Before I start hearing from all of the haters I want to point out that what I am about to share is in no way scientific. I have not actually proved that a No Captcha Recaptcha problem truly exists or that it kills business. I can only tell you what I have experienced this past weekend while I was advertising through Google Adwords.
The No Captcha Recaptcha problem on my website
Two of my landing pages on this website are forms. When I first created the forms I naturally added a No Captcha Recaptcha to each one because like any other webmaster, I hate spam with a passion.
Almost as soon as I activated my campaigns in Google Adwords, I started getting lots of clicks, which was exciting, because I had tailored my ads to attract people who need help with their websites. But after running the ads for a few days I became quickly discouraged because only about 1 in 20 people were actually filling out the forms. This was surprising because I wasn’t selling anything right away – in fact, I was offering to look at their websites for free before I charged for any kind of service.
I started taking a closer look at my forms to see if there were ways that I could improve the user experience. I did move some fields around and try to change some of the wording. But I also did what I should have done in the first place – test my own forms out while imagining that I was an inexperienced user.
No Captcha Recaptcha is annoying!
I imagined that I am a frustrated website owner trying to get some help on the web and I am filling out this form. When I am all finished, I see this weird looking box that kind of looks like a checkbox but it’s hard to tell. I click it and this box pops up with a bunch of pictures and I am asked to identify all of the pictures with red birds in them or something like that.
If I wasn’t desperately trying to get help for my website, an exercise like this might actually be kind of fun, like a game, and certainly much better than the old style of Captcha.
But I’m not thinking about birds or games or anything fun like that. I am thinking about my broken website and how am I going to get it back up on the web.
I also realized that there are many people out there who have no idea what No Captcha Recaptcha is or what it’s used for. It could be very confusing and off-putting.
I think that it’s even more annoying when trying to use No Captcha Recaptcha on a mobile device. It’s an extra step that no one really wants to do.
So I turned it off. Yep. I removed it from my form and sat back to wait and see what would happen.
The results were amazing! Within minutes, the form submissions started pouring in. Quickly I started receiving submissions from 1 out of every 5 clicks instead of 1 out of 20 like before.I was simply amazed by the difference.
Now ten days later, I am still averaging one form submission out of every 3-4 clicks which I never could have imagined would be possible!
So what do I do about spam?
I think that I can endure some spam if it means that my potential clients are able to reach me. However, my opinion about that may change as time goes on, especially if my inbox starts filling up with junk.
One option that I would recommend is this nifty little plugin which will help catch spammers while your legitimate visitors go along their merry way. It is definitely worth a try.
Another option is Math Captcha which presents simple math problems to your users and in my opinion is infinitely less annoying that No Captcha Recaptcha.
Thanks for reading and feel free to let us know about your own Captcha experiences below!
Click here for help with your own WordPress website. I don’t charge anything to have a look.