Conversion Rate: Average website conversion rates, by industry


 

In our recently released MarketingSherpa 2012 Website Optimization Benchmark Report, we asked about average conversion rates …

Q. Please write in your organization’s average conversion rate.

It’s human nature to see a number and to instantly think of it as a fact, so let me first briefly mention the limits of numbers. Just because you see the numbers above, don’t assume that all of your, for example, media and publishing competitors are getting 10% conversion rates for every offer.

These numbers are simply meant to give you a general idea of how certain industries are fairing as you work on your own conversion rate optimization efforts.

“Where ever you are, you should also try to figure out how you can improve your conversion rate 5-10% monthly,” is how Bryan Eisenberg, Managing Partner, Eisenberg Holdings, put it in “Average Conversion Rate by Industry 2012.”

 

The glass is half empty  *Full story

 

Online Testing and Optimization Solutions: Quick guide to Adobe Test&Target

What really sets Adobe Test&Target (powered by Omniture) apart is both its reporting and support. While it can be expensive, what you get is a professional/polished, customizable tool that’s great for in-depth, multi conversion tests. And even better, you have an assigned support rep that can help you quickly overcome any stumbling blocks before or during a test.

To illustrate the level of reporting, with one of our Research Partners, we setup 35 success metrics for just one test. In the second in our blog series about testing solutions, here’s a quick guide to Test&Target…

Key benefits

* Transaction- and product-level reports
* Revenue tracking can be added to any campaign
* “Push winners” functionality – with a single click, pushes winning test scenarios to standard content for all audience segments
* Option for Omniture to host images, HTML or you can use your own server
* Tracking within Test&Target – ability to setup any metrics within tool; can change conversion metric during test (on the fly)
* Reports on a daily level
* Can track pretty much anything you want (links, buttons, etc)
* Behavior targeting – serve landing pages based on user defined segments (traffic sources, etc)
* Test&Target segmentation for reporting – can report on different campaign codes, offer IDs, etc
* Data privacy due to contractual relationship with a company
* Support – includes testing ideas, test implementation, report setup
* Ability to tack on other data-mining tools (i.e., Discover can track on the visitor level)
* Increased capabilities for segmentation and tagging of actions on a page – can get extremely granular in what you track, i.e. different content for different segments at different times
* If you don’t want to send all traffic to the page, you can set a tool to only receive a certain percent of traffic (would have to write custom code for Google Website Optimizer)

But keep in mind…

* Cost of tool and cost for additional support
* IT requirement for setup


adobe-omniture2-oWhat really sets Adobe Test&Target (powered by Omniture) apart is both its reporting and support. While it can be expensive, what you get is a professional/polished, customizable tool that’s great for in-depth, multi conversion tests. And even better, you have an assigned support rep that can help you quickly overcome any stumbling blocks before or during a test.

To illustrate the level of reporting, with one of our Research Partners, we setup 35 success metrics for just one test. In the second in our blog series about testing solutions, here’s a quick guide to Test&Target…

Key benefits

  • Transaction- and product-level reports
  • Revenue tracking can be added to any campaign
  • “Push winners” functionality – with a single click, pushes winning test scenarios to standard content for all audience segments
  • Option for Omniture to host images, HTML or you can use your own server
  • Tracking within Test&Target – ability to setup any metrics within tool; can change conversion metric during test (on the fly)
  • Reports on a daily level
  • Can track pretty much anything you want (links, buttons, etc)
  • Behavior targeting – serve landing pages based on user defined segments (traffic sources, etc)
  • Test&Target segmentation for reporting – can report on different campaign codes, offer IDs, etc
  • Data privacy due to contractual relationship with a company
  • Support – includes testing ideas, test implementation, report setup
  • Ability to tack on other data-mining tools  (i.e., Discover can track on the visitor level)
  • Increased capabilities for segmentation and tagging of actions on a page – can get extremely granular in what you track, i.e. different content for different segments at different times
  • If you don’t want to send all traffic to the page, you can set a tool to only receive a certain percent of traffic (would have to write custom code for Google Website Optimizer)

