Optimization tips > Top 20 DIY expert secrets

The top 20 secrets conversion rate experts are using in 2016

Optimize Your Online Forms Yourself

Ron E, 06/07/2016
Optimize Your Online Forms Yourself

Did you ever get help from a conversion rate expert? Look it up in google, there are quite a few of them and for a good reason: Improving conversion rates is one of the most important tasks for anyone with web presence. In this short post we will share with you some of their secrets and show you how you can improve online form conversions on your own.

1- Test, test test

Understanding that there is more than one way of doing things and that small changes may have large impact on your conversions is the starting point for any conversion rate optimization effort.
Regardless of your key message, your design, the number of fields, etc, testing and comparing conversion rates is the safest way to optimize. Further more, according to Jana Fung in her post "3 Simple A/B Tests for PPC Campaigns (And Why You Need Them)": "While you could change up the entire campaign altogether and hope you see an improvement, a simple A/B tests can help gradually increase click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, and decrease bounce rate."
Read here about A/B testing and how you can use it to test your key message.

2- Understand your visitors: Chat with them

Adding a live chat service to your forms is one of the common recommendations given by CRO experts. Get real time feedback, understand if and where you are losing visitors and change your online form accordingly. With FormTitan’s Built-in chat you can do this without requiring any 3rd party service. Read more about our live chat feature.

3- Keep it short

Ask only what you need. Try to refrain from using long forms. Studies have shown that shorter forms with 3-5 fields will get the best conversion rates. Use optional fields for everything which is not a must.

4- Not everyone is the same, Tailor your forms

Use dynamic forms with built in logic in order to keep your forms short and yet tailor them to your individual visitors. E.g. you can ask for gender and based on the response show or hide the following fields. Use nested logic for cases in which the decision to show or hide fields is based on multiple factors.

5- Watch your CTA (call to action)

Be very clear about your call to action. In addition to making it stand out with contrasting colors, pay attention to its message. Try to be more specific than just “submit”. Use something that reminds the user what he is asked to do. E.g. “RSVP now”, or “Signup now”.
Sarah Rodriguez discuses number of CTA's and their messages in her post "The PPC Landing Page Optimization Series – Call-to-Action. She says that . "Often, I see landing pages with no CTA or 5 different (and even conflicting) CTAs. Both of these situations are bad."

6- Not everyone speaks your language

Is your form relevant for multi-national audience? Make sure to use an auto translate feature. Make it easy for your visitors to read and respond in their own languages. Users who understand your form are much more likely to respond to it.

7- Make it easy

You want to make it as easy as you can to fill your form. Use social autofill to let your users select their social network (facebook, google+ or linkedin) in order to autofill your form. WIth FormTitan, you can also use IP based Geolocation to pre-fill fields such as phone prefix or area code.

8- Do not repeat yourself

Show appreciation to the time and energy your users are spending while filling in your form. You should not ask the same question twice.

9- Be clear and organized

When you build your form, it's best to use only one column. Also, align all your fields and try to use top alignment for your labels to create a flow which takes your users all the way to your “send” button. Refrain from using multiple types and sizes of fonts.

10- Are some of your users on mobile?

Make sure that your design is responsive. As Andrew Thomas points out in his post "Why responsive design matters": "Users expect things to not only feel good to use, but look good".  And this is a fact, now that more and more people are using their mobile phones to do everything from email to browsing and form filling. You should also consider using an auto correct feature since many times mobile users tend to make small typos which you can fix for them on the fly.

11- Are they skipping some areas of your form?

Using heatmaps you can get a graphical representation of how your visitors moved along your Form. You can identify areas which are hot (red, orange or yellow), signalling that many visitors hover around these areas. Vs. areas which are cold (in blue or green), signalling that these areas are neglected. Such information may help you re-arrange your form or change some messages and fields.

12- Don’t wait till it's too late

Did you ever put together an ikea piece of furniture and found out at the end that you forgot one screw? This is how it feels when you fill a long form and only at its end you are asked to go back and make corrections. Use inline validation to check, on the fly, every entry made by your users.

13- Security matters

In current “cyber security” climate you can not underestimate the importance of letting your users feel secure about your form. A good idea would be to include a known 3rd party security seal on your form to increase your users confidence.


14- Privacy matters as well

Do you have a privacy policy? Anyone who collects data from users should have one. Add to your form a link to a privacy statement to clearly declare what you do and don’t do with your users’ personal data.

15- Use automated tools that can help your CRO

There are many conversion rate optimization rules. You don’t need to be an expert in order to use and benefit from these rules. Using a CRO engine like the one built into FormTitan, you get immediate access to a list of CRO rule “violations” conducted in your form. Read more about FormTitan’s approach to CRO

16- Stand out

When it comes to landing pages, do your best to stand out. You only get once chance to draw a user and get him to stay on your landing page instead of taking off within seconds. Use colors, high quality graphic and images or background movies. Read more about building landing pages that convert

17- Don’t give up, try winback

In Spite of all your efforts, most of the users bounce of your page without filling and submitting. In some cases, you may want to make one more effort: FormTitan enables you to use popups which are triggered by identifying a user’s intention to move away from your form. Read more about how you can benefit from a popup exit form.

18- Use custom system messages

Most online  form builders come with pre defined errors or system messages. It's a good practice to invest a few minutes in configuring these messages to your own needs. E.g instead of just saying “invalid number” as an inline validation message for an ID field. You can change the message to say: “Please insert your 10 digits ID number”.

19- Use Pre-filling

Are you sending a form to a known group of users? This happens many times when sending a survey. You may already know details about your users, but you still want to include these with your form. Use “Form Targeting” to automatically fill in the data you already have, so when a user opens the form, some of his info is already there.

20- What is your key message

Make sure to start your form with a clear statement that states its purpose. Weather its a landing page, or a different type of form you should pay a lot of attention to your wording. A good message will entice your users and keep them in page. A bad one will drive them away.