Here’s a quick website optimization tip for you: make your phone number more visible to users.
A good number of businesses have the ultimate goal of getting people to contact them. Yet, on many business websites it is difficult — sometimes impossible — to find a phone number. There are many reasons why it is important to give users easy access to your phone number, even if calling you isn’t the #1 action you want them to take.
Visibility Is Important
Quick! Go to your website and find your business’s phone number in fewer than 5 seconds.
If you found it easily, there’s a good chance that your online customers can find it, too. If you had to dig around on multiple pages, or scan tiny text in the footer to find your phone number, you are making life too difficult for many of your users.
We conduct a lot of website audits here at Sixth Man Marketing. A surprisingly large number of the websites we analyze don’t have highly-visible phone numbers. We always suggest that this be remedied.
Putting a prominent phone number in the header of your site is a quick and easy site-wide fix. It will increase your chances of getting leads from potential customers. It also helps build trust, which can lead to more online conversions.
Here are two excellent examples of websites with prominent phone numbers in the right-hand corner of the page:
Increase Conversions for Online Actions
There have been numerous tests conducted on websites which show that trust is an important part of the decision-making process. Those tests have shown that highly-visible phone numbers increase conversions. In fact, the increase in conversions (online sales, form submissions, etc.) is almost always larger than the increase in phone calls. For users, the fact that a phone number is readily available is reassuring in their decision to take an online action.
Are you concerned that showing a phone number will drive calls that you can’t, or don’t, want to handle? Making a phone number easy to find does not necessarily cause users to switch from an online action to a phone call. It does, however, make things easier for users who already have the desire to call and talk to a live person. Shutting down phone options for users is rarely a good idea, as it limits your ability to serve customers in a way that best meets their needs.
A 2012 Google-Nielson study found that when people are searching on mobile devices, we’re on a quick path to action (phone call, purchase, etc.). In fact, there is a growing contingent of marketers that refer to mobile optimization as utility marketing. Check out this great supremely awesome article from our favorite analytics crush, Avinash Kaushik, to learn more.
- 73 percent of mobile searches trigger follow-up actions
- 63 percent of mobile search-triggered actions occur within 1 hour of the initial search
- 45 percent of mobile searches “are conducted to help make a decision” (in a store, that number goes up to 66 percent)
- 28 percent of mobile searches result in conversions
To make it easier for mobile users to call you, be sure that your phone number is prominent and clickable on mobile devices. This is coded in the following way:
<a href=”tel:15091234567” class=”phone-link”>(509) 123-4567</a>
Notice that the number in the actual link starts with a 1, which is the international U.S. country code.
Tips & Best Practices
Here are some guidelines for including your phone number on your website. As with all changes you make to your website, it is wise to conduct A/B Testing to definitively see how the changes are working for your audience.
- Make your phone number easy to find on every page of your site. The top right corner of your site header is where users will expect to find it.
- Code your phone number as text rather than a graphic. This will make it accessible to search engines and visually disabled users.
- If you have multiple phone numbers, choose one main number to include in the site header. You can post a list of your many department/location phone numbers on the contact page relevant to their need.
- If your business uses call tracking, be sure to follow these best guidelines to ensure local search data integrity as well as this guide from Mary Bowling.
After that, consult your web team to make sure your phone number is big enough: we did!