Make it easy to find your company
To prepare for a recent trade show with 1500 exhibitors, I Googled hundreds of technology companies to see where they are located. I had to do a lot of digging to find basic information. This exercise inspired me to address (no pun intended) the subject of contact information.
What does contact mean to you?
In the fishing expedition described above, I discovered that contact means different things to different people. As a matter of fact, it’s all over the map! To find out where a company is located, I had to visit each website and often make several clicks to find a company’s address.
Even if your company is worldwide and your location isn’t important to prospects, a supplier or prospective employee could be searching for directions, or just a phone number. Why not make it easy for them?
There are two major reasons to display your address prominently on your website. The first is to make it easy for people to find you, but even more important is search engine optimization.
Here are some things you can do to improve both:
Google Places for Business
Google places for business is an excellent tool for businesses of all sizes, and best of all it’s free! Whether or not you are interested in local business, a listing in Google Places has many advantages.
When people search for your business, it will pull up a Google map, phone number and other information about your company. If someone just wants your phone number or address, they don’t have to click on your website. Very useful for people searching for your business with mobile devices.
In addition to displaying your company’s contact information, Google will pull up your business for searches in areas of close proximity.
To set up a Google Business listing for your company, go to Google My Places and fill out the requested information. You will have the opportunity to post photos and other pertinent information. Be sure to select as many categories as you can for Google.
A meta description is a short paragraph to let searchers know whether the associated page contains the information they’re looking for. If you don’t include a meta description, Google will pull up random copy from your webpage. Since Google only shows the first 150-160 characters, this is probably not a succinct message that describes your website.
The purpose of the meta description is to entice searchers to click or call. This is your opportunity to create a free ad for your company and control what Google shows searchers. A compelling meta description with relevent keywords can significantly improve your click-through rate.
Create meta descriptions using this format:
<meta name=”description” content=”Here is a description of the applicable page”>
Be sure to include the phone number and keywords. Google will bold the keywords that people search for in your description.
Surprisingly, most of the companies I searched for had no Google Places and/or meta descriptions. These are basic things that don’t cost anything to implement.
In addition to Google places and meta descriptions, make sure your contact information is properly displayed on your website.
Website Contact Information
Since contact means something different to everyone, you’ll have to cover all the bases to meet your visitors’ expectations.
Let’s start with the contact page. The contact page should contain every possible way to contact the company:
- Email or form
- Mailing address
All these things should be easily accessed from your contact page. Although this seems basic, many companies just show what they want the customer to see. Some companies put directions under company, which is OK, but shouldn’t replace the contact page. Visitors expect directions to be under contact.
Other Contact Elements
- Footer – Be sure to include your contact information in the footer. (Another boost for search engines.)
- Top menus – Put key contact info in the upper right corner of your site for easy access.
- Contact section – Create a contact section on every page in the same place.