There’s a fair chance that you have been trying to be a conversion Guru and you’re looking for that one factor which will really increase your conversions.
Time is flying by but you still haven’t figured that damn thing out.
The fact is:
Conversion rate optimization is certainly not an easy game. It requires an extensive list of techniques to really work out.
The tricky part is not the long list you have to play with but you have to master the sub techniques as well.
In this post, I’m going to lighten your shoulders a little and tell you a simple way that will give you a visible boost to your conversions.
Here’s the kicker:
‘A Perfectly Designed Web Form.’
You must have gone through various kinds of web forms whenever you are online, but these web forms are mostly taken for granted.
You might be thinking that it is just a web page for entering data and sending it to a server for processing, so how important it can be!
You know what?
SmartShoot, a company which provides professional photographers and filmmakers, increased its web form conversions by 40%.
They did this by just altering their CTA button copy. This shows you how important the small buttons and fields in your web forms can be.
You have no idea what wonders these small square boxes can do with your website. I don’t think I need to use that ‘build you or destroy you’ phrase now because it’s quite obvious.
We surely need to pay a lot of attention while designing these web forms…
Because these forms act like a gateway to your website, your subscriptions, your traffic, your ranking and eventually your sales!
The most important thing which you need to know here is that designing these forms is not a piece of cake.
You need to make these forms picture perfect in order to grab a big chunk of customers.
Your form needs to be catchy, appealing, to the point and above all it should offer value to the person who’s filling it.
Before I share web form best practices let’s first discuss the main challenges most of us face while creating these forms:
(Frankly speaking, there are MANY)
First challenge is to design a Mobile Friendly form
You might be wondering:
Nowadays everything that runs on desktop/laptops also runs on the mobile so what exactly mobile-friendly means?
Mobile-ready or mobile-friendly forms means your form having an interface that is equally supportive or operative on your mobile.
It’s high time when everyone needs to accept this shift and design things accordingly, otherwise you’re just going to lag behind… BIG TIME!
Keep in mind that these forms appear differently on the desktop screens and the mobile screens. It’s a challenging task to design a form that will fit in both the interfaces.
It is important to know that a non-mobile friendly site can cause a bad name to company’s reputation.
Research shows that you can lose your sale with a bad mobile experience. A site that’s not designed for mobile can make the visitors frustrated.
48% of visitors say they get frustrated when they land on to a site which is non-mobile-friendly. 36% of visitors feel that their time has been wasted.
52% of visitors say that they do not feel engaged with the company while 48% of visitors revealed that they feel the company does not care about their user experience.
Try keeping your web form as short as possible
I am dead sure that long and never ending forms really bother everyone. We’d never want to spend so much time on giving our details to someone we do not know.
You can’t also deny that it is always tempting to collect as much information as possible.
But it is a fact that…
We get irritated when we’re scrolling down the page but we don’t see the fields coming to an end any sooner!
You might be wondering that:
If one needs to offer security, guarantee in the form and tell its purpose also, how will he keep the form ‘short’?
The only way of getting these important forms filled is to keep them precise and short.
Asking unnecessary information is a waste of time for both the visitor and the company.
The form shown in the picture shows how you ask unnecessary stuff again and again which really bothers the reader, your visitors do not want to spend so much time on a single form that too just to opt in for your software.
Unappealing web form layout
A lot of times we think that the design and colors we use do not matter for the mature audience we are targeting.
Thinking that web forms should be plain and flat because the reader has no concern with how it looks like, is totally a wrong theory!
Let me give you a shocker here…
Each one of us GETS Attracted to a certain set of designs and colors, there does exist some catchy styles which grab our attention instantly and we tend to click on that thing in the very next second.. Try making your form one of that kind!
A study by the University of Melbourn shows how a good layout and a beautiful design makes a website and its web forms successful and trustworthy.
Poor Web Form CTA Copy
We often tend to use the mostly used CTA buttons in all the forms we create…
A lot of you would think that there is no role of words when we are filling the forms.
However this is not the case!
Persuasive words attract anybody anywhere… You’ll always click on something that is more attractive and that is offering some value to you.
Words play a HUGE role when we need our forms to convert the visitors into leads.
Provident Resorts increased the conversion rate by 9%, just by tweaking their button copy.
Never try to undermine the power of your CTA buttons!
CTA buttons are one of the most important factors in increasing your conversion… that is the place where you want your customer to CLICK on! If the customer misses this button, you’ll eventually end up missing that particular conversion!
It’s just about a single Click!!
Placing these CTA buttons at the wrong place, having unattractive colors and writing a bad copywriting are the major things which make it a Big Time ‘FAIL’!
You can miss so many leads if you are having an Obscure CTA button.
It is a quite common trait to use ‘Submit’ as the enter key in a optin form…
Trust me, it is not the right thing at all. Studies show that conversions decrease because of these Submit buttons.
Research shows what difference the word ‘Submit’ has on conversions. The conversions increased without using the word ‘Submit’ on CTA.
In this above research it is shown that landing pages with submit buttons labeled as “submit” had lower conversions as compared to those which used any other word like “Click here” or “Register”.
