A good conversion rate is 2%-3% for ecommerce and 5%-8% for lead generation. Our team uses the right strategies and tactics to achieve conversion rates as high as 15% for our clients, so we created this handy guide to help improve yours.

Here, you’ll find: 

  1. What is a conversion rate?
  2. What’s a good conversion rate?
  3. How do you calculate conversion rates?
  4. Tips to boost conversion rates
  5. Factors that can influence your Google Ads conversion rate

Experienced marketers know keeping tabs on conversion rates is key to measuring success.

To shed some light on conversion rates, we talked with HawkSEM CEO Sam Yagedar, boasting decades of expertise.

Here, he shares the average conversion rates, strategies for improvement, and everything else you need to maximize your campaign ROI. 

Ready to watch that number rise? Stick with us.

What is a conversion rate?

Conversion rate measures the total number of people who take a desired action (like clicking to your website or adding to cart) after interacting with your digital content (ad, blog, social post, newsletter) against the number of people who don’t. 

Beyond purchases, it can represent: 

  • Email marketing newsletter signups
  • Consultation requests
  • Subscriptions and subscribers renewing
  • Free trial signups
  • Demo requests
  • Views on a specific web page
  • Product or resource downloads

You can also analyze conversions by channel, like Facebook Ads, Amazon Ads, Microsoft Ads, Instagram campaigns, and more.  

What’s a good conversion rate?

A good conversion rate generally falls between 2-8% and varies across different industries. That figure varies (and increases) the more specific your niche is. For example, tech industries have higher conversion rates than retail or real estate industries.

LocaliQ’s 2023 benchmark report analyzed roughly 18,000 US-based search ad campaigns that ran between April 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023.

Across all industries, the average conversion rate was 7.04%. 

Let’s break this down a bit more so you can get a clear idea of what to expect from your industry:

  • Animals & Pets: 13.41%
  • Apparel / Fashion & Jewelry: 1.57%
  • Arts & Entertainment: 3.03%
  • Attorneys & Legal Services: 7.00%
  • Automotive — For Sale: 5.72%
  • Automotive — Repair, Service, & Parts: 12.61%
  • Beauty & Personal Care: 8.16%
  • Business Services: 4.94%
  • Career & Employment: 3.11%
  • Dentists & Dental Services: 10.40%
  • Education & Instruction: 7.07%
  • Finance & Insurance: 4.11%
  • Furniture: 2.57%
  • Health & Fitness: 8.40%
  • Home & Home Improvement: 10.22%
  • Industrial & Commercial: 7.91%
  • Personal Services: 8.70%
  • Physicians & Surgeons: 13.12%
  • Real Estate: 2.88%
  • Restaurants & Food: 5.06%
  • Shopping, Collectibles, & Gifts: 3.69%
  • Sports & Recreation: 5.69%
  • Travel: 3.87%

An industry-by-industry breakdown shows a deeper analysis. 

For example, the average apparel CVR is under 2%. This means a 7.04% CVR in the fashion industry would be amazing. While a 7.04% CVR in the automotive repair industry would be a bit disappointing.

The highest conversion rate is 13.41% in the animals & pets industry and the lowest conversion rate is 1.57% in the fashion and apparel industry. This shows a high conversion rate varies widely depending on your business.

These rates apply generally to different kinds of marketing tactics. But chances are, your Google Ads PPC campaigns take up the lion’s share of your marketing budget. Naturally, you wonder: what is a good PPC conversion rate? Depends on who you ask. 

Some agencies consider an average PPC conversion rate under 7% as successful.

But our PPC experts at HawkSEM shoot for the stars with PPC conversion rates between 9%-15%. 

Of course, there are caveats.

Let’s say you’re an ecommerce business that sells summer decor on Shopify. Yadegar highlights that it’s normal for seasonal businesses to experience variations in revenue and conversions throughout the year:

We can see swings up to 30%,” says Yadegar. “But for non-seasonal businesses, you want to be working toward continuously improving conversion rates over time.”

Mobile payment with wallet app technology. woman paying and shopping with smartphone application. Digital money transfer, banking and e commerce concept.

(Image: Adobe)

According to Yadegar, a solid conversion rate shows that a brand is truly dialed into its target audience

“The higher it is, the more they really understand the searcher’s pain point and offer a solution that customers love,” he says. “Also, it means that their targeting, keywords, and landing pages are watertight.” 

And if a conversion rate falls below the industry average? Yadegar says that could signal a brand’s keyword research, audience targeting, or landing pages need improvement. 

Now that you know your benchmark for conversion rates, it’s time to see how your biz stacks up. 

