Digital marketers today know how important it is to track conversions on their website. Tracking conversions helps you understand marketing performance, as well as identify opportunities to optimize and improve.

What many marketers don’t realize is that there are different categories of conversions: Micro and Macro. Both are important to track and optimize for.

Here’s everything you need to know about micro conversions to improve your marketing strategy:

How are Micro Conversions Different?

Macro conversions are what most marketers focus on tracking and optimizing. They’re major events in the customer journey, such as requesting a quote, signing up for a free trial, or making a purchase. They’re also the metrics upper management and C-suite are typically looking for.

Micro conversions are on-site behaviors that might not directly link to sales. Instead, they’re steps in the process of interacting with your business before showing any purchase intent.

  • Email signup
  • Creating an account
  • Liking a social media account
  • Saving a product for later purchase
  • Registering for rewards
  • Filling out your contact form
  • Click to see directions
  • Downloading a file
  • Click to share
  • Blog commenting
  • Click to call
  • Playing a video
  • Viewing your product page
  • Viewing your location page

There’re also some general indicators of site behavior that can count as micro conversions, such as:

  • Time on site — Tracking how much time visitors spend on your website before navigating away helps you determine if your site content is compelling enough to engage visitors.
  • Pages per visit — Track how many pages people visit before leaving your site. If a large portion of your traffic bounces after looking at just one page, that could mean your content isn’t engaging or you have user experience issues.
  • Dwell time — When traffic reaches your site from a search engine, dwell time tells you how much time a visitor spends on a page before returning to SERPs. Longer dwell times show that your content is relevant and engaging.

Why Are Micro Conversions So Important?

Micro conversions don’t reflect actions that directly affect your bottom line. The majority of traffic that comes to your website will make a micro-conversion then leave. But just because they don’t become paying customers, doesn’t mean you should ignore this traffic.

Tracking micro conversions and optimizing for them is a valuable way to drive business goals. Tracking micro conversions can help you:

Improve user experience

If you only track macro conversions, then there’s no understanding of how audiences interact with your website overall. Paying attention to on-site behavior and when visitors navigate away can reveal user experience issues to fix. You’ll want to make it as easy as possible for your site visitors to find, consume, and share your site content to broaden brand reach.

Optimize your site content

If you pay attention to what kinds of content your audience consumes the most, you can adjust your strategy to create more of it. You can also optimize what type of lead magnets you offer and the calls-to-action that go along with them. This is an opportunity to capture more leads that could then turn into macro conversions down the road.

Understand your customer journey

Very rarely will your audience visit your site, look at your product, and immediately convert in the same session. The customer journey is long and complex. There is a wide variety of factors that impact a person’s decision to buy. By tracking micro conversions, you can understand on-site behaviors of your leads long before any macro conversions take place.

How to Track Micro Conversions

Tracking micro conversions is easy using Google Analytics. Some of the basic site behavior metrics like time on site and pages per visit are tracked automatically.

With Google Analytics goal tracking, you can also define any kind of site behavior you want to track. Here’s how to set it up:

First, log into Google Analytics and from the side menu click Admin.

On the next page find the View column and select the view you want first, then click Goals.

On the next page, you’ll see an option to +New Goal. Click that.

On the next page, you can see template goal options to choose from:

If your desired micro conversion isn’t on the list, then just click to create a custom goal.

With a custom goal, you can set a destination URL that indicates the goal is completed. So, if your micro conversion is downloading a lead magnet, you can set your destination URL as the thank you page for filling out the lead form.

Google Analytics allows you to create up to 20 custom goals per view or 25 views per property to track, so consider what micro conversions are the most helpful for understanding on-site behavior and the full customer journey. Then create custom Google Analytics goals to track performance on those conversions.

The right ones to choose will depend on your business type and goals. Location-based businesses would prioritize “Click to see directions” as an important micro-conversion. An eCommerce store would prioritize actions such as saving a product for later purchase.

If building brand awareness is a major business goal right now, then actions such as “Liking a social media account” or “Click to share” would be important to track. Then you can start understanding what kind of content gets the most shares from your website, and optimize your strategy to create more.

Maximize Audience Insights

Only paying attention to macro conversions on your website is like a baseball coach analyzing player performance based only on how many home runs they’ve scored. The coach can learn much more about how to improve player performance by looking at time spent in batting practice or pitch speed. As a marketer, you can do more to improve your sales funnel by tracking and analyzing the micro conversions.

Maximize performance insights from your audience’s behavior by tracking a combination of micro and macro conversions—your marketing efforts are bound to improve when you’re looking at the complete customer journey.

Joel Garland
Joel Garland