But keep in mind…

Internet Marketing: Landing page optimization for beginners

Dustin Eichholt |
http://www.marketingexperiments.com/blog/research-topics/internet-marketing-for-beginners.html

C = 4m + 3v + 2(i-f) – 2a ©
Wherein:
C = Probability of conversion
m = Motivation of user (when)
v = Clarity of the value proposition (why)
i = Incentive to take action
f = Friction elements of process
a = Anxiety about entering information

By dealing with the heuristic piece by piece, you’re able to get in the mindset of your visitor/ potential customer and deal with the page as they would.

So far, some work I’ve done with the CIA includes analyzing motivation of visitors – are they getting what they’re expecting? Does it match what they’re looking for at that point in time?

Clarity of the value proposition is a very important part of any landing page. It’s important to not only state it clearly but ask yourself if the other elements support that value proposition. The customer wants to know not only why they want a product, but why they should get it from you.

Friction can be pretty straightforward– are you asking too much of your visitor? Is it difficult to navigate or are you asking them to enter a lengthy signup process? In addition to length, you must also ask yourself if there is any field or informational request that causes concern or anxiety. Do you explain that the visitor’s email address will not be used deceitfully?

You can think of all the elements of the conversion heuristic working together as a fulcrum or scale. Positive elements, such as matching visitor motivation and communication of value, are on one side of the scale. Negative elements, such as friction and anxiety, are on the other.

On a particular landing page, does the balance of the scale tip too much towards the negative or positive? If it’s tipped towards the negative elements, what steps can you take to tip it the other way? Would an incentive such as a free gift or free shipping help offset some of the friction you can’t get rid of?

All of these questions can be daunting. Writing, designing, and building a website is hard, a successful one even harder. However, at MarketingExperiments, we look at these questions as opportunities for testing. The team I’ve been working with in the labs is very good at looking for opportunities, even on already successful sites.


Dustin Eichholt |
http://www.marketingexperiments.com/blog/research-topics/internet-marketing-for-beginners.html

C = 4m + 3v + 2(i-f) – 2a ©
Wherein:
C = Probability of conversion
m = Motivation of user (when)
v = Clarity of the value proposition (why)
i = Incentive to take action
f = Friction elements of process
a = Anxiety about entering information

By dealing with the heuristic piece by piece, you’re able to get in the mindset of your visitor/ potential customer and deal with the page as they would.

So far, some work I’ve done with the CIA includes analyzing motivation of visitors – are they getting what they’re expecting? Does it match what they’re looking for at that point in time?

Clarity of the value proposition is a very important part of any landing page. It’s important to not only state it clearly but ask yourself if the other elements support that value proposition. The customer wants to know not only why they want a product, but why they should get it from you.

Friction can be pretty straightforward– are you asking too much of your visitor? Is it difficult to navigate or are you asking them to enter a lengthy signup process? In addition to length, you must also ask yourself if there is any field or informational request that causes concern or anxiety. Do you explain that the visitor’s email address will not be used deceitfully?

You can think of all the elements of the conversion heuristic working together as a fulcrum or scale. Positive elements, such as matching visitor motivation and communication of value, are on one side of the scale. Negative elements, such as friction and anxiety, are on the other.

On a particular landing page, does the balance of the scale tip too much towards the negative or positive? If it’s tipped towards the negative elements, what steps can you take to tip it the other way? Would an incentive such as a free gift or free shipping help offset some of the friction you can’t get rid of?

