As simple as it is may seem, basic contact information is often is overlooked on business websites and profile listings. The most important information can be summed up in: NAP.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t refer to the standard meaning of the word “nap.” We’re using some industry jargon; NAP: company’s name, address, and phone number.
We’ve talked to people who complained nobody contacted them through their website, only to see the website had no contact information!
A more common issue is that the NAP information is provided, but not consistently across all online profiles. Not using consistent NAP information can create variations of a business’ online identity, which makes it harder, in some cases impossible, for search engines and other sources to verify your information.
Ensuring that your business is easy to search for is especially crucial in this day and age, with so many businesses in so many databases.
Let’s look over the most important elements of your contact information that must be present anywhere you have an online profile.
While clearly, your business name is important, it is also important to use it consistently.
If you go by William Shakespeare, don’t have half your promotion read “Bill Shakespeare.” If you run AwesomeCo, don’t have a sign that says “Awesome Company, Inc.” This will likely confuse people and work against you.
While crucial to most business promotion, business addresses tend to be the most commonly omitted piece of information in websites and other online promotion.
Sometimes, a business owner gets preoccupied with online promotion and forgets that the point of any promotion is to get and keep more clients.
If your end goal is someone to come to your office, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to get there. There are several reasons why your address is crucial:
In addition to your name and phone number, the address is one of the unique bits of information that makes your business distinct and notable.
Having your address listed on your website helps search engines, not just to specifically connect to your location, but to generally establish that you exist. It also helps to distinguish you from businesses with similar names.
Sometimes your physical location is worth noting even if clients don’t come to you. For instance, even if you do in-person coaching, or exclusively coach people by phone or Skype, the state you are certified in might still be relevant to clients.
Sometimes client don’t publicize their address because they only do Skype coaching.
These is a valid business model, but if your website doesn’t say this, your potential clients may not realize how your business works.
If you do counseling or consultation by phone or Skype, make sure to note if you do this exclusively, or in conjunction with office visits.
If your main duties are more likely to be giving lectures or workshops about your field than seeing clients in an office, make sure this is clear on your website.
If you do see people at your office, but prefer to keep the location private for whatever reason, make sure to include instructions such as “Call or email me to set up an appointment at my office in…” and provide at least a general area, “downtown Akron” or “Central SE Portland”, etc.
This issue doesn’t come up as a concern nearly as much as names and addresses do, but the information above also applies to phone numbers.
If for some reason, you have multiple phone numbers, keeping on consistent for all promotion will help keep your information straight.
While toll-free numbers are useful, conventional wisdom is that a local number can be more helpful for listing purposes, as it ties to a specific locale.
One issue with phone numbers, and for that matter, email addresses, for businesses with multiple practitioners, is to make sure you have one all-purpose mode of contact information.
Little things can make a big difference; taking the few extra minutes to double check that your basic information is correct, consistent and clear can end up with huge effects, like a minor difference in what direction you start a long journey.
Contact CoachingWebsites with any questions you have about promoting your coaching website. We would be more than glad to help.