Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Ruchika Sharma of VWO, the world’s first connected conversion rate optimization platform.
All of the hard work you put into your marketing and sales efforts is to improve one thing–your conversion rate.
A conversion rate is a metric, shown as a percentage, that displays how many websites or app visitors complete an action out of the total number of visitors.
Improving an app or website’s conversion rate requires selecting specific ROI-focused marketing strategies targeting every stage of the marketing and sales funnel.
But what exactly makes a “good” conversion rate?
Although optimal conversion rates vary across industries and channels, this blog post will share the average conversion rate on the common marketing channels used at each stage of the funnel.
How do you move potential users down the funnel and convert them into paying customers?
By selecting the appropriate mix of marketing channels targeting a specific stage of the funnel, but keep in mind that the conversion rate for the same channel will differ across different stages.
For instance, if you want to attract people to your website (i.e. your conversion goal is website views), you can use guest blog posts with backlinks to your website, paid Google Adword ads, and social media fan pages.
Similarly, if you want website visitors to convert into qualified leads (i.e. your conversion goal is lead generation), you can use demo forms on your website, chatbots, and CTAs embedded in your blog posts.
A recent study conducted by Marketo sought to find the average conversion rate on various acquisition channels for “lead to opportunity”, which refers to how many people converted from an interested customer into a purchasing customer.
As you can see, the acquisition channel that converts the best is “Referral”. With a conversion rate of 10.99%, there’s no doubt that “word of mouth” is one of the most effective ways to acquire new prospects and customers.
The second highest converting channel (3.82%) proves that content really is kind. According to the study, people who interact with inbound strategies–including onsite and offsite SEO, infographics, and blog posts–are 28% more likely to convert than on paid marketing channels.
The study also highlighted another surprising result. Sales prospecting–these are door-to-door sales or traditional cold calling–had a higher conversion rate than email marketing! However, as Marketo also notes, email marketing is not meant to be an effective acquisition channel, but it works especially well after you’ve converted a website visitor into a lead.
Now let’s take a closer look at these individual acquisition channels.
A good email conversion rate will vary depending on the industry, MailChimp has found. For instance, in its 2017 study, companies in the “Hobbies” industry had the highest click rate (5.13%) of all industries, compared to companies in Business & Finance (2.73%), Beauty and Personal Care (1.96%) and Media and Publishing (4.7%).
MailChimp also found that a good email conversion rate can depend on the company’s size. So a company with more than 50 employees (2.75%) has a lower click rate than a company with 1 to 10 employees (2.84%).
With this in mind, you should know that a good conversion rate for emails will also differ depending on the device used by your target audience.
For instance, data from MarketingSherpa shows that users are more likely to open emails on a mobile device than a desktop device, but users are more likely to convert on a desktop device than a mobile device.
Surprisingly, the data also shows that conversion rates will also fluctuate based on the type of mobile device used. In this case, iPhones have a higher email open rate, but have a lower percentage of conversions. In contrast, Android users have a lower percentage of email opens, but a higher conversion rate.
According to research conducted Wordstream, the average conversion rate on Google Adwords search ads is 2.35% and 0.89% of display ads.
Notably, they also found that about a quarter of all of the accounts surveyed has less than 1% search conversion rate. However, the top 10% of AdWords accounts had conversion rates of 11.45% and above!
Therefore, it’s very realistic to have a conversion rate 3 – 5 times higher than the average search conversion rate.
According to a 2014 report from Shareaholic, social media networks are responsible the top 8 social media networks drove 31.24% of all traffic to websites.
While it can differ across markets and industries, a successful conversion rate for a social media advertising campaign is largely accepted in the range 2–5%. This means that 2–5% of the people who click your social media ads and arrive at your website should perform the desired action you want them to take.
Landing pages are where businesses convey value, earn trust, and convert visitors into leads–making some of them the most important pages on your website. However, many digital marketers still struggle to understand their performance.
Researchers from Unbounce studied the performance of 74.5 million visits to more than 64,000 lead generation landing pages created from its platform by Unbounce customers. The landing pages spanned across 10 different industries: travel, real estate, business consulting, business services, credit/lending, health, higher education, home improvement, legal, and vocational studies/job training.
What it uncovered was truly fascinating.
The best landing page conversion rate varied significantly across all the industries, while the median conversion rate hovered in the range 3.0–5.5%.
A similar test was run by WishPond. WishPond tested 146 landing pages to draw out an average conversion rate for B2B and B2C industries. They found out that 64 B2B landing pages showed an average conversion rate of 13.28% and 80 B2C landing pages showed an average conversion rate of 9.87%.
For any business, the organic visit-to-lead conversion rate is a significant benchmark for inbound success. Moreover, organic leads have much higher close rates (possibility to convert) than outbound. According to Eric Siu of Search Engine Journal, SEO leads have 14.6% close rates.
While specific conversion rates can vary considerably depending on the industry, website size, search engine rank, and the number of landing pages, the overall average percentage of organic traffic that should be converting into leads is 16%, according to SmartBug Media.
While you have efficiently found and leveraged your perfect marketing mix to get traffic and leads, how do prevent leads bouncing off without becoming your customers?
The key rests in conversion rate optimization. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is a methodical approach to figure out why visitors are not taking the desired action on your website, and then fix those reasons, or issues, to get a higher conversion rate.
Let me clear some misconceptions here: Changing the button color, font, or the image based on your assumptions is not CRO!
CRO is a data-driven process and in no manner does it work based on assumptions. It an ongoing process where you’ll need to analyze and understand visitor behavior and remove all friction to help these convert.
You should constantly apply this process to your website and landing pages. Your visitors change, your product changes, and the technology evolves. This means the process of improving conversions is never finished.
While there are benchmarks for each channel and for your website, the only answer to “what’s a good conversion rate” is a good conversion rate is a conversion rate that’s better than what you had last month.
You are running your own race, and you are your own benchmark. The conversion rate of other websites should have no impact on what you do because it’s not something that you control. What you control is your own conversion rate.
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