The Biggest Obstacle to Soaring Conversion Rates
An In-Depth Look at the Effect of Average Session Duration on Lead Generation
With an attractive design, informative graphics, and a concise call-to-action, your landing page may seem like the perfect sales tool. However, looking at form submissions you realize that the website is failing to generate your desired conversion rates. So you ask yourself, “With a seemingly flawless landing page, what could possibly be holding me back from converting leads?”
It turns out that one of the most important factors in determining conversion rate is a website’s average session duration. The more time a visitor spends exploring the landing page has been directly correlated with an increased engagement and higher conversion rate.
Research has shown that the average website conversion rate is only 2.35%. However, high performing landing pages can convert up to 11% of visitors into qualified leads. The difference? Prospects who spend more time exploring a page are more likely to find what they’re looking for and respond positively to the call-to-action.
When a new visitor opens your landing page, a site that appears boring, unintuitive, or unhelpful will result in a quick exit. If this happens, and a visitor leaves too fast, the abandoned session counts towards another metric known as your bounce rate. To maximize conversions, a successful landing page should strive to keep bounce rates low and average session duration high. Ultimately, this reduces the chances that your prospect moves on to other websites before answering your call-to-action.
First Impression Is Everything
In 2014, a data analytics company discovered that websites have an extremely small window of time to grab a visitor’s attention and make a good first impression. In fact, their research has shown that 55% of visitors will spend only 15 seconds on a newly opened webpage. Therefore, landing pages that don’t consider their session duration will consistently fail to convert the majority of their visitors.
Echoing the importance of first impressions, a recent study conducted by Google suggests that consumers begin to develop first impressions within the first 50 milliseconds of arriving at a new page. More than ever, as the internet expands and attention spans dwindle, grabbing someone’s attention and keeping it is harder than ever.
For example, one case study found that a simple design change was able to extend a landing page’s average session duration and boost their conversion rate by 220%. In 2013, a mental health rehabilitation facility performed a split test looking to improve their landing page. The control was displayed in a short-form format and featured a brief summary of services, numerous navigation links, and a call to action at the top of the page.
On the other hand, the treatment landing page was designed with a long-form format and contained all of the most valuable information on one page. The test found that visitors were more likely to spend time scrolling through a single page of clearly laid out content rather than waste time clicking navigation links. Compared to the initial 0.78% conversion rate generated by the control landing page, the long-form version accomplished an incredible 2.48% conversion. The experiment revealed that the new and improved landing page was more successful in establishing both a positive first impression and extending the average session duration.
Contact is Key
Another way that longer session durations work to improve conversion is by increasing the chance of getting leads on the phone. The longer a potential lead stays on your landing page, the more time you have before they start to reconsider and explore other options. Since 95% of sales are likely to go to first contact, getting a potential lead on the phone as soon as possible greatly increases the chance of a conversion.
Say, for example, that a potential lead has found themselves on your landing page and has taken the time to submit a form. Rather than leave the site immediately, they are encouraged to stick around and watch a short video or read some impressive testimonials. Still on the page, they immediately receive a call from a sales representative happy to answer all of their questions. Thus, contacting them before they have the chance to exit the page moves them one step closer to becoming a qualified lead.
Furthermore, research has shown that 40% of leads are likely to shop around and explore other options. That’s why the first five minutes after a form submission is so important. If a lead is contacted within five minutes, there is a 400% higher chance of qualification compared to a call made after ten minutes. They won’t have time to start looking at competing websites. Timing is everything.
The Value of Engagement
But exactly what encourages a potential lead to spend a long time exploring the landing page? The key here is engagement. With engaging content, prospects are more likely to explore what the page has to offer. While videos, images, and testimonials have been proven to increase engagement, marketers are beginning to discover that some of the most successful landing pages feature two-way engagements and interactive elements.
Some examples of two-way engagement could include personality quizzes or drop down chat-boxes where the prospect interacts directly with the site. The results of quizzes or chat-box information can then be used to craft a personalized form unique to each lead. These types of interactive elements work to engage visitors and keep them on the landing page for an extended period of time. The longer session combined with a personalized call-to-action can increase conversion by up to 42%.
How Are You Optimizing Session Duration?
Since the amount of time spent on a page is becoming recognized as closely linked to conversion rates, we want to encourage companies to think about session duration when designing their landing pages. Taking everything in this article into consideration, ask yourself, “How can I improve the average session duration and better engage potential leads?” The answer to this simple question could be the difference between an underperforming 2% conversion rate and converting over 10% of visitors into qualified leads.
This is the first article in a new series that will focus on various topics related to lead conversion. Following up on the importance of session duration, our next article will explore both the primary reasons for underperforming landing pages and provide some industry-leading strategies that can be implemented to increase session duration.
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The Generation Marketing