All of these questions can be daunting. Writing, designing, and building a website is hard, a successful one even harder. However, at MarketingExperiments, we look at these questions as opportunities for testing. The team I’ve been working with in the labs is very good at looking for opportunities, even on already successful sites. Leer más “Internet Marketing: Landing page optimization for beginners”

Landing Page Optimization: Takeaways from Entrepreneurship, PR, and Social Media

Living in New York City, I like to venture out and explore. What are the digital entrepreneurs and marketers on the streets of New York thinking these days?

biztechday300Last week, I dropped by BizTechDay 2010, a bona fide professional networking event with an impressive speaker lineup—now touring major U.S. cities—that came from humble beginnings as just another Meetup.com group. What could be a better testament to the power of “conversation”—it’s not just about retweets!

Here are three takeaways that I thought could serve as useful illustrations of conversion optimization principles.

Takeaway #1: It’s not about finding people for your product; it’s about finding products for your people

Throughout the event, the audience was treated to a number of new ventures. These ranged from full-scale presentations like the crowd-funding disruptor Profounder to one-minute pitches like the troubled-youth-educating Ruby Nuby.

The distinguishing characteristic was that they had started with identifying a need in the marketplace. They noticed that people wanted to accomplish something, but didn’t have the right tool or the right support structure. Profounder helps people aggregate venture funding from a wide network of friends and family, yet bypassing the awkward dinner table conversation. Ruby Nuby charges companies for training their software developers, and piggy-backs pro bono training for the disadvantaged youngsters.

When we teach about the clarity of the value proposition on landing pages, one subtle point is so often overlooked: that a value proposition is not determined in the boardroom; it grows out of need.

Takeaway #2: Propaganda makes bad PR (even to the folks at FOX News)

I rarely get to deal with traditional PR, so Clayton Morris’ presentation on how to get TV exposure sounded exactly like what we teach in landing page optimization. His point was: eliminate unsupervised thinking in your press release by clearly communicating value to TV producers.

In Clayton’s world, companies bombard him with press releases that focus entirely on what the company wants to tell the world: new CEO is crowned, new product is launched, and so on. What this cookie-cutter PR misses is that he and his producers are not looking to learn about your company—they are looking for TV show content.

A press release that is not focused singularly on showing how you can add value, is asking Clayton & friends at FOX to figure that out on their own. While they are certainly capable of doing so, these press releases arrive by the hundreds. Which ones get through? The ones that require less work, ones that clearly demonstrate how the story can be used, practically laying out the screen play.

Takeaway #3: If a keynote is given without a PowerPoint, it still does make a sound

Not surprisingly, all things “social” received significant air time, Seth Godin dominating the speaker lineup with an impressive performance. However, the event certainly was not about social media.

Why was Godin’s presentation effective? Relevance is part of it. Engaging tone and enjoyable anecdotes were also key—it came across as more of a conversation than a presentation.

It also helped that to most attendees, he was the biggest name on the roster, if not the reason for showing up. At the same time, he didn’t need to work hard to establish credibility even with those who had never heard of him—he was introduced like a celebrity, plus each attendee had received a free copy of his latest book.


Boris Grinkot
http://www.marketingexperiments.com/blog/research-topics/credibility-indicators/lpo-entrepreneurship-pr-social.html

Living in New York City, I like to venture out and explore. What are the digital entrepreneurs and marketers on the streets of New York thinking these days?

biztechday300Last week, I dropped by BizTechDay 2010, a bona fide professional networking event with an impressive speaker lineup—now touring major U.S. cities—that came from humble beginnings as just another Meetup.com group. What could be a better testament to the power of “conversation”—it’s not just about retweets!

Here are three takeaways that I thought could serve as useful illustrations of conversion optimization principles.

Takeaway #1: It’s not about finding people for your product; it’s about finding products for your people

Throughout the event, the audience was treated to a number of new ventures. These ranged from full-scale presentations like the crowd-funding disruptor Profounder  to one-minute pitches like the troubled-youth-educating Ruby Nuby.

