Overview

Back for another year and opening the door to all-new insights.

 

How do your conversion rates stack up?

Almost every industry we analyzed saw a higher median conversion rate than last year—but the gap between the top and bottom performers is growing. See if your landing pages have a spot on the podium.

 

What resonates with your audience?

There were big increases in emotional language on landing pages in 2020, especially for negative feelings like disgust. Find out whether the sentiments on your page are winning visitors over (or scaring them away).

 

Where are your best visitors coming from?

New for this report, we’ll show you which traffic channels are sending the highest-converting visitors to your page—so you can be sure that you’re spending your ad budget in the right place.

  About This Report

The marketing report that proves optimizing doesn’t need to be hard.

Or time-consuming, or expensive. 

Marketers know the competition for clicks has never been more intense, even after what’s been a, mmm, not-super-normal year. But the most successful businesses in your industry aren’t sitting on their hands. They’re actively looking for new ways to leverage data and refine their campaigns to bring in more sales and signups—the same ones you’re after.

Unbounce’s Conversion Benchmark Report helps you turn the tables. We used artificial intelligence to help analyze more than 44 thousand landing pages and over 33 million conversions, refining a (near-literal) mountain of data into actionable recommendations that make optimization waaay simpler. That means time, money, and expertise aren’t obstacles to creating your highest-converting pages ever.

Pairing can’t-miss, machine-generated insights with your marketing know-how? Now you’re working with conversion intelligence.

 

Conversion intelligence is an approach to marketing that pairs your know-how with data-validated insights (like the ones in this report) to get you better results than you could on your own. Keep reading to see how you can start working with conversion intelligence.

  Conversion Benchmarks

See how your industry performs—and exactly where you rank in it.

Here’s our at-a-glance look at the median and mean (or average) conversion rates for the 16 industries included in this report. For a deep-dive—including tons of ideas for optimizing your pages—select your industry from the left-hand menu. (And to see how we got these numbers, check out our methodology.)

 

Keep reading for more AI-powered insights about how your industry performs.

Fill out the form for instant access to the complete report—with detailed benchmarks and dozens of machine learning insights that’ll help you optimize your landing pages and win more conversions.

Insight: An insight is a data-validated recommendation that helps you get more conversions. They’re easy to understand and quick to apply. You’ll find ‘em throughout the report in boxes like this one.

  Conversion Benchmarks

With more specific insights and observations than ever before.

New this year, we also look at the median rates of click-through and form-fill landing pages specifically (so you know precisely how your page stacks up).

Running a sales campaign and sending people through to your online store? Trying to register visitors for a trial or consultation? Use these goal-specific benchmarks to gauge your landing page performance.

 

 

Landing page optimization is critical, but it’s over-complicated. Companies will often replace a page without first understanding what was working on the original. Data insights like these help marketers improve their pages at a fundamental level, rather than focusing just on the aesthetics.

Luke Carthy
Ecommerce Growth Consultant

  COVID-19 Pandemic

Yep—we’ve got data findings from the pandemic, too.

We didn’t want this to become a “COVID-19 impact report.” That’s partly because insights around the pandemic aren’t especially actionable for marketers today, and partly because… well, we’re all just really tired of talking about it. 

Of course, we can’t avoid it entirely—but we can quarantine it (so to speak). Take a look at our COVID-specific traffic insights.

 

  Conversion Intelligence

Start optimizing your landing pages with conversion intelligence.

Conversion intelligence is all about creating the highest-performing campaigns by augmenting your marketing expertise with data-powered insights that’d be really tough to get on your own. (Heck, we needed to use AI to do it.) The Conversion Benchmark Report simplifies all that data complexity and just tells you what you need to know: How to optimize your landing pages and get more conversions.

 

Learn all about your industry-specific insights.

Read what’s helping marketers in your industry (or one like yours) convert more visitors on their landing pages.

Say you’re in SaaS: We found that words evoking anticipation and joy tend to increase your conversion rates.

 

Build new pages using what you’ve discovered.

Create a new landing page (or a variant of an existing page) following the insights from this report.

Using the SaaS example, you might want to create a page variant that has more positive, value-focused language.

 

Optimize your results and keep on iterating.

Run an A/B test to validate the impact of your changes or—better yet—use Smart Traffic.

With Smart Traffic, you can keep both versions of your SaaS page and automatically send visitors to the one that’s best for them.

  Getting Started

Discover your real conversion potential.

Ready to dive in? You can jump right to your industry (or any industry—go wild!) using the left-hand menu, or by selecting one of the options below.

Software as a Service | Business Services | Home Improvement | Ecommerce | Legal | Real Estate

  Conversion Intelligence

Key Insights for SaaS

Software marketers use landing pages to get visitors into their funnel and prompt more demos and sign-ups. But when it comes to lead generation, it might be less about what’s on your page than who you’re sending to it.

 

Email visitors are most likely to execute on forms.

The least likely? People coming from search ads. Check out which traffic channels are converting best on your form-fill pages and see why you might wanna rethink how you’re using your Google Ads budget.

 

Readability drives conversions—especially for apps.

We said last year that SaaS pages perform best when they’re short and easy to understand. That still holds up, especially for anyone marketing mobile apps.

 

It seems emotional language does not compute.

Landing pages in the software space have a lower percentage of sentiment words than the baseline for all industries. Find out how certain emotional words could actually help boost your conversion rates.

Keep reading for more AI-powered insights about how your industry performs.

Fill out the form for instant access to the complete report—with detailed benchmarks and dozens of machine learning insights that’ll help you optimize your landing pages and win more conversions.

Conversion intelligence is an approach to marketing that pairs your know-how with data-validated insights (like these ones) to get you better results than you could on your own. Keep reading to see how you can start working with conversion intelligence.

  Key Insight: Conversion Rate

SaaS conversions have stayed steady since last year.

Conversion Rate: 2020 vs. 2021

What’s this mean? This graph (called a “box plot”) shows how the conversion rates of landing pages are distributed. The dotted horizontal line is the median conversion rate, while the “box” shows where most pages sit. The vertical lines (or “whiskers”) represent the range of the remaining pages, excluding any extreme outliers.

  Key Insight: Traffic

Visitors coming from search ads don’t convert on lead forms.

(At least, not as often as the ones arriving from other channels.)

Paid search is the primary traffic source for all types of SaaS landing pages, driving about half of visitors to click-through pages (46.4%) and two-thirds of visitors to form-fill pages (71.5%). Social ads and emails send considerably less—both to click (11.5% and 8.2%, respectively) and form pages (6.3% and 2.5%).

People coming from Google and Bing ads seem to convert about as well on click-through pages as any other visitor, but that’s not the case if you’re collecting leads. The median SaaS form page converts just 1 in 50 paid search visitors. Compare that with social at 1 in 20, and email with a whoppin’ 1 in 5.

What’s this mean? If you’ve already got your visitor’s email address, you can reasonably expect them to provide more contact information by sending them to a form page. And if you’re looking for leads, know that social typically beats search.

 

For lead gen campaigns, consider spending a bigger chunk of your ad budget on social (rather than search).

  Key Insight: Readability

For most SaaS products, simple copy performs better (but not always).

Across the industry, our analysis shows that short, easy-to-read copy tends to correlate with higher conversion rates. SaaS marketers seem to be catching on, too. Since last year, we’ve seen a decent jump in overall reading ease (+11.8%). Nice work, y’all.

 

There are a couple of exceptions. You can simplify all you want in cybersecurity, but it’s probably not gonna make a noticeable difference in page performance. Same goes for anyone marketing data and infrastructure products: complexity doesn’t appear to have much impact on conversions. (Perhaps because the products are inherently complex?)

But readability does appear to matter when you’re trying to get someone to download your mobile app. You can see from the graph that there’s a steady increase in conversion rate as reading ease improves

Bottom line? Think about your audience—who’s reading your copy and what they need to know before they’ll convert. Something affordable and easy to understand (like an app) is better marketed in simple terms, but complex software might call for a more elaborate explanation.

 

Unless you’re selling pretty sophisticated software, try to keep your landing page copy short (under 250 words is best) and write for an elementary or middle school audience.

Readability: 2020 vs. 2021

Here’s how reading ease and word count have changed on software landing pages since our last report.

 +11.8%

Easier to Read

 +6.0%

More Total Words

  Key Insight: Sentiment

Evoking joy and anticipation can help you convert more visitors.

Despite all the emotion you get from a brand like ours (hey—we can’t help the way we feel, okay?), SaaS landing pages tend to have less sentiment on ‘em than those from other industries. That’s especially true for emotions like fear, anger, and sadness.

Maybe that’s changing. Emotional language became slightly more common on software pages over the past year, with the biggest increases coming in the pessimistic stuff. Trouble is, most sentiments show a neutral or even harmful correlation with conversion rates.

Here’s an example: Since our last report, cybersecurity saw a huge spike (65.7%) in words related to disgust. It just so happens that, often, the more disgustingly your cybersecurity page is written, the more your visitors wanna get the heck out of there. 

But we said most sentimentsnot all. Our research shows that if your copy includes words creating a sense of anticipation and joy, you could expect to see a bit of an uptick in conversions. So, focus on the benefits. Think “achieve project management harmony” rather than “avoid project management torture.” Yikes.

 

Forget the scare tactics. Try pumping up your visitors with lively, value-focused language that emphasizes the awesome results of your product.

Sentiments: 2020 vs. 2021

These types of emotional language saw the biggest change in use (increase or decrease) on SaaS pages over the past year.

 +4.0%

More Anger Words

 +11.4%

More Sadness Words

 +3.5%

More Surprise Words

  Conversion Intelligence

Get more downloads and demos using conversion intelligence.

Wanna get the most outta these insights? Here’s how we recommend you use ‘em in your marketing, based on our conversion intelligence framework.

 

1. Pick the insights that are most relevant to you.

Do pages in your industry convert better when they’re short? Maybe your copy is giving off the wrong vibes? Take note of the findings that are relevant to your campaigns.

 

2. Apply the recommendations to your pages.

Create a variant of your landing page and make the changes recommended in this report. Use Smart Traffic (or A/B testing) to see how it performs.

 

3. Get new insights and keep on optimizing.

Use the results from your landing page variant to inform the creation of more variants. Keep improving your pages and watch as your conversion rates climb.

  Key Insight: Conversion Type

There’s no sure thing on form pages—but you can improve your chances.

Forms are more important in SaaS than a lot of other industries. You rely on them to get visitors registered for demos or free trialsand to collect leads that you can nurture through an (often) lengthy sales cycle. No surprise that there’s a form on more than half the software pages we analyzed for this report.

But what makes a high-performing SaaS form? That’s tricky. Most of the forms we looked at had between four and six fields, but we can see higher conversion rates when forms are either super short (one to two fields) or kinda long (seven to nine). Weird, right? 

Here’s another quirk. In most other industries, requiring a visitor’s name in a form contributes to a lower page performance—but that’s not the case in SaaS. Whether you’re asking for a first name, last name, or just “name,” you can expect your form to convert more-or-less the same.

 

Keep your forms short if you don’t need a ton of visitor information right away—but also don’t be as worried about form length or content as you might be for other industries.

