Many people look up inmate records online to get a hold of their family members and friends. While these sites can be popular and even help reunite family members, creating one might be more challenging than expected. What goes into a landing page? Is there anything you should avoid for your landing page to succeed? The answer is yes, and you’ll need to learn how to avoid these common mistakes below so your website is a trusted source for inmate information.
Not Having the Correct Jail Facility Name
Not including the appropriate jail facility name on your website is one of the easiest mistakes you can make and one of the most terrible for your site and your visitors. It’s important for you to make sure your landing page accurately displays the proper name and address of each jail, as this will help ensure clarity among your visitors.
Unfortunately, many landing pages often include the city name and jail when the proper name might differ. For instance, your website might list a jail in Los Angeles as “Los Angeles jail,” when really, the correct name for the jail would be “Twin Towers Correctional Facility.” Los Angeles is just one example of a major city with tons of jails both for men and women, showing how easy it can be for your visitors to get confused when visiting your website. While it may seem like a small detail, putting the right jail or facility name can be the difference between a successful search and one that comes up empty for families. In addition, most family members won’t know which facility to search when they’re looking for an inmate, so it’s always a good idea to provide several correct names and addresses on your landing page for the same city. Doing so can help narrow down your visitors’ search.
Not Including Essential Search Fields
Another common mistake is to include more essential search fields on your landing page. It would be best if you had search fields like:
- Inmate’s first and last name
- Inmate’s date of birth (D0B)
- Jail facility name or address
- Inmate’s ID number
All the essential search fields on your landing page make it easier for visitors to find their loved ones, even with limited information. If your website only relies on certain search fields, your visitors will likely visit another page where they can access information using what they have, like their loved one’s name and DOB.
Lack of Contact Information
Contact information is one of the most important pieces of information you need to include on your website. Most visitors aren’t just looking for their loved ones, they’re also looking for a way to contact the jail itself. Imagine you want to send packages, post bond, ask questions about your loved one, or know when they’re being transferred or released. Wouldn’t you want to have a direct phone number or address to contact? Unfortunately, most landing pages have outdated or incorrect contact information for prisons and correctional facilities, making it impossible for users to speak with their loved ones.
Some helpful contact information you can include on your landing page include:
- A 24-hour telephone number
- Fax number
- Email address
- Physical address
Before listing this information on your page, could you double-check with each jail facility to make sure it’s current and accurate? While it may take more leg work and time, it’ll ensure your landing page is highly accurate and a trusted source of information for visitors, who can then share it with others.
Confusing Search Placement
One of the biggest mistakes landing page developers makes is burying the search box behind walls of advertisements, confusing images, and loads of unnecessary text and information.
Instead of burying your search box, have it be the main focus of your landing page. Ensure it’s prominently displayed, and make the search fields easy to see and use. Before launching your website, consider asking your fellow web developers or even friends and family about different placement options and get their opinion on how you can best design your landing page. Do they find it helpful if the search box is bigger? Is it better in the center or towards a certain area of the page? Will having an image help in finding it? Testing your website ahead of time will help increase the chances of success and create a better overall experience for people looking up inmate records.
Slow Loading Times
Having a quick-loading website is key if you want visitors to stay on your page. Slow loading times can frustrate visitors and might make your website completely inoperable. Before launching your website, test it regularly for loading speeds and ensure it loads within 4 seconds for the best conversion rates. In addition, you’ll need to conduct audits to ensure it continues to load fast for visitors.
Some things that might slow down your website include large images, network congestion, and bandwidth restrictions. Your web design team should handle any loading speed issues as soon as possible so you can avoid future downtime and poor conversion rates.