Online forms are the end-point in the majority of online processes, from buying a product to searching for a job, to applying for a mortgage. This prevalence means that the average user engages with forms on an hourly basis.
A typical online form requires more thought and interaction than the rest of the buying or interest funnel, so although the form may be classed as just a single page in a ten-page buying process the user will spend more time and register more key presses on this page.
In most cases, the highest drop-off point in a funnel is at the stage where you ask for information from the user. The majority of the value that disappears at this stage is not because the user has changed their mind, it's related to the user starting and then failing to complete the form. Understanding why users start but don't complete a form is the first step in optimising a form.
The definition of Form Analytics:
Form Analytics is an analytical process that measures how website visitors engage with forms. It can consist of many elements. The aim is to find user experience issues that - when fixed - will allow more users to complete the form successfully.
What do Form Analytics platforms do?
A Form Analytics platform will measure user behaviour in your online forms. A good platform will present the insight in a clear and concise way, making it easy for you to find issues in your forms, in the same way that you can use traditional analytics platforms to find issues within your user journeys.
Form Analytics is a method of analysing user behaviour in online forms. Whereas Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics are focused on users, pages and actions, Form Analytics is focused on users, fields and metrics. A form analytics platform will measure what users do within fields and generate useful insight based on either direct data or computed data. The latter is when a useful metric is built off the back of other metrics, with one example being the computed drop-off point in a form, which is calculated by looking at the last interacted field in a non-converting session.
How do I install a Form Analytics platform?
Other platforms ask that you make changes to the code within your page, often adding events (or similar) to each element within the form. This requires a developer and is time-consuming. If a change is made to the form in the future then more development work will be needed in order to track any additional fields.
Why does a company need to track their online forms?
Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is a trend that is becoming a norm for businesses. As competition online increases and the cost of acquiring a customer increases, more companies are engaging with conversion rate optimisation as a method to optimise their marketing spend and increase their online sales.
CRO has traditionally been focused on the early stages of a buying funnel, for example, the product pages or the search pages. This is understandable but there is a significant opportunity to increase conversion rates and sales by improving the end of the funnel, and that is where a form or a checkout process sites.
Forms and checkouts are often overlooked in the design and the development process, and are usually more functional and traditional rather than being focused on the user. Form conversion rate optimisation is becoming an important part of the overall CRO process.
Can my current Analytics Platform (Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics) measure form performance?
It's possible to use event tracking
Analytics platforms have significant strengths, whilst using a dedicated Form Analytics platform gives you deep behavioural insight that leads to change. Using both platforms, and combining the data between them, is the strongest solution.
Do I need a dedicated Form Analytics platform?
Some analytics suites contain a basic version of form analytics. This often has a limited number of reports, metrics and features. For example, Hotjar tracks just nine metrics, it doesn't allow you to view data over specific time periods and doesn't include advanced features like form funnels, field health scoring and the capability to work with complex form setups.
The Zuko team have spent six years creating a market leading Form Analytics platform that includes all the features required to optimise your forms.
How do I action Form Analytics data?
The aim of measuring user behaviour on your forms is to find optimisation opportunities. Zuko has been created to highlight the weak points in a form so that you can fix them. The volume of data behind our platform is significant, but the information is presented in a clear and concise way.
A typical process for taking form behaviour insight and then turning that into actions runs like this:
- Consider the minimum time period or sample size required to make a strong decision
- Install a Form Analytics platform, and measure user behaviour for that period
- Review the first batch of data, determine the weaknesses and opportunities and then build a list of potential tests
- Use Form behaviour data to predict the potential uplift from a form change then prioritise changes based on effort and return
- Roll out the first batch of form changes, ideally testing the new and old versions. Segment the two variants within your form analytics platform
- Review performance of form changes to measure success
- Set out regular (weekly or monthly) review and improvement points
- Review your usability insight, create and prioritise changes and continue the testing process
What conversion rate increase can you see from using Form Analytics?
The expected increase from an on-going form optimisation process will be based on the current performance of the form and how perfect or imperfect it is for your market. In my experience every form can be improved, therefore uplift is highly likely. Recently the Zuko team helped increase the form conversion rates by 9.8% for Capital One. Across all our Enterprise clients we've seen an average increase of 25% on conversion rates.
What does the data look like in a Form Analytics platform?
Zuko shows you insight in a similar way to Adobe Analytics or Google Analytics. You can view a video tour
of our platform. Insight can be analysed any time period (from a single day to multiple years) and segmented by custom data that you can push into Zuko.
What process should I run for optimising my forms?
Learning Phase: Your first batch of data
Measure form performance over a sensible period of time. The suggestion is two months which will normally cover two business cycles. It's important to cover regular dips and spikes in traffic so that you have a strong dataset.
It's also critical to remove some website visitors from your data, for example, your marketing team and development teams. This ensures that your insight is built from real customers.
Improve and Measure Phase
When the learning phase is completed you'll be able to isolate the challenges that users have in your form. Building a list of issues is the first step, prioritising them is the critical part of the optimisation process.
Using the data in Zuko, or with the support of your account manager, you'll be able to understand the potential optimisation opportunity with each change. This allows you to prioritise the changes that will result in the highest uplift first.
Continual Optimisation Phase
Measuring performance, rolling out changes regularly and then testing them, should be a continual process. It doesn't have to take significant resources each month.
What's important is that the performance of your forms is reviewed regularly and changes are made based on the data. As the marketing for a website changes so does the demographics of the site visitors, meaning that it's vital to measure performance continually.
Will a Form Analytics platform slow down my site?
A good form analytics platform will be delivered via a fast CDN (Content Delivery Network). As an example, Zuko is delivered via Amazon's CDN
To maintain a fast loading website it helps to use a Tag Manager
to defer tags so that they load just after the page loads. This reduces the risk that a slow-loading solution will slow down page load.
A Form Analytics platform will be delivering a significant amount of data from the browser back to the solution, and in the case of Zuko, this is an average of 1,600 pieces of data per individual who engages with a form. A good Form Analytics platform will also deal with this data in a timely and efficient manner, delivering the data in chunks, reducing any latency to virtually zero.
If speed is important to your business then make that a part of the selection process when you engage with Form Analytics providers.
Will my customers data be kept private?
A common challenge with using Session Replay
software when optimising forms is the capturing of Personally Identifiable Information (PII). This could include the name, email address or payment details of a customer, and in regulated industries, this could be a significant security challenge.
Form Analytics is focused on the user behaviour rather than the information that a user enters. Zuko would capture that a user has pressed a key within a field, but not the actual key pressed - the platform stores whether it was a letter, number or a special key (e.g. delete, backspace or cursor keys). No PII is tracked, transmitted or stored.
Dependent upon your industry you may class an IP address as PII. Zuko does not store the IP address of a user who visits a form that Zuko is installed on.