Last week I had the pleasure of judging the Australian Web Awards 2011. It was a wonderful experience affording me the pleasure of digesting a lot of terrific web content. It also highlighted a particular pet peeve of mine – the Contact page. I’m convinced it’s universally misunderstood and it drives me nuts.

Regular readers are accustomed to my complaining about content with an inward focus. . The first rule of content marketing is ‘it’s not about you’. You know what? The reverse is true when it comes to your Contact page. Nothing drives me away from a site faster than a contact page with no actual contact details.

Who wants to fill out a form?
Think about it. If someone is visiting your Contact page, it’s because they want to get in touch with you. You’re moments away from the coveted conversion. A passive viewer is about to make contact with you but they can’t. Why? Because all you’ve given them is a form to fill out. If that viewer is me, you’ll lose your chance to convert me to a prospect. I’m not hanging around waiting for you to get in touch with me. I’m going to go find someone who wants to speak with me at my convenience.

Sorry, we might not like you
Have you ever encountered a successful business with no doors, blinds drawn against the light of day who only allowed people with a secret handshake to enter? Would you be interested in dealing with a company who treated you as if you may offend them before you even opened your mouth? Of course you wouldn’t. Far too many websites are protecting their own best interests with the convenient contact form and doing it at the expense of potential business.

It’s all about you!
A form on your Contact page is about you. Actual contact details like phone numbers, email and physical addresses aid your prospective clients. I’ve heard people say they don’t want to deal with SPAM or junk mail and use a form to deter unwanted contact. Well guess what? If you’re doing that, you’re also deterring people like me – cashed-up customers who want to spend money with you.

What’s your opinion on the Contact page?

Image courtesy of Free Digital Photos.