Web Traffic and Conversions – The Numbers


When first starting out in internet marketing, and without the benefit of bitter experience, it can be difficult to establish what tools and techniques will deliver the best results. What web traffic and conversions numbers are reasonable to expect?

It is impossible to deliver an answer that covers every situation but a late 2012 Optify B2B marketing benchmark report presented some important insights. The report shows on average:

  • Between 4 & 7% of visits results in a lead
  • Between 0.5% and 3.3% of visits (not leads) result in a sale
  • Lead generation is generally proportional to the quantity of traffic with organic traffic leading the way. Over 60% of traffic is via search engines (organic traffic).
  • Google is responsible for over 90% of organic search traffic
  • 12% of traffic is generated by referral websites.
  • Paid search (PPC) results in 10% of traffic with Email contributing a similar amount.
  • <5% of traffic is from social media.
  • Of the Social Media Channels Facebook delivers the most traffic but Twitter the most leads.

The report also delivered some interesting facts on conversions (sales)

  • Conversion is best for Email generated traffic, followed by referral traffic and paid search with Social Media last.
  • Paid search delivers an above average conversion rate.
  • Bing, although responsible for significantly less traffic than Google, does deliver a slightly higher conversion rate.
  • Companies involved in paid search declined by 10% in 2012.

What conclusions can be drawn from the above? Given the value of organic traffic then appropriate search engine marketing to achieve a high position on the search engines is critical. Pay per Click is an alternative but its value appears to be declining. The impact of social media is limited in driving traffic but it does have importance in other areas.

As for conversion then the Email generated traffic statistic may be slightly misleading. We assume this statistic is actually based on Email to a prospect that has already been through some sort of subscriber loop and therefore has some initial relationship with the business. The power of referral traffic assumes the referral is a source trusted by the prospect.

What the report does not cover is how to actually convert web traffic to sales, generate the traffic and the resulting sales. It does not cover best search engine marketing practice, Email subscribe processes, the best paid search methodology or social media as a content delivery channel. However, this information can be sourced from various other surveys, posts and reports freely available via the internet or by hiring in external marketing expertise.

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