Nowhere are conversions more critical than in two arenas – football and marketing. In pro football, careers can be made or broken by the ability to convert. In fact, for the season through this October, the NFL had seen more two-point conversion attempts ever in its 100-year history. The same can be said of marketing careers where converting more visitors to a brand’s landing site can turn a marketer into an all-star.

Conversion rates can vary widely by industry because of many factors like cost and volume. A 2020 study of 400 marketers by landing page platform Unbounce found the average conversion rate to be 9.7%. Of 16 industries surveyed, medical practitioners, home improvement, and real estate ranked the lowest at 14, 15, and 16, respectively. At the top were catering/restaurants, followed by media/entertainment and events/leisure. What’s interesting is that eCommerce was down at 7th and business services were 11th.

Just over a third (36.2%) of marketers told Unbounce that they enrich their campaigns with landing pages 100% of the time. Another 41.8% said they do it most of the time, a total of 78%! With the popularity of eCommerce at all-time highs as more consumers go online to search and purchase, conversations are critically important in today’s highly competitive marketplace. What can brands do to increase their conversion rates?

The most popular use of landing pages among 47.1% of respondents was a bit surprising. Of 11 different desired actions, it was eBook downloads. Coming in second and third and not surprising were booking appointments by 42% and scheduling phone calls by 37.2%. Subscribing to a newsletter and registering for a webinar trailed. Taking a quiz or survey was even lower in 9th place.

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The findings reveal that conversions today look a lot different than those in the past. Lead gen no longer seems to be the focus on landing pages for many marketers. What marketers now consider to be conversion has not only expanded but appears quite a different subject to the industry, customers, and the brand’s goals. One might also expect to see marketers employing more pre-cart landing pages.

New perspectives notwithstanding, probably the most important discovery in Unbounce’s study was in finding out what marketers’ biggest obstacles were in improving landing page conversion rates. Although the numbers weren’t staggering, the results were nonetheless revealing.

17.2% of marketers identified the top obstacle as their page not reaching the right audience. Key to successfully achieving that is optimization combined with A/B testing. Applying a fix can be tricky and mean lots of time checking things out further up the funnel. But many marketers said they don’t have the time to run tests.

A/B testing to better optimize is necessary. Not doing this acknowledges mediocrity going forward, and brands aiming to grow will be handicapped. It may mean reassigning some staff or making changes in the budget, but optimization is important.

Other marketers felt that the design and copy on their landing pages weren’t effective. Testing again is invaluable. In the end, all these may mean a deep review of current staffing needs and qualifications with an eye to possible changes and/or additions.

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Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.