The web has developed into a great sales channel for many businesses, but that’s not to say that more traditional forms of communication, such as the phone, are no longer relevant.
Here are four good reasons to display a phone number on your site, even if you don’t want to take calls:
- You look more professional. You can get a regional number or a national number (such as a toll-free number) depending on where you do business. You can even get international phone numbers if you need them.
- You look more credible. Regular businesses have a phone number, so if you don’t, you can risk losing some trust. Prospects like to know they could call you, even if they will never actually pick up the phone to do so.
- Google likes them. Some SEO experts believe that having full contact details on your site, including a phone number, is another indicator to tell them your site is genuine. True, it may not be a major factor, but it all helps.
- You can track who is calling you after visiting your website. If you use a different phone number on your website to your regular phone number, you can see how many calls you get as a result of people visiting your site. You can use this information to help judge whether your online advertising budget is being put to good use. With a virtual phone number it’s easy to set up a second number and divert all calls to your regular number.
Where Should You Put Your Number?
The short answer is that you should display it prominently wherever there’s a call to action and you think people will be ready to contact you.
Don’t make your number difficult to find – you don’t want to give your prospects any reason not to get in touch. The standard places are in the top right of your site, in your site footer and on your ‘Contact Us’ page. You should also add it in to relevant places in your sales copy and articles too.
But What If You Don’t Want To Take Calls?
That’s fine and completely understandable – one of the attractions of running a purely online based business is that you can automate large parts of it and handle any support issues by email. However, by using a hosted phone number, you can still get some of the advantages of displaying a phone number without the headache of having to answer calls.
You can display your virtual (hosted) phone number on your contact page and in your footer and then have all calls diverted to either a recorded message (directing people to submit a ticket online, for example) or a voicemail service, with all messages being emailed to you as a .wav file attachment. There is no requirement to answer any calls live unless you want to. You can switch round how you handle calls at any time.
A virtual number is also completely private, so even if you do sometimes decide to divert calls to your landline or mobile, your callers will never get to see your direct numbers – only the virtual number you share with them. Should you ever start getting nuisance calls you can also block individual numbers or send them to a recorded message instead.
As you can see, there are many advantages to having a phone number on your site, whilst avoiding the few downsides.
About the author:
Matthew Guise is an online marketing expert for Callagenix Ltd, a business telephony services provider based in the UK.
Phone: +44 (0)333 247 0000