13 Keys to Successful A/B Testing

A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a method of comparing two versions of a web page to see which one performs better. By testing different versions of your web page, you can determine which design elements, copy, and call-to-actions convert visitors into leads or customers.

If you’re hesitant about starting A/B testing or refocusing on improving customer experience before advertising, think about this one statistic. According to Forbes, Jeff Bezos invested 100x more into customer experience than advertising during the first year of Amazon. Considering Amazon is referenced in practically every article about superior customer experience, it becomes impossible to argue with his strategy.

Regardless of your industry, your business exists to create value for your customers whether it be in the form of a product, service, or content. Every customer interaction with your brand creates a measurable amount of data. But what are you doing with that data? Are you just sitting back and passively collecting it? The best companies aren’t storing their data for later analysis, they actively generate valuable data and customer insights through experimentation. If you want to grow in your industry, then implementing efficient and consistent A/B testing is essential.

The obvious benefit of A/B testing is to improve your company’s value and increase revenue, but there are other benefits to creating an experimentation culture. When you have the ability to quickly run an effective A/B test, your company has more flexibility to test out new ideas and no longer needs to rely on anyone’s “gut instinct”. Remove all of the guesswork from your strategic decisions, and get actionable insights into what does, and doesn’t, work.

In this blog post, we'll share eight keys to successful A/B testing. By following these best practices, you can maximize your chances of achieving significant results from your tests.

Define Your Objective

Before you begin designing your test, it's important to have a clear understanding of what you're trying to achieve. What is the primary goal of the page you're testing? Do you want to increase conversion rates, click-through rates, or time on-site? Once you've defined your objective, you can design your test around that goal.

Choose the Right KPI

A key performance indicator (KPI) is a metric that helps you measure progress toward your goal. When choosing a KPI for your test, be sure to select a metric that's directly related to your objective. For example, if you're trying to increase conversion rates, then your KPI should be conversion rate rather than time on site.

Select One Element to Test

It's important to only test one element at a time; otherwise, you won't be able to isolate the factor that caused any changes in your KPI. For example, if you're testing two different headlines, then keep everything else on the page the same. That way, if there's a change in your KPI, you'll know it was caused by the headline and not by some other element on the page.

Avoid “micro-tweaking”

Make sure your testing doesn’t involve the use of trivial changes for the sake of testing. You want to focus on making the smallest changes with the biggest impact. If that’s not an option, then sometimes you have to go big and bold.

Take into account seasonality

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Sometimes seasonality can play a big part in the success of a test for a variety of reasons. Save your old tests and re-run them at different times. The results will often surprise you.

Develop a highly targeted approach to customer experience pain points

When testing changes, make sure that you’ve identified the specific reason why you think it’s affecting your KPI, and craft your hypothesis as to why this change should improve it. Make sure your addressing your customers' objections for why your goals aren’t being reached, and provide the counter-objections in your test. The last thing you want is to run a test and have no clue why it was successful. 

Create a Hypothesis

Before running your test, take some time to create a hypothesis about what you think will happen. This will help you interpret your results after the fact and determine whether or not your test was successful.

Set Up Your Test

Once you've designed your test and created a hypothesis, it's time to set up the actual test using an A/B testing tool like Crazy Egg or VWO (Google Optimize is being sunset, but probably for the best in my professional opinion). Be sure to select a tool that integrates with your website platform so that setting up the test is as easy as possible.

Run Your Test for Enough Time  

In order for your results to be statistically significant, you need to run your test for at least two weeks. However, if you have a high volume of traffic, you may be able to get results more quickly.

Review Your Results 

Once your test has been running for at least two weeks, it's time to analyze the results. Compare the performance of the two versions of your web page using the KPIs you selected earlier. If there's a significant difference between the two versions, then congrats - - you've found a winning combination! If not, then try tweaking your design and running another test. Remember, it's all about experimentation. The more tests you run, the more likely you are to find a winning combination. 

Implement Your Results 

Once you've found a winning combination, it's time to implement those results on your live site. Doing so will help ensure that more visitors take the desired action when they land on your page. And that's ultimately what A / B testing is all about! 

