Testing Form Fields

If you have a website, chances are it has at least one form. Forms are ubiquitous, and can be used for a number of purposes:

  • General Contact Forms
  • Questions/Support
  • Lead Generation – free downloads, product demos, etc.
  • Email List Subscription
  • Checkout

The goal of these forms is to get submissions. You would not have a form on your website if you did not want people to use it.

The problem is, most companies do not spend much time thinking about their forms. They create them, post them, and monitor the information submitted through them. But otherwise, they are ignored.

Why? Just a little time and energy can make them better.

The biggest thing we should be doing, or at least thinking about doing, is testing form fields. By that I mean, modifying the fields in an attempt to get more people to use and submit the forms.

More submissions = better*

Here are a number of ways you can test form fields:

  1. Test the number of fields. Usually, the shorter a form, the more likely people will be to submit it. Eliminate fields that are superfluous or unnecessary.
  2. Test the look of the fields. Colors, field size, and fonts can all impact the general attractiveness of your forms. You can use web design to make your form stand out and look easy to navigate.
  3. Test the way your fields function. Consider how your form functions on a phone, since nearly half of all traffic to your site will be mobile. Can I tab from one field to the next? Is it clear what information is required? Does it automatically recognize numbers vs. text, phone numbers vs. email addresses, etc.?
  4. Test the way you name your fields. Simply changing the titles or descriptions of fields on your form may make them easier for your visitors to navigate and understand.

*With lead generation forms, sometimes more submissions does not lead to more sales. Why? Because it all depends on the quality of the lead. If we ask for fewer pieces of information on the initial form, we may get more people to submit the form, but they may be less qualified than a lead who fills out a longer form. So beware.