The distinguishing characteristic was that they had started with identifying a need in the marketplace. They noticed that people wanted to accomplish something, but didn’t have the right tool or the right support structure. Profounder helps people aggregate venture funding from a wide network of friends and family, yet bypassing the awkward dinner table conversation. Ruby Nuby charges companies for training their software developers, and piggy-backs pro bono training for the disadvantaged youngsters.

When we teach about the clarity of the value proposition on landing pages, one subtle point is so often overlooked: that a value proposition is not determined in the boardroom; it grows out of need.

Takeaway #2: Propaganda makes bad PR (even to the folks at FOX News)

I rarely get to deal with traditional PR, so Clayton Morris’ presentation on how to get TV exposure sounded exactly like what we teach in landing page optimization. His point was: eliminate unsupervised thinking in your press release by clearly communicating value to TV producers.

In Clayton’s world, companies bombard him with press releases that focus entirely on what the company wants to tell the world: new CEO is crowned, new product is launched, and so on. What this cookie-cutter PR misses is that he and his producers are not looking to learn about your company—they are looking for TV show content.

A press release that is not focused singularly on showing how you can add value, is asking Clayton & friends at FOX to figure that out on their own. While they are certainly capable of doing so, these press releases arrive by the hundreds. Which ones get through? The ones that require less work, ones that clearly demonstrate how the story can be used, practically laying out the screen play.

Takeaway #3: If a keynote is given without a PowerPoint, it still does make a sound

Not surprisingly, all things “social” received significant air time, Seth Godin dominating the speaker lineup with an impressive performance. However, the event certainly was not about social media.

Why was Godin’s presentation effective? Relevance is part of it. Engaging tone and enjoyable anecdotes were also key—it came across as more of a conversation than a presentation.

It also helped that to most attendees, he was the biggest name on the roster, if not the reason for showing up. At the same time, he didn’t need to work hard to establish credibility even with those who had never heard of him—he was introduced like a celebrity, plus each attendee had received a free copy of his latest book. Leer más “Landing Page Optimization: Takeaways from Entrepreneurship, PR, and Social Media”

Database Marketing: Is Someone Examining You Right Now?

Today, someone somewhere probably wrote down your name and/or captured or updated your phone number, email address, mailing address, and so on. You may not have even spoken to the person. Perhaps they heard your name on a conference call or in some meeting that you did not attend. Maybe they Googled you or looked you up on Facebook or LinkedIn or who knows where.

And it’s not just your identity information. People are tracking your behavior. Google has built a multibillion dollar business this way.

Privacy? Forget about it

People have been capturing information since the invention of writing. What’s different is the tidal wave of change that this data capture activity is just starting to have on the Big Iron world of database marketing.

Obviously, sales people and business people in generally are leveraging tools like LinkedIn to learn about people they would like to speak to or have recently met. But database marketers have new possibilities on the horizon as well.

The old approach of buying lists now and then from publishers and compilers who gather the information now and then is still practical. But it’s terribly inefficient. People get married, promoted, fired, hired, and moved in an endless loop. So much of what is true right now is untrue tomorrow and far less true next year.


Dave Green | http://www.marketingexperiments.com/blog/marketing-insights/database-marketing.html

Today, someone somewhere probably wrote down your name and/or captured or updated your phone number, email address, mailing address, and so on. You may not have even spoken to the person. Perhaps they heard your name on a conference call or in some meeting that you did not attend. Maybe they Googled you or looked you up on Facebook or LinkedIn or who knows where.

And it’s not just your identity information. People are tracking your behavior. Google has built a multibillion dollar business this way.

Privacy? Forget about it

People have been capturing information since the invention of writing. What’s different is the tidal wave of change that this data capture activity is just starting to have on the Big Iron world of database marketing.

Obviously, sales people and business people in generally are leveraging tools like LinkedIn to learn about people they would like to speak to or have recently met. But database marketers have new possibilities on the horizon as well.

