Truth about Conversion Rates

Considering starting a new business? Have one started and waiting for things to take off? For small business owners and entrepreneurs, one of the biggest pain points is often that they are not getting enough eyes on their site or reaching enough people to let them know about their business. Obviously, the amount of traffic you are getting to your website really affects your company’s bottom line. This is especially true if you are an ecommerce site and that traffic is what creates the opportunity to generate sales. So, the less volume you have, in terms of potential customers viewing your site, the less chance you have of making sales. Wordstream puts average conversion rate at 2.35% of all traffic visiting your site and viewing its content. This obviously varies per industry and can be affected by people’s experience with your site and its content, but that is the average.

So, what does that mean for your expectations:

250 viewer sessions= 6 sales

500 viewer sessions= 12 sales

1,000 viewer sessions= 24 sales

10,000 view sessions= 240 sales


That is not a lot of sales for quite a few impressions. So, if your average order value is generally low and margins are not high, then it is clear to be successful and make a decent profit you will need to drive a lot of traffic to your website. It is important to be realistic about these numbers going to manage expectations and understand the effort and spend that will go into getting the kind of return you are looking for. Don’t make the mistake of not investing enough time and money into advertising your business. The general recommended amount to invest in marketing for your business is 7-8% of revenue. As a new business owner, you have to determine this amount based on projected revenue or determine an amount that you can draw from your overall budget to start to build that brand recognition and get the exposure that you need for a healthy conversion.

When it comes to marketing, you get out what you put into it. You need to make sure your initial impression is strong, your content and imagery is compelling and clear, your user experience is favorable, etc. The worst thing you could do is make that investment to get eyes on your site and then turn them away by not giving the right first impression or guiding people to purchase with a desirable experience.

Quality of traffic is also important. What does your customer/buyer persona look like? The better you understand this, the better online journey you can create for them. You can tailor your messaging and all content to speak to them directly. What does an average day look like for them? Are they most likely to look at your site on mobile? For most sites this is the case, but certain industries and demographics still trend towards desktop viewing. What social channels would your average customer be active on? Where are they most likely to encounter your brand? What kind of content are they likely to respond to? Imagery? Video? Over time you, or your marketing team, should be able to get closer and closer to this answer. Experienced marketers should be able to draw from experience in similar industries, learn from any traffic you have had to date and also garner information from your competition. Keeping these thoughts in mind and tweaking your content and advertising as you learn more about your customer is the way to be most effective in your marketing efforts. Learn from your sales reps, your customers and your analytics to more narrowly focus your efforts. All of this data will help you make decisions when developing campaigns and choosing what channels to promote them on.

Know that it will take some time to dial-in your advertising and tweak content to be more affective. Don’t give up too soon! We have said it many times, but marketing is a process, not a transaction. You are going to need to spend money, pay attention to important metrics you can learn from, be consistent and keep at it. It may take months to figure things out and you have to be willing to make that commitment. Business owners often expect immediate results when they finally make the decision to invest in online adverting. It can be immediate if you grab people’s attention and are providing and exciting offering, or it could take a few months to get things right and start to see the results of your labors.

Online Advertising Options

Google AdWords: Often a popular choice if your aim is to dominate search engine results. Paying to play on Google AdWords (PPC, or Pay Per Click) allows you to bid on keywords associated with the products or services that you offer and enables your company to pop up on those top sponsored ad locations in searches relevant to your brand. You will have to consider the popularity of the words you are choosing and those you are competing with. Some of the country’s largest brands have monster marketing budgets being thrown at dominating these top spots in all relevant searches. If I started my own lingerie company, I would have a hard time holding my own against a powerhouse brand like Victoria’s Secret. There are ways that I can still make a dent for less popular keywords, but ones that people are still typing in when searching for my offerings. This is where you can get creative and do your diligence and more affordably carve out a place for yourself.

PPC is especially important if your organic search results are low. With the right approach, PPC will allow you to get your brand out there and start generating traffic to your site right away. Pay per click is especially good for local businesses, companies where the customers have a high lifetime value or businesses with high margin. These variables allow for the money spent on ads to make sense.

Facebook Advertising and Boosted Posts: We highly recommend Facebook advertising to our customers because it allows your brand to immediately get in front of very specified audiences. The amount you are able to tweak your target audience on Facebook is pretty incredible. Also, as a newer player on the scene (relative to AdWords), we find that you can get a pretty good bang for your buck! You can target by location, demographics, interests, behaviors, recent purchase patterns, life events (like just getting engaged, married, etc.), and more. There are a lot of people every day spending a good deal of time on Facebook and some great options that Facebook offers to reach them with the right content and approach.

Instagram Advertising: Now owned by Facebook, Instagram has really taken off with the younger audiences because of its visual nature. Instagram leverages Facebook’s Ad Platform- Power Editor to allow brands to target ads to viewer’s Instagram feeds. Similar to Facebook, Instagram offers your business some impressive targeting options and an opportunity to reach today’s younger audience who spends a ton of time on their phones and Instagram, specifically.

Popular Online Marketplaces: Whether it is Amazon, Etsy, Ebay or another common platform, considering an online marketplace in addition to your company’s ecommerce site is another avenue for people to discover your brand and its offerings. Not every brand makes sense on all platforms. Etsy, for example, is more catered toward craft and artistic-based items. You also have to consider the time that will go into populating and managing these additional platforms and the regulations and fees associated with them. The benefit is they are visited by millions of people every day and are doing their own promotion to drive traffic to themselves. These platforms are often the means by which brands become discovered. They operate on a global scale, so while you might not be jumping up and down with excitement at the idea of giving away some of your margin to commission fees, listing your products on these platforms can increase your chances of being discovered and, in turn, driving traffic to your site.

Collaborations: Collaborations are all the rage these days. Whether collaborating with an online company that sells a product that complements yours, working with a social media influencer in trade for free product or compensation, or working to get guest blog features or backlinks, getting your name out there in other methods is a highly effective way to get in front of more eyes. You don’t have to shell out the big bucks for a Kardashian level influencer to promote your brand. Word of mouth and reviews are a highly effective tool to legitimize and validate your brand to potential future customers. Consider ways to promote this brand praise through some of the mediums above that make sense for your network and budget.

Not quite sure where to get started? Our team of talented creatives and marketing strategists are happy to schedule a 30-minute consultation to discuss where you are at and what makes sense to help your business grow. Contact us today!