As an SEO professional, the need to discover email addresses on websites arises frequently. If a site owner has prominently displayed their email address, your task is straightforward. However, it can become challenging when the email address isn’t readily visible or when it seems to be nowhere on the site. This article addresses these specific challenges.
Before resorting to more advanced methods, start with a visual examination of your target page, such as the homepage. Look for any visual cues that might catch your attention, such as an envelope symbol or the “@” sign (possibly depicted in an image). Although it can be tricky, especially if the site’s designer has been creative, this method can sometimes yield results.
If you can’t locate an email address on the homepage, your next step should be to check the “Contact Us” (or equivalent) page. Many websites feature both a contact form and an email address on this page. If that’s not the case and you’re still unable to find the elusive email address, it’s time to dig deeper, which brings us to…
Every website has HTML and other scripting languages running beneath the surface, and that’s where you need to look. If you’re using Google Chrome, simply right-click and select “View Page Source” from the dropdown menu. Now, hold down the Command key and press F to search for specific information within the page source.
Search the page source for ‘mailto:’ because web developers use this syntax to create clickable email links. If you find an instance of ‘mailto:’ in the page source, the email address follows the colon (e.g., mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org).
There’s a possibility that the page contains an email address but it’s not presented as a clickable link. In such cases, search for the “@” sign in the page source, as it is a fundamental component of any email address. If this doesn’t yield results, you may need to explore further and consider using third-party tools designed to assist in finding email addresses.
Using the search operator “site:”
To find an email on a website, you can use the “site:” operator in Google search. For example, “site:example.com @gmail.com” or “site:example.com @example.com.” The second option is for cases where the website uses an email with its own domain.
As you’ve witnessed firsthand, locating an email address on a website isn’t a daunting task if it’s available somewhere on the site. However, if it’s not, that presents an entirely different challenge that falls outside the scope of this article. As long as there is an email address present on a website, you can discover it using the practical tips and tricks you’ve acquired here.
When you have already found an email on a website, you should compose a well-crafted email to increase the likelihood of receiving a response. Here are some tips on how to write a professional email.
How do you personally go about finding email addresses when you need to locate one on a website that doesn’t appear to explicitly display such information?