We see a lot of new websites every day, made by people looking to promote a business and get more clients. By building one of WordPress’s most popular contact form plugin, we’ve learned a lot about what makes a lead generation form tick.
Forms make the web a two way conversation. When you create that lead generation form for your site, you’re looking to start that conversation and turn it into your new business relationships. First impressions matter.
This is a very important topic here at Caldera Labs. We don’t want to just give you a form, we want it to help you grow your following, your business and your career. Based on our experience, we have five major questions we believe you should ask yourself before creating a form to ensure that it helps grow your business so you can achieve great victory in 2018.
#1: Is Your Form Mobile-Friendly?
Your forms must work on any type of device. In 2018, a site that isn’t totally usable on mobile is not an option. Therefore, your forms must be responsive and you must know they work on any of the hundreds of device types in use today.
The “squish test” is not enough for checking the mobile-friendliness of your form or your whole site. Testing on your phone is good, but it doesn’t represent the thousands of phones, tablets, internet connected TVs, etc, your site visitors might be using.
These are good tools for testing your site’s mobile-friendliness:
- Chrome Developer Tools: Mobile Emulation
- This is a good for quick tests, but is not an exhaustive solution.
- Test your site on all the browsers
- Browser for web developers
2. Is Your Form Accessible?
In the United States and most countries, if you open a brick and mortar business, it has to have accessible entrances, bathrooms and other facilities so people with disabilities are not excluded. Websites should be no different.
When adding a lead page to your site, you need to ensure that your form’s HTML markup is valid so that assistive devices, such as screen readers, can properly navigate them. Further, it’s important to be able to navigate and fill them out using only a keyboard.
Accessibility on the web is about more than those with screen readers. Is your text size readable by those with impaired vision — especially important if your audience is elderly — or those with color blindness?
Accessibility testing should be a part of the process of developing your site and the forms on it. You can use these tools to test for accessibility issues:
Being the business who thinks of the client using an assistive device can be the trait that gets you the client. More than that, it’s the right thing to do.
3. Is Your Form Translation Friendly?
Not everyone speaks the language you do, and more and more clients are starting global, multi-lingual businesses. If your form can communicate that you’re ready to serve a global audience, this may be the differentiator you need to get more clients.
If you don’t provide multilingual forms, test with the Google Translation browser extension. Make sure all fields translate. Text in images will not translate.
Here are two solutions for creating forms that are available in multiple languages:
4. Is Your Form Loaded Over HTTPS?
Right now, WordPress does not require a valid SSL certificate be installed and HTTPS be used. But it is strongly recommended and at this point your WordPress site really should use SSL. If you have a form on your site that accepts passwords — such as wp-login — or credit card info, Google Chrome will mark the page with the form as insecure.
Google is becoming more aggressive with this and apparently is applying the “Deceptive Warning” red screen until previously compromised sites migrate to HTTPS. This makes sense. If your site isn’t using HTTPS the content of the form or the form submission can be read, modified and changed by anyone. With HTTPS you know that your leads are filling out the right form and their data is private as it goes from their browser to your server.
You don’t want prospective clients seeing a “Deceptive Warning” screen on your website!
5. How Do You Track Conversions?
It’s important to know if your form is converting or not. That might be as simple as tracking page loads vs. form submissions. You might also want to know how many times your page is viewed vs. how many times your form is visible on the page. You need to know what events you consider a conversion.
Knowing when your form converts, when it doesn’t and why is essential. Google Analytics, HotJar and MixPanel are great analytics solutions for event tracking and more. We use and recommend Google Analytics with our Google Analytics add-on for form tracking.
What Conversions Events Are You Tracking?
Here are different events that you should track as part of your funnel leading up to form submission, be it a lead form, or checkout form:
- Page view
- Add to cart/ View Lead Form
- Abandoned Cart/ Partial Form Submission
- Purchase/ Form Submitted
- Post Conversion Events
BONUS: What Do You Need To Know?
An important rule to follow is to ask for as little information as you need in a form. Why? The more fields you have, the less conversions, in general you will have. Think about lead generation as the first part of the conversation. Don’t ask everything you need to know ever from someone. Find out who they are, how to get in touch with them and what they are interested in.
If the lead looks good to you — this is a process called qualifying leads we will cover more in the future — then you can ask them more information or send them a second form. But, don’t hurt your chances to get more clients by overwhelming them with too many questions.
This is a topic we are very passionate about obviously. Christie spoke at WordCamp Ann Arbor 2017 on building contact forms that convert and win. We were both guests on The WPCrowd Podcast, along with our friend Matt from Give talking about building forms that convert. I was a guest on the Press This podcast from WPEngine and wrote a follow up post for Torque.
As you work in 2018 to achieve your goals, make sure that your forms are encouraging new clients to speak to you by being simple, mobile-friendly, accessible and secure.