Without a doubt the most critical element on every landing page is the lead-capture form.
Lead capture forms can work like a gold mine for your company because they are completed by potential clients who are so interested in your goods or services that they want you to get back in touch with them directly to find out more.
These are the most likely potential customers who will translate into conversions which is why lead-capture forms are probably the prime area where it is essential to get your SEO right.
1. Placement of form
You have to make the form easy to see without scrolling or having to search around on the page to find it. This means placing it above the fold – ie on the first part of the screen that comes into view when the page loads. If your lead-capture form does not immediately jump to the users’ attention then it is as good as invisible and needs to be fixed.
2. Length of form
This is a tricky one. No prospective client is going to waste their precious time filling in a form unless they think it is worth their while. So the shorter and more succinct your form is (ie limit it to truly essential information) the sweeter it will be to site users and the more responses you will probably get.
However, if your customers are truly interested in the goods or services that you have to offer then they are probably willing to provide a little extra information. So leads from longer lead-capture forms often tend to be more productive in the long run. Think carefully about the length of your form and the type of business you are creating it for.
Would it be better to get basic contact information and then have a sales team follow up with a snappy reply? Or do you only really want to deal with people who are very serious about your product?
3. What information do you really need?
Don’t make the mistake of asking for too much information. Yes, all the demographic data you might gather would be useful to fine-tuning a future campaign. But right now you are just trying to tempt prospects to bite the bait.
Limit your form fields in this first round to the absolute essential data that you can’t do without. You need name, e-mail contact info, and perhaps an open box where the prospective can express which areas of your products or services interest them most. That should be enough for most sales teams to follow up on and will generate a second round of more specific questions that may result in a conversion.
If your company is too small to have a dedicated sales team to follow up, you might want a little more qualifying information on your initial lead-capture form to show you just how serious this prospect is.You could add a section for their company name and address, type of business and number of personnel, for example, so you get an idea of the size of business that is expressing interest in working with you. You could also ask them to clarify which specific product or service they are most interested in following up on. Though the temptation is there to ask for a lot more details right away, remember the lead-capture form is not the right arena for this.
Too many fields to fill will translate into fewer prospective customers following the lead. Wait until you follow up and then you can ask for more information.
It also helps if your whole site looks credible and professional – even better if you have third party endorsements that testify to your upstanding reputation, integrity and professional approach. Strategically-placed customer testimonials are another good way to make visitors feel more secure about doing business with you too.
5. Words to use to send the form
You’ve probably seen the word “submit” at the bottom of many forms but this is actually the WORST possible word you could choose for the submit button! Researchers have found that forms that end with phrases such as ‘click here’ or ‘go’ have far more take up. It is speculated that these words imply less sense of obligation on the visitor’s behalf whereas “submit” is so formal and final sounding!
Remember that the aim is to make it easy and pain-free for your prospective customer to follow up with you so choose your phrases carefully for optimum effect.