The web is a global marketplace full of opportunities. Whether you’re looking to sell your products online or to be noticed by potential customers, the web can help. Just make sure you know what you’re doing first: how to create a web form and what information you should include.
What Is A Web Form?
A web form is simply a web page or a digital form used to collect data from visitors.
If you’ve ever taken part in an online survey, you’ve encountered web forms. Most businesses and website owners use them to collect feedback from customers, find new leads, or gain valuable demographic data.
In general, web forms can be categorized as follows:
- Contact forms: Used to collect contact details from prospective customers.
- Order forms: Used to capture a visitor’s order for a product or service.
- Surveys: Used to gather demographic information or determine how well a product resonates with the public.
- Login forms: Used to authenticate a user’s identity.
- Thank you pages: Used to express gratitude to a visitor for taking the time to fill out a form.
- Contact pages: Used to direct a potential customer to a brand or company representative for further information.
Why Should I Create A Web Form?
The primary purpose of a web form is to gather information from prospective customers so that you can better understand their needs. Once you know what they want, you can better serve them by providing more accurate content or better products. You can also use web forms to gauge your product or service interest.
You should consider creating a web form for the following reasons:
- To find out what people want
- To improve my UX and get more engagement
- To generate more leads
- To understand my audience better
- To track email opens and clicks
- To find new customers
- To understand how effective my content is
- To track and measure the success of my marketing campaigns
Along with the benefits, you should also think about the following when creating a web form:
- Content: You want to ensure that the information you’re collecting is relevant and won’t be too much for the reader to handle. For example, if you’re asking for contact details, you don’t want to include an entire website in the text area.
- Usability: The information you’re collecting must be easily entered by visitors. Ensure the form is easy to navigate and all the relevant fields are present.
- Design: The overall look and feel of the form must be pleasant and easy to understand. If you have a specific designer in mind, try to work with them to create a unique form that will make a lasting impression on your visitors.
- Data Security: A third party will store and process your form’s data. Ensure they have the necessary measures to ensure your data is not compromised.
- Mobile Responsiveness: You want your form to look good on any device. If it’s not mobile-friendly, then it simply won’t do.
- Performance: The performance of your form is just as important as its appearance. After all, you’ll send data to a third party via a web request.
How Do I Create A Web Form?
You can use several tools to create a web form, also known as a digital form. Here are the most popular ones and how to use them:
- Google Forms
Each of these tools is pretty self-explanatory. Simply search for “digital form” or “webform” in your favorite search engine, and you’ll see what I mean. Once you have your digital form, you can begin testing its usability.
Since Google hosts Google Forms, all you need to do to get started is sign up for a free Google account. You can then login and begin creating forms. Google Forms is pretty intuitive and easy to use. Simply fill out the form and hit “save.” From there, you can either preview the form or publish it on the web.
Symphony and Wufoo work similarly to Google Forms. All you need to do to get started with both is create an account and fill out the forms. Once you hit “save,” your form will be published on the web, and you can begin testing its usability. Freeform allows you to build forms without needing a web host or signing up for an account. Simply choose a theme and begin entering information.
How Long Does It Take To Create A Web Form?
Answering this question depends on how experienced you are with web forms and how much time you dedicate to them. It won’t take long to whip up a basic web form if you’re familiar with creating standard contact forms. The time required to create a web form will vary depending on how much content you want to include. Having more content doesn’t necessarily mean you will take longer to create; it depends on how much content you want to include. A simple contact form can be created in under an hour, but if you want to add in some extra steps, like asking users to signup for a newsletter or get a survey going, it will take you longer. Don’t rush it, though, as you can always go back and update your form at any time.
Where Should I Host My Web Form?
Choosing the right location for your web form is pretty important. While there are many benefits to hosting your web form on a free service like WordPress.com, there are also disadvantages. For one, when you host your web form on a free service, you inherently give it away for free. Depending on your content, this might not be such a bad thing, but oftentimes, free services like WordPress.com don’t provide the best user experience. If you want to create a lead generation tool or a resource for your customers, then choosing a hosting provider that offers a professional-looking experience is best.
How Should I Name My Web Form?
This question gets asked a lot, and for a good reason. Naming your web form is crucial to ensure that you choose the right words to describe your web form. If you’ve followed along, you probably haven’t chosen a unique name for your form.
Since you’ve already created a form, you might want to consider using that as a springboard for brainstorming new names. Alternatively, you could use one of the following:
- Sign Up
- Login Name
- Sign Up For Free
- Contact Us
- Something Else
Remember, though, that you don’t necessarily need to use all of these words as long as you choose one that describes your web form.
What Type Of Content Should I Include On My Web Form?
Depending on the content you will be collecting on your web form, you will need to decide what content to include. For instance, if you ask users to provide their email addresses to get them to subscribe to your newsletter, it would be best to include an unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email. Otherwise, the user might feel like they’re being sold something without a chance to opt-out. Ensure to include enough content so that when the user submits it, they feel that their input is valuable and won’t simply delete it as soon as they hit the “submit” button.
What Metrics Should I Track?
This question comes with two parts, the first being: What metrics should I track? The second part is: For what purpose should I track these metrics?
As a rule of thumb, you should always track the following metrics when you have a web form:
- Unique Visitors (this is the number of individuals who came to your site from a unique source, like a specific link or an email address)
- Pageviews (this is the total number of pages visited by the unique visitors)
- Time On Site (this is how long the users spend on your site, collected in an aggregate for all users)
- Bounce Rate (this is the number of users who came to your site and left without visiting another page. These are often people who are trying to avoid being spammed or who just want to get a quick overview of your site without having to spend a lot of time on it)
- Visits To Your Site From Social Media (these are the social media platforms that your audience is coming from. For example, if 80% of your visitors come from Facebook, then that would be your Facebook metric)
- Demographics (this is information about the people subscribing to your site. For example, if you’re getting a lot of female visitors, then you might want to consider doing more to attract and retain female readers)
- Landing Pages (this is the URL of the page where the user left after they clicked on a link or entered a website. If you’ve never tracked this before, then now would be a good time to start)
As you can see from the list above, you can track dozens of metrics. Just remember to track these metrics for the right reasons, and you’ll be able to spot trends and have a clear picture of how your blog or website is doing.
What Should I Do With All This?
At this point, you might be thinking about all your work so far and wondering what to do with it all. There are a few options for you as a digital marketer or business owner. You could create a lead generation tool where users can give their email addresses and get occasional emails from you with discounts or another type of content. Or, you could use the same tool to send a weekly or monthly newsletter with useful information about your niche.
Or, you could do both!
As you can see, many ways to create a web form exist. Simply find the one that you think will work best for your needs.