If you are using web analytics to study your website traffic, then you should also use form analytics to track all your form submissions.
Forms are essential in meeting some of your conversion goals. And if you have form analytics, you can derive many critical insights regarding your forms such as how many people viewed it, how many responded and accomplished it, how many abandoned it, what are the fields that were constantly left off and where your respondents came from.
It is only by referencing these insights that you will know how you can improve your forms for better submissions and conversion rates. In this article, we will discuss the different form analytics tools you can use to keep track of your forms.
Track forms with Google Analytics
Google Analytics will help you understand how your website is perceived by your visitors, but it won’t give you the entire picture unless you do some extra work. In short, you have to tell Google Analytics to keep track of the goals that are critical to your business.
If tracking forms is one of them, you can do that with Google Analytics Goals, and there are two ways you can do so – you can set it up as a Destination or as an Event in Google Analytics Goals.
Briefly, Google Analytics Goals allows you to understand your visitors better and get reports on metrics that are essential to your business. You can track leads, newsletter signups, downloads and form submissions to name a few.
Google Analytics Goals as a destination
More often than not, a successfully filled out form is redirected to a ‘Thank You’ page. If you want to track the number of your form submissions by the number of redirects to your ‘Thank You’ page, then you can track it as Destination in Google Analytics Goals.
To set it up, go to your Google Analytics account. Click on ‘Admin’ and scroll over to ‘Goals’.
Once you click on ‘Goals, you will see that there are four goals you can create within Google Analytics – destination (which is what we are doing since form submissions will be tracked by the number of redirects to the ‘Thank You’ page), duration, pages / screens per session and event.
To start setting it up, click on ‘+ New Goal’.
Then fill up the fields for Goal description and Goal details accordingly. For Goal description, enter a name (in this example, we will use ‘Form Submissions’) and then click on ‘Destination’ for the type. Click on ‘Continue’.
For Goal details, enter the values after ‘.com’ on your ‘Thank You’ page. If your ‘Thank You’ page has this for a URL – www.ecommercestore.com/thank-you/, then copy /thank-you/ and paste it on the field after ‘Equals to’.
Click on ‘Save’.
You’ve just created a goal that will allow you to track the number of form submissions and you can use this to verify if you are meeting your submission and conversion goals or not.
Google Analytics Goals as an event
If you want to track form submissions as an event, you need to configure your form first on your website. For purposes of illustration, we will discuss how to track form submissions as an event when a WordPress website uses the Contact Form 7 plugin.
The first step is to ensure your Google Analytics Universal Tracking code is on your website. Paste it on your code snippet as part of the header or simply use the Google Analyticator plugin.
Once the Contact Form 7 plugin is installed and you are done creating your form, you need to add some extra settings.
Adding this code – on_sent_ok: “ga(‘send’, ‘event’, ‘Contact Form’, ‘sent’);” – will be responsible for sending an event to Google Analytics whenever someone accomplishes your form. Copy and paste the code under ‘Additional Settings’.
Now, login to your Google Analytics account. Go to ‘Admin’, ‘Goals’ and then click on ‘+ New Goal’. Fill up the sections for Goal description and Goal details. For Goal description, enter a name (let’s use Form Submissions here too) and then select the ‘Event’ radio box.
For Goal details, enter values after ‘Category Equal to’ and ‘Action Equal to’. For purposes of illustration, we’ve added ‘Contact Form’ and ‘sent’ respectively to track form submissions. You can enter a value for the label also if you have multiple forms on your website to track.
Click on ‘Save’.
Make sure to test your setting if it is yielding the right number of submissions. With real time tracking on Google Analytics, you can immediately see if your setup is correct or not. On your account, simply go to Real Time – Conversions. Submit a test form and see if the current value will change.
Track forms with Inspectlet
Inspectlet is an analytics company offering web form analytics as one of its services. Their form analytics service will tell you the performance of your forms and provide you with other information critical to your conversion goals.
To help you understand your form completion and submission rates better, they provide customers with four reports – Conversion, Hesitation, Fill and Ignored Field Reports.
The Conversion Report shows how effective a form is at converting inbound visitors. Right off the bat, it indicates how many of the total visitors interacted and converted using the form.
The Hesitation Report tells the fields on the forms visitors are hesitating to provide the most. Inspectlet uses a unique hesitation algorithm that provides a variety of signals such as time spent thinking about what to enter on a particular field, helping clients understand what they can do to improve their forms’ completion and submission rates.
They also have a Fill Report that tells how often visitors are filling out a particular form field. This can help uncover different issues the form fields may have. Is there a confusion about the expected input? Are there validation errors occurring you are not aware of? Are people simply not interested in providing certain information, hence a number of form fields are skipped?
And finally, the Ignored Field Report. This identifies form fields that are least engaged with. After looking at the report, you may consider foregoing some fields to make your form more appealing and easier to complete.
Learn more about Inspectlet here.
Track with Clicktale
Clicktale’s web form analytics service provides users an in-depth view of their visitors’ interactions with their website forms. It shows which form fields are being dropped at, which take the most time to complete and so much more. Similar to Inspectlet, the Clicktale form analytics suite provides five reports – Conversion, Drop, Time, Blank Field, and Refill reports.
The Conversion Report provides a general description of how visitors interacted with a form. The insights that can be derived can be used to detect whether conversion issues are due to the form design, the information being asked or not.
This report divides visitors into four categories – visitors who landed on the page, visitors who never interacted with the form, visitors who interacted with the form and visitors who tried to submit a form and failed.
The Drop Report reveals how many visitors dropped at each of the form fields. Form fields with a high drop rate may indicate that the information being asked is not entirely clear. It also possible that visitors were not comfortable sharing the required information, there were too many fields to answer or there are errors in the form fields itself.
