Form Analytics

Using data to improve your form's conversion rate

Since Zuko was founded, we've been on a mission to make the web less frustrating, one form at a time. Zuko software has tracked millions of sessions across thousands of forms for hundreds of clients to help businesses understand user behaviour in online forms in order to improve their performance. From our years of form optimization and consultancy experience, we know that using form analytics data can make a huge difference to the conversion rate of your site.

What is Form Analytics?

Form analytics is the collection and processing of data to help you understand how people interact with forms on your website. It helps you understand behavior not just on a page level, but on a field level too, informing you of which questions and inputs users struggle with, which they complete easily, which they ignore, and how long they take to finish.

The definition of Form Analytics:

Form Analytics is an analytical process that measures how website visitors engage with forms - how they interact with each individual element and question within a form journey, the order in which they interact with fields, where they abandon the process and which inputs they have to return to multiple times. Form Analytics provides you with quantitative data that builds a picture of patterns of behavior in your online forms.

Why are forms important?

Web forms are the end-point in most online processes; from buying a product to searching for a job, to applying for a mortgage. People complete dozens, if not hundreds, of online forms during the course of a year.

A typical online form requires more thought and interaction than the rest of the buying funnel, so although the form may be classed as just a single point in a multi-step buying journey, the number of interactions and amount of attention a user gives a form will be higher than any other part of the buying journey.

In most cases, the highest abandonment point in a funnel is at the stage where you ask for information from the user (generally a form). The value that is lost at this step is not always because the user has changed their mind, it's because they have failed to complete the form successfully.

Online forms are difficult to get right and if you make it difficult for the user they will give up and never come back. The number of potential pain points on the average form is huge and impossible to fully understand without data. Don’t just take our word for it, however, comedian Michael McIntyre sums up the frustration caused by badly designed forms in this video.

Understanding how users interact with forms and which specific fields are causing them pain is the first step in improving the conversion rate of your site.

Zuko is the best form analytics platform available on the market. Find out more about our innovative platform by taking a product tour

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What difference can improving your forms make?

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is the process by which you improve the percentage of people on your website that complete a certain goal. As online competition increases and the cost of acquiring a customer grows, more companies are investing conversion rate optimization as a method to make their marketing spend as efficient as possible to maximize their online sales without spending more on advertising.

CRO has traditionally been focused on the early stages of a buying funnel. For example, the product pages or search pages. This is understandable, but there is a significant opportunity to increase conversion rates and sales by improving the sharp end of the funnel; the form or checkout where a user gives you their personal information. Zuko’s conversion benchmarking statistics show that, on average, two thirds of users who visit a form never successfully complete it. That’s a large chunk of potential custom that businesses are missing out on.

Forms and checkouts are too often overlooked in the website design and development process, and are usually more functional and traditional rather than being created based on user research. Form conversion rate optimization should be one of the most important parts of the overall CRO process.

Zuko analytics field report

What do Form Analytics platforms do?

A Form Analytics platform will measure user behaviour in your online forms. A good platform will present the insight in a clear and concise way, making it easy for you to identify UX issues in your forms, in the same way that you can use traditional analytics platforms to find problems within your user journeys.

Form Analytics is a method of specifically analysing user behaviour in online forms. Whereas Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics are focused largely on user behaviour on a page level, form analytics concentrates on micro interactions with different parts of individual pages and, in particular, on how they enter data into forms and checkouts.

A form analytics platform will measure what users do within fields and send a string of events to the platform. The powerful part is what is done with that data - metrics and insights are seamlessly derived from a very noisy stream of events that gives you a concise and easy to understand view of what is actually happening when users try to hand over personal information online.

Do I need a dedicated Form Analytics platform?

Some analytics suites contain a basic form analytics feature alongside other features such as heatmaps, surveys, session replay and funnel views. This seems like an easy way to get lots of insight under a single platform roof, but there are often a number of significant downsides to this.

The first is simply a question of whether or not the suite of products can track your form at all. Online forms are built on an almost infinite variety of technology stacks, with each customised to suit the needs of the business. This means that no two forms are ever alike and delivering a 'one size fits all' solution is difficult. Many UX software suites struggle to track anything other than a simple, single page form on a static URL, with status fields that are not dynamic. If your form is behind a login, is a Single Page App, has fields that appear or disappear halfway through a session, many non-specialist products that claim to offer form analytics will not be able to show you any metrics or insights at all. Zuko only tracks forms and this means that we have spent the time to ensure that it works on all types of forms, regardless of build.

