These days, forms are essential on the web, whether they are contact forms, registration forms, search forms or connection forms. In digital marketing, they are taking on a key role.
Designed to collect data on site visitors, a contact form is comprised of several important components: the fields to be filled in and the submit button to send the data. However, this type of form can have inherent flaws or problems that may or may not be serious but that are not necessarily visible at first sight. Hence the need to test these forms on a regular basis to be able to make the necessary corrections. For lead generation, contact forms and registration forms are crucial.
The problem with the registration forms
A registration or service sign-up form is usually attached to a database to store the information. If this database is not properly up and running, the form cannot work. Apart from this database, other processes can also fail when registering or submitting the form and these processes must also work properly. These can be form validation or displaying the thank you page; all of which can potentially cause problems with the functioning of a web form.
Problems with the registration form are more common than you might think. What’s more, they may not necessarily come to the attention of the webmaster. It is the end user who comes across an error on their screen, who might find themselves grappling with a form that cannot be validated or that loads endlessly. All of this could be detrimental to the user experience, which is very important for the reputation of your site. Only an effective monitoring tool such as the one we propose here with internetVista can tell you in real time when this problem occurs. It also reveals the source of the problem, making solving it a straightforward task.
Combining Synthetic Monitoring with AB Testing
In the field of marketing, several testing solutions are used by experts. The most common is AB testing, but this can be accompanied by synthetic monitoring. This monitoring focuses on the uptime and performance of each component of the registration form, but also on ensuring that the form works at all times.
The AB test and its specific characteristics
An AB test, also known as a split test, allows the comparison of two versions of a page. It shows which of these versions performs better. For example, it measures the version with the highest navigation time, the lowest bounce rate or the best conversion rate. Coming back to the subject of this article, it could also help to choose the version that “works” best for your registration form.
Thanks to AB testing, you know which page will best reach your marketing objective. All you have to do is select the variable(s) that will help you achieve it and duplicate them across your site.
It is recommended to use only one variable per AB test. This means that you will know exactly what you need to change to optimize your site. So, for a registration form, you should test it by analyzing each field to be filled in one by one before moving on to each checkbox field and finally the submit button.
In our humble opinion, AB testing only gives convincing results if the test sample is large enough, in this case if you have enough visitors.
Synthetic Monitoring and its contribution to AB Testing
The AB test calls for two links to be analyzed. They will be tested to determine which one offers a better customer experience or a better ROI. With Synthetic Monitoring, you perform a kind of “ping” of the site infrastructure following a process you yourself define. For example, you can set it up to check the completion of each field of the subscription form and to check the submit button.
During an AB test, the data collected through Synthetic Monitoring is the general performance of the website. Combined, they show you:
- the link with the best conversion rate;
- the link with the highest overall performance;
- the elements that are the source of possible failures.
Using Real User Monitoring to complete the monitoring
Unlike synthetic monitoring, which is considered «active» monitoring, “Real User Monitoring” is considered passive monitoring. It is useful to discover the user performance or the general ergonomics of the site. It shows you, for example, which browser displays your site the fastest.
At the contact form level, RUM allows you to analyze it from the user’s point of view in real time. You will know what is blocking their registration process, as well as what prevents them from filling in the form correctly.
Monitoring the modification of the registration form with the RUM
When you deploy a new feature in your registration form, you make the site code even more complex. Adjustments will be needed until it integrates perfectly with your form. You will, without a doubt, be pleased to see that everything is going well in the test environment, but what about the end users? RUM monitoring will tell you exactly what is going on at that level.
The functionalities offered by monitoring
The RUM takes into account the statistics of the users. You can use it as needed to find out more about them thanks to the valuable information and easy-to-read reports generated. This data can be of use for all industries to get a real insight into the user experience.
The data gathered in the reports includes information on:
- The connection: DNS lookup time, load setup time and query send time.
- The server: time it takes to process the request and initialize a response.
- The transfer: time it takes to load the HTML code.
- DOM Rendering: time it takes to load additional resources that are essential to the actual rendering of the page.
When it comes to testing a registration form, a combination of synthetic monitoring and RUM remains the best alternative, while AB testing remains a more complex option to implement. This allows all elements to be analyzed and valuable data on user behaviour to be collected. Performance problems are detected more quickly. And finally, defining an internetVista web scenario or transactional monitoring will allow you to ensure that your form is in good health at all times.