There’s no doubt that digital marketers everywhere love conversions. Online purchases, contact forms, phone calls—you name it, we want ‘em.
But sometimes we become so infatuated with conversions that we begin to lose sight of the bigger picture. Sure, we’re constantly measuring traffic and a handful of other KPIs, but these only make up a piece of the whole pie.
To see the entire picture, it’s necessary to identify and measure micro conversions.
What are micro conversions?
According to Google, micro conversions are “activities that users frequently engage in before purchasing.”
Take, for example, an e-commerce website. Before a user actually buys a product, he or she might first search for a specific item, then visit a product page, then click ‘Add to Cart,’ and, finally, go through the checkout process.
Before users complete the big conversion—in this case, the final purchase—they often first complete a series of smaller conversions.
Some examples of micro conversions include:
- Key pageviews
- Button clicks
- Email signups
- PDF downloads
- Account creations
Google Analytics also makes it easy to track certain site engagement metrics—namely, session duration and pages per visit—as micro conversions, too. These usage goals enable you to better understand the quality of your visitors, even if macro conversions are few and far between.
Advantages of micro conversions
Knowledge is power and so is data. Micro conversions paint a fuller picture of the people visiting your website.
Imagine that you run a website that sells retail clothing and your primary conversion is a sale. Your (macro) conversion rate is 4%, meaning 1 in 25 visitors purchase something. All of this is fine, but don’t you want to know what happened to the other 24 visitors?
Micro conversions can help fill in these gaps. Coincidentally, the better you know your user, the easier it is to obtain bigger and better macro conversions. Ultimately, micro conversions tell a powerful story about your users.
Micro conversions also identify areas where potential customers are falling off. Where in the funnel are users bouncing or getting stuck? Once these trouble spots have been identified, it’s much easier to come up with possible solutions.
Inversely, micro conversions give businesses a better idea of what users are most interested in. Certain pages or areas of a site might lead to more micro conversions than others. Where are micro conversion rates highest? Oftentimes, these pages show the greatest conversion potential.
In a similar vein, micro conversions can positively inform and influence conversion rate optimization strategies. Did the signup button in the header or the footer garner more emails? Micro conversions hold the answer to this question. Once we’ve identified the winners, we can focus our efforts on site elements that will produce the greatest impact. Tracking micro conversions can prove the success of CRO strategies while making it easier to find low-hanging fruit.
Finally, micro conversions can be used to enhance both PPC and SEO strategies. Trying to optimize a PPC account with little to no conversions? Set up micro conversions and use them to better optimize your campaigns. Just import your Analytics goals into AdWords to get started. All things considered, micro conversions provide powerful and versatile information and shouldn’t be ignored.
Tracking micro conversions
How does one go about tracking micro conversions? Luckily, Google Analytics makes it easy. Head to the ‘Admin’ tab, select ‘Goals’, then click on the red ‘New Goal’ button. Under ‘Goal setup’ toggle ‘Custom’ and hit ‘Continue’.
Here’s where things get exciting! Under ‘Goal description,’ enter the name of your micro conversion. Under ‘Type’, select what sort of goal you’d like to track.
The first three goal types are pretty self-explanatory and are the easiest to set up. Event goals are a little trickier but don’t sweat it. Instead, read Benn’s blog post for a step-by-step guide on how to successfully implement event goals on your site.
The bottom line? Micro conversions are a big deal (ironic, we know). At the end of the day, you get more data and better data. What’s not to love?