When building and managing our WordPress-powered businesses it’s easy to get distracted with the bells and whistles of marketing and make things more difficult than they need to be
This is especially true when it comes to lead generation.
The Problem – Too Many Options
If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you know that leads are the driving force of your success. And when it comes to utilizing your website as the first first point of contact, it’s easy to sink into the black hole of Internet marketing techniques.
There are so many options for creating email subscription opt in and contact forms, that sometimes it makes more sense to take a step back and ask yourself what’s really important.
What is the Real Goal?
Getting that initial contact right?
The way you do this does depend on your particular business model of course, but in this post I’m going to talk about the most basic contact method and how to accomplish it in an easy way.
The most basic lead a business gets is someone who wants to know more specifics about your service.
This can happen in a few different ways, but again, the most basic is a simple phone or email contact. There’s no need for any fancy contact forms, email subscription forms, or anything else.
Your potential customer just wants to contact you directly. This is most easily done by simply displaying these contact details on your site.
Solution – The Business Contact Widget Plugin
The Business Contact Widget plugin does one thing and does it beautifully. It allows you to display various business contact details in an easy to use and configure Widget area in your theme.
Download the plugin for free from WordPress.org
Business Contact Widget Settings
After activating, the first thing you need to do is go to Appearance–>Widgets and move the Business Contact Widget into any widgetized area of your theme.
Now go to Dashboard–>Settings–>Business Contact Settings and you’ll see all the options for entering your business contact details and preferred methods of contact.
Simply fill out the fields you would like to be displayed and the Business Contact Widget will only show the fields that have content in them in the settings.
It will not display any blank fields.
There are eight main settings categories. You may or may not need all of these. As I said above, you can simply leave the fields blank for any settings you don’t.
In this area you can enter your main telephone and fax numbers as well as additional contact names and mobile phone numbers.
Perfect for use with a distributed sales team.
The same as entering telephone numbers above, you can enter your main business email as well as the names and email addresses of your sales or customer support teams.
The address area gives you the option of simply displaying one address or two.
Remember that we wanted to keep our contact methods simple?
Well, what if you’re dependent on an actual form submission for some reason?
The message settings area gives you the flexibility of display any of your forms from any form plugin by simply inserting the shortcode tied to that form.
No need for another plugin to display a simple map of your location. Just enter the iFrame embed code from Google Maps and a map of your location will be displayed along with your business contact details.
Opening Times Settings
Especially useful for brick and mortar stores, but also for displaying things like customer service and sales support hours.
Enter in your hours of operation here.
Style and System Settings
There are three different styling options for this Widget and you’re almost guaranteed to find one that is simple enough to be displayed with most themes.
There are also some nice options for working around other plugins that are (incorrectly) using their own version of jQuery.
Front End Display
Here’s a screenshot of what the default blue styling looks like in the sidebar of a blog post.
Room for Improvement
The one thing that bugs me about this plugin is the lack of custom styling options.
If you’re the developer type, it’s not too difficult to use a tool like Firebug of Chrome Developer tools to find out the specific CSS styles and then use those within your theme’s stylesheet to tweak the styling to better fit your needs.
It would be really nice of the plugin developer added in either more “plain” styles to choose from, or a Custom CSS input field in the settings to override the default styles included with this plugin.
Regardless, this plugin is still an easy and effective way to add Business Contact Details to your WordPress site.