Improve Form Conversion – Simple Steps

Improve Form Conversion – Simple Steps

You’re always looking to drive more traffic to your website(s). But by improving the conversion on your website, you can squeeze even more out of the traffic you are already getting. Forms are a great place to start, since they are one thing all conversions have in common. Here’s 17 simple tips to get you going.

  1. Test!!
  2. Start by learning how optional fields impacts conversion. Then keep testing! (Ideas below).

  3. Ask easy questions first
  4. It may be tempting to start with the most critical question first. But testing has shown that you can help a user feel more comfortable about answering the critical question by easing them into it. In general, questions like name should come before email and both should come before phone. Though there are certain business models where asking for the phone upfront can work best.

  5. Benefit Call-to-Action Buttons
  6. Don’t use the word ‘submit’ for your form buttons. State the call-to-action benefit. For example, “Buy Now” or “Schedule Today.”

  7. Use trust signs
  8. This will help a user feel comfortable in providing their data. It can be the BBB logo or Google Certified Partner logo. Or it can be something like your client list.
    NOTE: This is not as simple as it sounds. Rich media, like video, has actually proven to be too distracting from the form, lowering conversion. Also to consider, for example, is a ‘Hacker Safe’ logo reminding users that the form could be hacked!

  9. Validate data
  10. This will ensure qualified leads and account for mistakes. Validating as the users continues through the form rather than on submit has tested better. Even if you do validate on submit, do not use popup errors. Help a user clearly see the error by highlighting the within the form.
    BONUS: Send data as the form is being sent, rather than on submit. Or use multiple pages to collect crucial information first, then optional data. For example, gather name, email and phone on page one, then schedule an appointment on page two.

  11. Don’t use captchas
  12. They hurt conversions way more than they help protect against spam.

  13. Don’t ask how a user found you
  14. You will never get an accurate answer and you can find this in your Ananlytics.

  15. Increase your offer
  16. If you have to ask a lot of questions, you need clearly convey why a user should give you this information. What’s in it for them? Be sure the perceived value of your offer outweighs what you are asking of a user.

  17. Ask for less
  18. If your goal is more leads, ask less. If you goal is more qualified leads, find the right balance. See above.

  19. Show progress upfront
  20. If you have to ask more then a few questions and have more than one page, communicate this to the user upfront. The more you can accurately set users expectations, the less likely they are to drop-off.

  21. Test other background colors
  22. Questions can sometimes blend in with a white background. Try testing other color background for the whole form, sets of questions and/or highlighting a specific question.

  23. Use the calendar for dates
  24. As a user, I’m sure you find this helpful. So do others.

  25. Provide info for hard questions
  26. If you are asking, for example, what program a user is interested in, be sure to have easy access to what each program is. This will improve the quality of the data you get, and more importantly stop drop-off navigating to figure out what the terms are…possible even leaving your site for Google. Consider testing lightboxes to keep a user on screen, while still displaying enough information.

  27. Provide question explanations/rationale
  28. If your questions may need longer explanations for some users of if you need to justify why you are asking a question, use hover tooltips.
    NOTE: This should display on hover or click. And should be referenced in the opening instructions.

  29. Hide/unhide varying sets of fields
  30. Instead of leaving up sections that do not need to be filled out by all users, hide them. And display only after the user qualifies for the question. This will help keep form length down and increase user’s willingness to fill it out.

  31. Utilize thank you page
  32. Put additional conversion activities: another offer, becoming a fan on Facebook, upsell, etc. Or at least a specific link: blog, etc.

  33. Mobile Considerations
  34. Tablets can follow the same rules as above. However, for mobile devices shorter is better. Consider asking for 2-3 boxes of contact information, then follow-up with email for more.
    NOTE: Even though the statistics for mobile spending is rising, this is mostly from using log-ins, where information is used that was previously entered on a desktop. Have you ever entered your credit card on your mobile phone? Think short when it comes to mobile forms. A copy of your desktop form is likely sub-optimial.


  • Wufoo: i-Frame form with auto-analytics. But cannnot multivariate test with Google Optimizer.
  • CS Forms II: WordPress plugin to generate forms. Plenty of configuration possible.
  • Big thanks to Brad Geddes (@bgtheory) for his form conversion webinar today! I am glad people are starting to see the benefits of testing forms!

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