Test Your Online Forms and Email Addresses

If you have important email addresses and online forms such as inquiry forms on your web site you need to make sure they are working or you could loose potential business.

We’ve heard from a number of webmasters after days or weeks have gone by before they realized an important form on their web site was not working.

You should make a list of important email addresses on the web site and any online forms (inquiry forms, sign up forms, etc) and periodically test them.

If you have an important inquiry form that usually gets filled out a few times a week then you might want to test it once a week. On the other hand if you have a form that is usually filled out a few times a day you might want to have somebody filling in a daily report of the number of times the form was submitted and if there were no submissions the day before, test it.

Important – Test not only that the form is submitted with no problems but also test that the form data is received correctly.

Also, it helps if to have form submissions sent to two email address and/or also entered into a file on the web site as a backup such as in a password protected web page or an excel sheet (common separated data)

Will testing hurt the tracking?
Some webmasters ask if testing will hurt the conversion tracking and ROI calculations we usually do for search marketing campaigns. The answer is probably not. Yes, the number of times the form is tested will get added in to the total traffic numbers etc, but this is usually not a problem.

For search engine advertising campaigns, such as Google Adwords campaigns, we usually have tracking code on the “success pages” of the site (such as in the “Thank you” pages for form submissions). This tracking code only counts these conversions (or page views) if the visitor originally came to the site after clicking on a search engine ad. So any test you perform will not be counted in these numbers since you didn’t come to the site from a search engine ad (actually you need to make sure you don’t use the same computer to test your forms that you may have also used in the last 30 days to test a search engine ad.)

For many clients we use advanced analytics to determine conversions and help calculate ROI. We are able to isolate traffic, conversions, and page views to visitors who reach the site after searching on specific keyword phrases or after coming from other referral sites. So again your testing will not be included in these numbers.

Finally, we can often filter out all traffic coming from your facilities using these advanced analytics tools.