Segment your data (i.e. personalization)

The results from every user who encountered the test may not tell you the whole story. Make sure you’re segmenting your results based on customer demographic and behavior to see who responded positively and who didn’t. It may be that certain age groups or geographic areas responded differently which opens up the opportunity for more personalization with your audience.

Learn from the losers

Not every idea and test is going to be a guaranteed winner. Your intended outcome may not have been achieved, but there may be other metrics that experienced a positive impact. Make sure understand what your losing tests are telling you about what your customers need.


A / B testing is an essential part of any digital marketing strategy. By following these best practices, businesses can maximize their chances of achieving significant results from their tests. 

A/B Testing FAQs

What is the best A/B testing software?

In my humble opinion, I think VWO is the best all-around enterprise-level A/B testing and CRO tool around. It has everything you could possibly need and allows you to do advanced testing on sites that I would not recommend for beginners. If you’re looking to get started with A/B testing then CrazyEgg definitely has the most bang for the buck. You don’t have the ability to set up advanced tests, but its full suite of tools (heatmaps, session records, etc.) more than makes up for that.

What is statistical significance?

Statistical significance is the point when the test has enough Power (i.e. traffic) to determine a final conclusion of the test with enough confidence (usually 95%) that if the test was repeated under the exact same conditions then the same result would occur (95 out of 100 times). For example, VWO says in order for a test to reach statistical significance in 2 weeks, they recommend each variation has at least 1500 visitors and 25 conversions each over that time period. If you have less traffic than that, then the test won’t have enough Power to confidently determine a winner. Hopefully, I haven’t confused anyone further. If I have, dig up your old statistics book from college or call me and I’ll apologize.

What if my site doesn’t have enough traffic to reach statistical significance?

I’d say you can still run the test, but it may take much longer, and the results may not be as reliable. Instead, I would recommend starting with heatmaps, session recordings, and user testing to make improvements and test variations of your site. Apply the best feedback from those results, and start testing once your traffic has increased.

When should I stop testing?

Never, to stop is to die. Not really, but I think companies should breed a culture of experimentation. You shouldn’t simply be testing just to test, but it can certainly help end disputes on creative and strategic direction. For example, marketing wants to test an edgy and provocative headline, but operations think it will alienate or offend key customers. No one wants to give an inch, so test it. Let the people decide.

The 4 Major Benefits of Conversion Rate Optimization

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a process that uses data-driven methods to increase the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action (i.e. increase the number of conversions). It’s an invaluable tool for any business that wants to remain competitive in today’s digital marketplace. Let's explore some of the key Conversion rate optimization benefits and how they can help your business thrive.

#1 Increased Revenue

One of the most obvious CRO benefits is increased revenue. By using techniques such as A/B testing, you can figure out which elements on your website actually increase conversions and ensure they’re optimized for maximum success. As your conversion rate increases, so does your bottom line. If you combine things like digital advertising, you can use conversion optimization to reduce those expenses while simultaneously increasing profit. It’s a magical combination when done correctly. 

Conversion rate optimization can be used to increase revenue from new customers and  maximize revenue generated from existing customers. By evaluating performance data and customer behavior on your website, you can identify areas where changes will improve user experience and increase sales. A/B testing, for example, is used to compare different versions of a webpage (your control vs. your optimized page) to see which performs better. Then you can continue to adjust layouts and showcase important features more prominently, eliminate unnecessary components that take up valuable page real estate, etc. Ultimately, when implemented well, conversion rate optimization can help businesses realize their full profitability potential by converting visitors into paying customers.

#2 Improved Customer Experiences

It’s important to remember that CRO isn’t just about increasing sales; it’s also about improving customer experiences. By focusing on creating better user experiences through well-crafted website designs, comprehensive content strategies, and easy navigation tools, you ensure that customers have a positive experience when interacting with your brand online. It leads to higher conversion rates, improved loyalty, customer lifetime value, and satisfaction over time.

