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4 form analytics secrets to up your conversion rate optimization game

Here’s a scary stat: 81% of website visitors abandon an online form after beginning to fill it out. Whether a checkout form, registration or anything in between, this vital conversion method is one of the largest sources of struggle for users. Form analytics can help you optimize conversion rates on your online forms so you can turn desertion into deals.

Here are four proven ways to optimize form conversions using form analytics data.  

#1 Eliminate unnecessary fields

A great place to start is to tighten up your form top to bottom. More than 25% of people don’t fill out a form because it’s too long. The more you can minimize the amount of work your user has to do, the better.

The solution:

  • Go through your form with a fine tooth comb, and remove any required fields that you don’t really need information for. (Side benefit: these fields could also be causing user validation errors.)
  • Consider cutting optional fields which can reduce one or more decision points. Typically, a low percentage of visitors complete optional fields, so check your form analytics data. If the completion rate for an optional field is low, and you don’t really need the information, eliminate the field for a better user experience.
Less is more: Removing fields increases your chances of visitors filling out forms and improving your conversion rate.

#2 Label all fields as required or optional

Not all fields are created equal, so don’t treat them that way. Approach each field through your users’ point of view. For instance, a whopping 37% of people will leave a form that requests their phone number, but when it’s optional, completions double.

The solution:

  • Mark each field as required or optional so visitors don’t have to guess what an unmarked field means (and risking that they fill it out incorrectly).
  • Conversely, use more “optional” fields where possible. Users want to know they have control and freedom when it comes to their personal data.
  • Tell your users how their data will be used. For fields such as phone number, visitors may be reluctant to provide this information if they are concerned about what will happen with the data. The addition of some microcopy above the field or a tooltip that explains how their data will be used (i.e. a mobile number may be used for assisting with account recovery) can help alleviate these concerns and provide reassurance.

#3 Take a mobile-first approach

If visitors are going to fill out a form, the vast majority tackle it on desktop. Since most web traffic these days occurs on mobile devices, to increase your chances users will complete a form on mobile, ensure it is optimized for smaller screens.

Only 3% of visitors prefer to fill out a form on mobile, so it’s critical to create a user-centric experience for mobile devices.

The solution:

  • Make it easy and efficient for users to fill out the form by presenting the keyboard for each field matches the required task. For example, if a user activates the email address field on mobile, present the email keyboard with the “@” symbol handy and autocorrect and auto-capitalization turned off.
  • Use a single-column format, which keeps the flow of the column in one direction, top to bottom, and doesn’t introduce any confusion about where they are on the form.
  • Use radio buttons, specifically styled for mobile, instead of drop-down menus where possible. Mobile drop-downs hide options and require two taps. Radio buttons allow all options to be seen with just one tap. 

#4 Display error messages and validation in-line

Visitors want to know in real-time how they’re progressing through a form. Seeing all errors after hitting “submit” can be overwhelming and requires back-tracking to inspect each field.

The solution:

  • Review your form analytics data and look for questions or fields in your form that cause a disproportionately high number of users to struggle. Review interaction maps and session replays to get an idea of the root cause. Can the question be rephrased, made optional or eliminated altogether to create a better experience?
  • Display field-level error messages in-line. If a user leaves a required field blank or inputs an invalid entry into a required field, they’ll immediately know and can correct it before scrolling on.
  • Provide a clear, concise reason for the error (invalid date, empty field, etc.) and make it easy to view.
  • Display confirmation of a correct field completion in the form of a green checkmark or other visible indicator. For instance, after a user creates a valid unique username, show a green checkmark so it’s clear they can can proceed to the next step.

Striking the right balance of collecting information and delivering a great user experience can be challenging. Leveraging form analytics to do a thorough and thoughtful review of your form fields will deliver a frictionless digital journey and maximize conversion rates.

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