What’s a good conversion rate for my website?

2020 presented marketers with one of their biggest challenges to date. The way consumers were thinking and acting changed overnight, and we had to adapt quickly to suit their needs and make the most of new opportunities.

With reduced contact making online purchases more popular than ever, competition has since become incredibly fierce. As a result, marketers have had to get more creative and find new ways to give their clients an edge.

But with all this change and new competition, there’s one question that everyone’s asking — what’s a good conversion rate for my landing pages? With so much competition and changes in consumer habits, it’s hard to know what rates are good, average or poor.

To help you better understand your position within the current market, here are some data-backed insights from a 2021 report for industry-based conversion rates. These should help clarify where you stand, and what you need to do to keep your conversion rates rising.

The 2021 Conversion Benchmark Report

Using machine learning, this report covers an analysis of over 33 million conversions across 44 thousand landing pages. This has revealed conversion rates across 16 different industries, with median conversions ranging from 2.4% for agencies, to 9.8% for catering and restaurants. As shown in the graph below though, rates level out across the majority of industries, with most reaching around 5%.

Source: Unbounce

Comparing 2020 with 2021, we can also see that the flow of traffic has greatly increased across all industries, ranging anywhere from +24% to +57%. This means that industries across the board are finding ways to drive quality traffic straight to their websites, but how are they actually doing it?

Source: Unbounce

Whether you’re pleasantly surprised by these figures or starting to think you could do with optimising your website, these insights can help you set realistic goals. Once you know where you stand, you can use these 5 actionable insights to help increase conversions and deliver maximum ROI.

The highest converting traffic channels

From PPC and social to email and organic searches, it can be tricky choosing the right channel to drive your traffic. It’s important that you really know your audience in order to choose the most effective channel, as that way you can put your resources into the one that will deliver the most conversions.

Each industry is different, and the traffic channels that perform the best will depend entirely on your audience and what you’re selling. For most industries, paid search ads have always been an effective way of getting new traffic through the door, but in general, it seems that social is starting to take over.

Social led to a 6% conversion rate for business services, while paid search generated just 3%. Social channels for education deliver even more impressive results with a 10% conversion rate against just 4% for paid search. Email did provide impressive results for eCommerce with a rate of just over 21%, but social was still the second-highest with a rate of 7%.

Social media is especially effective as it’s one of the most accessible channels for reaching your audience with tailored content, ads and landing pages. This delivers targeted traffic, in turn generating higher conversions. Targeted emails can then remind prospects of any products they were already interested in, or give them the nudge they need with a discount.

When it comes down to it, higher rates from social and email show that people want personalised content from brands they can connect with.

Source: Unbounce
This graph shows the rate of conversion rate by traffic channel for e-commerce websites
Industry: Education

The best way to communicate

Clarity is key when it comes to copywriting. It’s important to keep things simple and accessible, so that you can make sure your audience clearly understands what you’re saying.

Each page analysed in this report was assigned a Flesch reading ease score, which is based on the number of syllables and words in a sentence. This means that shorter words and sentences are easier to read, giving a higher score. Most industries will want to aim for at least 60, which would be easily understood by 13- to 15-year olds.

The results of the report showed that this golden rule of clarity is true for certain industries. Apps and devices, in particular, showed that a higher readability score delivers more conversions, with scores over 80 producing conversions rates of more than 10%. Fitness and nutrition also saw a sharp increase from 8% for a score of 60, to 14% for a score over 80.

But once again, every industry is different. For some, readability doesn’t seem overly important. Regardless of whether the readability score was 0 or 100, conversion rates for data and infrastructure stayed at around 2%.

Industry: Education
Industry: Education

The right content length for landing pages

Along with keeping your writing simple, it’s also important to keep it direct and to the point. In general, the fewer words you use, the higher your potential conversion rate, especially if you’re expecting to reach customers on mobile devices.

This is especially true for eCommerce, where a word count of 100 or less delivers a conversion rate over 8%. As the word count increases to 800, this drops to less than 6%. Fitness and nutrition also showed the importance of word count, with conversion rates dropping from just over 10% for 100 words to around 7% for 800.

However, if the whole purpose of your website is to educate and offer advice, then you’ll have more to explain and will need more words. The key here is to be as direct as possible. Avoid fillers and get straight down to the nitty-gritty, keeping your audience engaged by making the content worth their time.

The most effective landing pages

If you want people to take action, make it easy. As technology advances, consumer behaviours are also changing, and 52.4% of traffic now comes from mobile devices. If your landing page is a form, then anything that’s too long could have visitors hitting the back button.

Click-through pages are easier and are proven to generate higher conversions than forms. For example, clicks generate twice as many conversions for the finance industry as forms with an 11.6% conversion rate. Meanwhile, clicks get a 5.9% conversion rate for real estate, while forms only bring in 2.1%.

If you need customers to fill out forms, make sure they’re quick and easy to complete with as few fields as possible. Also, try to avoid asking for names, as the report also found that if you do, then people are less likely to convert unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Source: Unbounce
Industry: Real Estate

Bonus insight: 67% of users are more likely to purchase from a mobile-friendly site. User experience has a big impact on conversion, so at the end of the day, the most effective landing pages will be those that have a responsive design.

The best way to connect emotionally

We love a positive attitude, and it turns out most customers do, too. Happy language that inspires trust and sparks joy will generate more conversions than negative language that reflects sadness, fear and anger.

This was the case across a broad range of industries, from eCommerce and restaurants, to legal and medical. It might be tempting to make your solution stand out by highlighting your customers’ struggles, but it turns out that in general, negativity doesn’t sell.

Your customers are already well aware of the challenges they face, and being reminded of the fact will only associate your brand with those negative emotions. On the other hand, positive language will make your customers feel safe, warm and fuzzy inside — and more likely to take action.

This graph shows conversion rate by traffic channel for e-commerce websites
Industry: Restaurants
Industry: Law
Industry: Medical

Start optimising and boost your conversions

These insights are invaluable for getting a better picture of how to stack up against the competition. This knowledge can give you a real competitive edge, highlighting the steps you can take to increase your conversions.

By looking at what works for your industry and other sectors, you can refine your CRO campaign for more effective and efficient results. You’ll know which channels and content tend to work best for your industry, so you can skip straight to the techniques most likely to work for you.

Data-driven results for maximum ROI

At The Curious, our UX experts and marketers use data like this to back every choice we make. First, we’ll put together a plan based on what’s most likely to give you the best results, and then use A/B testing to see which route delivers. We then constantly test and refine based on these results, over time increasing your conversion rates, revenue and ROI.

Want to discuss your website’s conversion rate? Get in touch!

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