Optimizing for Form Conversions

 

Simple copy isn’t as important on form pages as click-through, but you’ll still get your best results writing at a middle school level (or easier).

 

The sweet spot for converting with form pages is under 200 words. Anything more and the conversion rate correlation starts to flatten out.

  Software as a Service

SaaS marketers using Smart Traffic convert 32% more visitors.

At least, that’s what the average lift data shows. Smart Traffic looks at each visitor’s attributes and sends ‘em to the page where they’re most likely to convert. Talk about conversion intelligence, huh?

See how Smart Traffic “automagically” gets you more conversions.

  Conversion Intelligence

Key Insights for Ecommerce

Unlike your typical product page, landing pages provide a seamless buying experience from first click to checkout. But what’s an optimized ecomm page look like? Simple, positive copy (plus the right visitors) will help you get more packages out the door.

 

Pessimism isn’t a sales secret in ecomm.

Last year was kind of a bummer, and that showed up in ecommerce copy with increases in overall negative sentiment. Our research suggests this type of language is probably hurting your conversion rates.

 

Paid search traffic may not be your best bet.

Although the bulk of traffic to both click-through and form-fill ecomm pages is coming from search engines, our analysis of channel performance shows that you’re more likely to get conversions from social and email visitors.

 

Short and simple? Nah—shorter and simpler.

We pointed out in our 2020 report that easier reading and fewer words seemed to lead to higher landing page conversion rates. That’s still true—only now, the trend is even more pronounced.

Keep reading for more AI-powered insights about how your industry performs.

Fill out the form for instant access to the complete report—with detailed benchmarks and dozens of machine learning insights that’ll help you optimize your landing pages and win more conversions.

Conversion intelligence is an approach to marketing that pairs your know-how with data-validated insights (like these ones) to get you better results than you could on your own. Keep reading to see how you can start working with conversion intelligence.

  Key Insight: Conversion Rate

Subscription boxes lead the way for conversions in ecomm.

Conversion Rate: 2020 vs. 2021

What’s this mean? This graph (called a “box plot”) shows how the conversion rates of landing pages are distributed. The dotted horizontal line is the median conversion rate, while the “box” shows where most pages sit. The vertical lines (or “whiskers”) represent the range of the remaining pages, excluding any extreme outliers.

  Key Insight: Sentiment

You won’t sell customers on fear, disgust, sadness, or anger.

(So, like, don’t be a downer.)

Ecommerce landing pages tend to be more emotion-packed than those in other industries, showing (on average) higher levels of almost every sentiment. That didn’t change over the past year. Online sellers increased their use of all types of emotional language, especially the ones we’d consider negative: anger (+8.9%), fear (+6.5%), sadness (+8.1%), and the like.

We’ll point out that negative sentiments aren’t always bad, but they don’t pair well with ecomm. Just check out the graph below to see how this kinda language could be impacting your conversion rates.

 

On the other hand, our model shows ecommerce copy that stirs up feelings of joy and anticipation correlates with an increase in landing page performance. It’s like that Monty Python tune: Always look on the bright side—only, y’know, write it into your product descriptions.

Avoid using negative language on your landing page. Instead, keep things positive by evoking feelings of joy and anticipation—words like “adorable,” “magical,” and “unbeatable.”

Sentiments: 2020 vs. 2021

These types of emotional language saw the biggest change in use (increase or decrease) on ecommerce pages over the past year.

 +8.9%

More Anger Words

 +29.1%

More Disgust Words

 +8.1%

More Sadness Words

 

Even when your product description requires some negative language—like, say, an emergency prep kit—visitors should still understand the value being delivered. Use negative language to properly frame the benefits and needs of the product to evoke a positive response.

Nik Sharma
CEO, Sharma Brands

  Conversion Intelligence

Crank up your sales numbers with conversion intelligence.

Wanna get the most outta these insights? Here’s how we recommend you use ‘em in your marketing, based on our conversion intelligence framework.

 

1. Pick the insights that are most relevant to you.

Do pages in your industry convert better when they’re short? Maybe your copy is giving off the wrong vibes? Take note of the findings that are relevant to your campaigns.

 

2. Apply the recommendations to your pages.

Create a variant of your landing page and make the changes recommended in this report. Use Smart Traffic (or A/B testing) to see how it performs.

 

3. Get new insights and keep on optimizing.

Use the results from your landing page variant to inform the creation of more variants. Keep improving your pages and watch as your conversion rates climb.

  Key Insight: Traffic

You’re more likely to convert people coming from Facebook than Google.

Paid search drives roughly half of all traffic to form-fill and click-through landing pages in ecommerce (53.7% and 49.0%, respectively). Social platforms account for about one-fifth (19.8% and 19.1%). All other traffic channels (like email, display ads, organic search) bring in the remaining one-third of visitors.

On click-through pages, visitors arriving from paid search are about as likely to convert as those coming from other channels. But the median for social is just an eensy bit better, which means you might wanna experiment with shifting some of your search budget over to Facebook or Instagram.

The performance gap is much clearer on form pages. Email is clearly the top-converting traffic channel (with an admittedly smaller sample), followed by social ads. Our recommendation here? Ecomm marketers running lead gen campaigns should probably prioritize social visitors over search.

 

Experiment with driving more social traffic to your landing pages—especially if you’re asking visitors to complete a form.

  Key Insight: Readability

Use straightforward, accessible language to nab more sales.

One of the insights in last year’s report was that difficult language doesn’t do so well in ecomm. Whether it’s because our lives have gotten busier or we’re just in a hurry to get back to TikTok, people are most likely to buy when your copy is short and to-the-point.

That observation holds up in 2021. (Phew.) The correlation between reading ease, word count, and landing page performance is actually even clearer this year, which means our advice is the same: Write easy-to-read copy that doesn’t run on forever. Think “buy our hand soaps” over “contemplate purchasing our metacarpal detergent.” (Actually, we’re keeping “metacarpal detergent.” That’s ours now.)

 

If you wanna optimize for readability, try to keep your copy under 300 words and at (or easier than) a middle school comprehension level.

Readability: 2020 vs. 2021

Here’s how reading ease and word count have changed on ecommerce landing pages since our last report.

 +7.7%

Easier to Read

 +9.2%

More Total Words

  Key Insight: Conversion Type

If you’re capturing leads, you might wanna skip the ‘name’ field.

We looked at the number and types of form fields used on ecomm landing pages to see how they influenced conversion rates. Some of what we found wasn’t totally surprising. For example, forms with less fields (like one or two) tend to convert a lot better than those with more (three plus). 

But here’s something interesting: When you ask for a visitor’s name on your form—whether it’s their first or last name—our research shows they can be less likely to hit “submit.”

If you really need someone’s name (like to ship their order), go ahead and add it to your form. But if you’re collecting leads for a newsletter or some other marketing campaign, we’d suggest just asking for an email and getting the rest of their contact details later.

Avoid asking for visitors’ names in forms (unless you’ve gotta have it) and aim to have less than three fields.

  Ecommerce

Ecommerce marketers using Smart Traffic convert 30% more visitors.

At least, that’s what the average lift data shows. Smart Traffic looks at each visitor’s attributes and sends ‘em to the page where they’re most likely to convert. Talk about conversion intelligence, huh?

See how Smart Traffic “automagically” gets you more conversions.

  Conversion Intelligence

Key Insights for Agencies

Digital marketing agencies are usually more focused on building landing pages for other businesses than for themselves. But you’ve gotta generate leads, too—and to do that, you’ve gotta get professional.

 

Readability doesn’t mean more conversions.

You’d think accessible, easy-to-read copy would help you convert more visitors, but that’s really not the case for agencies. What gives?

 

Generating leads might call for some complexity.

It’s not only that simple language doesn’t get you more conversions. If you’ve got a form-fill page, you could be better off writing in a more detailed, businesslike way (and we think we know why).

 

Positive or negative, your clients ain’t buying it.

We analyzed how including certain types of emotional language might impact your page performance. Turns out, just about every sentiment—the good and the bad—is more likely to hurt than help.

Keep reading for more AI-powered insights about how your industry performs.

Fill out the form for instant access to the complete report—with detailed benchmarks and dozens of machine learning insights that’ll help you optimize your landing pages and win more conversions.

Conversion intelligence is an approach to marketing that pairs your know-how with data-validated insights (like these ones) to get you better results than you could on your own. Keep reading to see how you can start working with conversion intelligence.

  Key Insight: Conversion Rate

Agency forms convert 46.6% less often than those in other industries.

 

Marketing agencies exist in a hyper-competitive context—options are everywhere—and most buyers have been burned at least once. Visitors are only on your page because they couldn’t find a good referral, so trust thresholds are high.

Andy Crestodina
Co-Founder and CMO, Orbit Media

Conversion Rate: 2020 vs. 2021

What’s this mean? This graph (called a “box plot”) shows how the conversion rates of landing pages are distributed. The dotted horizontal line is the median conversion rate, while the “box” shows where most pages sit. The vertical lines (or “whiskers”) represent the range of the remaining pages, excluding any extreme outliers.

  Key Insight: Readability

Don’t sweat readability. Just make the best pitch possible.

In most segments, we see a pretty obvious correlation between the readability of a landing page and its conversion rate. As the copy becomes shorter and more understandable, the performance goes up. Makes sense, right?

Things are a lil’ different with agency pages. For starters, while easy-to-read copy makes your visitors somewhat more likely to convert, you only really see the benefit at the very far end of the spectrum. (Like, an elementary school comprehension level.) That’s a tough mark to hit, and the payoff isn’t huge.

And then there’s word count. Write a short page (say, under 300 words) in almost any other industry and you can expect to get a decent bump in conversions. Write a short page as an agency? Mmm, maybe you get a half percent. There are better ways to optimize your landing pages.

 

If you wanna optimize your landing page copy, don’t worry so much about reading ease or word count. Instead, focus on making the best pitch for your agency—however it looks.

Readability: 2020 vs. 2021

Here’s how reading ease and word count have changed on agency landing pages since our last report.

 +9.9%

Easier to Read

 +6.6%

More Total Words

  Conversion Intelligence

Turn more visitors into clients with conversion intelligence.

Wanna get the most outta these insights? Here’s how we recommend you use ‘em in your marketing, based on our conversion intelligence framework.

 

1. Pick the insights that are most relevant to you.

Do pages in your industry convert better when they’re short? Maybe your copy is giving off the wrong vibes? Take note of the findings that are relevant to your campaigns.

 

2. Apply the recommendations to your pages.

Create a variant of your landing page and make the changes recommended in this report. Use Smart Traffic (or A/B testing) to see how it performs.

 

3. Get new insights and keep on optimizing.

Use the results from your landing page variant to inform the creation of more variants. Keep improving your pages and watch as your conversion rates climb.

  Key Insight: Conversion Type

On form-fill landing pages, it helps to get into the nitty-gritty.

  Key Insight: Conversion Type

On form-fill landing pages, it helps to get into the nitty-gritty.

Across all types of agency pages, readability doesn’t do much for your conversion rate one way or another. On form pages, though, easier-to-read copy actually correlates with a drop in conversion rates. Huh?

Check out the graph. Form pages tend to perform best when they’re written in a way that requires a higher level of reading comprehension.

