What Is A Good Conversion Rate?

By Ally Sabrowsky | @absabrowsky | CRO Manager at Hanapin Marketing

We are in the midst of many different sports seasons right now, but the one that seems to grab a lot of attention is football. And I’m talking “pigskin” football, not “GGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOALLLLLL” football. Today we’re going to compare a good conversion rate to the inner-workings of a football team. In keeping with the football theme, let’s start with our first of four quarters.


1st Quarter


There are many factors that influence your conversion rate. Your conversion rate will fluctuate depending on these factors: network, device, data, industry, and target audience.




One key indicator of how your conversion rate will change is dependent upon the network where your ads will be showing. Whether it’s your standard search channels or social, the conversion rate will likely change. Similar to the network in which your football team is featured on that day, the broadcasters or commentators will definitely influence how you understand the game and if what they’re saying resonates with your goal of watching the game.




Another indicator is the device. Depending on the type of conversion, the device in which it’s being performed on will have an influence. For example, it’d be much easier to call from your mobile phone than your computer if that’s your conversion goal. Like play calling in a game, the conversion rate will fluctuate depending on the device and the situation, similar to whether it’s 1st or 3rd down.




How you collect your data and understand it will influence conversion rates. What are you actually measuring to be counted as a conversion? In football, we can break data down to yards per play, or time of total possession, to get a feel as to who’s reaching the goal of winning the game. There will always be outliers but if you structure your data correctly, you can better measure your conversion rates and how they’re affecting your business overall.




Whether we’re watching high school, NCAA, or NFL football, the level of talent and structure will likely change. Such as the industry your business might be in. NFL is to the Religious industry as Pee-Wee football is to Healthcare. Thanks to Formstack for providing us with an average conversion rate by industry, this could be a great starting point to understanding if your company is in the right ballpark.


Formstack Industry Report




The audience you’re advertising too will likely have a direct impact on the conversion rate you expect to see. You’re playing at home this week so you’ll likely have your home-team fans cheering you on and potentially distracting the other team. Knowing this, you’re able to use your audience to your advantage and know they can have a direct impact on the outcome of the game. That being said, your targeted audience for each of your conversion goals will have a direct impact on the outcome of your conversion rates.


2nd Quarter


Alright, we’re in the second quarter – focusing on our main question of the day: What is a good conversion rate? There are many elements that determine a winning conversion rate for your team. Such as who your team is composed of, success depends on the different steps, and how they work together to achieve the goal.
Such as the multiple steps to scoring a touchdown (snap count, first downs, to that final scoring play), to achieve a good conversion rate is to meet the user expectations throughout the steps of the process. For example, with PPC specifically, we want to maintain that congruence from search term – ad copy – landing page. Because there is intent behind the user’s search, we want to make sure their expectations are met through to filling out the form or making a purchase.


Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 2.55.38 PM
An example of a congruent customer journey.


What constitutes a good conversion rate will also depend on the type of goals you set. For example, if “Buying Tickets” are of more value than “Selling Tickets”, maybe you’d set two different conversion rate goals for each of those types of conversion.


And for the two-minute warning before halftime, all we really want to see is an increasing conversion rate over time. There isn’t just one constant to strive for; it should always be fluctuating and increasing as you set up new marketing goals and campaigns. As soon as you hit that goal, that’s the time to re-evaluate and continue to increase your conversion rate.




You can now get those halftime snacks. Now that we’ve reached a conclusion on conversion rate, our second half strategy is to go over ways to keep increasing conversion rate (both with and without CRO) and even evaluating going beyond the conversion.


3rd Quarter


It’s time to come out strong for the second half and evaluate just what we can do to continue increasing our conversion rates. There are ways to optimize with and without adjusting landing pages.


Without CRO


This can be compared to the ownership and organization of a football team. It starts from the top and trickles down to management and further to the players themselves. With great organization in your campaign structure and ad copy strategy, you can further increase conversion rates by making sure there’s congruence throughout (as mentioned above). Eliminating inconsistencies and poor management is what makes teams stronger and better, as well as in marketing strategies themselves.


With CRO


Conversion rate optimization is all about testing and improving landing page performance. Like in football, teams are testing new plays, switching player positions all to see what contributes to the best outcome. There are two key optimization areas to help increase conversion rates.


Displaying Value


There might be that standout star on the team that becomes the go-to player to propel the team to a win. Likewise, there should be a standout element on your page that communicates the value and why you should be interested in the product or service in the first place. Displaying that value, hopefully within the first five seconds of a visit, will contribute to an even better outcome – especially if it’s something highlighted in your search term and the ad copy.




There are some restrictions as to how distracting fans can be at a game or what your opponent can deploy to distract you from scoring. Keeping the team’s focus on the ultimate goal of winning the game and eliminating as many distractions as possible can directly translate into CRO. Make sure the conversion goal on the landing page stands out.


4th Quarter


For our fourth quarter strategy, we’re going to look at going beyond the conversion. Off the field and during the off-season, players still need to maintain a positive reputation both for themselves, their team, and the league as a whole. User experience and brand reputation carry out beyond that one type of conversion goal. That positive experience could lead to return conversions and better brand recognition by word-of-mouth.


In the end, only your business can decide whether or not the strategies deployed are enough to win the game, but working to increase conversion rate should be the play at the forefront of many marketing strategies and business goals. And like many Minnesota Vikings fans, even though the elements may all seem in place to achieve the ultimate conversion rate, sometimes it takes a few optimizations (our seasons) to become successful.