E-commerce sites are losing an average of $29 on new customers’ first purchases. Having a strategy that ensures your website, visitors come back for repeat purchases is essential in any economic climate.

If your website isn’t intuitive, easy to use, and building loyalty, then you don’t have a sustainable strategy for longevity. The customer’s journey from start to finish needs gives them exactly what they are looking for while meeting all their expectations. CRO is the perfect strategy for ensuring you deliver all of this to your customers. And I want to make one last important comment here before I move to #3. One of the biggest mistakes we see is an overconfident business owner, marketing exec, web designer, UX designer, etc., who thinks they know what the customer wants and how that translates into an online process. They spend a lot of time and research putting together personas, wireframes, designs, etc., which is all incredibly valuable and extremely important. Still, it simply does not translate into the purchasing process. And not just the “purchasing process,” the unique process for your business and your product or service. 

#3 Higher SEO Rankings

Another benefit of CRO is improved SEO rankings. Google rewards websites for providing users with a great online experience by boosting them in search engine results and page (SERPs). CRO tactics like targeted content strategies improve both the quality and quantity of traffic coming from organic search results. This can lead to higher rankings in SERPs over time. This benefit ties back to #2, which is improved customer experience. Improved customer experience means more time on site and more site interaction which Google LOVES, and rewards handsomely with SEO results. 

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is an incredibly important component of a successful SEO strategy. By utilizing detailed analytics and user feedback, CRO can help to identify weak spots in your website's design that impede users from achieving the desired outcome. By addressing these issues, you encourage visitors to complete a transaction or perform an action such as signing up for a newsletter. This, in turn, results in improved keyword rankings due to increased engagement signals sent to search engines. Additionally, focusing on user experience through CRO also improves the number of organic links pointing to your website—which further contributes towards better rankings. Put simply, conversion rate optimization is essential if you wish to optimize your SEO and achieve better online visibility.

#4 More Efficient Marketing Campaigns (Higher ROAS)

With rising customer acquisition costs, companies must find a way to make their marketing dollars go further. The beauty of CRO is that optimizing your website to convert a higher percentage of visitors means your customer acquisition costs also go down. If your conversion rate doubles, then so does your return on ad spend. CRO is a great way for companies to save money on advertising during tough times in particular or improve their marketing efficiency and exceed the growth of their competitors to capture more market share.


In conclusion, I’ve covered the four main benefits of Conversion Rate Optimization. Still, honestly, there are numerous benefits associated with implementing a successful CRO strategy and improving conversion rates for your website. From increased revenue and improved customer experiences to better SEO rankings, and more efficient marketing campaigns, investing in conversion rate optimization is an important step toward ensuring long-term success in today's competitive digital marketplace. 


How do you improve conversion rate optimization?

There are a number of ways to improve your conversion rates, but conversion rate optimization in its simplest form is understanding exactly what your audience and visitors are looking for and providing it. There are a number of boxes to check along the way, and I haven’t done CRO justice by summarizing it in one sentence. If you want to learn more about how to boost your conversion rates, check out this article.

What is Conversion Rate Optimization in eCommerce?

Conversion Rate Optimization as it applies to eCommerce is the process of getting more visitors to your website to buy something. For example, if you sell stuffed animals on your website, and 2 out of every 100 visitors make a purchase. Then, your conversion rate is 2%. Simple. CRO aims to lift that number to something that would be considered STRONG for the industry that you are in, say 4 to 5 out of every 100 website visitors.

Why is conversion rate optimization important?

CRO is vitally important, regardless of your business model, because you’re getting the most out of a precious asset (i.e. your website). The goal is to make your most publicly accessible asset part of your marketing funnel and turn it into an efficient lead generation and sales tool. If people are visiting your website and leaving without filling out a form, placing a call, or buying something, then you have a problem with your CRO (conversion rate optimization) that you need to address immediately.

What are conversion optimization tools?

CRO tools typically include but are not limited to the list below. For more details about each item visit our Website Optimization page.

