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So here's my first question. My company offers a service that is targeted to only one user group within one specific industry. The service costs nothing. In exchange, we ask only that they provide feedback from time to time on the service. Where things delivered on time, did they meet their requirement, etc.
I am using Google AdWords to try to convert visitors into registered users. Again, this service is free. Free to sign up, free to use. Free. There currently is not really any other company competing with us in this space. A user could get this service from other companies, but would have to pay. These funds would be paid by their employer. Depending on the size of the business, funds may/may not be hard to come by.
Having said all this, what would you think is a reasonable goal for my conversion rate? I thought I could acheive 10%. After working very actively on this for 8-10 weeks, my rate is around 2%, which to me seems really patethic and points to one of two things:
1) My landing pages are somehow not designed properly
2) There is some basic flaw in the core service offered
Anyone have any thoughts? Any benchmarks out there for average conversion rates, based on different types of conversions?
It's very difficult to give 'benchmarks' by industry as there are just so many factors involved, including what the company will or will not change on landing pages.
Take these two scenarios for a free product.
Company A wants the product offer on a page that uses their usual navigation. Their usual navigation offers many choices. Their landing page is clear what the product is about, but there's not a clear path to conversion. With so many options, it's difficult to funnel a visitor into a very specific action. Depending on the product brand, form requirements, etc, their conversion rate could be 0%-10%.
Company B is willing to remove all secondary navigation. They redesign the primary nav to allow visitors to get to their site, but the vast majority of the nav pertains to the download. They have a clear policy privacy, spyware policy, and a some sort of trusted seal. Each page has a clear call to action about the product, the path to conversion is clear. Depending on the product (and audience) their conversion could be 1%-20%.
Now, when you mix a keyword, an ad, a landing page which is an extension of an ad (or vice versa), the amount of factors which could be impeding conversions continue to mount.
This gets to the point about testing. Test the ads, keywords, landing pages, etc. Are you reaching your target market? Start to find formulas that work better than others, analyze why they work, use the benefits, get rid of the negatives, and start all over again. Only through systematic testing will you really know what sort of conversion rate you can expect.
Sorry I couldn't answer your question, there really is no 'industry standard' that I'd ever be comfortable saying without a LOT of qualifiers.
For what it's worth, it's been said many times by Google that the overall conversion rate hovers around 2% - doesn't answer your question specifically but figured I'd pass that on.
Your post made me think of "What's my line?" the way it read.