For most organizations, there are two ideal outcomes that their website can provide. One is that the visitor purchases or donates through the website, the other is that the visitor contacts the organization. In this post, we’ll look at the latter and examine the different placements and contact info methods you might want to employ on your website.
There are three standard locations for contact info. The header, the footer, and the contact page.
Having contact info in headers is less common than the other two locations but has one distinct advantage, which is prominence. If you want to make your contact info impossible to miss, putting it in the header is a sure-fire way to do that. Typically only an email address or phone number is placed in the header since space is limited. That issue of space is really the largest drawback to using the header as a spot for contact info.
Using the footer to hold contact info is more common than the header but less common than a dedicated contact page. Footers do allow for more content before they start to feel cluttered so it’s common to see an email address, phone number, and mailing address all in the footer. The main advantage of the footer and the header over a contact page is that they’re present on every page.
Finally, we come to the dedicated contact page. It’s rare that you’ll come across a website that doesn’t have a contact page and with good reason. Contact pages provide more space and more options than headers or footers do. If you want to include a contact form on your website you’ll more than likely need a contact page. Contact pages are also advantageous over using the site header and footer in regards to SEO. If a potential visitor searches “contact [organization name]” they’re much more likely to find exactly what they’re looking for if your site has a dedicated contact page.
Thinking through which contact methods you want to provide is another decision that’s worth taking some time to evaluate. The most common methods are phone number, email address, mailing address, contact form, and chat widget.
The two most important factors to consider when deciding which to make available are your organization’s ability to support each method and the amount of benefit each method will provide to your site’s visitors. For example, if your organization doesn’t have staff with the schedule flexibility to be available to answer or return phone calls at the same rate as they come in, perhaps you’d be better off not listing your phone number and only listing an email instead since receiving an email is less disruptive than a ringing phone. Or perhaps most of your contact inquiries require some sort of ID number to access the records for a customer and you constantly receive emails and voicemails that leave out this important info. A solution could be to only allow inquiries through a form with a required “ID number” field so that this info is always provided which eliminates the back-and-forth that would have been required otherwise.
What really matters in all of this is that visitors to your site feel like you’re accessible to them and that you’re able to support them in a sustainable way through the contact methods you offer. If you’d like help thinking through the where and how of contact methods on your site we’re ready to learn about your needs and come up with a solution that will suit your specific situation.
About the author:
Jonathan is a Web Developer at Torx. A perfect mix of art and logic, website development is endlessly interesting to him. When he's not busy coding beautiful sites for Torx's clients, he spends his time chasing his son around and watching or reading about sports.