  • A/B Testing
  • User Testing
  • Heat maps
  • Click maps
  • Session Recording
  • Conversion Funnel Analytics
  • Traffic Analytics
  • Call Tracking
  • Lead Form Analysis

Is conversion rate optimization part of SEO?

Not technically, however, CRO is extremely valuable for SEO. CRO aims to improve the usability of your website and create a positive user experience. Google takes into account what people do when they get to your site. Improving your interaction rate, time on site, pages visited, links clicked, bounce rate, etc. are all benefits of CRO and positively impact SEO.

Where can I get more information about how to improve my conversion rates?

Check out our CRO Blog here for more tips and tricks to improve your conversion rates.

2023 Playbook: Lessons From the Recession Part 2 of 3

In Part 1 we discussed our findings from McKinsey and covered how we can apply lessons from past recessions to help thrive in times of economic uncertainty. If you missed it, you can access it here.

Part 2

Budget cuts and performance marketing are on every CFO and CMOs mind right now. The most difficult part of navigating tough times is doing more with less. Companies face more pressure than ever to justify their spending, find ways to save money, and prove they’re providing value. Our goal is to help every department get what they want and need while still delivering results.

While the focus of this article is for our CMOs out there, we’re confident the strategy discussed will keep our CFO friends happy as well.

Create meaningful connections with customers

This is always a challenge, but crucial during a recession. There isn’t much budget allocated to awareness campaigns, so retaining customers and creating relationships is more important than ever. Digital marketing is an overcrowded and segmented space. It’s becoming easier for users to ignore messaging and send your brand into the gray. In order for companies to succeed they need to focus on the following:

  • Shift your strategies from broad reach to pinpoint targeting and deliver original and meaningful content to specific pain points, or as we like to call it “hair-on-fire” problems.
  • Ensure your digital experience is seamless across all channels so customers can convert anywhere in the funnel on any device. An incoherent experience across channels is a conversion killer for omni-channel marketing strategies. 
  • Lastly, focus on lead nurturing strategies that meet your customers throughout the sales funnel. Make sure your steps and departments aren’t siloed and are communicating to deliver a clear and consistent message to your audience throughout their journey.

For the majority of companies, this doesn’t have to be a difficult procedure. Oftentimes it can be as simple as asking or interviewing your best, or worst, customers to see what you got right, and where you fell short. Utilizing your sales and customer service teams can be a great resource for getting in tune with your customer's wants and needs.

Utilize Big Data in your marketing funnels

Gone are the ways of building 50 pay-per-click campaigns all targeting different and “identical” match keywords throughout the funnel. Big data, algorithms, and artificial intelligence can out-think and perform our marketing instincts.

Utilize the power of big data to target your audience, and focus your efforts on creating meaningful content that speaks directly to your audience. Let the machines help you deliver. 

However, it’s important to remember that AI and algorithms are learning “robots”. They are only as good as the data we give them. Garbage in, garbage out. It’s imperative you’re setting up your marketing campaigns with a feedback loop to identify what information and behavior is the most valuable to achieve your goals.

Team building

Finding and retaining a talented and trustworthy team can be challenging. A marketing team that can adapt, change direction, and mobilizes at the drop of the hat can be your greatest asset in tough times. If you're struggling to put this team together, then outsourcing skills to an agency can be a way to save time and money, while keeping essential functions in-house.

This method can still yield positive results while gaining access to agencies with specialized knowledge and still taking credit for the success in-house. Additionally, this strategy enables your team to focus on more important tasks vital to success like managing your data and analyzing ROI and ROAS to get the best use of your budget.

Focus on ROI

CMOs are constantly asked to show the value they add to the bottom line. With budget cuts, it’s vital for CMOs to stay away from strategies that are hard to measure.

Strategies that win and keep CFOs happy focus on improving the customer experience and promoting customer LTV (lifetime value) and satisfaction. Focus on converting repeat customers first and acquiring new customers second.

Measuring conversion lift is a way to tie marketing efforts directly to revenue, while boosting profit margins, and improving financial liquidity.

