A frequent question I’ve had from many clients over the years has been “what is a good conversion rate?”. This is a difficult question to answer for many reasons. Before I dig into why that is exactly, lets talk about what a conversion rate is.
In the web world, we could define this in many ways. The easiest would be “the percentage of people who go somewhere you want them to go on your site”. In e-commerce sites, this generally means that they make a purchase. If we wanted to express this mathematically, we could use the following formula:
Visitors Divided by Conversions = Conversion Rate
So, if you had 1,000 visitors on your website and 20 sales, you would have a 2% conversion rate. While this is very simple to calculate, the challenge lies in determining what an acceptable rate should be. This is where it gets complicated, as most sites we work on will have at least three conversion rates they track.
There are tons of industry experts who offer statistics on their sites. But the problem is that there are so many variables to consider that you can’t really do a true apples to apples comparison. Here are the four factors that can affect your conversion rate:
- Type of Conversion: A conversion can be many things, like someone buying from your website. A conversion could also be someone filling in a career form, or signing up for your newsletter.
- Need/Urgency: How essential is your service and how complex is the buying process? An emergency plumber service will get a higher conversion rate compared with someone selling a non-essential like kitchen cabinets.
- Price Range: A $5 widget usually requires less of a decision-making process versus a product that is $2,000, which is a more significant investment. If your business is in something like real estate, that will rule out impulse purchases.
- Brand Recognition/Trust: If you are an established name like Sears or Best Buy, or a locally well known company, users are more likely to trust you and give you their information.
As you can see it would be challenging to say 2% or 5% or 10% is a good conversion rate to strive for. What I recommend is to establish your own benchmark and then work to improve it each month.
Here are some examples of things you can track:
Photo gallery visits
Social media follows
Request for quote leads
Book an appointment form submissions
Contact form submissions
Email newsletter signups
Career form submissions
Once you determine the most meaningful things to track for your organization, record your current conversion rates. This will be your benchmark. The next step would be to make subtle changes to your website each month to help improve that conversion rate.
Remember this is just the beginning. The process of adjusting the site to improve your conversion rate is the most important part. Do you need to make a button on every page that links to your conversion page? Is the problem that your site users don’t have enough information to make a decision? Is your page loading too slowly? Asking questions like these is the next step on the road to improving your conversion rate.
So what is a good conversion rate? It depends. But if you really need to know some examples of conversion rates, here are some e-commerce metrics from fireclick.com collected from some big brand’s e-commerce sites:
Average cart abandonment rate: 59.70%
Average conversion rate from SEO: 1.70%
Average conversion rate from emails: 1.10%
Average conversion rate from affiliates: 11.80%
Do you have any thoughts on conversion rates? I’d love to hear them.
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