Conversion Optimization Consultant: What is the Average Website Conversion Rate?

Who Knows More about Conversion Rates Than a Conversion Optimization Consultant

Having a grasp of the website conversion rate you can expect for your products or services is an essential part of any internet marketing plan. After all, it?s important to know whether you can expect the numbers to rise with a more robust plan, or a plan that chases certain avenues of promotion over others. Additionally, the nature of the product matters as much as the specifics of the marketing plan, according to research from the Marketing Sherpa:

  • 3% conversion rates for e-commerce and retail websites
  • 7% conversion rate for the software sector
  • 10% conversion rate for media and news websites
  • 10% for financial and professional services
  • 5% for technology hardware

As any conversion optimization consultant would tell you, it?s important to view these stats with caution before comparing them to the performance of your own site, as there are several different metrics that count as a conversion. Clearly, it?s easier and much less costly for a visitor to download a product-description pdf, than it is to actually buy something ? yet the former can count as a conversion in some cases ? especially if the download is incentivized for an affiliate site.

Problems with Pinning Down Accurate Conversion RatesConversion Optimization Consultant

As relates to the average online businessperson, the reality of conversion rates is a little bit more sobering. Unless you?re using Google Adwords?or other platforms to help drive up your rates, 2-3% is considered optimistic. A conversion optimization consultant knows that most commercial sites don?t get anywhere near even this range ? when the entire site?s traffic is taken into consideration.

For example, the 2-3% figure may be applicable for the landing page alone, and the tracking cookie only covers long-term visitors. Because it misses those people who drop by and leave relatively quickly (high bounce rate), the conversion reports can seem higher than they really are.

So what is the actual average conversion rate? Less than 2% seems to be the general consensus among the average webmaster, although Forrester research pegs it at 2.9%. It?s important to know, however, that the Forrester results are from 2007 ? and the landscape of website conversions has assuredly changed since then.

What You Should Be Aiming For

A high conversion rate with a low number of visitors is overrated anyway, as it doesn?t leave much room for improvement. Your site architecture should be focused on delivering the content that fulfills a need, and all the rest will follow. Consider: large amounts of traffic and a low bounce rate will convert to great success ? even if your website conversion rates are lower than the quoted averages.

After all, this rate may simply be indicative of the particular industry you?re in, whereas your visitor count is indicative of a successful website promotion plan ? the latter is the only thing you can control. Use the percentages per industry only as a guideline, essentially. A conversion optimization consultant knows it?s nearly impossible to compare conversion rates across industries, and expect them to reveal too much as indicators of individual site-performance. This is why you should focus on traffic and bounce rates, and then tweak these to help raise website conversion rates according to details available from your Analytics.

Although much of this information can come across as a bit involved, there?s help available from the Inbound Marketing Assessment Survey, which provides you with everything you need to understand regarding your website, and performance expectation. Feel free to download this free survey to aid your digital marketing plans.


Marketing Matters Inbound?is an inbound marketing firm specializing in online conversions, content?strategy, PPC campaigns and traditional media placement. Our experience in?B2B digital?marketing?and?traditional media?allows us to deliver results through a strategic media mix. We believe in?aligning and merging marketing and sales/operations for optimal return on your marketing investment.

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