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Form Conversion Rate Optimization

Summary: Learn how a combination of form optimization and speed improved conversion rates by more than 92%,

Optimizing conversion rates is a great way to boost your leads without spending more on advertising. Your website's conversion rate is the percentage of people that "drink the koolaid" and click, buy, download, or subscribe to a call to action. Forms and shopping carts are an ideal place to apply conversion rate optimization techniques. This article shows how form simplification and speed can boost conversion rates by more than 90%.

Case Study: is an international trade management company that facilitates the import and export of goods. In analyzing the site we found that their intake form for email leads was overly complex and split into two pages (see Figure 1). home page form before

Figure 1: Home Page Form Before Redesign

The first form used four checkboxes to qualify leads. The second stage of the form gathers relevant contact and business information in 8 fields (see Figure 2). home page form before

Figure 2: Second Form Before Redesign

Form After Redesign

Walkerworldtrade used a total of 12 fields to gather leads. It is well known that the simpler the form and fewer the fields, the higher the conversion rate. What would happen if we optimized the form to gather the minimal amount of information and eliminate the second stage? Figure 3 shows the simplified one-stage intake form (click on the form to see the redesigned home page). home page form after redesign

Figure 3: Home Page Form After Redesign

The new form uses 5 fields in one stage, cutting the number of fields by more than half, and reducing the number of steps from 2 to 1. The client wanted to do some qualification so a "Company" field was added.

Improvement in Conversion Rate

The improvement in conversion rate was over 92% (see Figures 4 and 5). Through a combination of form optimization and speed improvement (we moved the site to a faster server with the redesign), Walker's conversion rate increased by 92.4%. conversion rate before/after redesign

Figure 4: Conversion Rate Before/After Redesign conversion rate improvement

Figure 5: Conversion Rate Improvement

Additional Conversion Rate Tweaks

There are, of course, other variables that could be changed to improve conversions. The SUBMIT button text could be varied to "Click Here", "Go", or "ASK US!" Some studies suggest that SUBMIT can actually reduce conversions by up to 3% (see below). The background color and the call to action text ("Get started here" and "or call..." could also be tested. A multivariate test would be the best way to further optimize conversions.


Conversion rate optimization is a cost-effective way to squeeze more leads from your existing website traffic. A combination of form optimization and speed improved conversion rates by more than 92%.

Further Reading

100 Conversion Rate Optimization Studies
Shows case studies on conversion rate optimization.
Adaptive Multivariate Testing
Faster than full factorial methods AMVT techniques require lower traffic and less time to get statistically significant results. A service from WSO.
Conversion Rate Optimization
A chapter on conversion rate optimization from my book Website Optimization Secrets.
How to optimize contact forms
Shows some statistics from studies on form conversion rate optimization including reducing the number of fields, SUBMIT button text, and more.
The import/export site featured in this article.

By website optimization on 23 Oct 2014 PM

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Last modified: October 30, 2014.

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