Online marketing can be tiring! That’s where UpCity comes in. As a trusted advocate for small businesses, we’re here to navigate you through the piles of confusing and suspicious offers. UpCity will lead you in the right direction by providing easy insights and simple solutions for your business marketing plan. Members receives an in-depth, personalized action plan to help optimize their site, and our team is here to help you along the way.
In this weekly blog series, we’re featuring an in-depth look at one of the recommended tasks built into the UpCity software for our clients. These strategies individually contribute to your online presence and increase your chances of bringing free traffic to your site. Subscribe to the UpCity Daily Tips Newsletter for daily recommendations on how to bring customers to your site.
If customers are going to subscribe, purchase or contact an item from your website, it’s important to make this process as easy as possible. An online contact form is very beneficial as an optimization strategy. Not only is it a convenient format to reach out and grab user attention, but it’s also a conversion pathway. A contact form provides an easy method for a business to retain information, as well as measure and track progress internally. Moreover, a contact form signifies trust because the business will eventually be communicating with them.
About 66% of small business websites do not have a form-fill option for its customers to request information, according to a SMB DigitalScape, vSplash and BIA/Kelsey study in March 2012. A surprising majority of SMBs are overlooking this relatively simple conversion optimization effort. SMBs are missing out on a huge opportunity to streamline the process of increasing engagement while gathering essential visitor information.
To drive more business, it’s important to establish a contact form on your website. When customers can enter their information in fields provided on a website, this allows the collection and identification of data. Overall, this strategy helps increase the sales conversion process. Especially in today’s world of mobile and digital content using various multi-screens, consumers are multi-tasking and don’t have a lot of time to spend. Oftentimes, websites only have one short chance to grab a user’s information upon a site visit. It’s important to compile a streamlined process to grab that information quickly and tactfully.
Here are some optimization tips we compiled to help you on our way to creating a successful contact form strategy for your business:
- Most CMS systems such as WordPress offer free plugins tools to create an online contact form with its dashboard. Follow the instructions as outlined in the CMS to install the plugin, personalize it in the settings area, and quickly create a custom collection form for your website.
- Connect the field information to CRM software, which will automatically keep track of those leads and help you to create a seamless follow-up method. Whether you want to call the client, send an auto-personalized email, or send a monthly newsletter, there are many low-cost options out there for you to choose from that will deliver the information exactly as you want.
Web Form Builders:
- If you are not using a standard CMS or if you are using a customized site, consider using a third party web form builder to create a quality contact form. Sites such as Adobe, Constant Contact or EmailMeForm are great examples of customized software. Encouraged for all levels from beginner marketers to advanced designers, these tools create personalized forms that will get the job done.
- We recommend EmailMeForm, which offers a variety of contact form services to seamlessly integrate with your website. With pricing from free to $40 a month, the platform offers contact forms for emails, newsletters, order forms, surveys, and more. Exceptional features include auto-responders, customization, multi-pages, reporting, set-up builder, themes, and more. More details about EmailMeForm can be found here.
Essential Items to Include in Your Form:
- Less is more when it comes to contact forms. Contrary to what some people may think, a reduced number of fields for users to fill in will provide a higher return rate.
- Mandatory versus optional fields is another item to consider when creating your contact form. Ask yourself what fields do you absolutely need to have. We’d recommend only including questions on your sign-up form that are mandatory. If you include optional fields, are they necessary to include at all?
- When you decide on the essential data to display in your contact form, consider the details of each answer. For example, if you are asking for a full name and phone number, do you also need the full address? Perhaps you should ask for the city name instead of the full address. A complicated and large number of questions will not be worthwhile in this case.
- As you build out your contact form, be sure to include significant questions that will allow you to easily contact or identify the client. Important identifier fields to consider are business name, website, name, email, address, city name, etc.
- No matter what your intention is for the contact form, it’s a smart idea to display your business logo and contact information on the layout of the page (business name, address, email, phone number).
- Consider showing a confirmation page directly after the contact form is submitted. Many of the third party tools mentioned above will have this feature built into the tool. The confirmation page verifies the user’s work has been accounted for, and the page displays important links to other pages on the website to visit.
- Incorporate social media. You should always have an easily accessible way for users to share a page of your website at any time.
- In addition, you may want to think about how the client will respond as you carefully craft each question. For example, responses from clients can include: check boxes, drop downs, multiple choices, numbered answers, or long/short open responses. Don’t demand a multiple-choice answer when it can easily be answered with a one word open submission. Most likely, the most effective response method is to consider the fastest way a user will provide a response. Providing a one-word response verses having them read through and select a drop down menu response could be a faster method to fill in the form.
- Optimize the the call-to-actions First, the call-to-action icons should be visible. In addition, it’s important the the call-to-actions are attractive, inviting, and not too demanding. Instead of an ordinary demand of “Submit Now,” why not use a personalized invitation such as “Register for our newsletter” A business can create a powerful contact form, but if the user doesn’t see or gets turned off by the “Submit Here” button, you won’t get their answers.
- To increase your conversion rate, perform A-B or split testing throughout the process of setting up your contact forms and at least every few months afterward. Test as much as you can, and consider factors like the call-to-action button, a reduction in the number of fields, how you’re wording the questions, etc. If you track a 25% completion rate, don’t settle. Look to what could increase those completions, and why not try for 30% next time?
- With the surge of mobile devices in today’s world, it’s important to think about the usability of your website. Imagine a user attempting to fill in many fields and submit a complicated submission form via their mobile phone, or maybe they can’t fill in the opt-in form because it’s not compatible with the tablet they’re using. Preventing frustrations like these should be important to your business when designing a user-compatible web form.
Providing an accessible, easy to navigate, and simple contact form for users is worthwhile for your business website. Although it can take some time to develop and plan out, a quality contact form will provide traffic, trust, and value for your business.
Complete other optimization tasks in the UpCity curriculum to fulfill more benefits of SEO for your site. UpCity members, follow this pathway to complete this task in your UpCity account: Optimize Your Presence > Expand Your Presence II > Website 201: Website Optimization.