Micro Conversions vs. Macro Conversions

Posted on Jan 28, 2019 - By Leesa Love

In a competitive online world full of information, your company can benefit from having a clear way of analyzing the data of your e-commerce business. Conversions offer a solution, allowing you to organize your site traffic into distinct events and predict future transactions. Conversions are the outcomes or events that users complete on your website, such as clicking on a link or watching a video. The more completed conversions you have, the more likely your website is to achieve success.

While not every conversion leads to a purchase or similar transaction, a series of smaller conversions usually indicates that a major conversion will eventually occur. With this in mind, conversions are divided into two types: macro conversions and micro conversions. Most businesses are used to tracking macro conversions, but learning to track micro conversions can offer substantial insight into your customers and your website. While different, both of these are key to optimizing your e-commerce business for long-term success.

What is the difference between micro and macro conversions?

A macro conversion is defined as the primary end goal for a particular site. This goal tends to differ based on each company’s agenda. A site can even have more than one end goal at a time. A common macro conversion for many e-commerce businesses is a completed purchase. However, not all macro conversions must result in a sale. In fact, many goals are centered on simply establishing a relationship with the user. This typically involves actions like filling out a form or registering for a free service.

If a macro conversion is your user’s destination, micro conversions are the stops along the way. For some businesses, a macro conversion takes time. Therefore, micro conversions are meant to help map out the gradual progress toward the end goal. Micro conversions are the steps between initial user interaction and the end goal of your site. These micro conversions can take many forms, such as watching a video or reading product reviews.

What are the different types of micro conversions?

In general, there are two different types of micro conversions to follow: process milestones and secondary actions. Secondary actions are events that do not directly relate to your end goal but still represent user interaction with your site. Examples of secondary actions include signing up for a mailing list, commenting on social media posts and clicking through different pages on the site. While these actions are not necessarily along the pathway toward a purchase or similar goal, they provide you with an opportunity to engage with your users and educate them on your products and services.

Alternately, process milestones are those actions that fall along the macro conversion path. This covers actions like adding products to a shopping cart or wish list. Overall, both types of micro conversions are influential in predicting the probability of future macro conversions. They indicate user interest in your products and services, and can reveal user intent toward future interactions. When you learn to track and optimize micro conversions like these, you can encourage your users to follow the path toward your ultimate goal.

Why do both types of conversions matter?

It is not difficult to see why macro conversions are vital to your company’s success. When a customer completes a macro conversion, he or she made it all the way to your goal. However, it is also important to understand just how pivotal micro conversions are to the equation. In many ways, focusing on these smaller details allows you to gain a more complete understanding of  the broader conversion process. Once you understand each step on the path to your goal, it becomes easier optimize your site. This, in turn, can help you maximize your overall conversion rate.

Learning about your site’s micro conversions and how to track them can provide a lot of insight into your business. When you take the time to track and analyze these events, you can:

  • Identify where users stopped along the conversion pathway. This information helps you identify problem areas where you need to make adjustments.
  • Test different site and advertising approaches to see which work best. This allows you to focus on user experience, which also boosts the success of your website.
  • Make predictions about future conversions. The more you tailor your website to your customers, the easier it becomes to market other products and even expand your audience.

Over time, these benefits help increase your conversion rate, and by extension, your revenue.

Seeking Conversion Rate Optimization

Due to the many different forms conversions can take, it can be overwhelming to determine which micro conversions to track. Therefore, is important to focus on your goal and only choose micro conversions that directly link the user to your product or service.  Otherwise, you may end up wasting time on metrics that are not connected to your revenue.

To avoid this, make sure to relate your micro conversions to your macro conversion in some way before you dive in. Following these five steps will ensure that you stay on track towards your goals:

  1. Set your macro conversion goals.
  2. Identify the micro conversions that occur along the conversion pathway.
  3. Track these metrics using analytics programs.
  4. Use your analytics results to test new marketing techniques and other changes.
  5. Optimize the pathway to guide users toward your macro conversion goal.

Tools and Tips to Optimize Your Conversion Rate

In order to follow these steps, there are different tools you can utilize to help you optimize your conversion rate. Examples of useful conversion tools include goal funnels and split tests. Goal funnels, also known as visitor paths, refer to the collection of micro conversions that lead to the macro conversion. Goal funnels help you visualize each step so you can clearly identify your users’ pathways.

Split testing, also known as A/B testing, is a method of analyzing the improvements you want to make to your site. This approach gives you the ability to test two strategies against each other to see which performs better. That way, you do not have to risk harming your conversion rate in the long-term if your new approach is not as effective as the original.

Overall, micro conversions are always present on your website, whether you realize it or not. Taking the time to identify, track and analyze these small user actions can make all the difference to your business’ future.