Hi Ben, hope you don't mind that I'm writing back here, in case anyone else is interested to follow along. My gut feeling was that there might be a bit of a... I don't know the right word... (holistic? soft? fluffy? not-data-driven?) explanation. I'm going to give some feedback that may come off as negative, so I hope my intent is clear: I want to help.
I opened your first page up and looked at it for a few seconds. My reaction was "this may not be a legitimate business", only because of the design. I'm awful at design, so I don't know why it was giving me that reaction. I asked one of our designers and this was their response and advice:
- The form asking all those questions upfront makes it look like the answer will be calculated
- Include a favicon
- Mute the CTA's colour somehow (I'm not sure I agree with taking away the contrast, but the bright pink on dark green seems unprofessional)
- Replace the pixelated image on the left
I like what you've done at the bottom stating that it's a manual calculation and requires a real address. By the time someone's got that far though, they've likely entered all their information and have nothing to lose by clicking the button. What if you made the "manual calculation" part of the value and included it in the headline? Something like "have one of our experts tell you how much you can really borrow" (probably want to work on the wording ). I suspect that conversion rates would drop, since talking to someone on the phone is more of a commitment than an automatic calculation, but hopefully they'll be real form fills. Also, having the word "calculate" on the button sort of undermines your message that it's manual.
If I had to guess why your second page is getting fewer false form fills, I'd guess it's because it looks more professional and there's more work needed to get to the form. By the time the person gets there, they've already invested quite a bit of thought. A bit off-topic, but I'd recommend making those images look more like buttons. Even though you have that orange text saying "click the images", I didn't notice it right away. It took me a little while to figure out what to do next.
Of course, these are all guesses. If you want the truth, consider adding a polling tool like Hotjar (or maybe a Convertable) to the page and asking the reader if they have any unanswered questions about the service.