Even in the COVID Era, Showing a Physical Address on Your Website Still Matters

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Scott Baradell

One of the funniest recurring bits from Saturday Night Live in the ‘90s was Chris Farley’s hyped-up motivational speaker, Matt Foley.

Motivational speakers are typically people who have been successful in life and project the authority and experience to inspire you to achieve your goals.

But Matt couldn’t help but constantly remind anyone who would listen that he was actually a cautionary tale -- because he lived “in a van down by the river.”

All his credibility was lost as his audiences squirmed.

Is Your Website in a Van Down by the River?

The same principle applies to establishing trust with your website.

Even in the COVID era, when more people are working from home, your customers still feel more comfortable knowing your business has an established physical address. That's especially true for online-only businesses, which consumers want to ensure are not fly-by-night operations.

Here are three key reasons to include a physical address prominently on your website, such as in your global footer or Contact Us page:

  1. Most buyers shop local, for both B2C and B2B purchases. For the majority of consumers, the default option is to search for "hairdressers nearby" or "Denver wedding photographer" or "PR firm in Dallas." You might argue that the hairdresser's location matters but the PR firm's doesn't -- but that isn't how many buyers think. They value physical proximity. If you have a business that customers might be expected to visit, add a Google Map and directions, too.
  2. Buyers form a stronger sense of connection with your business. If your customers aren't local or your business is entirely virtual, adding your location to your "superhero story" makes it more real for people. How many times have you mentioned where you grew up and the person you're talking to says, "Oh, wow, my wife went to high school there," or "I had a wonderful vacation there once." Don't underestimate the importance of this type of connection to establishing trust.
  3. Home-based or online-only businesses can still have physical addresses. You don't have to settle for a P.O. Box. If you are truly virtual and don't have an office, you can just drop by the nearest UPS Store and purchase a mailbox with a real street address. That puts you on a level playing field with larger and more established businesses when visitors come to your site.

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