In your travels around the internet you will have inevitably stumbled across little bits of technology which are found across many sites and, if you own your own website, you may even make use of one yourself.
What is this ubiquitous thing of which I speak? It's called CAPTCHA and is designed to distinguish real people from robots and 'protect' a site owner against receiving spam submissions to a website form. Typically these CAPTCHA's require you to complete a form with either a word, number or combination of the two to allow you to click on the send button and get in touch with the site owner.
My first question to you is, when you come across these CAPTCHA's, how do they make YOU feel? How many times have you come across one that is hard to complete and you have had to submit it several times before you get it right
I bet, if you're anything like me, or indeed like most people, you will have cursed the CAPTCHA itself and the website owner in equal measure - it's a natural thing to do and I wouldn't expect anything less of most people.
So, knowing how these CAPTCHA's make you feel, why would you inflict them on others and indeed, why would you expect them to feel any different to how you feel when you're prompted to have to complete them?
Your website should always be about making your clients and potential clients lives easier. Everything about it should be ease of use and getting from A to B as quickly and easily as possible. Ultimately, for most websites, the contact page is the main destination page that the rest of your site content is designed to push the visitor to so that the visitor can get in touch and buy your product or service.
Yet, once you have gone to all that effort of getting the visitor revved up and ready to contact you, you put a barrier in the way of them easily contacting you. You are forcing them to make a decision as to whether or not they really really want to go through the potential 'pain' of completing a CAPTCHA that you're asking them to complete something that in all likelihood you don't like doing yourself on other's websites.
The conversion rate at this point may be 50/50, 30/70 it may be 70/30 but the truth of the matter is that you wont know for sure how many people do NOT complete the form and do not get in touch - and all because you are worried about YOUR convenience in filtering a bit of spam rather than thinking about the visitors experience on your website.
So, when you next do an audit of your site content, structure and layout, ask yourself this very important question - who is more important as far as the website is concerned and if the answer is your client, then remove any barriers to them getting in touch with you to doing business with you.
Gitte and Oliver the proprietors of Hair Mekanix Limited are extremely pleased with the website for their business designed and maintained by Jamie Forster of Motley Limited. We have had many customers remark on the style and ease of use of the website. We are especially pleased with the ongoing nature of development and updates that keep the website fresh and exciting. Jamie does a superb job keeping us up to date and with new ideas.Oliver Lodge from Hair Mekanix