‘Should you include your phone number on your website?’ was discussed recently on the Flying Solo forums. While the answer is clear for big businesses (spoiler alert – yes!), home-based soloists are not always so sure. Let’s explore the pros, cons and tips.
While most commenters in the forum thread said having a prominent phone number is a good ideas, Johny also observed that more and more websites seem to make it hard for people to find contact information. In terms of where to put the phone number, SME Designs summarised with the advice that ‘above the fold is gold’.
Arguments against including your phone number
Let’s start with reasons why you as a sole business owner may choose not to include your phone number on your website:
- Your business is a purely personal blog such as a parenting blog or personal health journey blog, and you don’t want assorted creeps and trolls being able to phone you and breathe heavily down the phone at you.
- You don’t want people calling you outside working hours or on holidays.
- You don’t want people calling you when you are in the middle of being amazingly and intensely creative (or dealing with grizzling toddlers who won’t go to bed without singing another five rounds of the Paw Patrol theme song).
- You are a raving introvert, and the thought of speaking to people on the phone is enough to make you come out in a rash.
- All of your potential clients have zero boundaries, and rather than save up their questions, they insist on ringing every time a random thought bubble passes through their heads.
- You think it is more efficient to answer written questions submitted using online forms so that you can keep track of the discussion and make sure that all the parts of the questions are thought through and answered correctly.
- You are a millennial and only use your personal Smartphone for messaging apps and never answer it when it rings unless you know who is on the other end of the call and you made arrangements (and changed them three times) to actually speak IRL over the phone.
All of these are vaguely valid reasons not to include your phone number. However, there is this amazing invention called a message bank (or answering machine if you are still using a landline), so unless the reason you don’t want to include your number is for personal safety reasons, then the other issues can be worked around. Just because your phone rings, doesn’t mean you have to answer it then and there.
Why include your phone number on your website?
If you are looking for justification to help you over the ‘let me stay invisible hurdle’, here are two reasons to include your phone number.
- 44% of people will leave your site if they can’t see your contact information/phone number according to a web usability study by Ko Marketing.
- 54% of people indicate that a lack of contact information/phone number reduces a business’s credibility and deters them from buying from you or filling in your contact form according to the same study.
In other words, if you want people to read your website content and then actually buy from you, or to fill in your contact form to send you a message, you need to include your phone number. Otherwise, you are losing lots of potential clients and customers.
Where should you place your phone number on your website?
If you decide to include your phone number, the next question is where should you place it to get the best results? While having it as a massive scrolling banner on the top of every page is probably overkill, you still want to include it in as many places as possible to reinforce trust.
You also want to make all your numbers click to call to make it as easy as possible for people actually to call you.
- Top right of every page
- Contact page
- Calls to action
- Page meta description
- Check out pages
Whether to include your phone number on your website is one of those questions that all solo business owners ask themselves at times. However, not including your phone number on your website means you lose one in two potential clients to your business.
The bigger question is can you afford not to? It’s your call 🙂