Learn how to increase your website’s conversion using registration forms – WAU

The controversy as to what are the main elements of an ideal application form and what it should contain still exists in CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) circles. In this article we try to answer the question – What brings the highest conversion rates? We decided to analyze the matter in more depth […]

The controversy as to what are the main elements of an ideal application form and what it should contain still exists in CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) circles.

In this article we try to answer the question – What brings the highest conversion rates?

We decided to analyze the matter in more depth and did a split test using the data from our databases and asking the opinion of professionals in the field.

Number of fields

It is true – the number of fields in your registration forms affects your conversion rate. However, the statement “less is more” in this case has something of an urban legend.

“I see a lot of forms where companies are asking for a lot of unnecessary information. In fact, the only thing you need from users – is confirmation that they are open to chat with you and receive your content ”- says Stuart McClure, digital marketing analyst at Peoplevox.

It is widely known that you can increase your conversion rate by 50% by eliminating one field from the form (for example, reducing the number of fields from four to three).

However things never work so simply in the digital world. SEMrush recently split tested its registration forms, and managed to prove the opposite: the inclusion of an extra field increased the test page traffic by 5%.

conversion with application forms

The landing page with the additional field “Enter your domain, keyword or URL” in the registration form showed better results.

The number of users who clicked the “Try” button was almost the same in both campaigns, but users who had the opportunity to enter a domain or password in the registration form immediately were more likely to click the “Submit” button ( we recorded a 5% increase)

The chart below shows the most common fields in different industry sectors. We can notice that the field “Email” is the most used in the registration forms, followed by “Name” and the company phone number (according to MarketingSherpa Lead Generation Benchmark Report).

conversion with application forms
Graphic: Most used fields in registration forms by sector

That is, contrary to the widely known rumor, quantity is not the key to success, but the need to use a field is.

The idea of ​​using fewer fields to increase conversions is not entirely an urban myth.

Of course, asking your user to provide information without clear reason would not be a well-received strategy. However, not asking for relevant information to include fewer fields leads to a similar reaction.


Taking into account the previous point, the perfect application form should not ask unnecessary questions. This creates doubt in the user’s mind, and an unconvinced user is not likely to become a potential lead.

Instead, a potential lead must feel comfortable. Several split tests have shown that once you are able to offer a form with a clear call-to-action, the increase in conversion is immense.

Some recommend adopting a two-step process for cases where the longest application form is required.

In these cases, in the first step only basic information (such as name) is requested, leaving the most controversial data (email, phone) for step two.

That way, people are more likely to fill out the form in step two, since they have already endeavored to fill out step one. It sounds simple, but it is extremely effective.

“Unclear routes to completion of the stage are at the top of the list of problems. I know this is quite broad, but it sums up most of the user experience and interface issues across the Internet. When a user does not intuitively see what must be done to reach X on a website, it indicates an uncertain path to completion ”- says Jordan Patchak, ChannelNet user experience and interface analyst.

Another important tip is to check the readability of your application form. According to research by Wichita State University, leaving blank space around your form helps your potential leads to see and understand your call to action, while slowing their reading speed.

Design and layout

Some CRO analysts bet on design, others believe in text and reward power, but AB testing tests empirically prove that design tips and other tricks really work.

Make sure that your subscription form is located at the top of the page – this will increase the number of subscribers.

According to the Nielsen Group survey, on average, users interact more with registration forms located above the fold. The number of applications for these forms is 84% ​​higher than for forms that are below the folds.

“There is hardly a single color that guarantees increased conversion of call-to-action buttons” – says Nigel Ravenhill, marketing specialist.

On the other hand, there is a legendary study on the influence of button color on the conversion rate, which confirms that the red buttons increase conversion by 21%.

However, we must not forget that this study is based on a specific split test, carried out on a specific website.

What’s more important than simply painting the call to action button red is making sure that the button really stands out from the rest of the page layout.

It is extremely important to follow current trends. For example, it is already a fact that AMPs are the big thing of the moment in the page optimization market.

So, since most traffic now travels across multiple devices, instead of just focusing on desktops, as in the past, it is advisable to design your registration form with AMPs in mind.


Wouldn’t it be nice if you changed a single word to increase your conversions by Y%?

Well, that is possible. The text of your call to action is as significant and important to the conversion as the rest of the factors mentioned above.

The key to success in this case is testing. According to different case studies, there are many examples that prove that replacing the word “Sign up” with the word “Continue” on the call to action button can change your life, increase your conversion rate, etc.

However, only AB tests can help you decide which word choice works best for you – each site has its audience, design and texts.

Again, the goal here is to make the user comfortable and all elements of the form should serve that purpose.

For example, the Wufoo website displays the message “Okay, everyone forgets!” to users who press the “I forgot my password” button. Who wouldn’t fill out their form?


In the case of multilingual sites, it is obviously necessary to translate the application form into the local language.

However, it is important to perform an A / B test to find out which text is most efficient for a given region. According to the survey, changing the text on the call to action button can significantly impact the conversion:

conversion with application forms
Source: Search Engine Journal

When we launched our Lead Generation tool, we were taking into account regional differences, so we left an option allowing us to locate the call to action button.

But we were surprised to find that more than 70% of users also need to find the “Domain” and “Email” fields, which proves that full localization affects the user experience and conversion.

conversion with application forms
Source: SEMrush

Value generation

“I found that the main factor that influences conversion rates is the generation of value. If the user doesn’t find any value offered, nothing else matters ”- says Andrew Johnson, the founder of WP Hatch.

Finally we come to the part of the main factor that influences conversions – the generation of value.

You can optimize your sign-up form as much as you want, but if your lead magnet is not clear to users, you will hardly be able to increase conversions (or you may not even get any)

In the end it doesn’t matter if you are offering valuable information or a luxurious Caribbean island vacation (well, on second thought, this option can still affect your conversion rate for more!) Once your potential lead feels that he or they will have something of value when filling out the form, you managed to put the bait.

The more you ask your users, the more you have to offer. And don’t forget to include privacy reminders and free rewards

“A quick tip: when creating the text, use the following formula and adapt it according to your needs: ‘Reach Y using the Z guide without losing the A’,” says Catherine Campbell, director of Bright Planning.

The rewards you offer have a direct correlation with conversion rates, considering that you are a source of reference and good authority and that you offer compelling lead magnets.

The rest is in your hands – creating emails to nurture your lead base, preparing relevant offers and the quality of your product.

Want to learn more about Conversion? SEMrush together with Unbounce is preparing for an Online Conversion Meetup on March 23rd. Join this online session and learn in 60 minutes about landing pages, online hacks and conversion metrics!

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* Content produced by SEMrush team