So, what’s the deal? When visitors are filling out a form on your agency page, it’s usually because they’re about to take the next step—they’re ready to have a serious conversation about working with you. But before they do, they wanna be sure you know your stuff.

This data shows that by demonstrating you’re the experts—through an informed and precise explanation of your value—you can persuade visitors they’ve found the right partner.

 

Consider experimenting with more sophisticated copy on your lead gen pages. Show visitors that you know what you’re talking about with an in-depth explanation of your value.

Optimizing for Form Conversions

 

Like with other types of agency pages, word count won’t really influence whether someone fills out your form. Still, shorter is better.

 

In other industries, including a “name” field in your forms can make someone less likely to convert. That doesn’t apply to agencies, though—so, ask away.

 

Someone looking at agencies is looking for a partner—someone who gets them, who understands what they need. Ultimately, you want to know as much as you can about an agency before committing.

Devin Bramhall
CEO, animalz

  Key Insight: Sentiment

The only emotion you should want more of is joy.

Whether you’re a one-person bootstrap or a digital advertising powerhouse, our research makes it pretty clear: nearly all types of emotional sentiment can have a detrimental effect on your page performance.

And it’s not just the positive or negative stuff either. As you can see from the graph, it’s actually both. (People are tough to please, right?)

There is one sentiment that correlates with higher conversion rates for agency pages, and that’s joy. When you speak to the benefits that your service delivers—using modifiers like “remarkable,” “delightful,” and “exciting”—your visitors can be more likely to become clients.

 

You generally wanna avoid using emotionally-charged language on your page—but don’t hesitate to emphasize the value you bring by sprinkling in words that evoke joy.

Sentiments: 2020 vs. 2021

These types of emotional language saw the biggest change in use (increase or decrease) on agency pages over the past year.

 +22.9%

More Fear Words

 +4.4%

More Anger Words

 +6.7%

More Sadness Words

  Agencies

More conversion intelligence insights—just for you.

Ready to go beyond the benchmarks? Try the Unbounce Landing Page Analyzer and get actionable, easy-to-understand recommendations specifically for your page.

Get your personalized landing page
report now.

  Conversion Intelligence

Key Insights for Business Services

Whether you’re a human resources firm or a shipping and logistics outfit, you need landing pages to communicate the value of your service and get connected with business owners. But where are your best prospects coming from—Google or Facebook?

 

If you’re looking for leads, you’ve gotta get social.

Paid search makes up the bulk of traffic volume for both click-through and lead gen pages. However, the median conversion rate for social visitors is about double that of people coming from a search engine.

 

Looks like emotions have no place in business.

At least, not according to the data. Our research shows that landing page copy evoking just about any emotion correlates with a neutral or negative impact on conversion rates. So, uh, try to keep it professional.

 

Word count and reading ease matter (after all).

Last year, we didn’t see much correlation between the length or complexity of your copy and your conversion rate—but that’s changing. Even in business, short and simple messaging increasingly looks like the way to go.

Keep reading for more AI-powered insights about how your industry performs.

Fill out the form for instant access to the complete report—with detailed benchmarks and dozens of machine learning insights that’ll help you optimize your landing pages and win more conversions.

Conversion intelligence is an approach to marketing that pairs your know-how with data-validated insights (like these ones) to get you better results than you could on your own. Keep reading to see how you can start working with conversion intelligence.

  Key Insight: Conversion Rate

If you’re converting over 3.5%, you’re doing better than most business services.

Conversion Rate: 2020 vs. 2021

What’s this mean? This graph (called a “box plot”) shows how the conversion rates of landing pages are distributed. The dotted horizontal line is the median conversion rate, while the “box” shows where most pages sit. The vertical lines (or “whiskers”) represent the range of the remaining pages, excluding any extreme outliers.

  Key Insight: Traffic

Wanna double your leads? Try social ads instead of search.

The main source of traffic for business services is paid search, driving the volume to click-through (50.0%) and about two-thirds the volume to form-fill landing pages (68.8%). That’s followed by referral, then social traffic—which accounts for just under one-tenth of the visitors to pages in this industry (8.6% to form and 9.3% to click).

Why’s that matter? Well, the median conversion rate for visitors coming from a platform like Facebook or LinkedIn is twice that of anyone arriving from Google or Bing. So if you’re running a lead gen campaign, we’d suggest prioritizing social before search.

 

If you’re trying to collect leads on your landing page, consider moving some of your paid search budget over to social ads.

  Key Insight: Sentiment

Evoking emotion—any kind of emotion—could hurt your conversion rates.

  Key Insight: Sentiment

Evoking emotion—any kind of emotion—could hurt your conversion rates.

While business services landing pages generally have less emotional language than those in other industries, over the past year we’ve seen increases in every type of sentiment. The biggest jumps? Mostly the gloomy stuff: anger (+11.9%), fear (+7.1%), surprise (+3.3%), and negativity (+2.6%).

But truthfully, more of any kinda emotion is probably a bad idea for marketers here. Our analysis revealed that both positive and negative language seem to correlate with slightly lower conversion rates. That doesn’t mean you can’t express any emotion, of course—just try to keep things on an even keel.

Don’t hesitate to highlight the value of your service, but stick to facts over feelings. Aim for a neutral tone in your copy.

Sentiments: 2020 vs. 2021

These types of emotional language saw the biggest change in use (increase or decrease) on business services pages over the past year.

 +7.1%

More Fear Words

 +11.9%

More Anger Words

 +3.3%

More Surprise Words

  Conversion Intelligence

Get down to business with conversion intelligence.

Wanna get the most outta these insights? Here’s how we recommend you use ‘em in your marketing, based on our conversion intelligence framework.

 

1. Pick the insights that are most relevant to you.

Do pages in your industry convert better when they’re short? Maybe your copy is giving off the wrong vibes? Take note of the findings that are relevant to your campaigns.

 

2. Apply the recommendations to your pages.

Create a variant of your landing page and make the changes recommended in this report. Use Smart Traffic (or A/B testing) to see how it performs.

 

3. Get new insights and keep on optimizing.

Use the results from your landing page variant to inform the creation of more variants. Keep improving your pages and watch as your conversion rates climb.

  Key Insight: Readablity

Unless you’re in lead gen, keep your landing page copy short and accessible.

In last year’s report, we said that reading ease and word count didn’t really correlate with more conversions in business services. But, hey—things change. Our most recent data analysis shows that short and simple copy is your best bet for a high-converting landing page.

 

One exception: lead gen consulting. Here, we see that landing pages convert best either when they’re written to be super accessible or when they use advanced vocabulary and sentence structure. We’d still always recommend simplicity, but don’t be afraid to get complex.

Try to keep your copy short—under 250 words, ideally—and aim to be understood by middle school students (and under).

Readability: 2020 vs. 2021

Here’s how reading ease and word count have changed on business services landing pages since our last report.

 +9.8%

Easier to Read

 +6.0%

More Total Words

  Key Insight: Conversion Type

Should you think phone over form? Maybe—but the sample is small.

As with other industries, click-through landing pages perform best in business services. That’s followed by mixed pages (those with more than one conversion type), then phone narrowly ahead of form. We’ve got a smaller sample of phone conversions than we’d like, but there are interesting signals here nonetheless.

 

What’s this mean? As much as people hate getting on the phone these days, there’s some indication that you’re more likely to get visitors to call than fill out a form. 

Our recommendation: If you need more than a click, think about offering different ways for your visitors to connect. Give the talkers a way to call you directly and let the quiet types… ah, type it out.

Consider using Smart Traffic to experiment with different conversion types—particularly, offering a phone number alongside your lead gen form.

  Business Services

Business services marketers using Smart Traffic convert 36% more visitors.

At least, that’s what the average lift data shows. Smart Traffic looks at each visitor’s attributes and sends ‘em to the page where they’re most likely to convert. Talk about conversion intelligence, huh?

See how Smart Traffic “automagically” gets you more conversions.

  Conversion Intelligence

Key Insights for Catering & Restaurants

It doesn’t matter if you’re using landing pages to launch a healthy new snack, promote your meal kit subscription, or build hype around your restaurant or catering business: Short, joyful messaging is the best way to get visitors to bite.

 

You’re cooking up somethin’ good.

Catering and restaurant pages have a much higher median conversion rate than the baseline. (Like, more than double.) Whatever your secret recipe is, it’s working.

 

Try adding a pinch of positivity.

Our analysis shows that restaurant marketers can improve their page performance by mixing in words related to joy and anticipation—but there are also some sentiments you could be better off leaving out.

 

Keep your copy as easy as pie.

Landing pages for food services often convert best when they’re less than 300 words and written at a middle school reading comprehension level (or easier).

Keep reading for more AI-powered insights about how your industry performs.

Fill out the form for instant access to the complete report—with detailed benchmarks and dozens of machine learning insights that’ll help you optimize your landing pages and win more conversions.

Conversion intelligence is an approach to marketing that pairs your know-how with data-validated insights (like these ones) to get you better results than you could on your own. Keep reading to see how you can start working with conversion intelligence.

  Key Insights: Benchmarks

Catering click-through pages convert more than 1 in 5 visitors (by median).

Conversion Rate: 2020 vs. 2021

What’s this mean? This graph (called a “box plot”) shows how the conversion rates of landing pages are distributed. The dotted horizontal line is the median conversion rate, while the “box” shows where most pages sit. The vertical lines (or “whiskers”) represent the range of the remaining pages, excluding any extreme outliers.

Readability: 2020 vs. 2021

Here’s how reading ease and word count have changed on catering and restaurant landing pages since our last report.

 +8.9%

Easier to Read

 +14.1%

More Total Words

  Key Insight: Sentiment

Joy and anticipation can help restaurant marketers bring home the bacon.

Who doesn’t love food? Nobody, that’s who. Whether it’s olive oil-poached sturgeon and marinated red cabbage, or something simple like truffle risotto with escargot, the feeling you get from a great meal is just… ah, pure joy. (Who are you callin’ “bougie”?)

Marketers in food services know it, too. Restaurant and catering landing pages have the highest percentage of joy-related words of any industry we analyzed. And the results speak for themselves: Pages with more joy and anticipation often perform better than those without.

But things could be changing. Over the past year, we’ve seen modest increases in negative sentiments like sadness, fear, and surprise. These emotions tend to show a correlation with lower conversion rates—so, simmer down.

 

Your visitors want positivity. Sprinkle in words that evoke joy and anticipation (“delicious,” “love,” “bountiful”) and avoid getting negative.

Sentiments: 2020 vs. 2021

These types of emotional language saw the biggest change in use (increase or decrease) on catering and restaurant pages over the past year.

 +14.6%

More Sadness Words

 -30.6%

Less Disgust Words

 +11.7%

More Fear Words

  Catering & Restaurants

Start optimizing your campaigns with conversion intelligence.

The top-performing marketers don’t just “set it and forget it”—they’re using data insights like these to constantly improve their campaign performance. And with Unbounce, you can, too.

Learn more about our conversion intelligence framework.

  Conversion Intelligence

Key Insights for Education

Whether it’s registering for in-person classes or attending virtual lessons, it’s safe to say that learning has officially gone online. As education becomes increasingly remote, marketers will wanna make sure their landing pages are taking visitors to school.

