SiteSuite - Website Design Sydney

Some tips to improve your website form conversions

by Chris Sutton | May 31, 2013

As business owners and web marketers we all spend a lot time and effort increasing traffic to our websites. We write great, relevant content, spend a lot of time on the website design and ultimately engage our visitors with a well thought out and useful website.

But there’s one thing that often gets missed, what happens when your potential client gets to the contact or conversion page? It’s a waste if you’ve put all that effort in getting visitors to your website and then send them to a form that is unhelpful or daunting and likely to make your visitor exit the site altogether.

The good news is that this is an area where there’s been a lot of research and while the metrics might vary from study to study, the trends are clear and able to be replicated.

Limit Form Fields

Possibly the most important tip is keep your form fields to a minimum. There’s nothing more likely to put somebody off inquiring on a website as being confronted with screen full of empty fields. Not only will this likely appear to be a time consuming task filling out the form, but there will also be doubts about disclosing a lot of information to a business that they may not know so well yet.

Looking at the metrics, the value of reducing the number of fields on a form becomes very clear. One study showed that with 6 fields the conversion rate on a form was 15%, with 4-5 fields the conversion rate was 20% and with just 3 fields the rate increased to 25%.

So halving the number of fields from 6 to 3 on a form gave an increase of conversions of 66%. If you think about the investment you would need to make to achieve a 66% increase in traffic, the value of ensuring your form converts at the best rate possible becomes very clear.

Sensitive data requests

While certain information can’t be excluded from most forms, the temptation to ask your customers a lot of questions can have significant consequences for your form conversion.

For instance, asking for your visitor’s age can lead to a 3% drop in conversions, asking for a phone number can lead to a 5% drop, and street address a 4% drop.

Sometimes it’s unavoidable asking for certain information. If your business follow up process are phone driven, then not gathering telephone numbers probably isn’t an option, unless you’re prepared to change your business processes. But really, age in most cases is a question that can be asked later if you really need it, as can street address.

It can so often seem much simpler to ask your visitors to fill out all the information you’re likely to need on the website form, but when a few certain types of questions can lead to a drop in conversions of 10% or more, then asking questions later starts to make sense.

Make your form easily accessible

We’ve looked at the importance of any call to action before, many sites in fact neglect to provide any clear access to the contact form or to other call to action paths.

What you need to remember is that website visitors will make up their mind to contact you/buy etc at different parts of the site or after reading differing amounts of your website content. So your call to action for your website form needs to be visible clearly at all times. Consider having it in your main menu, or any page element that is constantly available.

These are just a few key tips on how to structure your form. There are other considerations you should take into account as well.

Other considerations

Make your forms friendly, explain what the form is for and what the outcomes will be. Keep your language similar in style to your other content, if your site is written in a conversational style then so should the text on your form. Consistency will give your visitors more confidence in your site and help with those conversions.

Lastly, think about how your visitors might respond to your website form. Different demographics will respond in different ways. If you’re not sure, then changing form structures is easy and you can test various numbers of fields, text etc.


SiteSuite Website Design - Online Marketing Blog Author Chris Sutton

Co-founder and Managing Director of SiteSuite Australasia, Australian pioneers in web design and ecommerce since 1997. For more from Chris you can follow him on Google+ or Twitter, and for further professional musings and thoughts on his other passions in life,

Get a free comprehensive website health check instantly on-screen.

Don't Miss Anything

Get email updates when the next blog is posted.

Web Design & Development
Online Marketing

                   by SiteSuite                   

Everything you need for online success

Recent Posts