone” and “email” optional. Some people prefer not to give one or the other for whatever reason. I don’t want them to decide not to complete my form because of a mandatory field restriction that chases them away.

    • Hanneke
      Hanneke  • 3 weeks ago

      That’s great to hear, good luck!

      • Carol
        Carol  • 3 weeks ago

        Some good ideas there. The “No clear confirmation that a form is sent.” is a big one I see too much.

        But I am definitely not a fan of leaving an email address on a contact page (phone number is fine). The reasons are:

        1). hard to track conversions unless you track clicks on email links which don’t necessarily result in a conversion
        2). Bots scrape the web and next thing your email address is sitting duck for spam emails (as if we don’t have enough)
        3). SEO companies from certain countries contacting you to sell their SEO & web dev services (happens bad enough from contact forms but easier to filter them out of our CRM).