Today’s analytical tools have incredible ways of monitoring online behavior of individuals, so much so that these tools can show you how someone jumps from page to page within your website, how they got there, how long they stayed, and when they left. You can do some incredible things with that data, but the most important part is finding out why: Why did they click? What made them click? What made them stay or bounce around? And finally, why did they leave?
When your site is promoting an event, these details are even more valuable. If your registration platform has multiple steps, many analytics tools can show you how far into the process people are getting before they drop off.
When the ratio of visitors on your registration page to attendees signed up isn’t where you want it to be, there are several things to consider:
1. Is Your Registration Process Too Long or Complicated?
Attention spans are at an all-time low–it’s the reason articles are short, to the point and full of pictures. Take a hint from online content, and be as precise as possible. If you stats are telling you your interested visitors are trailing off after page three of the form they need to fill out to register, maybe there shouldn’t be a page three. Get the information you need, and if possible, use a program that offers automatic data-fill for existing attendees. (i.e. if they’ve filled in this form before, the program will recognize the name and only require they fill in new fields or ones that need updating.)
2. Are You Marketing to an Unengaged Audience?
Of course you’re going to see a drastic difference in site visitors versus registrants if your event is targeted toward a niche audience but your advertising of the event is not. Be strategic about how and where you’re promoting your event, and be sure the verbiage of the promotional content is as clear as possible about what and who the event serves.
3. Is Everything in Working Order?
If you’re marketing to the right crowd, and registration numbers still aren’t where they should be, it might be the registration experience that’s deterring people. Make sure you or someone on your team is testing the registration process by going through all of the steps using a test account. By doing this you can spot flaws such as pages failing to load. You should also run the test using different devices.
If your data tells you a large majority of registrants used desktop to sign up when your day-to-day site visitors are typically using a combination of desktop, mobile and tablets, thats a good indication that you need to see what the registration process looks like on mobile. If the platform you’re using isn’t mobile-responsive, it may be creating an unpleasant experience for potentially interested attendees that are dropping off, frustrated.
4. It’s Not Your Fault (and You Can Still Help)
Lastly, there will always be interested attendees who cannot attend due to schedule conflict or distance to the event. If you host multiple events each year, be sure that the other events are visible. And, if the content from the event will be available online, either after the event has taken place or in real time, be sure that that information is visible upfront or that the information is given in a follow-up email.