Rip it up and start again. That might be your initial reaction to an underperforming form. But when you consider all the time, money and effort you’ve invested in its creation, it’s not always the right response.
There are plenty of ways to understand what’s working and what’s not so you can focus your efforts on form optimisation instead of starting from scratch.
We explore the form design insights that will help you work with what you’ve got and prevent you from making the same mistakes again.
Find Out How Many People Start, Drop-out and Complete
A good form is one that people complete correctly. If poor conversion rates mean you feel like a form failure there’s no need to panic. Online form analytics tools help you analyse user experience so you can establish broad and deep insights into what is and isn’t effective.
If you know your form’s not doing what it should there’s a good chance your response is based on poor conversion rates. What form analytics tools give you is greater insight allowing you to establish how many people view your form but don’t act, start it but then dropout or complete your form.
By being able to see form conversion rates at each stage of your form you can pinpoint exactly where issues are occurring.
And you might find that the situation isn’t as bad as you think. If 90% of users are getting 90% of the way through your form, you might only need a few tweaks to drastically improve your form design and conversion rate.
Delve into Drop-off Data for Detailed Insight
Increasing your form’s conversion rates relies on being able to understand what causes people to abandon forms. While high level data gives a helpful overview of form performance, granular reporting that provides greater insight into the causes of form abandonment is even more useful.
By drilling down to individual field level, you achieve a detailed view of the problems within your form. Once you understand which fields are associated with high drop-off, you can focus your problem solving efforts in those areas instead of guessing which fields to amend.
Beat Your Current Performance
Setting clear, measurable targets provides a level of accountability for your form optimisation work. It also gives you a great way to share your successes with decision makers because you can prove that you’re delivering what you set out to do on your optimisation journey.
The best form analytics software measures your current performance which allows you to set a benchmark for improvement. Perhaps you want to drive a five percent boost in form conversions or you want to reduce drop-off by 10 percent in a field that’s performing particularly badly.
Whatever your organisation’s goal, you’ll have the data available to let you know the impact your changes are making.
Find Out Which Fields Undermine User Experience
Form friction means fewer conversions. Which is why identifying the fields your users most frequently need to correct is imperative.
Field health is a great way to be able to identify how helpful each field is for your users. You need to be able to establish which fields users are correcting by having access to tools that tracks deletions, cursor movements, key presses and user refocusing. Understand when users spend a long time hovering over a particular question or re-types their answer and you can decide on the appropriate optimisation options.
Another major aspect to consider is how often users need to correct data. Even small numbers of corrections can cause users frustration. Tracking correction rates will enable you to identify which fields cause problems and will help you understand what you can do to improve your user experience.
Ensure that you have access to reports that focus on specific periods of time to enable you to assess the impact of the changes you’ve made. With hard data at your fingertips you’ll be able to tell whether your improvements have worked or if you need to do some fine-tuning.
Save Time for More Conversions
Research shows that conversion rates are directly related to the time it takes people to complete your form. The longer the form the lower the conversion rate.
Website analysis that uses on-page time as an indication of form completion rates is not an accurate indicator. Look for a form analytics provider who can identify:
- when a user starts and finishes your form by the activity on the form itself, not the page
- this information means you’re no longer guessing at form completion times and, as you optimise your form, you can check back in to identify the impact your changes are having.
- the number and type of fields users are completing before they submit your form
- this data can be used to establish the optional fields that could be removed from your process and those that should remain.
- which fields take users the longest to complete
- identifying time-consuming sections means you can develop solutions for those fields first saving more time for your users and delivering more conversions.
Useful Data Analysis Tools to Look Out For
When considering which software to use, ensure you can dive into important data elements like geography and user device. This will help you establish whether the same challenges are present in different countries and which tech – mobile, PC or tablet – requires form modifications.
These insights could save you significant amounts of resource by helping you direct your efforts to amend only those aspects of the form that cause issues for particular user segments.
The way data is presented is also important. Being able to easily manipulate reports and graphs means you can check back in on the performance of your form over days, weeks, months and years. By visualising a particular period you can measure the impact of your form optimisation activity as part of your A/B testing.
This is particularly valuable when seeking to gain the buy-in of decision makers to large-scale form changes including valuable items like checkout processing. Showing them exactly how users interact with your form and the challenges that exist is a powerful way to persuade them to back your optimisation plans.
Optimise Your Forms With Expert Support
Understanding the problems your form presents is all well and good but knowing what to do next can be equally as challenging. Good form analytics providers don’t just leave you hanging with a tonne of data but no idea what to do with it.
Find a provider who delivers this additional level of support to help you optimise your form design more quickly and effectively.
Hopefully these tips have helped you understand how to rescue an existing form. By investing in website analysis software not only will you turn one form around but you can continue to assess the performance of a range of forms. By developing your understanding of what works and what doesn’t for your customers, you can be sure you’re on the path to great user experience via solid form design.
Improving Insurance Forms Reviewing the top 31 insurance forms