 

You’ll sign up more students on social.

Most of your visitors come from paid search ads, but they don’t convert as well as you might think. See why you should think about putting Google Ads in detention. (Or, y’know, reducing them.)

 

Most emotions lead to lower conversions.

People have got lots of feelings about school—apparently, nearly all of them can lead to lower landing page performance. Get a lesson on which sentiments convert your visitors.

 

Hey—go easy on the assigned reading.

You might’ve guessed that short and simple copy can improve your page performance. But how short and simple, exactly? Let’s just say you’d better grab your red pen.

Keep reading for more AI-powered insights about how your industry performs.

Fill out the form for instant access to the complete report—with detailed benchmarks and dozens of machine learning insights that’ll help you optimize your landing pages and win more conversions.

Conversion intelligence is an approach to marketing that pairs your know-how with data-validated insights (like these ones) to get you better results than you could on your own. Keep reading to see how you can start working with conversion intelligence.

  Key Insight: Conversion Rate

Pages for online and remote learning get higher rates.

Conversion Rate: 2020 vs. 2021

What’s this mean? This graph (called a “box plot”) shows how the conversion rates of landing pages are distributed. The dotted horizontal line is the median conversion rate, while the “box” shows where most pages sit. The vertical lines (or “whiskers”) represent the range of the remaining pages, excluding any extreme outliers.

  Key Insight: Traffic

Don’t look now, but your search ads might be falling behind.

Education landing pages get roughly half of all their visitors from paid ads on Google and Bing (52.2% and 39.3% to form and click pages, respectively). Social media is pretty productive, too, contributing nearly a fifth of total traffic (19.5% and 13.5%). 

No matter the type of campaign you’re running—whether you’re creating awareness or trying to nab registrations—your ad budget is probably better spent on social than search. People who’ve just been taggin’ and tweetin’ have a higher median conversion rate on both click and form-fill pages.

Why is that? It could be that search visitors are already checking out different schools and wanna shop around. Or maybe people are just more likely to sign up for classes after they’ve wasted hours crawling through social media. (What are we doin’ with our lives?)

 

It doesn’t really matter what your campaign goal is. If you’re using paid advertising, you should think about prioritizing social media over search engines.

  Conversion Intelligence

Increase your enrollment rates using conversion intelligence.

Wanna get the most outta these insights? Here’s how we recommend you use ‘em in your marketing, based on our conversion intelligence framework.

 

1. Pick the insights that are most relevant to you.

Do pages in your industry convert better when they’re short? Maybe your copy is giving off the wrong vibes? Take note of the findings that are relevant to your campaigns.

 

2. Apply the recommendations to your pages.

Create a variant of your landing page and make the changes recommended in this report. Use Smart Traffic (or A/B testing) to see how it performs.

 

3. Get new insights and keep on optimizing.

Use the results from your landing page variant to inform the creation of more variants. Keep improving your pages and watch as your conversion rates climb.

  Key Insight: Sentiment

Wanna get students excited? Then don’t be too positive.

When people think “education,” they’re usually imagining positive things, right? Pursue your dream career. Level up your professional skills. Heck, we’ll say it: school is cool.

So it’s kinda strange that when we analyzed which emotional sentiments get visitors to convert on education landing pages, we learned that good feelings can sometimes lead to bad results.

See the graph? As the percentage of words relating to joy and anticipation go up, page performance tends to go slightly down. Positivity seems to have a neutral or negative influence on whether visitors convert.

One more observation: Some negative sentiments (like anger and disgust) show a correlation with increased conversions. Now, don’t get all goth kid on us. Instead, maybe experiment with a version of your copy that highlights the problems education solves.

 

Try creating a variant of your page that focuses on the problem visitors are facing (rather than just the benefits you’re offering), then use Smart Traffic to see how it performs.

Sentiments: 2020 vs. 2021

These types of emotional language saw the biggest change in use (increase or decrease) on education pages over the past year.

 +10.1%

More Sadness Words

 +6.1%

More Surprise Words

 +10.2%

More Anger Words

  Key Insight: Readability

Your page converts best when your copy is informal.

In last year’s report, we emphasized that using easy-to-understand, to-the-point language was a sure-fire way to increase your landing page conversion rate. (We don’t need to teach you about reading comprehension, right?)

That recommendation holds up—and, boy, does it. From the graph, we can tell that anything written at a college level or higher has a pretty flat conversion rate. But as you simplify your copy—for high school students, then for elementary school students—you can see your performance really take off.

 

How ‘bout word count? Well, shorter’s always better. You can expect to see improved results when your page is under 400 words—but for top marks, get it under 200.

Keep your copy as short as possible (under 200 words, ideally) and write for a middle school audience or elementary-school audience.

Readability: 2020 vs. 2021

Here’s how reading ease and word count have changed on education landing pages since our last report.

 +12.5%

Easier to Read

 +9.2%

More Total Words

  Education

Education marketers using Smart Traffic convert 31% more visitors.

At least, that’s what the average lift data shows. Smart Traffic looks at each visitor’s attributes and sends ‘em to the page where they’re most likely to convert. Talk about conversion intelligence, huh?

See how Smart Traffic “automagically” gets you more conversions.

  Conversion Intelligence

Key Insights for Events & Leisure

Events and leisure marketers use landing pages to advertise experiences and get visitors registered to participate. But if you really wanna bring the hype, you need to use punchy, emotive language that persuades people that your event is a can’t-miss.

 

What are you searching for?

Most visitors to events and leisure landing pages come from paid search, but they don’t convert as well as you might expect. See why it’s time to change up your channel strategy.

 

Everybody’s so emotional these days.

Every type of sentiment—from anger to trust—looks to have either a positive or (at worst) neutral correlation with conversion rates. Add some vibes to your landing pages by using more emotional language.

 

Readability gets registrations.

Easy-to-read copy can help you get more conversions—but it’s gotta be real easy. For best results, try to get your word count under 200 and write short sentences with simple language.

Keep reading for more AI-powered insights about how your industry performs.

Fill out the form for instant access to the complete report—with detailed benchmarks and dozens of machine learning insights that’ll help you optimize your landing pages and win more conversions.

Conversion intelligence is an approach to marketing that pairs your know-how with data-validated insights (like these ones) to get you better results than you could on your own. Keep reading to see how you can start working with conversion intelligence.

  Key Insight: Conversion Rate

A conversion rate over 5.2% ranks you among the top performers.

Conversion Rate: 2020 vs. 2021

What’s this mean? This graph (called a “box plot”) shows how the conversion rates of landing pages are distributed. The dotted horizontal line is the median conversion rate, while the
“box” shows where most pages sit. The vertical lines (or “whiskers”) represent the range of the remaining pages, excluding any extreme outliers.

Sentiments: 2020 vs. 2021

These types of emotional language saw the biggest change in use (increase or decrease) on events and leisure pages over the past year.

 -8.5%

Less Anger Words

 +2.7%

More Anticipation Words

 -3.4%

Less Surprise Words

  Key Insight: Traffic

Your paid search results aren’t cause for celebration.

Nearly half of all traffic to events and leisure pages comes from ads on search engines like Google (47.2% to form-fill and 37.0% to click-through pages). That sorta volume is pretty common across all industries, but events marketers could rethink their strategy.

We looked at how well traffic from different channels performs, and pay-per-click didn’t come out lookin’ so good—particularly for form-fill pages. The median conversion rate shows that only about 1 in 35 paid search visitors (2.9%) actually hit “submit” .

We don’t quite have enough data on other channels to make definitive recommendations, but there are indications that you might benefit from driving more visitors to your pages from social media and email.

 

Experiment with traffic channels besides paid search. Depending on your campaign goal, we’d suggest trying more social ads to see how the results compare.

Readability: 2020 vs. 2021

Here’s how reading ease and word count have changed on events and leisure landing pages since our last report.

 +13.0%

Easier to Read

 +0.7%

More Total Words

  Events and Leisure

Start optimizing your campaigns with conversion intelligence.

The top-performing marketers don’t just “set it and forget it”—they’re using data insights like these to constantly improve their campaign performance. And with Unbounce, you can, too.

Learn more about our conversion intelligence framework.

  Conversion Intelligence

Key Insights for Family Support

For marketers in family support, landing pages help emphasize the importance of your work to volunteers and donors, and make your services accessible to the people who need them most. See our data-backed recommendations for optimizing your page to encourage action.

 

Visitors respond to readability.

Since our last report, word count and reading ease have become a much bigger factor in family support conversion rates. Don’t worry—we’ve found the sweet spot to help you get the most from your pages.

 

Stay in control of your emotions.

Our analysis revealed that every sentiment appears to have a neutral or negative correlation with your conversion rate. Detail the support you offer, but try to keep your copy relatively emotion-free.

 

Your conversion rate is growing up.

The median performance of family support pages has increased—but it’s still below the overall baseline. Family non-profits tend to convert most, while the rate for funeral services is especially low.

Keep reading for more AI-powered insights about how your industry performs.

Fill out the form for instant access to the complete report—with detailed benchmarks and dozens of machine learning insights that’ll help you optimize your landing pages and win more conversions.

Conversion intelligence is an approach to marketing that pairs your know-how with data-validated insights (like these ones) to get you better results than you could on your own. Keep reading to see how you can start working with conversion intelligence.

  Key Insight: Conversion Rate

Family non-profits convert at almost double the industry median.

Conversion Rate: 2020 vs. 2021

What’s this mean? This graph (called a “box plot”) shows how the conversion rates of landing pages are distributed. The dotted horizontal line is the median conversion rate, while the “box” shows where most pages sit. The vertical lines (or “whiskers”) represent the range of the remaining pages, excluding any extreme outliers.

Sentiments: 2020 vs. 2021

These types of emotional language saw the biggest change in use (increase or decrease) on family support pages over the past year.

 +5.2%

More Sadness Words

 +6.5%

More Anger Words

 +4.3%

More Disgust Words

  Key Insight: Readability

A lower word count usually means higher conversion rates.

Last year, we pointed out that family support landing pages performed best when they were under 150 words and written at a high school level. But even then, the potential benefit wasn’t huge—maybe an extra percent or two on your conversion rate.

In 2021, your page performance may depend even more on readability. Just have a look at the graphs. In some cases, an especially short, easy-to-read page could get a noticeable bump to its conversion rate, while pages that are drawn out and complex often see their rates flatten out.

Our family support dataset isn’t huge, so “grain of salt” and all that. But as you can see, you might wanna consider simplifying your landing pages even further this year. Short words, short sentences.

 

To maximize your conversions, try to keep your landing page copy to less than 200 words and write with a middle school audience in mind.

Readability: 2020 vs 2021

Here’s how reading ease and word count have changed on family support landing pages since our last report.

 +11.4%

Easier to Read

 +6.3%

More Total Words

  Family Support

Start optimizing your campaigns with conversion intelligence.

The top-performing marketers don’t just “set it and forget it”—they’re using data insights like these to constantly improve their campaign performance. And with Unbounce, you can, too.

Learn more about our conversion intelligence framework.