How do you calculate conversion rates?

With the right metrics and insights, you can calculate conversion rates across your entire marketing strategy

Here are the steps we take to measure conversion rates for our clients: 

1. Define your conversion 

This is the most important step to calculating conversion rate, and it’s one that Yadegar sees so many business owners overlook. Remember all the different types of conversions we discussed earlier (consultation requests, transactions, signups)?

Yadegar says defining your brand’s conversion type is a must before calculating: 

“You want to avoid vanity metrics (like social media likes, for example) and make sure your digital marketing campaigns are driving high-value conversions.”

As for what high-value conversions look like, Yadegar keeps a sharp eye on the revenue:

“Ideally, we like to focus on bottom-funnel conversions that are only a few steps away from revenue, like transactions, demo requests, and consultation requests. However, there is good long-term value in newsletter signups and shares.”

Remember, conversion rates might differ depending on the type you measure. For example, you might see lower conversion rates for email signups than for PPC ad conversions. However, if those conversions bring customers closer to a purchase, those are the ones most worth monitoring. 

…which brings us to our next step.

2. Track all clicks (website visitors and ad interactions) 

Let’s say you’re working with a PPC conversion rate. You’ll first need to pinpoint how many people clicked your ad and ended up on your landing page or website. 

At this stage, don’t worry so much about who actually converted. For now, you want eyes on everyone who has interacted with your ad. 

An easy way to determine your number of visitors? Peep your Google Analytics

Of course, tracking clicks gives you half of the equation to calculate your conversion rate. But beyond that? You’ll have valuable insights into how your users interact with your website and how successful your SEO efforts are. 

We up the ante with heat maps to get more eyes on exactly what your web visitors click and which pages they linger on or bounce from. 

Tracking clicks? Check. Next?

3. Track conversions 

Once you have your site traffic down pat, the next step is to hone in on the visitors that take your desired action after their initial engagement. These are your conversions, and Google Analytics conveniently shows you how many people convert post-click. 

Brands can get the basics of conversion tracking with Google Analytics. The only problem? Yadegar says the quality of conversion is just as important as the number itself, and this is where Google Analytics falls short. 

That’s why HawkSEM combines Google Analytics insights with those from our proprietary tech, ConversionIQ

A screenshot of the ConversionIQ homepage

The perfect blend of talent and tech, HawkSEM’s process with this game-changing system gives our clients real-time data on not only conversion rates but also the caliber of conversions, among other vital metrics. We gauge insights like account anomalies, trend performance indicators, and growth signals to deliver the most actionable advice for transforming your ROI. 

Ready to do some marketing math?

4. Calculate the conversion rate 

If math isn’t your strong suit, don’t worry, we have a simple formula for calculating conversion rates:

Conversion rate = 100 X (Total conversions/Total visits)

Do the math, and voila—you have your conversion rate! 

Here’s an example:

Imagine your PPC ad garnered 400 visitors to your landing page. Out of those 400 visitors, five of them purchased your product. 

In this case, your PPC conversion rate would be calculated as follows: 

  • 100 X (5/400)
  • 100 X 0.0125

1.25% is your conversion rate

Our take? That’s too low. Next, we’ll share our pro tips for raising your conversion rate.

But if you prefer more support, just contact us for a consultation

Tips to boost conversion rates

  1. Make sure you target the right audience
  2. Track related metrics like cost per conversion and customer lifetime value
  3. Prioritize user experience for landing pages
  4. Don’t stop A/B testing 
  5. Set up conversion tracking and attribution properly
  6. Adjust your bidding strategy 
  7. Create remarketing campaigns
  8. Do competitive research

The best way to improve conversion rate? Keep an army of experts on your campaigns, day and night. That’s what we offer HawkSEM clients, along with an average 4.5X ROI. 

But even before enlisting the pros, you can still achieve small wins to improve your conversion rate. Here are some of Yadegar’s strategies for conversion rate optimization (CRO):

1. Make sure you target the right audience

A landing page with branded visuals, striking ad copy, and an ultra-persuasive call-to-action (CTA) is great, but it’s pointless if the wrong people land on it. Audience targeting transcends demographics, ensuring your ads are shown at the right time, on the right day, marketing channel, and even location. 

Take our client 686, who wasn’t happy with conversions on their ecommerce website for their winter gear. After a comprehensive audit, we noticed something was off with their audience targeting. The locations and timing were all wrong, and they weren’t getting any qualified leads. For instance, targeting snowboarding gear to people in Florida didn’t make sense, unless they were planning a trip to a ski destination. 

So we went to work tweaking location targeting on their PPC campaigns and remarketing to audiences that showed previous interest. 