The old approach of buying lists now and then from publishers and compilers who gather the information now and then is still practical. But it’s terribly inefficient. People get married, promoted, fired, hired, and moved in an endless loop. So much of what is true right now is untrue tomorrow and far less true next year. Leer más “Database Marketing: Is Someone Examining You Right Now?”

Online Testing and Optimization Solutions: Quick guide to Google Website Optimizer

Key benefits

* Combine with Google Analytics for ecommerce product SKU tracking
* Robust tracking with Google Analytics and Adwords
* Testing a landing page setup is simple – just add a couple lines of JavaScript code and setup the test in Google Website Optimizer ’s interface (you will need the page URLs as well as the conversion page)
* Overall reliability of Google’s servers (we’ve never heard of an outage of Google Website Optimizer servers)
* Open application programming interface (API) – you can draw data from the tool into your own environment without having to log into Google Analytics or Google Website Optimizer
* Large base of marketers have had exposure to the tool and, at a minimum, have some sort of expertise on the tool
* Google name brings credibility – May help get buy-in from others that might be unfamiliar with the tool but recognize the Google name
* With multivariate testing, once the JavaScript switching code is in place, you can add and rotate in elements without IT needing to alter the code for each test
* Active product development (constantly rolling out updates and bug fixes) [Más…]

But keep in mind…

* Google does not deal directly with clients for support – while Google does not offer support, they do have an exclusive group of Certified Partners that are screened by Google and qualified to offer support with any Google Website Optimizer question or issue you may encounter
* Security of data is a concern – Google has access to all data
* Google Website Optimizer only provides aggregated data – you need to add Google Analytics to get reports on daily data
* If you only use Google Website Optimizer, tracking is limited – Google Analytics needs to be added to get tracking beyond visits and conversion metric
* For both Google Website Optimizer and Google Analytics, data is not real time – it can take a few hours (this can elongate quality assurance, or QA, time)
* Have to get creative when working with secondary conversions – i.e. use other tools like Google Analytics to measure secondary conversions/clicks like newsletter sign-up in a sales process
* Cannot add additional metrics collections points within the tool – for example, segmentation of conversion rates, elements that users interact with other than the conversion point (you will need to leverage Google Analytics for this additional tracking)

What types of elements can you test?

* A/B and multivariate testing

How does it validate?

* Reports – chance to beat original, chance to beat all
* Method – Google Website Optimizer uses statistical significance of the difference in sample means among the treatments based upon a Gaussian distribution presumption

Cost

* FREE

Support

* This is important enough to mention again – Google does not deal directly with clients for support, although there are Certified Partners that may be able to help you
* Step-by-step instructions and FAQ’s
* Google Website Optimizer blog
* No contact person (unless you have one through AdWords)
* Forums – lots of great questions answered
* Instructional info available on Google Website Optimizer site

Technology / Development

* For Google Website Optimizer implementation, will need to add JavaScript code – or have Apache Subversion (SVN) access to add JavaScript code
* Google Analytics /Google Website Optimizer moved to AJAX calls – speeds up loading to end user
* A/B testing – has to be hosted on your server (you only have to add hosted page URLs to tool)
* Multivariate testing – has to be hosted on Google’s server

Reporting

* Alone Google Website Optimizer only reports aggregate data
* With Google Analytics it can track daily

We’d love to hear some customer reviews as well. Use the comments to share your experience with Google Website Optimizer. And stay tuned to this blog as we provide quick guides for more online testing solutions to help you choose a platform that is best for your individual situation.


Gina Townsend

Gina Townsend
http://www.marketingexperiments.com/blog/

I just flew back from the Googleplex and boy is my brain tired. It’s exciting to see the growth of Google Website Optimizer and the online testing and optimization community in general.

Tasked with writing a blog post about my trip, at first, I just wanted to focus on the Googleplex itself (yes, it’s that cool). Then I thought, a fawning post about Google Website Optimizer might be apropos.