  Conversion Intelligence

Key Insights for Finance & Insurance

Marketers dealing in financial services know that landing pages are essential to turning clicks into consultations, estimates, and appointments. But if you wanna get your money’s worth on paid ads, you need to optimize your pages for conversions.

 

Social ads are dollars well spent.

We analyzed how well visitors from different traffic channels perform on your landing pages. Direct links are always best—but when it comes to paid ads, social might be a better bet than search.

 

You won’t cash in on negativity.

Or any sentiment, for that matter. Our analysis shows that although finance and insurance have more emotional language than other industries, it’s not translating into more conversions.

 

Form-fills flourish for finance.

(Insurance, too—we just couldn’t resist the alliteration.) But even though your forms convert better than the baseline for all industries, there are some simple ways for you to optimize ‘em even more.

Keep reading for more AI-powered insights about how your industry performs.

Fill out the form for instant access to the complete report—with detailed benchmarks and dozens of machine learning insights that’ll help you optimize your landing pages and win more conversions.

Conversion intelligence is an approach to marketing that pairs your know-how with data-validated insights (like these ones) to get you better results than you could on your own. Keep reading to see how you can start working with conversion intelligence.

  Key Insight: Conversion Rate

Consultants convert less often than other types of financial services.

Conversion Rate: 2020 vs. 2021

What’s this mean? This graph (called a “box plot”) shows how page conversion rates are distributed—the “box” representing where most pages sit. (Note the median isn’t in the middle, as pages are rarely distributed evenly.) The vertical lines (or “whiskers”) represent the range of the remaining pages, excluding extreme outliers.

  Key Insight: Traffic

If you’re banking leads, social gives more bang for your buck.

Form-fill pages in financial services get about a third (37.9%) of all their visitors as referrals, which basically just means direct links. Another third come from paid search ads (37.4%), while social media platforms send around a tenth (11.0%).

Referral traffic is tough for us to make recommendations about, since “get more backlinks to your page!” isn’t super helpful. (Though, sure, do that.) Search and social are easier to compare. Our data shows that visitors coming from platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn have a median conversion rate double that of people coming from search engines. 

Bottom line: If you’re spending on leads, think social over search.

 

For your next lead gen campaign, think about throwing some extra budget at social ads and see how they perform. (The results might surprise you.)

  Conversion Intelligence

Book more consultations using conversion intelligence.

Wanna get the most outta these insights? Here’s how we recommend you use ‘em in your marketing, based on our conversion intelligence framework.

 

1. Pick the insights that are most relevant to you.

Do pages in your industry convert better when they’re short? Maybe your copy is giving off the wrong vibes? Take note of the findings that are relevant to your campaigns.

 

2. Apply the recommendations to your pages.

Create a variant of your landing page and make the changes recommended in this report. Use Smart Traffic (or A/B testing) to see how it performs.

 

3. Get new insights and keep on optimizing.

Use the results from your landing page variant to inform the creation of more variants. Keep improving your pages and watch as your conversion rates climb.

  Key Insight: Sentiment

If you want more conversions, skip the scare tactics.

If you asked someone to describe finance or insurance in one word, we’re guessing you wouldn’t expect them to say “emotional.” Right?

Well, that’s the word we’re using. (Uh-huh—“someone” was us all along.) Looking at the percentage of emotional words on landing pages, we see that finance and insurance have waaay more words related to negativity (+56.6%), anger (+54.9%), fear (+44.3%), and sadness (+43.0%) than the baseline for other industries. Not only that, but these sentiments have become more common over the past year.

And it makes sense. When it comes to money, many of our decisions come down to risk. What am I willing to lose? How do I protect myself if the worst happens? The trouble is that talking about these concerns usually doesn’t persuade your visitors. Sentiments like fear and sadness have a pretty clear correlation with a lower conversion rate.

 

Scaring people doesn’t work. Instead, try creating a version of your page that explains your service or product in more neutral terms, then see how the results compare.

Sentiments: 2020 vs. 2021

These types of emotional language saw the biggest change in use (increase or decrease) on finance and insurance pages over the past year.

 +10.9%

More Anger Words

 +6.4%

More Surprise Words

 +8.8%

More Fear Words

  Key Insight: Conversion Type

You’ll get more leads if you only ask for an email address.

The finance and insurance industries have among the highest median conversion rates for form-fill pages (60.7% over the form pages baseline). Good news, yeah? Here’s the even better news: It could be higher.

For starters, your form pages have significantly more negative words (fear, sadness, anger) than those in other sectors. We explained earlier how these kinda sentiments seem to hurt page performance—so clean up your language and you could be lookin’ at a nice bump.

We also know that asking for someone’s name on a form-fill page correlates with fewer submissions, and that the top-converting forms tend to have only two fields. If you can, think about asking for just an email address then collecting the rest of the lead info later.

 

Reduce your form fields (ideally to two or fewer) and avoid asking for names if you can. As always, try to keep your sentiment pretty neutral.

Optimizing for Form Conversions

 

Reading ease is more important on finance and insurance form pages than others. Aim for a middle school comprehension level (or easier).

 

The ideal word count for a form-fill page is under 300 words. Anything longer and you’ll see less of a benefit to your conversion rate.

  Finance & Insurance

Finance and insurance marketers using Smart Traffic convert 30% more visitors.

At least, that’s what the average lift data shows. Smart Traffic looks at each visitor’s attributes and sends ‘em to the page where they’re most likely to convert. Talk about conversion intelligence, huh?

See how Smart Traffic “automagically” gets you more conversions.

  Conversion Intelligence

Key Insights for Fitness & Nutrition

The industries in this report mostly get their page traffic from search ads, but fitness and nutrition businesses are building momentum on platforms like Instagram and Facebook. How can you turn more of your social visitors into signups and sales?

 

Your traffic is on the move—so build for mobile.

Our data shows many of your visitors are social users on mobile devices. See how you can optimize your page to attract and convert this on-the-go audience.

 

Prospects prefer pages that are easy to read.

Visitors tend to respond well when your reading ease is high and word count is low. When writing, keep things short and simple. (Think elementary school, not college.)

 

Put a positive spin on your page.

Tough love isn’t as motivating as you thought. Instead of language that evokes feelings of disgust and anger, you could be better off using words related to joy and anticipation.

Keep reading for more AI-powered insights about how your industry performs.

Fill out the form for instant access to the complete report—with detailed benchmarks and dozens of machine learning insights that’ll help you optimize your landing pages and win more conversions.

Conversion intelligence is an approach to marketing that pairs your know-how with data-validated insights (like these ones) to get you better results than you could on your own. Keep reading to see how you can start working with conversion intelligence.

  Key Insight: Conversion Rate

Fitness businesses converting over 6.3% have got a leg up on competitors.

Conversion Rate: 2020 vs. 2021

What’s this mean? This graph (called a “box plot”) shows how the conversion rates of landing pages are distributed. The dotted horizontal line is the median conversion rate, while the “box” shows where most pages sit. The vertical lines (or “whiskers”) represent the range of the remaining pages, excluding any extreme outliers.

  Key Insight: Traffic

Make sure your landing pages are optimized for a mobile audience.

With the rise of at-home workouts and wellness routines this past year, there’s never been a better time to engage your audience through social channels. And according to our data, fitness and nutrition marketers are making platforms like Facebook and Instagram a priority. Roughly one-third of traffic (29.2% to click-through and 34.8% to form-fill pages) is being driven from social media.

Something else we found interesting: Your visitors are almost all mobile. In fact, less than a fifth of the industry’s traffic (18.5%) comes from desktop—and it’s shrunk since last year. We’re speculating, but this might reflect the growing popularity of nutrition influencers and online fitness groups. 

What’s it mean for marketers? Since your audience is highly mobile and social, you wanna build landing pages with that in mind.  Keep your page short, easy to read, and simplify your conversion goal—either by sticking to click or reducing your form fields.

 

Most of your visitors are using mobile devices, so make things easy on ‘em. Reduce friction with click-through buttons and short forms.

  Key Insight: Readability

Readability is an important part of a healthy landing page.

Fitness and nutrition landing pages usually convert better when their reading ease scores are at an elementary school level. (So, super easy to read.) You can see from the graph that you may also be able to score some conversions with especially professional language—but there’s a sizeable dip with pages written for a high school or college audience. 

How many words should you use? Given your large mobile audience, we reckon it’s best to keep your copy under 250 words (if you can). Word count increased slightly across the industry this year, but a short page is still gonna perform better.

 

It’s best to keep your copy short and easy to read—but if your offering is more complex, you can maximize your conversions by striking a professional tone.

Readability: 2020 vs. 2021

Here’s how reading ease and word count have changed on fitness and nutrition landing pages since our last report.

 +10.3%

Easier to Read

 +9.6%

More Total Words

  Conversion Intelligence

Pump up your page performance with conversion intelligence.

Wanna get the most outta these insights? Here’s how we recommend you use ‘em in your marketing, based on our conversion intelligence framework.

 

1. Pick the insights that are most relevant to you.

Do pages in your industry convert better when they’re short? Maybe your copy is giving off the wrong vibes? Take note of the findings that are relevant to your campaigns.

 

2. Apply the recommendations to your pages.

Create a variant of your landing page and make the changes recommended in this report. Use Smart Traffic (or A/B testing) to see how it performs.

 

3. Get new insights and keep on optimizing.

Use the results from your landing page variant to inform the creation of more variants. Keep improving your pages and watch as your conversion rates climb.

  Key Insight: Sentiment

You’re marketing “feel-good” services—so make ‘em feel good.

Compared to other segments, fitness and nutrition pages have significantly higher levels of negative sentiment. Like, big time. The industry has the highest levels of language associated with both anger and disgust (117.8% and 448.3% over the baseline). 

Maybe the scream-in-your-face, welcome-to-your-nightmare motivational style works in movies, but we don’t see any trend that suggests this kind of tough love converts visitors. In fact, it looks like positive sentiment and joy-related language could be the best way to get people active. 

So, how do you optimize your copy? Emphasize the benefits of a healthier lifestyle (rather than the risks of a less healthy one). Let’s say you market a nutritional meal prep company. Think “start purifying” the body instead of “stop polluting” it. Get visitors excited to make a positive change.

 

Your prospects are trying to better themselves. Use language that’s benefits-focused and encourages them to keep their eye on the prize.

Sentiments: 2020 vs. 2021

These types of emotional language saw the biggest change in use on fitness and nutrition pages over the past year.

 +13.4%

More Anger Words

 +9.0%

More Disgust Words

 +15.9%

More Fear Words

  Fitness & Nutrition

More conversion intelligence insights—just for you.

Ready to go beyond the benchmarks? Try the Unbounce Landing Page Analyzer and get actionable, easy-to-understand recommendations specifically for your page.

Get your personalized landing page report now.

  Conversion Intelligence

Key Insights for Home Improvement

This past year, it seems like everyone has been baking sourdough, bingeing Netflix, and gettin’ their houses fixed up. So if there’s a time to pull out all the stops and build high-converting landing pages—it’s now.

 

Prospects perk up when you stay positive.

Sometimes marketers feel like they’ve gotta pressure the pain points to win over their customers. But our sentiment analysis indicates you should take an alternative approach.

 

Get more leads by simplifying your forms.