Maintain your identity and align with business goals

Now may not be the best time to experiment with new ideas unless you're confident in the outcome and the risks are minimal and/or can be managed. Now is the time to double down on your brand identity, ensure your marketing goals are aligned with your business goals and reassure your customers that they’re making smart purchases.

Innovate what you can control

You can’t control macroeconomic conditions, but you can control your customer experience. Optimizing for usability and increasing LTV and brand loyalty is a strategy that will bring success in any climate, but especially during economic uncertainty.


Forbes: What Challenges Will CMOs Deal With Most Often In 2022?

WSJ: Edgy Campaigns Are Out, TikTok Won’t Stop and Other 2023 Predictions for Marketers

McKinsey: Planning for 2023: How US-based businesses can succeed when capital and talent are constrained

WSJ: Marketers Must Be Flexible, Without Losing Identity, in Uncertain Times

WSJ: How CMOs Are Marketing Through a Turbulent Economy

Next up…

Stay tuned for Part 3 where we’ll tie everything from Parts 1 & 2 together and help you create your strategy for success.

CRO 101: How to Pick the Perfect Survey Questions

The on-site survey can be a mixed bag, sometimes. When done right you can get a lot of extremely valuable conversion optimization information from customers , but it’s not all gold. As we all know, sometimes surveys can be bothersome or poorly timed. When putting a survey on your site, it’s important to go into it with your expectations aligned.

When and where do I put my survey?

Most survey tools will assist with the timing and placement of your survey. However, you want to be sure it’s not covering any important content on the page. Typically, the survey should go in the left or right corner so it’s not obstructing anything, and just visible enough so it can’t be entirely ignored by the people who want to engage with a brand they love. 

As for the timing, please don’t just show it to everyone who lands on your site. That is the best way to guarantee poor results. First, you need to figure out what information you are looking for, and what people are best suited to give you that information.

The Exit Survey

The exit survey is ideal for improving your user experience and shows your survey to people about to leave the site without clicking or engaging with anything. You’re identifying and showing this survey to people who are leaving your site because they likely haven’t found what they’re looking for. If you have what they’re looking for, but people can’t find it, then it’s obviously important to know this information.

 Typical exit survey questions include:

  • What brought you to our site today?
  • Did you find what you were looking for?
  • Please tell us more about what you were looking for.
  • What could have improved your experience?

The Post-Conversion Survey

My favorite, and one of the most overlooked surveys is the post-conversion survey. It's important because you’re gathering information from people who have been through your entire sales funnel and actually bought from you. They also encountered and overcame any barriers, but certainly weren’t oblivious to them. This survey is where we can gather useful information on what emotions led to a purchase, and why people choose your company over the competition. You want to use this type of survey to identify the pains that a customer is experiencing leading up to the purchase, and how your product or service resolves them. 

Great questions for your post-conversion survey include:

  • How would you describe “your company” to a friend?
  • Which other options did you consider before choosing our product or service?
  • Why did you decide to use us?
  • What nearly stopped you from buying from us?
  • What was going on in your life that made you purchase our product or service?
  • Before you purchased our product or service, how did you solve this problem?
  • If you could no longer use or product or service, what would you miss the most?
  • What’s the #1 thing you would mention to a friend or family member if you wanted them to try our product or service?


Start with what information you’re looking to gather from your survey. Then, identify which visitors are most qualified to give you that information. Make sure your survey is showing up at the right time and isn’t too obstructive but not completely invisible. Lastly, make sure you understand the nature of the survey game. Not every answer will be gold, but there will be nuggets if you do it correctly.

2023 Playbook: Lessons From the Recession Part 3 of 3

In Part 1 and Part 2 we covered lessons from previous recessions and how to make sure you hit the mark with your current strategy during economic uncertainty. By now you should have at least a few valuable insights or confirmed your current strategies or trains of thought. Our last objective is to tie the whole series together and give companies some actionable items instead of just data to ponder.

Part 3

ROI Focus

Stick to tried and true strategies that deliver the highest return on your investment and are the cheapest to launch. Email marketing continues to bring home the ROI trophy each year. If you need help maximizing return on your email marketing campaigns, then check our page on email marketing.

