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Is Your Landing Page 2008…and your Action Page 1998?

Posted By Brendan Regan On September 16, 2008 @ 5:39 am In A/B Testing,Books,Checkout Process,Improving Conversion,Optimization Tactics,Persuasive Design,Web Design,Website Optimization | 15 Comments

I just finished Web Form Design by Luke Wroblewski, and I’m glad this useful book came out.  It’s not only a useful guide to designing better online forms, but a reminder that forms are the “bread and butter” of almost every website!

Whether it’s the Contact Us form on a B2B site, the Sign Up form on a social networking site, or the Checkout of an eCommerce site, they all have forms in common. And in every case, forms are what stands between our site visitors and the action we’ve persuaded them to take.

The irony is that companies spend thousands, sometimes millions, on making their sites functional, accessible, usable, intuitive, and sometimes even persuasive, but don’t always spend enough on making their transactional pages (forms) as optimized as possible. Add to that the money spent starting a relationship with customers via online or offline marketing.  And when it’s time to take that relationship the next level and close the deal, online forms have the responsibility.

So like the title of this post, I have questions:

  • How much have you spent on your homepage and landing pages in the last 12 months?
  • How much have you spent on your forms?
  • How many resources work on your homepage and landing pages? Designers, testers, marketers, copywriters?
  • How many resources work on your forms?
  • Do you test your homepage and landing pages?
  • Do you test your forms?
  • Do your homepage and landing pages employ the latest technology like flash, video, AJAX, and widgets?
  • Do your forms employ the latest technology?

Of course homepages and landing pages are important, and deserve lots of attention.  But don’t forget that the bottom of your conversion funnel is where all the serious action is.  It’s where dollars either flow into your bank account or…elsewhere.

So what can you do, short of reading the whole book yourself [1]?

  1. Start a “Forms Task Force” within your company–make it cross-disciplinary–and take a good, hard look at your forms.
  2. Look at every question on your forms.  To paraphrase Web Form Design, consciously decide to “keep,” “cut,” “postpone,” or “explain” every question you ask your customers.
  3. Once you’ve revisited your forms, begin the ongoing process of testing and optimization [2].

Editors note: You can also learn more about the book and read the author’s book blog here [1].

Our good friends at Rosenfeld Media [3], were kind enough to extend a 10% discount to our readers on their books; just use coupon code GROKDOT for your 10% off.

Article printed from Conversion Rate Optimization & Marketing Blog | FutureNow: http://www.grokdotcom.com

URL to article: http://www.grokdotcom.com/2008/09/16/is-your-first-page-2008and-your-last-page-1998/

URLs in this post:

[1] reading the whole book yourself: http://www.rosenfeldmedia.com/books/webforms/

[2] the ongoing process of testing and optimization: http://www.amazon.com/Always-Be-Testing-Complete-Optimizer/dp/0470290633

[3] Rosenfeld Media: http://rosenfeldmedia.com

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