The home improvement industry is all about lead gen, which means form-fill pages are essential. But how do you optimize them for more conversions? See what’s getting your visitors to hit “submit.”

 

Want quality traffic? Social is a solution.

Although the sample sizes are smaller, social traffic seems to outperform paid search traffic—the leading traffic source for this industry. Find out where you oughta be spending your ad budget.

Keep reading for more AI-powered insights about how your industry performs.

Fill out the form for instant access to the complete report—with detailed benchmarks and dozens of machine learning insights that’ll help you optimize your landing pages and win more conversions.

Conversion intelligence is an approach to marketing that pairs your know-how with data-validated insights (like these ones) to get you better results than you could on your own. Keep reading to see how you can start working with conversion intelligence.

  Key Insight: Conversion Rate

Landing pages for heating and cooling convert under the industry baseline.

Conversion Rate: 2020 vs. 2021

What’s this mean? This graph (called a “box plot”) shows how the conversion rates of landing pages are distributed. The dotted horizontal line is the median conversion rate, while the “box” shows where most pages sit. The vertical lines (or “whiskers”) represent the range of the remaining pages, excluding any extreme outliers.

  Key Insight: Sentiment

Lean into the positivity. (Hey, everyone likes a good home makeover.)

Compared to other industries, home improvement pages rank pretty high for negative language (and use a lot of emotional words in general). Since last year, we’ve seen increased use of all sentiments—especially the, ah, not-so-nice stuff.

In some cases, we get it. The pest control subcategory, for example, shows lots of words associated with disgust. (Ridding homes of bed bugs, ants, and rodents isn’t exactly glitz and glamour.) And while some of this negative language is unavoidable, it’s not helping your conversion rates. 

There are a few emotions that might help your performance, though. We see a slight correlation with higher conversion rates when there’s a greater percentage of words associated with joy, anticipation, and surprise. Try using more positive language—“achieve,” “happy,” “wonderful”—and see how visitors respond to your page.

 

Include more words related to joy, anticipation, and surprise on your page, then turn on Smart Traffic to see if it revs up your conversion rate.

  Home Improvement

Sentiments: 2020 vs. 2021

These types of emotional language saw the biggest change in use (increase or decrease) on home improvement pages over the past year.

 +24.6%

More Disgust Words

 +13.4%

More Fear Words

 +11.3%

More Sadness Words

  Key Insight: Conversion Type

Renovate your forms by reducing the number of fields.

Form-fill landing pages make up the majority of home improvement landing pages, but here’s the thing: they’re also the lowest-converting. As an industry that relies on lead gen, you need your forms to perform—so you’ve gotta make ‘em more approachable. 

Shortening them up is a good place to start. While most home improvement forms have four fields, we see a correlation between using two fields and higher conversion rates. 

And hey—two fields isn’t a lot. We can’t tell you which exact fields you should include, but we’d suggest holding off on asking for a phone number. There seems to be a relationship between phone fields and lower conversion rates.

 

Try keeping your form to two fields. Simply asking for a name and email could get your foot in the door, then you can follow up with more questions later.

  Conversion Intelligence

Haul in more home improvement leads using conversion intelligence.

Wanna get the most outta these insights? Here’s how we recommend you use ‘em in your marketing, based on our conversion intelligence framework.

 

1. Pick the insights that are most relevant to you.

Do pages in your industry convert better when they’re short? Maybe your copy is giving off the wrong vibes? Take note of the findings that are relevant to your campaigns.

 

2. Apply the recommendations to your pages.

Create a variant of your landing page and make the changes recommended in this report. Use Smart Traffic (or A/B testing) to see how it performs.

 

3. Get new insights and keep on optimizing.

Use the results from your landing page variant to inform the creation of more variants. Keep improving your pages and watch as your conversion rates climb.

  Key Insight: Traffic

Lookin’ for more high-converting traffic? Nail your social campaign.

When it comes to form-fill pages, social channels are bringing in some of your highest-converting traffic. (Hey, maybe prospects don’t know they need a sparkly new kitchen until they see it on Instagram.) But these platforms are only sending a fraction of total visitors (9.8%)—search engines remain the main traffic source for home improvement pages (66.2%). 

Sure, the performance gap isn’t huge (4.0% versus 2.9%). Given the increased competition for search clicks, though, it might be worth using more of your ad dollars on social. You can find out for sure by shifting some of your Google Ads budget over to Facebook during your next lead gen campaign—then compare the results.

 

Experiment with using social platforms to send higher-performing traffic to your form-fill landing pages.

  Home Improvement

More conversion intelligence insights—just for you.

Ready to go beyond the benchmarks? Try the Unbounce Landing Page Analyzer and get actionable, easy-to-understand recommendations specifically for your page.

Get your personalized landing page
report now.

  Conversion Intelligence

Key Insights for Media & Entertainment

Media and entertainment landing pages perform at a higher level than almost any other industry in this report. Whether you’re promoting a new book, premiering a streaming service, or hyping the album drop, converting visitors depends on readability.

 

Form-fill pages outperform other industries.

Just less than half the media and entertainment pages we analyzed for this report have a form. And that’s dandy, because they convert a whole lot better than form-fill pages in other industries.

 

To get leads, you’ve gotta change the channel.

We looked at which channel sends the highest-performing traffic to your landing page. News flash: It’s not the one you get most visitors from.

 

It looks like nobody wants to read anymore.

(And it’s all television’s fault, probably.) By keeping your page copy light and skimmable, you could significantly increase the chance that your visitors will convert.

Keep reading for more AI-powered insights about how your industry performs.

Fill out the form for instant access to the complete report—with detailed benchmarks and dozens of machine learning insights that’ll help you optimize your landing pages and win more conversions.

Conversion intelligence is an approach to marketing that pairs your know-how with data-validated insights (like these ones) to get you better results than you could on your own. Keep reading to see how you can start working with conversion intelligence.

  Key Insight: Conversion Rate

Entertainment form pages have the highest median rate of all industries.

Conversion Rate: 2020 vs. 2021

What’s this mean? This graph (called a “box plot”) shows how the conversion rates of landing pages are distributed. The dotted horizontal line is the median conversion rate, while the “box” shows where most pages sit. The vertical lines (or “whiskers”) represent the range of the remaining pages, excluding any extreme outliers.

  Key Insight: Traffic

Running search ads? It might be time to flip the script.

Search ads deliver roughly a third of all traffic to media and entertainment landing pages (35.2% to form-fill and 33.3% to click-through pages). Compare that with social platforms like Facebook, which send closer to a fifth of all visitors (19.2% and 22.0%, respectively).

But which channel gets you the higher-performing traffic? For form-fill pages, we can say pretty definitively. Our analysis shows the median conversion rate for social visitors is almost five times that of people arriving from search.

That said, we’re working with some small-ish (though statistically significant) samples. Our recommendation would be to experiment with increasing your social ad budget—and, if you get better results, step it up in your next campaign.

 

Try moving some of your paid ad budget from search to social to see how that changes your campaign performance.

  Key Insight: Readability

Short, simple copy will help you steal the show.

One of the reasons media and entertainment landing pages (especially ones with forms) convert so much better than their peers is readability. The industry’s median word count is about a fifth lower than the baseline (-18.0%). Reading ease is generally better, too (+4.0%).

We tell just about every marketer that they’ll get more conversions with easy-to-read copy—but that’s like, extra-quadruple true for anyone working in media.

Just look at the curves on these graphs. For most industries, form page conversion rates improve once they’re under 300 words and easier to read than a high school comprehension level. For form pages in media and entertainment specifically, though, you see huge benefits right away.

So, tighten things up. Each word you cut, every sentence you simplify—those add up to a real increase in page performance.

 

In entertainment, less is more. See just how short and simple you can make your copy—but try to get it under 300 words and easily understood by secondary school students.

Readability: 2020 vs. 2021

Here’s how reading ease and word count have changed on media and entertainment landing pages since our last report.

 +9.0%

Easier to Read

 +14.6%

More Total Words

  Media and Entertainment

Start optimizing your campaigns with conversion intelligence.

The top-performing marketers don’t just “set it and forget it”—they’re using data insights like these to constantly improve their campaign performance. And with Unbounce, you can, too.

Learn more about our conversion intelligence framework.

  Conversion Intelligence

Key Insights for Medical Services

The median conversion rate for medical services is up from last year, but it’s still lower than the baseline for all industries in this report. How do you perform like the best of ‘em? Start by rethinking how you’re sending visitors to your page.

 

We’d prescribe more social ads.

The majority of traffic to form-fill pages comes from search ads, but social visitors convert at twice the median rate. If you’re only advertising on Google, now’s the time to test out social platforms.

 

Boost trust with positive language.

There’s lots of pain-oriented language on medical landing pages, but you could be better off using words related to trust and anticipation (which correlate with higher conversion rates).

 

Readability isn’t what the doctor ordered.

Unlike in most other segments, word count and reading ease don’t show much of a relationship with page performance. Long or short, simple or complex—your visitors convert about the same.

Keep reading for more AI-powered insights about how your industry performs.

Fill out the form for instant access to the complete report—with detailed benchmarks and dozens of machine learning insights that’ll help you optimize your landing pages and win more conversions.

Conversion intelligence is an approach to marketing that pairs your know-how with data-validated insights (like these ones) to get you better results than you could on your own. Keep reading to see how you can start working with conversion intelligence.

  Key Insight: Conversion Rate

Anything over 3.6% is a healthy rate for medical practitioners.

Conversion Rate: 2020 vs. 2021

What’s this mean? This graph (called a “box plot”) shows how the conversion rates of landing pages are distributed. The dotted horizontal line is the median conversion rate, while the “box” shows where most pages sit. The vertical lines (or “whiskers”) represent the range of the remaining pages, excluding any extreme outliers.

  Key Insight: Traffic

Looking for more patients? Try advertising on social platforms.

If your campaign goal is to generate more leads, you might wanna look at driving more traffic to your landing pages from platforms like Facebook and Instagram. 

Why get social? Search ads account for two-thirds of the total traffic to medical form-fill pages (64.7%), while social platforms bring in just about one-fifth (19.4%). However, the median conversion rate for social visitors is nearly twice that of paid search.

Maybe people are looking for a more personal connection to their healthcare providers. (We don’t recommend “liking” your doc’s vacation photos in the middle of the night. It makes the next checkup… weird.) Whatever the reason, your ad dollars might be better spent on social.

 

For your next lead gen campaign, experiment with more social ads. Keep an eye on the results and compare their performance to paid search.

Optimizing for Form Conversions

 

Having a “name” field can (in some cases) negatively impact your conversion rates. Avoid asking for someone’s name when you don't really need it, like for a newsletter signup.

 

There’s a correlation between fewer form fields (like one or two) and higher conversion rates. If you can, keep your forms super short—but not at the expense of your campaign goal.

  Key Insight: Sentiment

Use language that puts would-be patients at ease.

Compared to the baseline for all industries, medical landing pages have a significant amount of language related to disgust (+200.0%), fear (+197.0%), and sadness (+179.6%). But the reality is that lots of the terms and phrases that fall into these categories (like “harmful” and “illness”) are tough for medical marketers to avoid. It’s all part of the biz. 