It’s imperative that your messaging speaks directly to your audience's pain points, provides value, and drives them to a page designed to convert. You can’t just email prospects and hope they know what to do once they read your content.

If you're utilizing other digital marketing platforms, identify which ones are driving the highest conversion rates and allocate more budget to those while pulling back on others. If you’re on the display network, make sure you’re measuring customer interactions to create powerful remarketing campaigns. If you’re not sure what to do next, bring in outside help. Now is not the time to stop your marketing efforts. Now is the time to create a lean and efficient marketing machine that measures and delivers on your organization's goals.

Budgets will be cut, and heads may roll. Providing value and measurable results are a must.

Speed and Agility

Companies need marketing teams to respond on a dime to whatever is thrown their way. They’ll need a broad skill set, and can operate without a playbook, but have the agility and speed to operate in the gray to drive results. 

That means you know your team’s strengths and weaknesses. Double down on your strengths, and outsource your weaknesses. Going back to Part 1, speed of response was a huge factor in boosting performance during the last recession. For example, if your team needs two weeks to figure out how to launch a campaign in a new venue, then you need outside support.

Get outside help to fill in the gaps until you can hire and train the right people. The purpose of speed and agility is to be able to quickly capitalize on opportunities during economic times when your competitors may be slower to respond. In past recessions, first movers were rewarded significantly more than their competitors compared to periods of economic boom.

Customer Retention

We’re all overly familiar with the old marketing adage that it costs 5x more to acquire a new customer versus keeping an existing customer. Focusing on customer experience, and retention is key to thriving in an economic downturn.

First of all, it’s more cost-efficient. Second, customer experience expectations are higher every year and continue to rise. We’ve seen average bounce rates increase from 47% to 50% in 2021 while average page views during sessions with a conversion increased by 328%. The data is telling us that our users are happy to spend time researching to find the right product or deal, and happy (and likely) to bounce if they don’t get what they’re expecting. Focusing on customer retention means optimizing your user experience. If you’re not improving your customer experience strategy then you’re falling behind. 

If you need help optimizing your customer experience, then utilizing tools like on-site surveys, heat/click/scroll maps, user testing, live chat, customer service, sales team interviews, and a/b testing have the highest return on investment. If you need more information about how they can help, then check out our page on conversion rate optimization. 

Conversion rate optimization and its tools can be your best weapon against economic uncertainty. It addresses profit margins while increasing lifetime customer value and retention. Paired with a strong email marketing campaign will put you in a position to gain ground on your competitors while they try to figure out how to stop the hemorrhaging.


Forbes: What Challenges Will CMOs Deal With Most Often In 2022?

WSJ: Edgy Campaigns Are Out, TikTok Won’t Stop and Other 2023 Predictions for Marketers

McKinsey: Planning for 2023: How US-based businesses can succeed when capital and talent are constrained

WSJ: Marketers Must Be Flexible, Without Losing Identity, in Uncertain Times

WSJ: How CMOs Are Marketing Through a Turbulent Economy


There is hope for companies worried about the state of the economy and how they are going to survive. While easier said than done, it’s possible to come out of the next few years in a position of strength. If you’re curious about learning more about recession-proofing your business, reach out to the Media Contour team for some free insights.

CRO Red Flags: How to tell if your site sucks

There are a couple of easy ways to tell if your website isn’t converting an appropriate amount of your traffic. We’ll start with the easiest and broadest methods, and then go a bit more granular if you want to dig deeper into your traffic.

Conversion Rates and Industry Average

This is going to be a really obvious one, but I want to speak about it anyways. You should definitely benchmark your conversion rates with industry averages, and make sure to segment your by traffic source. Not all traffic sources are created equally, and the conversion rates will vary depending on where they’re coming from.

Your website's conversion rate average provides good insight into your user experience, and whether or not people can find what they’re looking for. In order to act on this information, it needs to be MECE. MECE is a term used in consulting circles and stands for Mutually Exclusive, and Collectively Exhaustive.

