Using Google Analytics For Online Forms Quality Control

Form Error Rate Used To Calculate Form Effectiveness

I’m a huge fan of Google Docs. I’ve fully adopted it as my work processing tool, to make spreadsheets and, more recently, to create forms that I can easily embed on a website.

That made Tomasz Lewandowski and the Bluerank team’s recent post on the Google Analytics blog all that more interesting for me. Using Analytics, you can measure the quality of an online form on your site. At first glance, I thought that was pretty cool – forms are an important channel through which businesses and non-profits gather information or measure levels of interest among site visitors. Then, I started thinking of the implications of knowing whether your online form was actually working.

Use Google Analytics to measure the effectiveness of your forms.

Many Times, Search Marketing Efforts Are Measured By How Many People Fill Out A Form On Your Site

Whether you are running an SEO, PPC or social media campaign, a lot of times the anticipated end result of those organized efforts is to attract a visitor to a website and get them interested enough to fill out a form. In these cases, information and implicitly expressed interest is the currency or payoff. Forms should be designed to collect the maximum amount of usable information with the least amount of hassle for the user.

So, if your form is crappy and users have to submit three or four times in order to achieve a successful submission, imagine how many conversions you were thisclose to closing on and they slipped away.

Well, through Google Analytics, you can now measure the quality of a form using a new metric called “Form Error Rate.”

Here’s Google’s explanation:

“When we want to measure the quality of a landing page, we check the Bounce Rate. However, in the case of measuring the quality of a form, we introduce a new metric called Form Error Rate.

Google Analytic's form error rate calculation.

SubmitError: number of unsuccessful attempts to send the form
SubmitAll: number of unsuccessful attempts to send the form + number of successfully submitted forms.”

I’ll let the folks from Bluerank explain how Analytics tracks and registers errors. Every time I try to explain it, it comes out sounding like a distraught Wookie singing underwater death-metal songs.

The Point Is Clear – Use Google Analytics To Optimize Your Forms For Effectiveness

The thing that hit home for me was the ability to use Google Analytics to make sure your form isn’t chasing people away. Personally, I will only try submitting a form two or three times (maybe) until I’ve made the decision to head somewhere else for the information I’m looking for. To have a visitor come that far in the conversion process and split because of a poorly performing form is excruciating. It’s like a pitcher throwing 8 perfect innings and the closer comes in to give up a dozen runs. All of your marketing efforts up to that point were successful and your visitors were seconds away from confirming that success…and then, your crappy form turns them from conversion to lost cause.

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