The other downside is the lack of meaningful insight provided by the ‘Jack of all Trades’ tools that try to be all things to all people. You might get some overview data, and a small amount of field level insight, but you may find the insight wanting if you want to truly understand your website visitors. For example, can the software track the error messages that mobile users saw after logging into your site and choosing a previous address? Can you see how much time abandoned users spent in your postcode field?

The Zuko team has spent years perfecting a platform that excels when it comes to online forms, and can therefore track all types of forms and provide you unparalleled insight. If forms are absolutely vital to the success of your business. If almost all of the value of your website flows through a form, and if they are even mildly complex, you should seriously consider a specialist tool for the job that really helps you understand what's going on rather than relying on a form analytics ‘bolt-on’ to a heatmapping or session replay product.

Zuko Analytics form report

Can't my current Analytics Platform measure form performance?

It's possible to use Google Analytics to get some basic form behaviour metrics. As an example, you could add a JavaScript snippet to fire each time a user enters a field (on the Focus event) which would then fire an event into Google Analytics. This approach is time-consuming, requires developers, and the insight you can gain is often basic and presented in a way that is hard to interpret.

Whilst analytics tools have significant strengths, using a dedicated Form Analytics platform gives you deep behavioural insight that leads to change and improvement. Combining platforms, and the data between them, is the strongest solution.

In short, if forms are important to you, then you may want a broad analytics tool plus an additional form analytics product to provide you with the best insight across different types of user behaviour.

Zuko's Big Guide to Form Optimization and Analytics Cover Shot

"The best book on form design ever written - 80 pages of PURE GOLD"
Craig Sullivan, CEO, Optimise or Die

Check out Zuko's Big Guide to Form Optimization & Analytics

How do I use Form Analytics data?

The aim of measuring user behaviour on your forms is to find optimization opportunities. Zuko has been created to highlight the weak points in a form so that you can fix them. The volume of data behind our platform is significant, but the information is presented in a clear and concise way. We want you to get to answers, or at least hypotheses, quickly and efficiently.

A typical process for taking form behaviour insight and then turning it into action runs like this:

What process should I run for optimizing my forms?

Learning Phase: Your first batch of data - Measure form performance over a sensible period of time. Our suggestion is generally one month which will normally cover a business cycle. It's important to cover regular dips and spikes in traffic so that you have a strong dataset.

It's also critical to remove some website visitors from your data, for example, your marketing team and development teams. This ensures that your insight is built from real customers.

Improve and Measure Phase:
When the learning phase is completed you'll be able to isolate the major challenges that users have in your form. Building a list of issues you’ve identified is the first step, prioritising them is a critical part of the optimization process.

Using the data in Zuko, and with the support of your customer success manager, you'll be able to understand the potential optimization opportunity for each issue. This will allow you to prioritise the changes that will result in the highest uplift first.

Continual Optimization Phase:
Once you have “solved” the big issues identified by your form analytics platform, the journey isn’t over. Measuring performance, rolling out regular changes and then testing them, should be a continual process.

What's important is that the performance of your forms is reviewed regularly and that changes are made based on the data. As the marketing for a website changes so does the demographics of the site visitors, meaning that it's vital to measure performance continually.

Zuko Analytics screenshot

Will a Form Analytics platform slow down my site?

In a word, no. A good form analytics platform will be delivered via a fast CDN (Content Delivery Network). A benefit from delivering via a CDN is that they are not only fast but the user is delivered the JavaScript from a geographical location close to their own.

To maintain a fast loading website it helps to use a to defer tags so that they load just after the page loads. This reduces the risk that a slow-loading solution will slow down page load.

A Form Analytics platform will be delivering a significant amount of data from the browser back to the solution, and in the case of Zuko, this is an average of 1,600 pieces of data per individual who engages with a form. A good Form Analytics platform will also deal with this data in a timely and efficient manner, delivering the data in chunks, reducing any latency to virtually zero.

If speed is important to your business then make that a part of the selection process when you engage with Form Analytics providers. You can read Zuko’s technical information here.

Will my customers' data be kept private?

A common challenge with using software when optimising forms is the capturing of Personally Identifiable Information (PII). This could include the name, email address or payment details of a customer, and in regulated industries, this could be a significant security challenge.

Form Analytics is focused on the user behaviour rather than the information that a user enters. Zuko is GDPR compliant by design. It captures that a user has pressed a key within a field, but not the actual key pressed - the platform stores whether it was a letter, number or a special key (e.g. delete, backspace or cursor keys). No PII is tracked, transmitted or stored.

Depending upon your geographic location, you may class an IP address as PII. Zuko does not store the IP address of a user who visits a form that Zuko is installed on. These safeguards ensure that end user personal data is not stored on Zuko’s systems. User session data is anonymised:  there is no way to identify a named individual using the tracking.

Ready to start getting insight into your online forms?
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