Using CAPTCHAS at the end of Web forms is another BIG mistake
You must be wondering why would CAPTCHAS do harm to your forms…
It is a fact that CAPTCHAS irritate the customer because sometimes they are too difficult to understand and answer.
Most of the people leave the site to get rid of these.
Studies show that you can lose out on 3.2% of conversions by using CAPTCHAS.
So my fellas…
Stop having much doubt on your visitors and just let them opt in or sign up to your site.
Never try to skip giving a Privacy Note
Most of the resistance shown in filling the web form is because of the privacy concerns.
People are afraid to fill in their personal information online on any site. They’re afraid of it being misused.
The presence of a privacy message in your web forms builds trust between the user and the site.
The privacy messages will also reduce data privacy fears and concerns among the customers.
Forgetting to Thank your visitors is Not the way
Another challenge is to appreciate and thank the visitors for taking out time and filing your forms.
We often forget to show gratitude and appreciation, but remember it is the key concept when it comes to gaining customer’s loyalty and trust.
Do Not think that you can position your optin form anywhere
You might think that you can position your form anywhere on the web page wherever there is some empty space.
This is NOT the case. Positioning of your form is as important as it’s design is.
Putting a form at the bottom of a landing page means your visitors are never going to see it.
You can’t go without giving Social Proofs to your Visitors
We all know that it is human nature to have proofs and examples whenever we‘re told about something new.
Same is the case with these web forms. Visitors always like to see examples of people who have previously filled out the forms. They want to know the people who are involved with this offer.
Keeping this thing vague is another option, but giving proofs is a way better option when you want to increase your leads.
After knowing all the “Challenges” that we’re facing while designing our web forms…
I’ll be giving some amazing tricks and tips through which you can build well thought out web forms, that will eventually be leading to a major boost in your conversion rate.
Here’s an amazing opportunity to optimize your forms with these 11 online forms Best Practices:
1. Optimize your Web Forms for Mobile:
A research reveals that 90% of adults have a mobile phone in USA, while 58% of them are smartphone users.
Mobile-friendly forms are equally supportive or operative on your mobile. They have a design which doesn’t go upside down when opened on your cellphone.
To increase conversions make sure you have responsive web designs which will make our interface a flexible one.
Studies also reveal that mobile-friendly sites make your visitor into customers as a big chunk of visitors use internet on mobiles now.
If your site is offering a memorable mobile experience, there is a higher chance that your visitors will make a purchase and turn into your customers.
When users visit a mobile-friendly site, 74% of people say they’re more likely to return in the future and 67% are more likely to buy a site’s product or service.
Increasing the Button Size and all other Clickable Areas is one thing that will make your form a user friendly one. Amazon doesn’t use separate interface for both the mediums but the form is designed in such a way that it is easy to use on any medium.
Now you can also tell mobile browsers what the field type is, such as URL, email or numerical, this feature is available on HTML5. The browser then usually adjusts the keyboard to supply the user with shortcuts such as .com and symbols such as @.
Also keep error messages and labels in view but try not to frustrate the customers with the continuous messages. Mentioning the purpose of the field within asterisk is also a good way to avoid confusion.
2. Keep your Opt-in Form ‘Short’:
Here’s the deal:
A form with few fields is the best one!
It has a high probability of being filled by your visitors.
The fact is that a form with lesser fields has a higher chance that a higher number
Marketo had a contact form having 11 fields was reduced to a form with 4 fields only and the result was simply awesome!
The conversion rate was increased by 120% while there was a 160% increase in the number of people who filled the form. Also keep in mind that the quality stayed the same.
3. Have an appealing Design for your Web Forms:
Your design should always be attractive and eye-catching. A boring plain form often gets ignored by the visitors.
There are amazing instances where the website owners increased their conversions by just altering their web form designs.
Dr Brent Coker, said that the increased online consumer trust heavily depends on the visual appearance of these websites.
He continued, “With websites becoming increasingly attractive and including more trimmings, this creates a greater feeling of trustworthiness and professionalism in online consumers.”
Usage of contrasting and complementary colors makes it stand out on the whole web page. Limit other visuals where you’re placing your form.
4. Attention- Grabbing Copywriting:
You might be wondering:
A form is such a small text box, doesn’t have much text in it, so how important it would be to have a perfect copy in it.
Here’s the shocker:
A single liner instruction or a one word CTA button can make your visitors either Click or Leave.
The copy on your CTA button acts as a gateway to you sale!
If it doesn’t appeal your visitors, they will simple checkout from your site. Add text with more benefit driven wording to attract more visitors.
You ask why?
Here’s an example:
Formstack’s Report shows how the wordings on the CTA button effect website conversion rates. Adding just another word after ‘Submit’ can give a boost to your conversions which you wouldn’t have imagined.
CTA buttons play a vital role in converting your forms. The positioning, text and the color of your CTA buttons are the main factors which make it stand out in the whole form.
The visitor will only click if the CTA button is Visible and Appealing!
A case study from Hubspot shows that the red button outperformed the green button by 21%. It’s not about the color but it’s about the contrast between the color of your CTA button and your website.
