Best Practices for Registering Users on Your Website

A major hurdle to converting website visitors is registration — 86 percent of consumers admit that they have just left a site when asked to register, and 88 percent say they have provided false or incomplete information.

To prevent this, you need to reduce friction for both of the two most popular routes to registration, social media log-in and the traditional “fill-out-a-form” method. Here are some tips for best practices in both routes.

Social media log-in

You can increase registration by up to 50 percent by using a social media log-in. For the best results, choose platforms according to your audience. For instance, if you’re a B2B company, LinkedIn or Salesforce.com would be the most appropriate, while B2C vendors might find Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter more effective.

The advantage for the consumer is that he or she doesn’t need to remember a new password for your site. There’s also a significant advantage for you: You get much better data, since most people maintain accurate information in their profiles. Pre-populate data fields with the information available and ask for verification. This way, you don’t need to add an email verification step, which can be a barrier to conversion.

Despite the popularity – and the advantages – of social media log-in, some consumers still prefer the traditional registration process, so you should present both options side by side.

Traditional registration

The two main sources of friction in traditional registration are overlong forms and the need for a separate password for your site. There are ways to lessen both of these hurdles.

Convert to progressive profiling. Ask for minimal information at the visitor’s first registration, then aggregate more data over the course of the relationship. You don’t have to build a full profile immediately.

Once a prospect has registered, he or she will need a password for signing back in later. Unfortunately, given the plethora of accounts we all have all over the Web, the odds are good that the prospect will have forgotten that password. There are three possible reactions to forgetting. The customer might:

  • use multiple tries, becoming frustrated and angry; 
  • leave the site; or 
  • ask for help. (Forty percent of users have had to ask for a password reminder in the last month.)

Obviously, the last option is the best for you, so make it easy for the customer. Ideally this will involve providing a single-use password that can be used to set a new password – for security reasons, you should never send passwords unencrypted or reveal via them email.

Regardless of method

More consumers are using mobile devices, so make sure sign-ins are convenient via smart phones and tablets: Check the size of buttons and fields on a smaller screen.

Savvy users expect to be able to maintain profile data, set public/private functions, and change passwords. Provide easy access to account information.

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