Best Settings for Forced Registration?

Over on the Diverse Solutions Community Forum Michael Reilly asked:

We just launched a brand new site at We are driving traffic to this site using google PPC ads so I want to make sure I’m getting the most leads for the $. Does anyone have any thoughts on the best settings for forced registration? I had the registration options set at 10 searches and 4 detailed views but we only got two registrations out of 50+ unique visitors yesterday. I’m curious if anyone out there has done any serious testing on this?

My response:

First and foremost, test everything. 

Test forced vs. non-forced registration. Don’t test day-by-day as I don’t think there’s enough data there. Instead, test traffic over a period of a couple of weeks. How much traffic did your Home Search page get? Then, how much of that traffic resulted in a conversion (a registration)?

What number should I set it to? 

I’d start by looking at the competition. What are their registration numbers set to? Maybe you can match that number. Then, after a few weeks of analytics, you can set your registration settings higher or lower. Again, collect some data for a few weeks.

Once it’s all set and done, you have enough data to determine which type of settings convert best.

Ultimately, if you don’t test things, how do you know which method works best?

What about you? What are your registration settings set to? What works for you?