Five Ways to Fix Your Forms (and Increase Conversions)

Whether used to generate leads, or to help with searching, web forms are arguably the most critical element in a website – yet often they are neglected to the detriment of your business.

Worse, you may never discover that a little attention could double your performance. So here are our five ways…

1. Make it obvious what is wanted

Too many forms suffer from not making it clear which information is mandatory – the common symbol for a mandatory fields is an asterisk (*). However you can now apply ticks (or crosses), field colour highlights or even tooltips (friendly text prompts) to assist with a form fill, like this one:

Can you see how, with this simple prompt, you avoid user frustration and increase conversion?

Also, make sure your descriptions are easy to understand. You may know what you want with a phrase like ‘Confidential Address’ – but is that business, home, email?

2. Make it inviting

Many forms also suffer from being bland or, in extreme cases, seemingly disinterested.

If you would genuinely like someone to contact you, then say it! There’s no reason just to put a stack of fields and nothing else.

Moreover, we recommend you actually make sure that the person knows what they will get out of it. You need to answer the ‘what’s in it for me?’ if you want someone to share their personal details with you.

Finally, make sure they know what they’re opting into, or not.

If you don’t rent or sell your list, then make it clear that you don’t. If you plan to send emails out, then give them the option to untick the ‘further contact’ box. Again, be polite about it.

3. Trim the fields

If a field is non-essential, remove it. The fewer fields there are the more likely a form will be completed.

For example, if you’re following up leads anyway, then don’t ask for the full details in the form – just enough to contact that person and then complete their details over the phone.

4. Never trust your developer to get it right

Most developers and designers only care about making sure a form functions. They won’t consider the user-experience, they won’t care about conversion rates. You need to make sure that you specify the form fields needed, the field descriptions, and then test it.

Here’s an example of how it goes wrong. It’s a search field, but the ‘save as’ and ‘save search’ are in the wrong place meaning that the search button (which is the main action button) is not triggered properly when the ‘Enter’ key is pressed:

Not only that, but what is the ‘View All’? And why is it next to the Search button? This form is from a large email marketing business who should know better!

5. Use Your Forms

Go on, try your own form or, if you’re too familiar with it, get someone you trust to take a look at it.

Ask them these questions:

  • Was it easy to use?
  • Did you understand what information was requested?
  • Did you understand what you would get out of filling out the form?
  • If you made a mistake on the form, did it guide you to what you needed to change?

Bonus Point…

We always like to offer a ‘bonus’ – here’s a tip: measure your forms! Find out what proportion of visitors to a specific page then go on to complete your form. Make some changes (based on the above) and see how it affects your conversions – you’ll find that you will get more opportunities and be more successful as a result.

If you’d like this kind of thinking applied not just to your forms, but to all of your site, then please take a look at our form – we believe it stands up to scrutiny – fill it out and we’ll be in touch with you.

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