That said, our sentiment analysis shows that—in some cases—you can expect a higher conversion rate when your page includes more words associated with trust and anticipation. Rather than emphasizing the pain (literal or figurative) you help address, try shifting attention to your expertise. Words like “proven,” “recommended,” and “guaranteed” will help build trust in your services.

 

Boost the trust-related language on your landing page to see how it resonates with your audience. (And show them you’re the real deal by including patient testimonials, too.)

Sentiments: 2020 vs. 2021

These types of emotional language saw the biggest change in use (increase or decrease) on medical services pages over the past year.

 +6.1%

More Anger Words

 +4.0%

More Surprise Words

 +4.2%

More Negative Words

  Medical Services

Start optimizing your campaigns with conversion intelligence.

The top-performing marketers don’t just “set it and forget it”—they’re using data insights like these to constantly improve their campaign performance. And with Unbounce, you can, too.

Learn more about our conversion intelligence framework.

  Conversion Intelligence

Key Insights for Real Estate

Real estate’s median conversion rate increased last year—but given the hot market, it’s less than you might think. The good news is we’ve uncovered some promising insights to help you keep homebuyers knockin’ on your door.

 

Real estate forms ain’t selling.

There’s a whole lotta form-fill pages in this industry, but not a lotta conversions. Reducing your form fields and adding more ways to convert could clear a path to more leads.

 

With ads, it’s all about location.

Social users only make up one-tenth of traffic to form-fill pages, but they’re converting better than those coming from other channels (like paid search). Sounds like a new investment opportunity.

 

It’s best to skip the emotional talk.

The use of all types of emotional language—positive and negative—increased in real estate this year. But our data shows that it might be better to just stick to the facts.

Keep reading for more AI-powered insights about how your industry performs.

Fill out the form for instant access to the complete report—with detailed benchmarks and dozens of machine learning insights that’ll help you optimize your landing pages and win more conversions.

Conversion intelligence is an approach to marketing that pairs your know-how with data-validated insights (like these ones) to get you better results than you could on your own. Keep reading to see how you can start working with conversion intelligence.

  Key Insight: Conversion Rate

Converting over 2.6%? You’ve got a leading conversion rate.

Conversion Rate: 2020 vs. 2021

What’s this mean? This graph (called a “box plot”) shows how the conversion rates of landing pages are distributed. The dotted horizontal line is the median conversion rate, while the “box” shows where most pages sit. The vertical lines (or “whiskers”) represent the range of the remaining pages, excluding any extreme outliers.

  Key Insight: Conversion Type

Keep forms simple—and experiment with other ways of converting.

Forms are one of the lower-performing conversion types in real estate (like they are in most industries). But we wouldn’t suggest property marketers change all their form-fill pages to click-throughs. You need forms to generate leads.

So, how do you optimize? One thing you can try is shortening them to less than four fields. Our data shows that most real estate forms have four or five, but there’s a correlation between longer forms and lower conversion rates. Or, put another way: Each field you add could be costing you valuable leads.

If your campaign goals allow it, try incorporating more ways to convert. For example, you could add a click-to-call button for visitors who are on-the-go (or otherwise reluctant to fill out a form). We recommend using Smart Traffic to track your experiment and pinpoint what’s turning those digital looky-loos into leads.

 

Use Smart Traffic to test and optimize your form. Shortening forms to under four fields and adding more ways to convert are both good places to start.

  Conversion Intelligence

Book more showings and close more deals with conversion intelligence.

Wanna get the most outta these insights? Here’s how we recommend you use ‘em in your marketing, based on our conversion intelligence framework.

 

1. Pick the insights that are most relevant to you.

Do pages in your industry convert better when they’re short? Maybe your copy is giving off the wrong vibes? Take note of the findings that are relevant to your campaigns.

 

2. Apply the recommendations to your pages.

Create a variant of your landing page and make the changes recommended in this report. Use Smart Traffic (or A/B testing) to see how it performs.

 

3. Get new insights and keep on optimizing.

Use the results from your landing page variant to inform the creation of more variants. Keep improving your pages and watch as your conversion rates climb.

  Key Insight: Traffic

Want more leads? Shift some of your search budget to social ad platforms.

Search engines are the top traffic source for real estate, driving over half of all visitors to form-fill pages (60.0%). Meanwhile, social platforms like Facebook and Instagram only contribute around one-tenth of traffic (7.9%) to lead gen pages—but they’re converting visitors much better. 

Looks like there’s a sweet investment opportunity here. While most property marketers are using their budgets on search ads, we’d recommend you try marketing in the white space available on social platforms.

 

Real estate isn’t an impulse buy—so emotional appeal won’t cut it." >

For real estate lead gen, social traffic converts better than search. See how it performs for you by allocating more budget towards social ads.

  Key Insight: Sentiment

Real estate isn’t an impulse buy—so emotional appeal won’t cut it.

The percentage of emotional language on real estate landing pages increased across the board this year—more fear, more joy, more anticipation, you name it. But is that a good thing?

Eh, not so much. We looked at how different sentiments impact conversion rates in real estate, and correlations tend to be neutral or negative. We even dug into whether any specific industry subcategory (like, say, vacation homes) benefited from increased emotion—and fell flat.

This boom in emotional language could reflect a uniquely challenging year, but real estate has also never been an impulse purchase. (Or it shouldn’t be, anyways.) If your page runs high on emotions, you might wanna rejig your copy to focus on the listing details instead.

 

It’s generally a good idea to avoid emotional language in your copy. Focus on the specifications of the property rather than tugging at your visitors’ heartstrings.

Sentiments: 2020 vs. 2021

These types of emotional language saw the biggest change in use (increase or decrease) on real estate pages over the past year.

 +9.6%

More Surprise Words

 +24.3%

More Fear Words

 +9.2%

More Anger Words

  Real Estate

More conversion intelligence insights—just for you.

Ready to go beyond the benchmarks? Try the Unbounce Landing Page Analyzer and get actionable, easy-to-understand recommendations specifically for your page.

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  Conversion Intelligence

Key Insights for Travel

It was a quiet year, but businesses are gearing up for a travel boom. With almost triple the amount of form-fill pages over click-through pages, leads are a high priority right now—but you may be barking up the wrong traffic channel.

 

Eager travelers are scrolling through social.

The majority of traffic to travel form-fill pages comes from paid search—but social visitors seem to perform better. Are ads on platforms like Facebook and Instagram more worthy of your dollars?

 

Say “bon voyage” to simple copy.

(If you want to, anyways.) Last year there was a pretty clear correlation between easy-to-read copy and higher page performance. This year… eh, not so much. We always recommend simplicity, but don’t sweat it.

 

Avoid negative trains of thought.

Compared to the overall baseline, travel pages have far less words related to anger (-31.54%) and sadness (-20.1%). That’s great, since negative language often correlates with lower conversion rates.

Keep reading for more AI-powered insights about how your industry performs.

Fill out the form for instant access to the complete report—with detailed benchmarks and dozens of machine learning insights that’ll help you optimize your landing pages and win more conversions.

Conversion intelligence is an approach to marketing that pairs your know-how with data-validated insights (like these ones) to get you better results than you could on your own. Keep reading to see how you can start working with conversion intelligence.

  Key Insight: Conversion Rate

Conversion rates above 4.8% are flying higher than the industry median.

Conversion Rate: 2020 vs. 2021

What’s this mean? This graph (called a “box plot”) shows how the conversion rates of landing pages are distributed. The dotted horizontal line is the median conversion rate, while the “box” shows where most pages sit. The vertical lines (or “whiskers”) represent the range of the remaining pages, excluding any extreme outliers.

  Key Insight: Traffic

Take a vacation from paid search. Try social ads instead.

Search engines are the travel industry’s go-to for ad placements, currently driving over half the traffic to form-fill pages (63.7%). Compare that with social platforms like Instagram and Facebook, which account for less than a fifth of all visitors (15.9%).

But here’s something interesting: Despite sending way less traffic, the median conversion rate for social is nearly double that of paid search (5.7% over 3.4%). Maybe if you’ve just been scrolling through friends’ vacation photos, you’re more likely to book one yourself?

Whatever the reason, it looks like there’s an opportunity here for travel companies. Try spending more on social ads (and a lil’ less on search) in your next lead gen campaign, then see how the results compare.

 

Gear your next ad campaign towards social channels. (Remember that most social users are on mobile devices—so keep your ads and pages mobile-friendly.)

Optimizing for Form Conversions

 

On form pages in the travel industry, there seems to be a correlation between“name” fields and lower conversion rates. If you can, try asking for just their email instead.

 

Avoid negative sentiment and language associated with disgust, fear, and sadness. Our data shows they aren’t convincing visitors to fill out your form.

  Travel

Start optimizing your campaigns with conversion intelligence.

The top-performing marketers don’t just “set it and forget it”—they’re using data insights like these to constantly improve their campaign performance. And with Unbounce, you can, too.

Learn more about our conversion intelligence framework.

COVID-19. Pandemic. Those are two words you won’t find anywhere else in this report. That’s because insights related to the effects of COVID-19 on digital marketing in 2020 aren’t especially useful to you today—and the Conversion Benchmark Report is all about highlighting new opportunities to optimize your campaigns in 2021. 

But the reality is that every insight in this report has been influenced by the pandemic because it was happening as we collected our data. And even if this information isn’t super actionable for marketers now, it’s intriguing. You wanna see it. 

So, here it is. To try and get a sense of how COVID-19 impacted digital marketing, we compared two sets of online traffic data: one from before the pandemic (August to November 2019) and one smack-dab in the middle (August to November 2020). Then we looked at how traffic patterns to your landing pages have changed.

  Interpreting The Insights

First, a quick discussion on confirmation bias.

Whether you’re part of a fitness team that had to move classes online or you run an ecomm that fluked into record sales, the data shows that people engaged differently with your business in 2020 than they did in 2019. One problem: It’s really hard for us to say definitively that these changes are because of the pandemic.

You can speculate. When you see that one industry got a ton more traffic last year, or another industry got way less, it’s easy to think about how the health crisis could be responsible. But this data doesn’t tell us everything. It gives signals, but we can’t connect these insights to COVID-19 with absolute certainty.

Keep that in mind as you review the insights below.

 

  Key Insight: Overall Industry Traffic

Overall visitor counts increased—but that doesn’t tell the whole story.

So, what do we know for certain? 

Let’s start high-level. Between 2019 and 2020, we observed growth in overall traffic for nearly every industry. Check out the graph below to see the percentage change between our two data sets.

 

The health and wellness industries grew significantly over the past year. Fitness and nutrition (+121.4%), medical services (+93.0%), family support (+82.5%)—all of ‘em saw big increases in overall traffic. Meanwhile, businesses offering in-person events and leisure activities had far fewer total visitors in 2020 than in 2019 (-29.9%). 

Ecommerce and real estate are two segments that boomed during the pandemic—one expectedly, the other… mmm, not so much. And while both industries saw their traffic grow last year (+47.6% and +21.7%, respectively), it’s not to the extent we might’ve guessed.

But overall traffic is just part of the picture. It doesn’t tell us how many visitors each landing page is getting, and that’s a better measure of how things have changed for marketers on the ground. (Or rather, on their couches working from home.)

