One of the biggest assets for any website is its users; particularly those who have taken the time to sign up for your website’s services. If you want to start building that asset on your own website, you’re going to need to build a signup form.

Whether you’re running an e-commerce website or a simple blog, the final goal for all signup forms will be the same – you want users to register! Creating the perfect form takes time, but you can save yourself a lot of headache by following these tried and tested techniques.

Here are 5 best practices to help you optimize your website’s signup form.

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1. Make Your Call to Action Clear

No matter what you want the user to do, the call to action (CTA) will be the single most important part of your signup process. Without it, the page will fail, plain and simple. And while this may seem obvious, you would be amazed at how many websites get it wrong.

CTAs that blend into the background, fail to stand out, and even confuse the user about what they’re signing up for, can be found all across the web. Here are a few things you can do to avoid common mistakes.

  • Make sure that your call to action is differentiated from the rest of your page. Use contrasting colors, a larger font, and prominent positioning for the best results.

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  • Make sure the call to action matches the theme and tone of voice of your page. The signup process needs to feel like steady journey so take some to think about what language your potential users want to hear.
  • Test your call to action, and test it often. Some phrases might convert better than others, some color scheme might double your conversion rate. But you will never know unless you try them out on your users.

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2. Keep The Process Short and Simple

The last thing you want to see when you’re signing up for something is long form that doesn’t have a clear purpose.

As much as you’d like to collect every little detail about a user, the initial signup is very rarely the place to do it. Instead focus on the bare minimum and ask for those extra details once you’ve built up some trust.

With that said, there are some situations where more information is going to be needed. If that’s your case, consider dividing the registration over multiple pages and providing the user a clear easy to understand progress bar.

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This helps to prevent your form from overwhelming the user and adds an element of gamification to the signup process (people are more likely to complete tasks when they can see the finish line).

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3. Use Popup Forms Where Possible

Taking the user to a new page can make the signup process seem like a bigger commitment than it is. Using something lighter like a popup window often has the opposite effect, signalling to the user that “signing up isn’t really a big deal, you don’t even have to leave this page to do it”.

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A popup window can also help to minimize distractions by greying out all the background content. This helps reduce the risk that your users get distracted half way through the form and abandon it before completion.

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4. Guide Your Audience Through Each Step

There are few things more frustrating than taking the time to complete a form, clicking the next button, then being told you did it wrong, especially when you didn’t have all the details in the first place. You don’t ever want your users to feel this way, so be clear about what you want your user to do at every stage of the signup.

If you label fields as “username” and “password” but the username can’t use special characters and the password requires numbers and a capital letter, tell users about it, and do it before they click next and get an error message.

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There are different ways to do this and two of the best are to place the instructions in the unfilled field or place a small question mark next the field that explains things when hovered over.

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5. Provide a Special Signup Form for Mobile Users

In 2015, mobile browsing surpassed all other platforms to become the most common way users access the web. And while it’s great to see more users online, we all know that the mobile web has constraints (touch screen, smaller screen, longer load times) when compared with the desktop counterpart.

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When designing your signup form consider a separate version for mobile. Focus on streamlining the information you require even further, add the ability to sign up with Facebook or other social media, and making sure your form uses the right types of keyboards.

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Do you have any tips on how to improve user’s signup process? Be sure to let us know in the comment below. And if you looking to stay up to date on the latest news consider signing up for the PAYFORT newsletter. You’ll receive a new post each week and be the first to know the latest PAYFORT news.

Amira Abou Shousha

Amira Abou Shousha

Online Marketing Manager at PAYFORT

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