One great feature of Google Analytics that helps visualize success (or failure ?) of forms and checkout processes is the “Funnel Visualization” report available under the GOALS tab in the Google Analytics Interface.

The Funnel Visualization report will show you drop off of visitors in scenarios like an eCommerce Checkout process when visitors go from one page to another. Even better, Google Analytics uses a green / red flowchart that shows you the drop off from one page to another page. If Excel and PowerPoint have taught us anything, it’s that everyone loves colorful graphs.

Let’s assume you use this report in Google Analytics and discover that over 50% of visitors are abandoning your lead form (Oh No!). The question is, do they see the form immediately and leave, or do they start filling out the form, become frustrated, and leave?  Don’t just focus on the fact that they’re leaving and raise your hands in despair, but try to understand WHY. If the latter is true, we have several options. One is to remove or consolidate form fields, split the form into multiple pages, or run a Marketing Experiment to reduce form drop off.

You can actually modify the Funnel Visualization to show you in-form drop off. Rather than just showing you the drop off from one page to another, you can actually see where in the form process visitors are dropping off. In the case below, a lot of people seem to start to fill out the form in the first field, but decide that they don’t want to complete the process for whatever reason.

In running the above customization for clients the largest bottleneck in the form process when visitors actually enter form information tends to be one thing – phone number. Some people enter the phone numbers in one string. Others use spaces between numbers. Some use dashes. Whatever their preference, not every form system is equipped to automatically handle the phone numbers in the same way. Try breaking this field into three and see what happens. Or remove it entirely.

Ugly forms are like ugly dates – they just don’t get anyone’s phone number.