The result? Let’s just say that cart abandonment rate plummeted, and we saw a significant uptick in checkouts from shopping carts. 686 saw a whopping 186% increase in website conversion rate and 67% reduced cost per conversion. 

Target the right audience, and you’ll see your conversion rate start to climb up.

2. Track related metrics like cost per conversion and customer lifetime value

A good conversion rate means your brand has a solid handle on what your audience wants, but it’s only a small glimpse of the big picture. 

Sure, maybe you scored a 15% conversion rate on your latest campaign, but how much did you have to spend to get there? If it’s more than your revenue, you’re not in a great spot. It’s also important to consider whether those conversions will translate into repeat customers, or one-hit wonders. Yadegar emphasizes that these metrics offer answers to the above questions. 

  • Cost per conversion: how much your company has to spend to get a conversion (the total cost of a campaign divided by the number of conversions) 
  • Customer lifetime value: how much revenue your business will garner from one particular customer
  • Customer acquisition cost: how much money your brand spends to acquire leads or potential customers 
  • Return on ad spend (ROAS): compares your overall revenue with overall ad spend for a particular campaign 

With a finger on the pulse of these metrics, you’re well on your way to high conversion rates.

3. Prioritize user experience for landing pages

Does your landing page feel like an afterthought in your PPC campaign? That’s another misstep we often encounter. Brands put so much energy into keyword research, snippets, ad copy, and visuals for the PPC ad, that they end up treating their landing page as a secondary item. 

The reality? Landing pages are the most important facet of a conversion strategy. It’s your last chance to impress your web visitors and entice action. 

For example, we noticed our SaaS client Datadog’s landing pages weren’t converting as well as they could. Today’s customers expect modern, appealing landing pages and web pages in general. So, we transformed their landing page into a much cleaner, intuitive experience with conversion optimization as a top priority. We revamped CTAs to speak directly to customers’ pain points and noticed immediate results: 

  • Clickthrough rate increased from 1% to 3%
  • CPA reduced by 40%
  • Sales demo (an important conversion type) increased by 75%

Want similar results? Here’s a quick checklist you can use to boost conversions on your landing pages

  • Ensure cohesive design and messaging 
  • Add a brief FAQ section
  • Leverage social proof like reviews and testimonials
  • Highlight your brand’s unique selling points (USPs)
  • Keep contact forms short
  • Make navigation as smooth as possible
  • Create eye-catching CTA buttons
  • Optimize load times for desktop and mobile

Need a bit more guidance? Check out our full guide on landing page optimization.

4. Don’t stop A/B testing

So you optimized the heck out of your landing page and it looks perfect. The only hitch? Your conversion rate is stagnant. It might be because you didn’t test your new landing page elements with your audience. 

A/B testing (or split testing) helps you determine what resonates the most with your audience. You can do this with landing page elements, keywords, ad copy, web design, and pretty much any other digital attribute for your marketing campaigns and content. 

photo of marketing a/b testing

(Image: Adobe)

We conducted a few simple A/B tests for our computer application client AppDynamics, and the insights helped us double targeted traffic and increase their conversion rate by 20%!

Experiment with different options and you’ll find one that performs best.

5. Set up conversion tracking and attribution properly

Spotting a conversion is one thing. Identifying where it came from is another. This is where proper conversion tracking and attribution are essential. Syncing everything up gives you eyes on every possible traffic and conversion source.

“Advertisers can test and optimize their landing pages for conversions using tools, such as Google Optimize,” shares David Godlewski, CEO at Intelliverse. “They can prioritize upgrades to their landing pages and convert more ad clicks into revenue by evaluating how those sites are working.”

At HawkSEM, we set up attribution accurately and precisely by: 

  • Importing offline conversions
  • Connecting customer relationship management software (CRM)
  • Examining the entire sales funnel

With ConversionIQ, HawkSEM’s proprietary tool, we can extract specific data from the customer journey.

“We view conversion rates as an ongoing practice that can and should continuously get better,” says Rambod Yadegar, President and Co-founder of HawkSEM.  “ConversionIQ allows us to dig deeper into each conversion, extract data and use that data to continue to improve conversions, the conversion rate — and ultimately, ROAS.”

Want more tips on improving conversions? We created a comprehensive conversion rate playbook that you can access for free to get in-depth guidance on CRO.

6. Adjust your bidding strategy

A bid strategy refers to how your brand approaches keyword bids for your ads. There are several bidding strategies to choose from, but being flexible can improve your conversion rates.