The Time Report displays the average time visitors interacted with the different form fields. It measures the amount of time a visitor went from one form field to the next. A field that takes time to complete may compel you to clarify what the field requires from your visitors. It can also mean that the field needs information not readily available, hence the long time spent.
The Blank Field Report indicates the form fields that were deliberately left blank by visitors. It can mean that certain form fields are difficult to understand or simply deemed unimportant. A possible solution to this is to place disclaimers below the form fields in question to compel visitors to provide them anyway.
And finally, the Refill Report shows which form fields visitors had to answer again due to the form failing to submit. There might be some errors in your forms you are not aware about yet. This is a good report to reference as you optimize your forms.
Beyond these reports, Clicktale’s web form analytics service also records and plays back visitor interactions with the form including mouse movements, keystrokes and interactions with fields, drop down lists, radio buttons and more. It reveals the frictions encountered by visitors, which in turn can be solved through continuous form optimization and testing.
Learn more about Clicktale here.
Track with JotForm
JotForm is an online form software that has web form analytics as one of its free services. This tool allows JotForm users to analyze form data, improve responses, identify customer behaviors and ultimately, raise conversion rates.
It helps improve forms in three ways. First, by analyzing traffic. Form analytics data shows how many people viewed the forms, what the response rate is and where traffic is coming from. It also shows the technology platforms users are on when they interacted with the form. This knowledge is especially handy when prioritizing and optimizing questions on mobile devices.
Second, by helping users understand their customers. Form submission data is critical in finding out response rates, traffic and in plotting behavior trends.
And lastly, by revealing critical insights. If data reveals your form traffic is high, but conversion rates are low, then you have to evaluate your forms. Your questions might be too long, you might even be asking irrelevant questions or your form is difficult to interact with. These insights will be your guiding principles as you change, test and improve your form.
Learn more about Jotform here.
Track with Formisimo
Formisimo is a UK-based form analytics company with clients including Secret Escapes, Uber and Toyota. It offers a cloud-based web form analytics tool specifically targeted to improve the performance of forms. It identifies different reasons why forms go unfilled such as oddly worded questions, layout or formatting errors or rogue auto-filling fields.
Like the other tools we’ve discussed so far, it has different reports uncovering 54 metrics designed to show exactly where the problems in the forms are located. Access to reports are all for free.
Learn more about Formisimo here.
Track with Lucky Orange
Lucky Orange is another web form analytics tool that generates five main reports on abandonment, time to start, field time, average order and repeated fields. Similar to Clicktale, Lucky Orange uses recordings of forms being filled out to uncover behaviors that can be used to improve form submissions and conversion rates.
The Abandonment Report identifies which fields of the form were abandoned by users. Fields that have a high abandonment rate should be considered removed from the form altogether or improved with a more appropriate label.
The Time to Start Report basically tells how long a visitor is on a page before filling out the form. This is the report that’s paired with behavior-tagged recordings, which show what visitors are doing before filling out the form. Insights from this report can be used to make decisions on what type of content to include in the form so visitors engage with the form faster and more frequently.
The Field Time Report identifies which fields of the form take the longest to fill out. As a possible source of friction, insights derived from this report can tell you what fields you should consider removing altogether or making optional.
The Order Report shows the order in which the form is completed. The insights from this report will show you if people fill out the forms in the way it was originally laid out or if they follow a particular order. This can be used as a basis when rearranging form fields to match the order to increase the ease of submission.
And finally, the the Repeated Fields Report. Fields that will show up in this report may have validation errors or cause frequent confusion. Insights from this report are essential during testing.
Start tracking form submissions and conversions with Lucky Orange for 10 dollars a month.
Learn more about Lucky Orange here.
Why should your use forms on your website?
Web forms are one of the main interaction points between you and your visitors. By setting up one on your website, your visitors can send in their data, which you can use for meeting your conversion goals, for marketing and for reaching out to them in the future.
The use of forms is very flexible too.
You can use it for your online orders and payments, lead generation needs, surveys and market research, registration and contact details and even for invitations and RSVPs for your events.
You can customize your form templates too with your branding guidelines. You can use templates from online form software companies like Wufoo, Formstack, JotForm and Google Forms. And if you are using WordPress, you can use the Contact Form 7 plugin or Formidable Forms when creating your web forms.
The goal you may have behind your form may be diverse, but to maximize its conversion, applying certain industry best practices is advised. Here are some web form analytics best practices you can apply as you create and improve your forms.
Keep it short and simple. Unless certain fields are super necessary, keep the form short and easy to accomplish. To know which fields you have to remove, reference reports like the Ignored Field or Blank Report.
Explain the information you want to get. Visitors drop out of forms primarily because they are confused. It is best practice to have a short explanation next to the fields about the information you want your visitors to provide. This is assuring and clears out any friction that may cause them to spend more time or abandon the form midway.
Mark mandatory fields as mandatory. Label it with an asterisk and have a way of telling them the field is necessary to the form’s completion. If they only find out that a particular field they skipped is mandatory as they are trying to submit the form, it can frustrate them.
Ask only for essential information. Some form fields may be repetitive or can be left off without affecting the objectives you wish to fulfill. Optimize your form to the bare essentials.
Always test for improvements. Test your form fields, change your CTA buttons and make small improvements to your form’s overall design. It is only by testing and applying incremental changes to your forms that you can arrive at its best version.
Applying these best practices and combining it with form analytics will definitely help boost your form submissions and conversions. If you are using Google Analytics, set up goals on your account and start tracking form performance. Consider Inspectlet, Clicktale, JotForm, Formisimo and Lucky Orange too for more comprehensive reports and insights.