Boost Your Fan Base With Web Usability That’s Free ‘n Easy

As entrepreneurs we just can’t help ourselves. We have pretty big egos, and it’s often glaringly obvious on our websites.

The copy makes us look like the navel gazers we often are (life is but a dream), and the usability if often, well, non-existent (does anyone put their rates on their Rates page anymore?).

What’s incredible to me though is how much marketing capital is lost by websites that don’t invite easy contact.

And I’m not talking about anything in-depth or expensive to implement either.

I’m talking about basic stuff like changing navigation text or deleting all the extraneous garbage on your Contact page (assuming you have one of course).

Take for example comments made to me yesterday by a journalist during a telephone interview.

We got on a tangent about website usability and its role in a successful online marketing strategy.

My interviewer said that she spends much, much more time online than most people, and as such she deems herself a sophisticated user.

She also has little patience for websites that are a pain to use, but especially those that hide their contact information.

“All I want is that Contact button,” she said. “And if I can’t find the contact information in about 30 seconds, I’m gone.”

Imagine all the entrepreneurs out there who didn’t get an interview–and some invaluable publicity–because a journalist couldn’t find something as basic as their phone number or contact form on their website?

Forget the snappy headlines or jazzy flash pages. All you need are a few words on a page and a snippet of script you can probably get for free.

contact us page

Sad, really. And so simple (and CHEAP) to fix:

  1. Make sure your website has a simple Contact page.
  2. List all contact information including your name, phone number, fax number and mailing address.
  3. Avoid the spam bots and add a secure Contact form people can use to “email” you with.
  4. Keep the form simple, asking only for what’s necessary.
  5. Keep the Contact page itself minimal, focusing on only on the goal of generating a successful inquiry. By the time someone clicks on your Contact page they’ve already decided they want to contact you. Remove any element or wording that might distract from this end.
  6. Put a link to your Contact page in your primary navigation and for goodness sake name it “Contact.”

Doing the above is so easy and inexpensive. Free if you can do your own web editing. Yet NOT doing the above could cost you sales, inquiries and valuable publicity opportunities.

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