“I was working on a highly competitive campaign for a kitchenware brand. Conversion rates started at 2%, but our goal was 5%,” says Abhi Bavishi, CRO Specialist. “To improve this, we used an adjustment bid strategy to target device types. In this case, we wanted to target mobile devices — a crucial tool. Conversion rates soared to 6%, passing our goal.”

Similarly, Moran shared another example. 

“We used Google’s automated bidding strategies to maximize conversion values,” explains Moran. “By setting up a target return on ad spend (ROAS) and letting Google’s algorithms adjust bids in real-time, we increased conversion value by 40% within a quarter.”

Play around with bidding strategies that work for your company and bring in the most bang for your buck.

7. Create remarketing campaigns

Remarketing campaigns are ads that re-engage target customers who previously interacted with your brand. These typically have a higher conversion rate than other campaigns because it’s easier to retarget people already familiar with your products or services.

Moran shared a remarketing strategy her team used in the past to target users who had abandoned their carts during the trial signup process: 

“By offering a limited-time discount, we managed to recover 15% of abandoned leads, demonstrating the potential of remarketing in boosting conversion rates.”

8. Do competitive research

Conduct a competitive analysis to see how your competitors’ ads are performing. What are they using for ad copy, what do their landing pages look like — and most of all, are they advertising on your brand name?

“The absence of competitive research is a commonly missed opportunity in Google Ads conversion rate optimization,” says Godlewski. “Many advertisers focus solely on their own products or services without looking at what their competitors are doing, which can stall your conversion rates.” 

He also advises checking out what your rivals are up to, what ads they run, their keywords, and how they engage their audience. 

“It can reveal ideas and strategies that work,” continues Godlewski. “When you learn from competitors, you can tweak your campaigns to be more appealing to your target audience. This, in turn, gives you an edge against your market rivals and significantly boosts your conversion score.”

Factors that can influence your Google Ads conversion rate

There are several factors that impact conversions for display ads on the display network and search ads in the SERPs. We’ll cover four important components that can make or break your Google Ads.

Value proposition

Your value proposition shows the benefits of your product/service and how it fulfills your target customer’s needs and pain points. Make this clear in your ad, or risk missing potential conversions.

Ad relevance

Ad relevance is key — you don’t want someone interested in your ad copy, but then land on your landing page and feel lost.

“One of the most common mistakes advertisers make is not aligning their ad messaging with their landing page,” says Magee Clegg of Cleartail Marketing. “This disconnect can lead to a drop in conversion rates.” 

“For example, if an ad promises a specific offer, but the landing page doesn’t clearly communicate that same offer, it can confuse and deter potential customers,” continues Clegg. “To avoid this, ensure the ad copy and landing page are in sync.”

James Parkinson, Head of Marketing Content at Personnel Checks, says it’s important to use some of the same keywords in the ad and the main headlines on the landing page. 

“This provides consistency and reassurance to the visitor that they have been taken to the right place,” explains Parkinson.

Relevance also impacts your Quality Score, which tells you how your ad ranks compared to other advertisers. Low relevance generates a lower Quality Score, impacting your ads altogether.

Load time

Your website or landing page’s load time also impacts your conversion rates.

“The loading time of a landing page is crucial because it is the initial point of interaction with a potential consumer and the quickest path to frustration,” says Draven McConville, CEO & Founder at Klipboard. “All pages should load in fewer than 3.4 seconds, according to Google.”

If someone clicks on your site from an ad that interests them, but your website or landing page is taking ages to load, they’ll click away. It ruins the user experience before it begins.

Mobile responsiveness

People are using their smartphones to conduct searches, which means a percentage of your ad clicks will be from mobile devices. If a mobile user clicks on your ad and lands on a website that’s difficult to navigate, you’ll lose that conversion.

“To address this, ensure your landing pages are responsive, load quickly on mobile, and offer a user-friendly experience,” advises SEO Expert Kevin Miller.

The takeaway

Good conversion rates vary across different industries but usually range between 2-8%. The average ecommerce conversion rate sits between 2-3%, while average SaaS conversion rates go up to 5-8%. 

The real game-changer? Partnering with a seasoned marketing agency like HawkSEM to skyrocket your conversion rates upwards of 15%. Our case studies are a testament to the incredible conversion rate increases we’ve achieved for our clients. And guess what? Your brand can be our next success story. 

Armed with decades of SEO and PPC experience and laser-sharp insights from ConversionIQ, HawkSEM delivers an average 4.5X ROI for clients across finance, travel, retail, SaaS, education, and beyond. 

Ready to hitch your wagon to higher conversion rates? Take your first step toward more revenue with HawkSEM. 

Contact HawkSEM for Free Consultation