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Conversion Rates: So What's The Average?

Updated: Jan 9, 2023

Am I a marketing disruptor or not?

It's come to my attention that there are marketing "gurus" out there claiming loud and proud that they have over 50% conversion rates on their landing pages. I'm going to come straight out and say it:

Either they're lying or they have no idea what a conversion rate is.

The billion-dollar top-performing companies online don't hit that. I don't know what their definition of a conversion is, but here's what it is to the marketing industry professionals:

The conversion rate on a website is the percentage of visitors who take a desired action, such as making a purchase, filling out a form, or signing up for a newsletter.
For example, if a website receives 1000 visitors in a month and 100 of them make a purchase, the conversion rate is 10%.

So when I see someone claim they have over 50% conversion rate, I wonder how and what they're calculating. They should be making MILLIONS working for million if not billion-dollar corporations. If they're that good and you're a solopreneur startup, you probably can't even afford them.

These gurus are trying to CONvince you that 50 out of 100 people who visit their landing pages either make a purchase, fill out a form, or sign up for a newsletter.

And there you are, counting on the professional to tell you the truth, and you swallow the bullshit whole. 3 months and 2k later, I get the call from you crying when you see a conversion rate of 2% after being told this agent could hit over 50%.

Hence, I've decided to put together this blog article that is a guide in determining if you're being lied to by conversion specialists/growth partners.

You'll find in this article:

  • The REAL AVERAGES across all industries when we talk about conversion rates

  • A quick checklist to identifying the liars

Before hiring a guru, use this article to determine the veracity of their offer.


Word Stream produced a study on thousands of Google Ads, seeking more information about conversion rates.

What they found (and a gazillion other researchers like Deloitte) should

A) reassure you

B) make you realize the lies you're being sold

If less than 1% of your website visitors are actually doing what you want them to do, you're doing pretty darn good. They found that 1/4 of all accounts have conversion rates lower than 1%.

The median conversion rate is at 2.35%, but the top 25% of accounts are killin' it with a conversion rate of 5.31% or higher.

And let's not forget about the unicorns in the top 10% - their conversion rates reaching 11.45%.

If you’re currently getting 5% conversion rates, you’re outperforming 75% of advertisers.

Identifying the marketing liar

A short checklist you can use to determine hiring a growth partner or not

1. Can you provide some case studies that demonstrate your conversion rates?

The answer to this should include (but not be limited to):

  1. Company names

  2. Landing page examples

  3. The action that was considered a conversion (Sign up? Purchase? Form filling?)

If they can't produce proof to back up their claims like the one below, it's safe to assume they're lying to you:

2. How are you attaining [%] when the top 10% of accounts on Google Ads have 11.45% ?

This question will make the agent stutter, or just ghost you, as has happened to me when posing these questions to self-proclaimed marketing experts.

If their claim is conversion rates over 30%, they, Are, LYING. And that is me being generous: if we use the averages noted above from Stream Lab's study, you could go as far as saying anything over 15% is likely bullshit without evidence to back up the claim.

3. The action that was considered a conversion (Sign up? Purchase? Form filling?)

If the agent is just throwing numbers are you, they're going to need to get more specific in order to close a deal with you. Ask them WHAT the conversion was and follow-up with the last question:

4. What was the cost per acquisition for your objective?

So the guru just told you they converted 85 clients out of 150 to a like on the case study's Facebook page.

But how much did each like cost?! Cost per acquisition is important: you shouldn't be paying $1.50 per client acquired if your goal was to gain likes on your Facebook page. An easy action like that costs peanuts if your ads are done right:

Ad objective: engagement on post (talk, comment, like).  Cost per engagement: 3 cents per engagement.  This ad actually dropped even lower to 2 cents.  Small actions should not cost a fortune!
Ad objective: engagement on post (talk, comment, like). Cost per engagement: 3 cents per engagement. This ad actually dropped even lower to 2 cents. Small actions should not cost a fortune!

There it is, folks! Next time a Guru throws magic numbers at you, now you have a tool you can refer to. Bookmark this one for posterity.

After all this is said and done, if the agent was able to truthfully respond to everything and is able to prove their conversion rates are real, HIRE THAT AGENT, ASAP (and send me their info so I can hire them for my clients.)

They're a unicorn.

If you want consulting that provides the truth, the right tools, at the right time, for the right reasons, book a quick call with me. I don't sell fairy tales.

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