Keep reading for more AI-powered insights about how your industry performs.

Fill out the form for instant access to the complete report—with detailed benchmarks and dozens of machine learning insights that’ll help you optimize your landing pages and win more conversions.

  Key Insight: Median Page Traffic

Landing page traffic is up for everyone (despite some marketing cutbacks).

To figure out whether pages are (generally) getting more or less visitors, we first compared the number of active pages in each industry in November 2019 and November 2020.

 

We found that most segments had more active landing pages last year than they did before the pandemic—with a few notable exceptions. The travel (-17.9%), events and leisure (-16.5%), and real estate (-17.6%) industries all saw double-digit decreases in their number of published pages.

The first two don’t exactly come as a surprise, given that restrictions on movement and assembly meant vacations and concerts became the stuff of daydreams. (Aruba, Jamaica, ooh…) Real estate is a bit of a quirk, though. We mentioned earlier that home sales surged in 2020. Maybe the market was so hot that agents dialed back their digital advertising? Your guess is as good as ours.

Next, we looked at how median page traffic changed for each industry in 2020. This also reveals something surprising: every segment saw growth in the number of visitors a page typically gets.

 

What’s this tell us? Even industries that cut back on digital marketing (with less active pages) actually had higher median engagement from visitors online. So, yes, fitness and nutrition got a nice bump in traffic (+57.5%) at the page level—but so did travel (+28.5%), events (+24.2%), and other spaces that you’d think would be getting fewer visits.

Of course, not every marketer will have seen that bump on their own landing pages. And that brings us to something particularly interesting: Nobody experienced COVID-19 the same.

 

Many businesses throughout the pandemic have either been easing financial commitments or further scrutinizing new ones—regardless of whether those businesses are experiencing growth or not. That applies to marketing, too.

Luke Carthy
Ecommerce Growth Consultant

  Key Insight: Page Traffic Distribution

Marketers—even within the same industry—didn’t feel the pandemic equally.

Median page traffic is helpful for spotting visitor trends, but it’s kinda one-dimensional. It doesn’t explain how traffic is distributed between pages—and so it doesn’t do a great job reflecting the reality of most marketers.

When we looked at traffic distribution, we saw that—in addition to higher median page traffic—every industry saw more variance in landing page traffic last year. (Restaurants and fitness especially.) Or, in simpler terms: the gap between the most-visited pages and the least-visited pages in each segment grew.

Below, we’ve used a box plot to visualize the spread of page-level traffic for the restaurant and fitness industries, comparing 2019 and 2020. This’ll give you an idea of what we’re talking about.

 

What’s this mean? This graph (called a “box plot”) shows how page traffic rates are distributed—the ‘box’ representing where most pages sit. (Note the median isn’t in the middle, as pages are rarely distributed evenly.) The vertical lines (or “whiskers”) represent the range of the remaining pages, excluding extreme outliers.

As you can see, some pages got significantly more traffic in 2020, while others got way less. But why?

The past year hasn’t been fair. Lots of us have been isolated from family and friends. We’ve lost out on promotions, and vacations, and concerts. Some have lost a lot more than that. And while nobody has been unaffected, there are people that have been more affected than others.

It’s been the same for digital marketing. Call it adaptability (or maybe just dumb luck), but when it comes to conversions, plenty of businesses will tell you they hardly noticed the pandemic. Some will report they had record years. Meanwhile, competitors that were less prepared to pivot are feeling the pain—maybe temporarily, maybe permanently.

 

  COVID-19 Pandemic

Here are a few additional COVID-19 traffic insights.

 

Conversion rates are steady (even if traffic isn’t).

Despite less traffic or active pages in many segments we’d expect to be harmed by COVID-19 (like real estate, travel, events and leisure, and fitness), there haven’t been decreases in their conversion rates. (Actually, they’re mostly up.)

 

Phones are up, forms are down.

Between 2019 and 2020, the number of Unbounce landing pages pushing phone conversions is up about a third (+27.8%), while form-fill pages are down slightly (-5.8%). Our sample size for phone is pretty small, but it’s worth keeping an eye on.

 

Desktop traffic is up, but not for everyone.

SaaS, business services, media, travel, medical practitioners, and home improvement all saw increases in desktop traffic over mobile. This might be related to more people working from home—but we don’t see it in every industry.

  Moving Forward

Marketers—let’s try to move past the pandemic.

At the time of writing this report, we’re still in the midst of a global health crisis. But vaccines are being administered. Lockdowns are being lifted. Sooner or later, we’re gonna start getting back to normal—whatever that is.

Whether you’ve struggled through the pandemic or unexpectedly benefited, this thing’s coming to an end. And while it’s not clear what the post-COVID world is gonna look like, we’re hopeful that there are better days ahead for all of us.

 

  Conversion Intelligence

Start optimizing your campaigns with conversion intelligence.

The top-performing marketers don’t just “set it and forget it”—they’re using data insights like these to constantly improve their campaign performance. And with Unbounce, you can, too.

Learn more about our conversion intelligence framework.

  Methodology

How We Created This Report

The insights in the 2021 Conversion Benchmark Report are the result of a months-long analysis by our proprietary machine learning model and some very smart humans. Here, we’ll answer key questions that’ll help you interpret and apply the results.

(If you’re looking for the scientific process behind our analysis, a complete methodology for the report can be found here.)

 

  Methodology

Benchmarks

The conversion data analyzed in this report comes from November 3rd, 2019 to November 3rd, 2020 (except for traffic data—see below). Our benchmarks are derived from more than 44 thousand Unbounce customer landing pages, including almost 264 million visits that culminated in over 33 million conversions. 

 

Keep reading for more AI-powered insights about how your industry performs.

Fill out the form for instant access to the complete report—with detailed benchmarks and dozens of machine learning insights that’ll help you optimize your landing pages and win more conversions.

We used our machine learning model to sort the pages available into topics (like industrial tools or medical law), based on the content of these landing pages. We then manually refined the output to match 16 industries from the Global Industry Classification Standard and the North American Industry Classification System. 

Finally, we used the following criteria to keep our data clean:

  • We didn’t include analysis of any industries, subcategories, or conversion types with fewer than 400 pages.
  • We removed pages with fewer than 500 visitors or no conversions.
  • We excluded subcategories that we felt might skew the results (e.g., political campaigns, religious topics, terms and conditions).
  • When there are pages with the same domain that have almost identical copy, we took a random sample of five pages. This is called “domain sampling.”

Note: We altered our process this year to sample up to five near-identical pages from each domain, whereas last year we only sampled one. This change has led to very slight (<0.5%) changes to the 2020 median conversion rates (referenced throughout) than we reported last year.

This report uses the median conversion rate benchmarks for each industry, rather than the mean (average). As a measure of central tendency, the median is less impacted by outliers (pages that are converting seriously well or super poorly) than the average. We believe this provides a more useful picture of how you stack up compared to other marketers in your industry.

  Example: Software as a Service

This year, we’ve also included box plots to help visualize the distribution of landing pages. The ‘box’ represents where most pages sit. (Note the median isn’t in the middle, as pages are rarely distributed evenly.) The vertical lines (or “whiskers”) represent the range of the remaining pages, excluding extreme outliers.

For a more detailed explanation of how to interpret a box plot, check out our complete methodology.

  Example: Agencies

  Methodology

Traffic

Our traffic channel data comes from August 1st to November 30th, 2020. We used all of the same criteria to sort pages as we did for the report’s main data set (see above), excluding any channels with less than 400 pages. Our analysis looks only at the two most common conversion types: click-through and form-fill pages.

To show the performance of a channel, we looked at the number of visitors it had sent to landing pages within an industry, then the number of those visitors who had actually converted. We then used box plots to show the distribution of conversion rates for each channel.

 

For your next lead gen campaign, think about throwing some extra budget at social ads and see how they perform. (The results might surprise you.)

  Methodology

Readability

When we say “word count,” we’re talking about the sum of all the meaningful text our machine learning model finds on a particular landing page (including headings, calls to action, supporting copy, testimonials, and fine print). It doesn’t include text featured in images or video, and only analyzes English pages.

To find out how easy or difficult these landing pages are to read, we assigned each page a Flesch reading ease score (FRES) based on the number of words per sentence and the number of syllables per word. The higher the score, the easier it is to read.

 

  Example: Business Services

Flesch scores can also be translated to grade levels—however, grade levels aren’t consistent across school districts, countries, or time periods. That said, you can use this table as a rough guide to figure out how easy you need your landing page copy to be for your best conversion rates possible:

 

There are plenty of websites you can use to find the FRES of your own writing, and tools like Grammarly and Yoast can also provide you with readability scores as you compose. Heck, we’ve got our own copy analyzer for both SaaS and ecommerce (and either one will tell you the reading ease and word count of any landing page).

  Methodology

Sentiment

Our sentiment analysis is based on the NRC’s Emotion Lexicon (also known as EmoLex), a list of English words associated with eight basic emotions (anger, fear, anticipation, trust, surprise, sadness, joy, and disgust) and two sentiments (positive and negative). We used machine learning to detect the concentration of these sentiment-associated words on each landing page as a way of determining overall emotions related to the copy that appeared.

  Example: Medical Services

Words from the EmoLex are used to detect emotion, but shouldn’t necessarily be your guide to expressing them. Instead, aim to convey sentiments in as natural a way possible. (Hiring a talented copywriter helps.) Though you can use the words in the lexicon as a starting point, stuffing them on your landing pages misses the mark and isn’t our intent by providing them.

Use the insights in the relevant industry section to figure out which ones might have a positive or negative impact. As always, we’d recommend using Smart Traffic to see how different emotions resonate with your visitors.

  Methodology

COVID-19

To look at how the pandemic may have affected industries, we compared traffic data from August 1st to November 30th, 2019 with the same time period in 2020. It’s worth noting that these two years are not enough to indicate a trend, nor can we attribute these changes to COVID-19 with certainty. The insights from this analysis should be viewed as signals only.

We used the following criteria to keep our data clean:

  • We removed pages with fewer than 500 visitors or no conversions.
  • When there are pages with the same domain that have almost identical copy, we took a random sample of 5 pages. This is called “domain sampling.”

To give a rounded view on the growth in traffic year-over-year, we look at both the relative difference in the aggregation of all visitors to the industry, as well as the median visitors at the page level.

  Methodology

Check out the insights for your industry.

Dive into the data. You can jump right to your industry (or any industry—go wild!) using the left-hand menu, or by selecting one of the options below.

Software as a Service I Business Services I Home Improvement I Ecommerce I Legal I Real Estate

Contributors

Garrett Hughes, Sherry He, Floss Taylor, Chrystalene Buhler, Jen Chin, Jordan Dawe, Ha Dinh, Sarah Gooding, Scott Hind, Phil Jama, Carolyn Laihow, Jon Leher, Tommy Levi, Carla Lynn, Colin Loughran, Francois Marchand, Cecilia Martinez, Emily Matick, Simon Mathonnet, Jonathan Moon, Ayesha Renyard, Chelsea Scholz, James Thompson, Alana Thorburn-Watt, Leslie Ty, Bradley Wou, Nicole Wright