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We have all filled out our share of forms online: banking forms, registration forms, purchase forms, address and shipping forms, billing forms, contact forms, surveys…the list goes on and on and on.  Thank goodness for autocomplete!  Forms are a part of the online landscape, and one that we like to ignore as we find something prettier to look at.  They can hurt your conversion rate as visitors turn away so they do not have to complete one more form, autocomplete or not.  Here are some tips that will help with CRO and SEO:

  1. Pare down your input requirements.  If you have an online form now, take a look at it. Are you asking for information that is not strictly required?  This is a big deterrent and decreases your conversion rate; instead, use only what you need and leave the extras out.
  2. Use clear, concise wording and alignment. In general, your readers will expect forms to be left aligned and vertically stacked.
  3. Shrink it down. When you have put your form on a diet, shrink it a little further. You could, for instance, make it into a sidebar instead of a whole page, which makes them seem less like work!
  4. Make it easier and faster.  Does your form allow the cursor to automatically move on to the next empty field?  If someone forgets to fill in a box, does your form provide an error message telling them specifically where they missed an input field?
  5. If you break it up, do so wisely. The danger of long forms is that visitors will opt out. The danger of breaking up forms into small chunks is that they will stop filling them out partway through the process.  What you can do to combat both problems is present a form for the information you absolutely need. You then present a second, optional form for more in-depth information with a “No, thanks” option for users in a hurry.

Forms are a make or break part of your website; to make sure that the work you’ve put into designing and creating great content is as effective as possible, make your forms user-friendly, easy, and quick.

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