What information should I provide in the "contact us" section of my website?

Answer

Providing your website visitors with your contact information is a mandatory part of doing business online. However, the methods in which you provide that information along with the depth of details include pros and cons that need to be measured.

Email Address

You need to provide one-click access to a method of communication and requests. It also provides your site visitors with a sense of trust and legitimacy. However, you may be aware that many sites will direct their users to a contact form rather than post their email address publicly.

The reason is simple. Unwanted emails, spammers, scammers, and aggressive marketers often result when direct emails are shared. Bots crawl sites and create databases of email addresses to use for a number of unwanted things like getting into your personal information or generating unsolicited emails. 

Your email address can easily allow hackers access to places you don’t want them to go. 

Phone Number

Another clear message is to include a phone number as a contact option, with the same pros and cons that email presents. Again it offers a sense of trust and legitimacy and it boosts you in Google Local listings. You may also receive calls from telemarketers or other contacts that aren’t looking for your products or services. 

The Options

As a rule of thumb, I recommend the use of a contact form rather than posting your email address publicly. For many businesses, this method works fine. However, I understand there are businesses that do require that simple, one-click access to contacting sales, customer service, etc. In those cases, I recommend using dedicated email addresses and not linking them to sensitive company accounts or info. For example an info@ or sales@ address. 

Phone numbers are a little tricky. Larger businesses may have an 800 number or primary business line, which is all well and good. However, I would advise that you avoid providing any mobile phone or personal numbers online. 

Your email address can easily become part of a set of keys that can allow hackers access to places you don’t want them to go, and your telephone number could be part of a set of keys for many other things. Consider their function and their values before publicly blasting them into cyberspace. 

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