If your average site conversion rate is below the industry average, then break down your traffic sources until they are mutually exclusive (i.e. there is no overlap between segments) and collectively exhausted (there is no traffic that is unaccounted for).

If your traffic sources account for why conversion rates are low (i.e. 90% of traffic is  paid traffic and accounts for slightly lower performance) then addressing user experience issues may not be your first concern. If there isn’t any other logical explanation for why conversion rates are low, then it's likely you have a user experience issue.

Average Conversion Rate by Industry

  • All Industries: 3.9%
  • Agency: 3.3%
  • Automotive: 2.0%
  • B2B eCommerce: 3.2%
  • B2B Services: 3.5%
  • B2B Tech: 1.7%
  • B2C eCommerce: 2.0%
  • Cosmetic & Dental: 2.3%
  • Financial: 4.3%
  • Healthcare: 5.6%
  • Industrial: 5.6%
  • Legal: 2.6%
  • Professional Services: 9.3%
  • Real Estate: 1.7%
  • Travel: 4.7%

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is another great way to tell if you have user experience issues, as it’s a metric that is a strict measure of whether your traffic finds your site useful enough to stay and interact with it. As with conversion rate benchmarking, you need to take into account bounce rates for your various traffic sources.

Average Bounce Rates by Industry:

  • eCommerce & Retail: 20-45%
  • B2B: 25-55%
  • Lead generation: 30-55%
  • Non-eCommerce Content: 35-60%
  • Landing pages: 60-90%
  • Dictionaries, portals, and blogs: 65-90%

Average Bounce Rates by Traffic Source:

  • Organic Search: 43.6%
  • Paid Search: 44.1%
  • Direct: 49.9%
  • Referral: 37.5%
  • Display Advertising: 56.5%
  • Social Media: 54%
  • Email: 35.2%

Bounce rates continue to rise year over year, while average page views during sessions with a conversion have increased by over 300%. 

Poor content is the number one contributing factor we see with poor bounce rates. Consumers expectations are higher than ever, and if your content doesn’t capture their attention they'll leave for something that does (i.e. your competition).

Other bounce rate factors to consider are page speed, mobile friendliness, and confusing/overwhelming navigation. User testing and heat maps are quick and easy ways to see if and how people are engaging with your content.

Though it can be more challenging, optimizing your page speed with Google's Page SpeedInsights is a great way to compare your performance. Run a speed test on a few of your pages, then do the same for several of your competitors similar pages and see how you measure up. Faster is obviously better, but certain industries will be slower than others based on multiple factors, so it’s important to directly compare with your competition.

The War of Attrition

The last “quick” way to tell if your site sucks is to identify leaks in your conversion funnel. This is the most in-depth measure of success that we will talk about in this article, and will require you to have Google Analytics setup and be able to utilize your shopping cart behavior or user behavior flow.

This is typically easiest to do for eCommerce, because industry benchmark data is more readily available. However, understanding your conversion funnel is essential for improving your conversion rates.

For example, what if both your conversion rate and your bounce rate are low? How do you identify your problems? The answer is a conversion funnel analysis which will help you identify where people lose interest.

We call this the war on attrition, because on average, about 96% of people are going to leave your site without converting. If we can get 50% of visitors to view a product or service page, and 15% of them to add-to-cart, then we can typically get about a 3% conversion rate.

However, if 70% of our visitors view a product or service page, but only 5% of them add to their cart, then we’ve identified our leak. We’re losing the war of attrition on our product pages.

This method, or a conversion funnel analysis, allows us to pinpoint problem areas in our site's conversion funnel. It provides us with the information we need to focus our efforts on improving the user experience where it is needed most.


Your average conversion rate, bounce rate, and a conversion funnel analysis are all very useful tools that will give you insights into your user experience before you begin a complete overhaul of your website design and copywriting. They can also help you identify if a smaller project will have a greater impact. However, make sure you dig into your preliminary results to make sure you’re getting the entire story of what these numbers are telling you.