A woman who had a high-end wedding planning business in New York engaged us for an SEO audit a few years ago. Her site had been recently redesigned by another developer. It looked stunning. She was really happy with how it turned out. Except for one thing.
She was concerned the developer didn’t know anything about SEO because she normally got a handful of leads through her website every month. The new site had been live for a few months at that point, and she hadn’t gotten a single lead from her Contact Form.
We started with an SEO audit, and there had been a lot of corners cut. No one had filled out the meta titles or descriptions on the pages. Aha!
But after a closer look and test of the contact form, we realized that the notifications on the contact form just didn’t work!
The website had been live for 3 months, and there was no way to know who or even how many people might have tried to contact her for her wedding planning services.
A broken contact form is actually worse than not having a contact form at all because potential customers think you just blew them off.
Not to mention, she could have literally lost out on tens of thousands of dollars in business because the web developer didn’t do their job when setting up the website forms.
We don’t consider even the simplest 1 Day Websites we build “brochure websites.” That’s because every single site we build contains at least one form. And because forms add interactivity to the website and an opportunity to capture data, they are much more valuable than a paper brochure!
Forms are often overlooked in web design, mainly because they aren’t that fun to think about or deal with, and they can be tricky to style.
The information you collect on the website with a form becomes at the very least, an opportunity for future marketing, and at best, a paying customer. So whether the form is to sign up for a newsletter, to buy something or to get a quote, it is arguably the most important part of any website.
Because you are asking the website user to make an effort by filling out the form, the website team’s job is to reduce friction and increase the likelihood of a conversion (i.e. the form is filled out and submitted).
What Kinds of Forms Are We Talking About?
Your Base Installation should already include a basic Contact Form and Newsletter Signup form, preconfigured with some standard fields. Not every client needs both of these, but most do.
Besides those most common ones, the client’s website might include other types of forms such as:
Lead magnets: A user gives you an email address to get something (e.g. a checklist, a tool, a whitepaper, etc.)
Purchases: The checkout process within a shopping cart system.
Applications: Applying for careers or to join a program.
Request a Quote: Forms to gather information about a project.
Surveys or Questionnaires: Ask users questions like “How did you find us?” or “How likely are you to buy this product?”
Event Registration: Users can sign up for an event, webinar or other type of appointment.
Browse Gravity Forms’ library of form templates to get inspiration on the type of forms you might want to create on your websites.