Creating a Web Site Conversion Rate Benchmark
Many marketers struggle to determine an appropriate Web site conversion rate benchmark. You know that a 1 percent conversion rate is not enough. However, how do you determine what the conversion rate should be for your Web site? Here are four steps that will help your company create a benchmark for this all important metric.
#1 Check out the competition. An easy way to do this is to sign up for the Shop.org annual study and look at what your competitors are doing.
#2 Review industry history. Visit the Fireclick Index at http://index.fireclick.com and look at last year’s conversion rate data. Compiled from participating Fireclick customers, this information is free, and the index provides data not just for overall Web conversion rates, but also for rates specific to certain verticals, including fashion and apparel, electronics, catalog, specialty, outdoor, sports, and software. In addition, you can review data for one of the six vertical industries Google provides free of charge.
#3 Plot your own conversion rates. Plot out your own conversion rates segmented by your core acquisition strategies—direct mail, e-mail, pay-per-click, display, etc.—for the last year. Then, compare your trends to the industry and competitive data you’ve gathered to determine next year’s goals.
#4 Check your resources. Account for efforts you are investing in, such as testing or search engine marketing, and make sure you estimate the anticipated improvements from these efforts to your Web site revenue. If you just hired a search engine marketing expert, then pump up the goal by 50 percent for that stream of traffic. If you are implementing multivariate testing on your Web site, then account for the benefits that will bring you.
If you add the above tips together, you will spark an intelligent discussion that will help your company determine its conversion rate benchmark. The next step is to repeat the process every quarter; you’ll improve every time.
Avinash Kaushik is a web consultant and author of “Web Analytics: An Hour A Day.” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.