If you’re going to have online forms on your website, they need to be there for a reason–you want people to fill them out! Vet website forms are a convenient way for pet owners to provide your hospital with information, without having to come directly to your office to fill out paperwork. Furthermore, online forms can serve as a measuring tool to let you know how many people are visiting and requesting appointments through your website. If no one is using your vet website forms, why even have them at all?
So, if your website forms aren’t serving their purpose for your vet practice, we want to help you change that. Online forms are supposed to make your team’s jobs easier, and get more people into your practice.
So What Makes for Bad Website Forms?
Are your vet website forms guilty of the following? Even just one of these can be a red flag and should be addressed as soon as possible.
1. They just don’t work.
Website forms can be finicky things, and if they’re not set up correctly, your team may not be receiving all their clients’ submissions.
2. They’re too long.
Super long vet website forms can discourage people from wanting to fill them out at all. Sometimes a longer form is necessary to capture the necessary information, but in most cases, people will simply avoid filling it out and contact our practice directly, instead. The goal for your forms should be to make them quick and easy for people to fill out.
3. They’re hard to find on your website.
Are your forms buried somewhere in your website in a place that even you can’t easily find with just a couple of clicks? Then don’t be surprised if you’re not receiving any form submissions! If you really want people to see and fill out forms on your website, there should be a very obvious button on the page or header linking to that form.
4. You don’t have a Thank You page set up on your website.
Thank You pages are important for a couple of reasons. First, they let a person know that their form has been submitted. Unfortunately, there are many websites out there that do not use Thank You pages, so when a user has completed and submitted a form, they have no indication that it has actually been sent. They are not automatically sent to a Thank You page for confirmation.
Second, Thank You pages allow vet practice owners to track conversions on their website, which is one of the most important metrics by which you can gauge your website’s effectiveness.
5. They’re not mobile friendly.
Most people visit websites via their phones. Therefore, your vet website forms should be easily accessible and easy to fill out via mobile. One of the cardinal sins of a bad website is not being mobile friendly, and your website forms should play by the same rules.
6. They don’t display error messages.
If people are having difficulty submitting forms on your website, hidden error messages might be the culprit.
In most cases, if a certain field in a form is required and the person did not enter any information into that field, the form will notify them of the issue and not allow them to submit the form until they’ve gone back and filled out that particular field (which could be their address or mobile phone number).
However, if the person doesn’t receive any message telling them there’s been an error and that they need to fill out a required field, their form will simply fail to send and they won’t know why. Eventually they’ll just become frustrated and leave the page without submitting their form.
7. They ask sensitive and/or unnecessary questions.
Are your forms asking people for sensitive information, such as their social security number? Your practice does not need this information, and we doubt any people coming to your site will feel comfortable providing it (and they shouldn’t!). When it comes to forms, your clients’ security should be your highest priority.
8. They include paragraph-long questions.
If you can’t ask a question in 2 sentences or less, you’re probably going to confuse the person reading it and possibly scare them away from finishing the form. Make sure all questions are clear and concise!
The Keys to a Good Vet Website Form
Now that we’ve gotten the “what not to do” list out of the way, let’s talk about what your forms should have in order to be successful. You always need to keep your clients’ needs in mind when building and adding forms to your website.
- Forms should be extremely easy for people to fill out on mobile
- They should be as short and sweet as possible–if length cannot be avoided, break up the form into different sections and/or pages so it’s less overwhelming
- Fields in which essential information needs to go should be marked “required”
- Make sure all of the questions on your forms stay on topic; in other words, take out any questions or sections that are not related/relevant to the task at hand
At InTouch, our web experts know all there is to know about building quality vet website forms that help you get results and make life easier for your clients (and you!). Call (800) 493-9003 to get InTouch!