Having a low optimized online form published on your web page will slowly kill your conversions, unless you do something about it. Bear in mind that optimization is not a technique based on assumptions, but one that implies testing your efforts and comparing results. So how would you conduct a web form optimization process that will increase your conversion rates? It depends on the type of web form you’re using.
Did you know that in e-commerce more than 73% of customers left behind their orders instead of purchasing in the third quarter of 2016? That’s a high abandonment rate, if you ask me. How much did you lose? The best way to find out is by using Google Analytics.
Go to Reports → Behavior → Site Content → Landing Pages. Select a timeframe, enter the URL of the page where your customers fill out the form and check the New Users column. Subtract the number of new users with the number of submissions you got in the same timeframe. Next, divide the result with the number of new users. That’s your abandonment rate. So, if 250 people visited your order form in the previous month and only a 100 of them actually completed payments, here’s how you’d do the math:
Conversion Rate= 100 (submissions) / 250 (who visited the order form) * 100
Abandonment Rate = Number of people who did not submit the order form (250-100) / 250 * 100
In the example above, the conversion rate is 40% and the abandonment rate is 60%. If you’ve already calculated the conversion rate, the abandonment rate is the rest to 100.
Whatever your abandonment rate is, don’t feel too bad about it. Bigger companies have been facing this issue. A Baymard report shows that IBM lost 69% of potential sales in 2014 and Adobe almost reached a rate of 76% in 2016. That means that more than a half of their customers abandoned their shopping carts before checkout.
Even the slightest improvement of your conversion rate can do more than enough for your business. Take for example the scenario where your page has 10,000 unique visits per month and 100 of them convert. That’s a 1% conversion rate. By successfully increasing that rate by 1 you have doubled the number of conversions. If each conversion would be worth $10, you’d be doubling your earnings from $1,000 to $2,000. And all you did was increase your conversion rate, which could have been caused by a minor modification only.
In our 3 tips to increase form conversion rates, we have mentioned the requirement to build forms with the user in mind, do A/B tests and provide help to your users on the way. This would involve the following:
In our definitive guide to lead generation forms, we’ve concluded that an engaging button copy works better in getting more submissions than using the generic “Submit” text. It’s a fact that words influence people to do things. Words such as “Get”, “Download”, “Purchase”, “Buy”, “Send” are more clear to what the form is about. If it’s a contact form, you have “Send” or “Send message”.
Here are 10 useful takeaways for improving your form conversion rates:
1. Describe your offer in powerful words.
2. Use an engaging button copy.
3. Don’t ask for too much information.
4. Arrange your field labels on top of fields.
5. Use field instructions.
6. Incorporate trust seals, if possible.
7. Leverage autoresponders and redirects.
8. Test your form.
For more details regarding these takeaways, see our definitive guide to lead generation forms.
How much impact do you believe design has on the form? I’m going to tell you: quite a lot. If your web form is published on your website, it’s best that you go with contrast. This means using a different color for your submit button that the one that is dominating the page. It depends to you, however, on choosing the right color for your submit button, but here are some tips:
Some studies show that red converts the best, but it could also depend on the design of the page.
For example, Unbounce is using the color orange for its call to action. If your aim is to generate leads, you could consider this color, as long as you don’t use other orange elements on your page.
Don’t overdo your form’s design. Keep it simple by putting emphasis on the fields and the submit button. Too many colors or images placed in different areas of the form might distract your users. Distraction is a killer.
Sometimes your form’s security can get in the way of your submissions, so be careful when adding anti-spam protection measures such as captchas. With the Smart CAPTCHA feature from 123ContactForm, the verification box will appear only when the form is submitted more than once by the same user.
I’ve mentioned earlier the use of top-aligned form labels that will increase your form conversion rates. The reason why you should do this is because on mobile devices people can fill out the form much easily, knowing exactly what each field is for. According to an article from UX Planet, left-aligned field labels leave very little space for the fields on screen, while top-aligned labels allow fields to extend to full width.
Another useful thing that will increase your conversions on mobile would be resizing the form’s width automatically based on the resolution, rather than defining it through exact pixels. And you can forget about using multiple columns on your form, it would just ruin the user experience.
Don’t use small fonts on your web form, if you want to increase conversions from mobile users. A decent font size for mobile responsive forms is 16px.
Perhaps the worst factor that could ever decrease your conversions rate is a slow loading web form. You’d think that this has something to do with the internet connection the visitor has, but it’s not completely true. Coding the web form in a way that takes long to process and hosting it on a server that is slow is not a great idea.
If you’re styling your web form with colors and shapes, it would be best that you create your CSS separately and add it through classes on your form controls. Or you could use a form builder service such as 123ContactForm, where you don’t have to worry about using programming and dealing with loading times.
Small tip, though: If the web form is embedded on your web page, you better make sure the page is loading fast (up to 3 seconds for mobile-optimized pages). Check the speed and load time of your web page with dedicated tools such as WebPageTest, Pingdom Website Speed Test or GTmetrix. You can run tests with Google’s PageSpeed Insights, that not only evaluates your page and gives it a score, but it also provides suggestions for improving your code.
In our how to optimize form conversion rates for contact forms we’ve narrowed down these tweaks:
Sales leads are vital for good business, so we completed a list of tweaks in our how to optimize form conversion rates for sales lead forms article as follows:
So you can easily ask for full name, email address, company, role in the company and comments.
The Internet is full of surveys on a variety of topics, many of them being shared by companies in order to learn more about trends and collect feedback. But it takes a good optimized online survey to make the marketing effort worth it. In our article on how to optimize conversion rates for online surveys, we concluded that:
If you’re running a traveling agency, our 5 ways to improve your booking form conversion rates could help you close more deals and make more customers happy.
Remember the 73% of customer who left behind their order in 2016? Here’s what you can do if you’re goal is to sell products or services online:
In our article about increasing conversions with quality thank-you pages, we emphasized the importance of turning your new customers into returning customers. That can be easily done by customizing the success page of your order form with a positive message, a discount code for future purchases or a link to another offer.
Other post-conversion methods that you can use are:
Do you know those web forms or surveys that ask “how did you find us” or the date you made the order? These are fields that, if you sum them up, could take some time to fill them out. Use URL referrers instead and capture the moment the form was submitted in your code. You can also collect information such as web browser, device or even country.
With 123ContactForm you can automatically capture the referrer, geolocation, browser, date and timestamp of your submissions. Aggregating them into reports can give you a clear view of what channel performs better and at what time during the day do most of your submissions arrive.
Many marketers prefer doing A/B tests with Google Analytics. This implies creating two web pages and setting the test in the Reports → Behavior → Experiments section of the analytics account. There are many tools available on the Internet and I’m not going to go through each one of them, but I will describe you how you can A/B test your web form after each small edit.
Don’t modify the web form that is live on your website. Instead, create a copy of the form and set it up for an experiment (A/B test) in Google Analytics. On the 123ContactForm web form builder, for example, users have the option to duplicate a form with the click of a button.
So you would create two web pages and two forms that are almost similar. Put each form on a page and go to your Google Analytics account to set up the experiment.
Let the experiment run for two weeks or a month and compare results. If you’re using Unbounce, add each form on a page version and evaluate the outcomes in your Unbounce account. If you’re using 123ContactForm and have an Unbounce account, you can use the Unbounce embed code of your web form to paste it on a page version.
In conclusion, web form conversion rate optimization is as important as it can get when your goal is to turn your page visitors into something more than new users in your web traffic report. Try the tweaks above, experiment and draw some ideas based on real data. We’d love to hear your opinion on this topic in the comments below.