The button should be of a kind which the user would want to click instantly!
Check out these 6 Variables To Test On Your Call-To-Action Buttons, it’s an amazing guide on how to design your CTA button to get more conversions than ever!
The CTA buttons should be highlighted with attractive colors and designs in order to gain more attention.
The infographic “10 Tips for improving web form conversion rate” give a set of some amazing ways in which our web forms can be optimized.
6. Do NOT use the word ‘Submit’:
Submit button is usually seen as the most used ‘Enter’ word among all the sites.
Want to know the best part?
The word ‘Submit’ puts your customers off, most of the times!
When a research was carried out over the CTA button copies, it turned out that other words or the relevant action phrases perform much better than the word ‘Submit’. ‘Click Here’ outperformed it by 10% while a term like ‘Get Free quote’ increased the submissions twice.
7. Avoid putting CAPTCHAS in your form:
I know you would want to know your visitors, know that the person sitting in front of the screen is a real person and not a robot.
Trust me, it’s a big ‘No No’ for a person filling the form. People do not like to fill in those CAPTCHAS as these tests irritate the customers and make them leave the page immediately, making you lose your conversions.
CAPTCHAS do not help the visitor to gain the interest instead it puts him off. Long descriptions and difficult CAPTCHAS as shown in the picture, make your customers go.
Animoto removed its CAPTCHAS and increased the conversions by 33.3%
Harry Brignull said this about Captchas:
“Using a CAPTCHA is a way of telling to the world that your site has got a spam problem and you don’t know how to deal with it, and now you’ve decided to shift the frustration of this problem onto your user-base.“
8. A Positive Privacy Note will do the trick:
A privacy note does the trick, visitors feel secured and personalized whenever they see a small privacy or confidentiality note under the web form.
There’s a higher chance of them filling your form after going through the privacy note.
This study on ContentVerve did this test where they added a positive privacy note and it turned out that it increased their signups by 19.47%.
The privacy note acts like a friendly note to the visitors. It builds trust between your site and the visitor. Make it a point to always put these notes at the end of the form before your ‘Enter’ key.
9. Thank your visitors well:
Never forget to show gratitude to your customers. It is a very important thing to thank them properly when they have taken out time and filled your form.
Thank them and also offer some incentive so that they may look forward to the deal ahead.
Incentives also work as a thankful gesture. In fact it motivates the visitors to fill the form. incentive like discounts, trials or free gifts can be offered.
Along with a Thank you note and incentives, you can also give them a link to your product’s site. The incentives can belong to your own site as well.
This will give them a detailed view on what you are offering and you will surely track an increase in your website’s traffic.
10. Right Positioning is the key:
Website forms should always be placed above the fold and should clearly standout amongst the other elements on your web page.
It has been a debate over where to place the forms on your web page. The conclusion which I have derived is that it depends on the type of the website you have.
If you have full assurity that your visitors will scroll till the end of your web page then you have full liberty to place your form at the bottom.
Test for a while before placing your optin form. Layouts also differ. You have to check what works for you.
Arenaturist.com is one of the top hotel booking company in Croatia. It redesigned its website and replaced its form. There was 52% higher conversion with the later layout and placement.
11. Giving Social Proofs is the best way to influence:
Incorporating social proofs under your forms is the best way to influence people for filling these forms!
People will never go out of the way to fill in your web form, but some references and previous examples can make them trust on what you are offering. These examples will eventually increase your conversions.
Showing figures, pictures or reviews will let your visitors believe that they’re not the only ones who opted for the particular offer.
Here are some useful examples of the influential lines you can write with your forms:
- “Over 20,000 other users have already downloaded our eBook!”
- “Industry expert John Doe calls our daily email ‘the most interesting part’ of his morning.”
- “97 percent of first-time users report high satisfaction with our program.”
You just have to incorporate one of the elements around your form and trust me it’ll do wonders to your conversion rate.
Testimonials, celebrity endorsements and mentioning figures are the ways in which you can give social proofs.
The article, 11 Proven Ways to Use Social Proof to Increase Your Conversions, gives some amazing tips on how you can give previous examples.
What’s the bottom line?
This topic is a bit difficult one to conclude within few lines because there are unlimited ways through which you can design your forms and increase your conversions.
The tips might not work in the same way for all the sites because it heavily depends on the type of the website you’re handling.
Different websites have different kind of customers who would want forms to be designed according to their requirements.
Here’s the deal:
You just have to pick up the right techniques and apply those on your website.
The Trick is to check the type of your website and design your form accordingly, keeping some of the elements constant.
I hope this guide will help you in structuring an optimized form which is surely going to get you more leads than Ever!
Lead capture form should be present in the home page and not in sub-folder pages. It is a very effective way to capture conversions.
I quiet disagree with the point to exclude captcha from form. captcha is very much essential to distinguish humans with robots. Very much helpful in fighting spam and prevent bots which are specifically designed to fill signup forms.
To make visitors fill long forms, progressive forms are very helpful, along with “non-submit” submit buttons.