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How To Optimise Forms: Convert More With Our Four-Week Plan

Conversion Rate Optimisation

Are your online forms doing everything they could to get your website visitors over the finish line?

When your customers can find your competitors with a single mouse click, it’s critical for every part of your site to be fully optimised.

Which seems like obvious advice. And yet …

… I frequently see businesses optimise their websites without analysing and improving the performance of their online forms.  I see even more businesses optimise their forms through guess-work, copying their competitors or just through the loudest opinion

Companies like Capital One take Form Analytics seriously. That’s how they’ve raised their credit card application form conversion rates by 10%.

If your business could benefit from better-performing forms – including checkouts, registration, booking and contact forms – then I’ve created this free e-book for you. In it I discuss:

  • What you could achieve by optimising your forms
  • How form optimisation works and the continuous improvement cycle
  • How to calculate your return on investment (ROI) and demonstrate success
  • Plus all the tools you need to do this and how they play a role
Download our free e-book

Get our free guide to optimising your online forms and find out how to start building your project team, what tools you’ll need and how to predict your conversion rate uplift.

Why Bother to Understand Form Performance?

“Forms are an untapped optimisation opportunity. From registration forms to checkouts, quotations to booking forms, these critical end-of-funnel processes are ripe for improvement” 

Simple changes can result in big differences in conversion rates and qualified leads. But first you need to know where your users are experiencing problems with your forms and the steps required to improve them.

Without assessing the performance of your forms it’s not possible to say that you’ve reached the maximum conversion rate? You might think you’re close but you’d really just be guessing, and potentially leaving money on the table.

Failing to understand your forms’ performance leads you to deploy resources elsewhere, when optimising your forms could add a lot more value. This is particularly true if most or all of your customers must complete a form or checkout to buy from you: fail to optimise your forms and you’ll be losing out on valuable custom.

The Optimisation Process

The Optimisation Process

The fundamentals of form optimisation are straightforward:

  • Get the right people and the right data to help you analyse and understand what your website visitors do
  • Seek opportunities to improve your forms
  • Prioritise those that will have the greatest impact
  • Implement your fixes
  • Test the results with your users
  • Analyse the results
  • Repeat

Projects with high-level sponsors, probably at C-suite level, have the greatest chance of success. Their role is to drive the project forward and represent it at senior levels to gain buy-in and remove any blockers.

It’s also worth letting people across the business know what you’re doing. By sharing your vision of success, you’ll secure additional understanding. This often makes it easier to implement changes that might impact other business areas further down the line.

The All-Important ROI

Calculate your ROIOne question I’m often asked is: “How much should we invest in our form optimisation project?”

The answer to this question is another: “How much do you expect to gain in return for your changes and what challenges are you eliminating?”

By understanding the potential financial returns for different levels of investment, you can pick the investment sweet spot that will give you the best ROI.

I’ve seen many projects fail due to under-investment so it’s worth working this out carefully. You can do this by setting individual ROIs for each change you want to make to your forms. For example:

  • Amendment:
    • Improve error messages
  • Calculate:
    • The expected improvement in form performance
    • The cost to implement the change
    • The expected return

Doing this for each proposed amendment allows you to decide what to do, what not to do and which order to do it in. Schedule those that will provide the biggest return on investment first to chalk up a good win early in the project.

It’s worth noting that this approach requires you to have deep insight into form optimisation to predict the uplift from a particular change. This usually means working with a leading form analytics provider who can advise you of the percentage uplift seen in similar cases for each change. Download my free form optimisation ebook to discover my three key ROI metrics and a worked real-life example.

Your Form Optimisation Toolkit

Your Form Optimisation Toolkit

Forms might look simple at the front-end but they’re complex web tools that require hundreds of customers interactions. Users enter data, hover, click, miss their targets, press keys, pause, abandon and complete forms.

All of these interactions, and more, need to be understood to optimise effectively. Which relies on having the right platforms within your marketing stack.

Basic platforms like Adobe or Google Analytics are outdated and unable to perform the detailed analysis required for optimal form improvement. For the best return on your investment, you need to be able to understand which fields:

  • Cause users to drop off
  • Take customers a long time to complete and therefore could be confusing
  • Require people to re-enter information and are likely frustrating

Only by establishing a high volume of user interaction will you gain a sufficiently detailed picture of where your form can be improved.It takes hundreds of thousands of data points to do this and the best way to gain them is by using a market-leading form analytics tool.

Your Quick and Effective Four-Week Kick-Off Plan

The good news is that your form optimisation project doesn’t have to take a long time. In fact, I’ve formulated a four-week plan so you can kick your project off in complete confidence you have everything in place.

Week one – create your brief, identify the specialist skills required to make your project a success and identify any holes in your marketing stack.

Week two – bring your team together, outline the project and enhance the brief with feedback from your experts and set appropriate timelines.

Week three – gather data from your stack, check its quality and isolate any issues. Also create the required documentation.

Week four – communicate your project with the rest of the organisation, review your timelines to ensure there aren’t any delays and begin your optimisation process.

Find Out More With Our Form Optimisation Ebook

High-quality forms are the critical factor in turning visitors into prospects into customers. Ensure your forms are doing everything they can to generate leads and sales by embarking on your own form optimisation project.