But given the number of questions we receive about online testing and optimization tools, I’m going to take a third, more aspirational path. Today I’ll give you some info about Google Website Optimizer, but this will just be the first in a series of posts aimed at helping you answer that “Which testing tool?” question we often receive.

Of course, I can’t answer that question for you per se (the real answer is, “It depends”), but hopefully I can provide enough info over this series of posts to help you make an informed decision.

And here’s my promise to the vendors out there, even if you didn’t invite me to your “-plex” and ply me with delicious locally grown organic food, I still may write about your tool (and if the FTC is reading, Google did, in fact, serve up quite a bounty).

Now all full disclosures aside, here’s a quick look at Google Website Optimizer…

The biggest benefits for Google Website Optimizer are the obvious, it’s free and it’s Google.

But beyond the cost, Google is committed to making quality products and is continuously working on enhancements. Keep in mind that Google doesn’t offer much support, if any, so you’ll need to put in some time researching if you come across any obstacles. Here’s a quick overview…

Key benefits

  • Combine with Google Analytics for ecommerce product SKU tracking
  • Robust tracking with Google Analytics and Adwords
  • Testing a landing page setup is simple – just add a couple lines of JavaScript code and setup the test in Google Website Optimizer ’s  interface (you will need the page URLs as well as the conversion page)
  • Overall reliability of Google’s servers (we’ve never heard of an outage of Google Website Optimizer servers)
  • Open application programming interface (API) – you can draw data from the tool into your own environment without having to log into Google Analytics or Google Website Optimizer
  • Large base of marketers have had exposure to the tool and, at a minimum, have some sort of expertise on the tool
  • Google name brings credibility – May help get buy-in from others that might be unfamiliar with the tool but recognize the Google name
  • With multivariate testing, once the JavaScript switching code is in place, you can add and rotate in elements without IT needing to alter the code for each test
  • Active product development (constantly rolling out updates and bug fixes) Leer más “Online Testing and Optimization Solutions: Quick guide to Google Website Optimizer”

Homepage Optimization: How your peers use keywords and communicate with visitors

we wanted to hear your thoughts about homepage optimization. So we asked marketers. Here are a few of our favorite answers…

Keyword early, keyword often

1. Keywords are very important. Find the best for you site/business/product. Is your homepage going to be a landing page for your product or service? If so, you can use the appropriate keywords. Otherwise find the keywords that more generally describe your industry/product and use them for the home page.

2. Content: the keywords will be used to develop relevant content. Try to use the keywords early and often (but not unnaturally so) on the page. Especially effective if you can use them in a title, or bold, etc.

3. Title tags: use keywords in title tag, plus the name of your company at the end.

4. Write a good descriptive meta tag – remember this is going to be part of what shows up in natural results on a search results page

5. Limit graphics. For the graphics that are there, use Alt formatting to see that the search engine can read them.

6. Try to build incoming links into your home page

– Brent Carnduff, Owner at EchelonSEO


house_d6629dd56a(…) We wanted to hear your thoughts about homepage optimization. So we asked marketers. Here are a few of our favorite answers…

Keyword early, keyword often

1. Keywords are very important. Find the best for you site/business/product. Is your homepage going to be a landing page for your product or service? If so, you can use the appropriate keywords. Otherwise find the keywords that more generally describe your industry/product and use them for the home page.

2. Content: the keywords will be used to develop relevant content. Try to use the keywords early and often (but not unnaturally so) on the page. Especially effective if you can use them in a title, or bold, etc.

3. Title tags: use keywords in title tag, plus the name of your company at the end.

4. Write a good descriptive meta tag – remember this is going to be part of what shows up in natural results on a search results page

5. Limit graphics. For the graphics that are there, use Alt formatting to see that the search engine can read them.

6. Try to build incoming links into your home page

Brent Carnduff, Owner at EchelonSEO

Leer más “Homepage Optimization: How your peers use keywords and communicate with visitors”