Introduction - Time is of the essence
Landing pages are a business’s gatekeepers to the realm of high profits. But, how do you get those gatekeepers to let you through? Does your industry matter? Does your company size matter? How do you know if the conversion rate you have now is good, bad or satisfactory?
In Short: What’s a good landing page conversion rate you want to be looking at?
Questions, questions, questions…
99% of businesses ask themselves these questions every day, over and over again, and still can’t get a satisfactory answer.
It’s time to shed some light on landing page conversion rates and help you understand where you are now, and what you should be doing to move forward.
Here we go!
Answers, answers, answers...
A few things you should know right off the bat, before we get into the actual numbers game:
First off, forget all the “conventional wisdom” non-sense you think you know about landing page conversions. This includes statements like “2-3% conversions are good enough, you shouldn’t be too hyped for more”, or “If your conversion rate is low, you need to carefully analyze your page and look for details like line spacing, repositioning CTAs, changing fonts and colors, etc.”
Stop and think for a moment: do you really think that a smart business owner, who never has enough time for all his daily tasks, will sit back and even notice the font, colors, or inaccurate spacing and be like “oh this line isn’t in the middle, I guess I should dodge this company”? Please.
Testing and optimization is, by all means, important, buts it’s the bigger stuff you need to be looking at (more on that below).
Secondly, there is no such thing as a “good conversion rate” which, when achieved, means that you need to stop optimizing landing pages for conversions and focus on other marketing tasks. Believe it or not, this is a never-ending game, and there is ALWAYS room for improvement, the tricky part is just figuring out which way you need to dig.
Thirdly, remember that almost every digital marketing benchmark (including conversion rates) depends on a LOT of things: audience, industry, organic traffic, marketing message, brand, company reputation, word of mouth, emotional aspects and a zillion other things. So, finding out that a competitor’s landing page is outperforming yours doesn’t necessarily mean that your page is bad, and vice versa.
Let’s get into the actual juicy stuff now.
Landing page conversion rate benchmarks – industries
Although conversion rates vary from industry to industry, there are a few similarities that are pretty consistent.
WordStream has recently conducted a research about different landing page conversion rates across different industries (and these guys are pretty keen on keeping their information updated, so you can be sure this is accurate data) and found out that an average conversion rate was 2.35%, with top 25% of pages converting at 5.31% and higher, and top 10% converting at 11.45% or higher. This makes 2-3% that you knew before sound pretty bad, right?
What’s interesting about the research is that although conversions vary from industry to industry (for example for Finance 5% is the median, whereas for eCommerce its 1.84%), for all industries, the top 10% landing pages outperform competitors by 3x-5x. This means that you shouldn’t really care about the “common average” conversion across all industries, but rather delve deeper into your industry. If you follow the conventional wisdom of 2-3% and you are in Finance (which has a median of 5%) you aren’t doing that great.
Here is a list with conversion rates by industries:
Here is another research by Marketing Sherpa, and although this regards the overall website conversions (not just landing pages), it can give you a good hunch as to where your overall conversion path is at, since landing pages make a decent part of it.
You might think that high conversion rates are all you should be after, but when you get to those high numbers, a different problem jumps into play – lead quality. You don’t want to just have tons of random conversions, you want leads that are actually interested in your business. Landing pages are aimed to, ultimately, increase your sales and profits, and junk leads aren’t exactly helping you achieve that goal.
Landing page conversions – Company size
Many people think that big companies have an edge over smaller ones, simply because they have been in the business longer – they have more experience, more budget, more content and more landing pages, which technically means that there is a higher chance for a potential customer to convert on their page.
That’s not exactly true.
While experience and budget is important, it doesn’t mean that small and medium businesses can’t compete for a big slice of the cake. Let me show you.
Another research conducted by WordStream, which analyzed around 1000 landing pages, revealed that about 80% of traffic goes to the top 10% of landing pages. So, if you are a small business with just four landing pages instead of 1000, it doesn’t make much difference: 80% of your traffic still goes to that one well-performing landing page.
It doesn’t really matter whether you have 1, 100, or 1000 landing pages – you can still get into the top 10% of your industry with just a single page, and that means everything.
Bottom line: Conversion rates are important, but lead quality is equally so (if not more). Don’t fall for the conventional wisdom revolving around landing page conversions: compare your results within your industry, not with the whole world. Knowing that some landing page is outperforming yours, doesn’t immediately mean that it’s better, or vice versa. Finally, if you are a small business, you have just as a high chance to get visitors to convert, as a large business. Here are 5 rules of thumb for creating killer landing pages.
How to improve your conversion rates – tips you should follow
Like I mentioned before, do not fall for the conventional wisdom and go after fonts, colors, micro spacing and stuff like that. If your conversions aren’t good, it’s probably a bigger issue than orange vs red, or Helvetica vs Calibri.
Here are a few tips on which direction you should be looking at:
Change the offer – The most important part of your landing page is your offer – the value that you offer to your audience. If the landing page isn’t delivering expected results, one of the first things you may want to do is change your offer. Most companies nowadays offer a free trial, or a free consultation. That’s too mainstream, vague and boring.
Do some research/surveys and find out what your audience really needs. For example, you might find out that instead of a free trial, they would really appreciate an ROI calculator for measuring their marketing effectiveness, or a detailed industry report about a complex topic, or even a detailed walkthrough that will explain all the ins and outs of your product.
Think of the flow – Sometimes, people are reluctant to fill out a form simply because they face too many barriers: the form is too long, there is too little information, or the information provided doesn’t really answer their questions and challenges, etc. Try changing some or all of those aspects and see how it goes.
Ask your users – If there is one strategy that absolutely works when trying to find out whether your users’ needs are satisfied, is asking them. Literally.
An easy way to get feedback is to include an additional form field which asks users something like “what can we do to make your experience better on this page?” Of course, not every person will leave feedback and not each feedback will be relevant, but some will give crucial hints and ideas as to what your audience is actually looking for.
Optimizing your conversion rates isn’t an easy task, but it’s not impossible either. It requires a great deal of work, but that work will pay off in the end. Test as many things as you can, and create different landing pages for the same offer (assuming your offer is worthy) and keep looking for that one “unicorn” landing page that will get you to the top 10% of your industry and 5x your conversions.
keep looking for that one "unicorn"
And lastly, don’t forget that this is a long marathon: even when you have found your unicorn, never stop improving it further, and further, and further.
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