Test Your Web Forms

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Small business owners, it’s time to optimize your web forms for success! Forms are essential for capturing user data and making informed decisions based on that information. The most common type of form used by small business owners is a contact form, where potential clients can send messages or ask questions before making a purchase.

Let’s review what form testing is and how to implement it in your forms.

What is form testing?

Form testing is the process you go through to test the functionality and effectiveness of your forms. You can test for things like design, copy, validation, and calls to action. In addition, you can test functionality to ensure the forms are displaying the correct elements and sending users to the appropriate confirmation page.

What to test

Functionality

  • Validation – This is how you’ll make sure the information you receive is accurate. For example, you can check that only numbers are entered into phone fields and that email addresses are correctly formatted. Users will not be allowed to continue if there is an error. A message should appear letting the user know what’s wrong. Make sure the messaging is clear to your audience.
  • Notifications – You should be notified when a user submits your form. The user should also receive a confirmation message or email letting them know the status. Make sure the notifications are working.
  • Thank you page – Users are typically redirected to a thank you page after submitting a form. Make sure this is working and ensure the copy is clear with the next steps.
  • Mobile devices – It goes without saying, but you should be testing your forms on mobile, tablet, and desktop browsers. On the mobile side, make sure the form displays nicely on a small screen, with an easy-to-read font size, and that users can navigate the entire form flawlessly.

Effectiveness

  • Design – Consider the overall design of your form. It should have a modern look and not be confusing.
  • Copy – keep your copy short, clear, and to the point. Avoid using jargon.
  • Call to action – Calls to action are like road signs when you’re driving. Use a call to action to guide your visitors and let them know what to expect.
  • Requirements – make sure critical form elements are marked as required. For example, address fields should be mandatory if you plan to ship products.

Web form testing best practices

  • Keep it short – be succinct and to the point.
  • Only ask for information that you actually need – I often wonder why companies ask for so much personal information on their forms. Collecting personal information just in case you might need it later is a really bad practice.
  • Use a call to action – Use a call to action to set expectations and guide users into doing what you want them to do.
  • Measure performance – Are you trying to capture sales leads with your forms? Use Google Analytics to measure performance and track the usage of your forms.

Your goal is to provide a great user experience

By following these best practices, you can optimize your forms for success and provide a great user experience on your website. Test your forms every few months to ensure they are working correctly and making the most of every user interaction. With effective form testing, you can take your small business website to the next level!

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Mario Seijo

Creative Director - focused on helping underserved entrepreneurs launch and optimize their websites.