Gone are the days when people used to search through giant phone books to contact a company. Today, they search Google.
When performing a search, it can be especially satisfying to find a company’s phone number highlighted in the search results, or a short-cut link to a company’s contact page.
After all, saving time and effort for a customer when they want to contact you can make for a happier exchange. It can also boost business through better customer satisfaction and retainment. When a customer feels like there’s an easy channel for help, they are more likely to continue doing business.
Google realizes the importance of finding that contact info quickly, and recently blogged about the several best practices to help ensure the most accurate information appears for your business or service.
According to Google, keeping your contact info prevalent is all about credibility.
They emphasize it’s important to reassure people they are contacting the proper business, “rather than a third-party claiming to have an authorized relationship that can’t be verified.”
1. List various support channels
There are many ways companies can communicate with customers. Two of the newest additions are via text and social media.
Google recommends listing all the ways that your company offers support, including email, chat, and phone.
Some customers feel more comfortable getting answers via text in their spare time, while others requiring more immediate attention may choose a live phone call.
2. Be sure your contact page is easy to find
This is rudimentary but worth mentioning. A contact or support page is a must for all sites, but just as important is making sure it gets noticed by both visitors and Googlebots. Linking to your contact page in your site’s footer is a great step, as well as making sure it’s highlighted in all navigation menus. It also helps to link your contact page on your sitemap for Googlebot to see.
3. Clarify your authorized support numbers
When working with third parties who offer support, Google recommends listing these numbers on your support page. Apparently, this must be quite an issue, as Google mentions this repeatedly.
They also mention that if you don’t ever work with third parties, to make that known as well. This will help build more credibility and trust among your customers and keep them from going astray down unauthorized support avenues.
4. Phone numbers aren’t just for live help, consider also offering recorded support info
Perhaps you don’t have phone reps ready to take calls. That’s okay. Because you can also keep clients in the loop through recorded info available when they call your number.
This is key if you want Google to display an official number for people searching for your site. It’s also a great way to help prevent third-party companies from inserting a support number in an effort to appear like they are an official support hub.
5. Become fluent with snippets (and nosnippet)
A well-designed contact page increases the odds that your support info will show up within featured snippets.
Featured snippets are excerpts of text that appear atop Google’s Search results to answer a question. Google uses content from your actual pages to build featured snippets. Typical featured snippets include contact info, definitions, lists, and steps.
Designing your contact page to be rich with listable content like phone numbers and contact info is a great way to get the content into a featured snippet.
Google says that while efforts are made to display only the most relevant material in featured snippets, they’re not always perfect and that’s why they encourage companies to keep pages up to date.
You can hide support-related info from a featured snippet using the
data-nosnippet tag, which prevents information from displaying. Simply insert the tag around content you don’t want featured on Google searches.
6. Don’t forget your Business Profile
Local businesses are strongly encouraged to create a free Google Business Profile and keep it up to date with the latest information. Such profiles let customers leave reviews and schedule services directly on your profile. Like Google says, “When you make it easy to do business, your business grows.”
If you have any questions about making your support channels more accessible, feel free to contact the experts here at Hall.