Contact? Contact!

In an earlier post (Got Website?), I mentioned that I would be covering some of the things that you should have on your website. In Who Needs A Website?, I covered why I think just about everyone needs one and why. As we go forward, I want to touch on what should be on that website.

In this post, let’s talk about the first thing that should be on it. Contact information.

There should be a clear way to get in touch with you. A page called Contact or Contact Us or Contact Me is an obvious choice. (I like obvious in when it comes to websites. Hiding information is the opposite of what the web is about. Unless you are in the witness protection program. In which case, what are you doing with a website in the first place?)

You should list your email address at the very least. If you have a business, a physical address should be there. (Obviously if you have a home office, you might or might not want to list that… depending on whether you normally have customers come to your home. For instance, I know of barber shops and beauty salons that are operated out of individual’s homes.)

If you have business line, you should list it. If you are operating your business out of your home, you will want to list your phone number. If the site is for your career or other (non-business) purpose, you might not want to list your phone number. That is a personal choice.

By the way, while it may feel like you are exposing yourself to millions of people if you do put your address, phone number, or email address on your site, the reality is that only a few people and the search engine ‘bots are going to see your site. And, maybe, a few spammers. I know that is disappointing and disillusioning. I had the same feeling and hope/expectation years ago when I put my first website up. But there are hundreds of millions of websites up now. That’s why people fight to get search engine listings on the first page.

To take care of the spammers, there are scripts and tools that will make your email address a graphic so that their harvesting engines can’t get your email address. Use those and don’t worry about the rest… especially if you are a business.

In fact, there are scripts that will create and send you an email from your webpage so that the person on your site never actually sees the email address… or has to have an email client at all. Use these if you would like… but recognize that they are a secondary substitute for contacting you directly with your email address.

By all means, also list your Skype number/id, your chat id’s (if you want people to be able to reach via IM), and your LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter IDs. In other words, list all the ways people can contact you (that you are willing to be contacted by.)

You see, this doesn’t have to be fancy nor extensive. But it is one of the most important things to have on your site. And one of the first to put on it. After all, if a customer (or potential employer, or whatever your site is trying to attract) can’t reach you, what’s the point of having a site?

Your turn. Did I leave out any important information? Contact us (via the comments box) and tell us.

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