Useful Stuff

Form CRO Part 1 – Measure Your Forms Effectively

Forms.  They’re such crucial, delicate conversion components of many websites.  
Unfortunately, many website owners fall into the trap of assuming that forms are just going to be completed once a user arrives at them.  Once the user has stated their intent, clicked on a call to action, and seen a form, then they are more likely to complete it than not… right?
No.  Not right.  Many forms have attrition rates higher than completion rates.  

When looking at your website forms – be it a simple enquiry or a complex stage in a checkout process - you should challenge them.  Ask yourself, what reasons would a user have for not completing this form?  Too many fields? Is it not obvious what happens next? Are they concerned about their data protection?
We’ve been doing loads of insight into form performance here, and thought we’d share some of the insight.  Because we're nice like that.


First things first.  Just like any component of a site.  The more measurement you can do.  The more clues for improvement you will have.

1) Create funnels 
Sounds obvious.  It is pretty ‘obvs’ actually. But 9/10 of the sites we come across down measure their funnels properly through analytics!  Even if you just have a 1 stage process:

1 stage conversion process
You should still setup a funnel for it:

It’s one of the more simple pieces of configuration you can do in Google/Universal Analytics, and the report it creates is one of the most visually powerful.  You can read more about funnel visualisations here

Use this report to ask yourself ‘Is this form / form stage doing its job properly? 

2) Measure specific field interactions
You may think your forms as a stage by stage, page-by-page funnel process.  But really, funnels exist within your forms too:

So, you should be tracking every form interaction. 
  • Which field prompts most non-completing users to leave on most occasions?
  • What % of user who start a form by interacting with the first field, actually get to the next stage of the form (or complete it)?
This field-to-field interaction can be configured through event tracking in Google Analytics, using form event objects such as onBlur or onChange.
You can even implement this tagging yourself through Google Tag Manager, by using your own variables/macros and custom tracking scripts (see this great post from LunaMetrics)

3) Field corrections
Use specific form analytic tools like the wonderful Formisimo to see which fields users are returning to and deleting things in:

Formisimo can even show you ‘problem field’ visualisations, by combining drop-off, time spent, and correction metrics:

3) Form & field timings
  • How long does it take on average for a user to complete a form, or a funnel?
  • How well correlated are form completion times and form completion rates?
  • How long does it take for users to complete individual fields?
This can be measured by implementing Google (Universal) Analytics’ User Timing functionality – and calling the ga(‘send’, ‘timing’ function when a certain event happens – you can read more about it here.
Formisimo includes form timing measurement too, and is little easier to implement too with just a simple script pasted on the form page.
I should nod to Decibel Insight too, which also has advanced form tracking capability, and can help you track completion times:

Just get your form interaction data recorded as above, and know it.  Know your overall form attribution / abandonment rates.  Know your problem fields.  Know your average form timings.  
Get the performance data on your forms.  Don’t just change Address Line 2 just because you ‘feel that it might be a problem'. 
User test your audience on your forms.  Then you have the ammunition to implement or test changes, and before-and-after your changes.  

©Copyright 2013 The ConversionArium Ltd
Call 0800 612 7164