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Micro Conversion: Understanding, Tracking, and Calculating

May 14, 2021 7 min read

Knowing what micro conversions are and understanding their importance is imperative for converting high-quality leads. Tracking them will help you see how people are engaging with your site. This valuable information will bring you closer to the main conversion goals or generating more sales.

How many of you have made a purchase from a site you’ve never heard of before? Not many, or we better say none. Clicking “Buy now” on a product sold at a site you are seeing for the first time doesn’t just happen.

But, a micro conversion is powerful stuff that can help. Not tracking and using this data means not using the full potential of behavioral data offered by your visitors for free.

Here’s everything you need to know about micro-conversions. Once you get the hang of it, you'll never ignore it.

What Is a Micro Conversion?

In order to understand what micro conversions are, you need to be aware of macro conversions. A macro conversion is a website’s main goal. That can be making a purchase, providing a lead, giving a donation, etc.

For example, for a retailer, the macro conversion or main goal is when a visitor makes a purchase. For travel companies, it’s when a visitor completes a booking. For charities, it’s when a visitor makes a donation.

But, what about all those visitors that came to your website and didn’t convert? Ignoring them is a huge mistake that can cost you thousands of purchases, leads, or valuable actions taken on your website.

Tracking and analyzing the visitors that didn’t convert can give you invaluable information about the overall buyer journey. It will help you understand your visitors better so that they can become your paying customers later on.

The small and seemingly “insignificant” actions that these visitors take, such as commenting on your blog articles or sharing your pages on Facebook or other social media, show that they are interested in your brand or company and can potentially become your loyal customers in the future.

These actions are called micro-conversions. Even though they may not bring you an immediate sale, they are essential for the overall buyer journey and converting higher quality leads. It’s how your visitors show initial interest in your product or brand.

Just because they didn’t click on your call-to-action button or made a purchase doesn’t mean that they are not important for your business. As a matter of fact, visitors who take these small actions such as exploring and engaging with the content of your site, before completing a call-to-action often end up being the most loyal paying customers. That’s because they have learned to trust your brand through these micro-conversions that shape them into amazing brand advocates.

A micro conversion is not about getting an instant customer, but about learning from your visitors’ behavior how to optimize your e-commerce site so that you can make more sales in the future.

Overall, micro conversions are important because they help you learn about your customers’ behavior, and therefore:

  • Improve customer experience
  • Optimize your site
  • Generate more sales

For these reasons, you should always track and optimize your site’s micro conversions.

Types of Micro Conversions

Generally, micro conversions are divided into 2 categories:

Process milestones – these represent linear movement toward your site’s main goal or macro conversion, such as viewing product pages or adding items to the basket. Tracking these micro-conversions will help you determine how to improve the user experience.

Secondary actions – these actions show potential macro conversions in the future. They include viewing a video, sharing content, etc.

Examples of Micro Conversions

Here are some of the most common examples of both types of micro-conversions:

  • Adding a product to a cart – indicates interest in your company and a potential customer that’s ideal for retargeting.
  • Signing up for a newsletter – shows interest in your company or product and an opportunity for visitors to build trust in your brand. Having their email allows you to nurture that lead.
  • Downloading an eBook, case study, or whitepaper – shows that you’re an expert in the field which can help visitors build trust in your business and encourage them to make a purchase.
  • Beginning to fill out a form – even though they have abandoned your form or gave up midway through, it’s still a sign of interest. This micro-conversion can help you improve your form and reduce your form abandonment rate.
  • Watching a video – shows interest in your product or service and a desire to learn more about it.
  • Commenting on blog posts – helps in validating your site and brand and shows a willingness to eventually make a purchase.
  • Sharing a product on social media – indicates validation and trust in your product.
  • Viewing your product page – shows interest in your product or service
  • Browsing a high volume of pages – shows a high level of interest
  • Creating an account on an eCommerce site – indicates a wish to make a purchase

How to Track Micro Conversions in Google Analytics

The most common way to track micro conversions is by using Google Analytics. With this easy-to-use analytics platform, you can log these small actions as goals or events.

You can also track micro-conversions with the help of various behavior analytics tools which show what visitors do on your website and how they use it. This, in turn, can help you understand your customer journey and decide what to change on your website or funnel to achieve your macro conversion.

Here’s more about micro conversions’ most common way of tracking: as goals in GA.

Tracking Micro Conversions as Goals in GA

Here, each goal represents a step in the customer journey. You can track and analyze these goals individually to understand user behavior and detect possible stumbling blocks on their path to converting.

First, you need to decide your criteria for a completed goal or micro-conversion. For example, a goal could be users accessing your ‘thanks for signing up’ page which means they have subscribed to your newsletter. Another goal could be creating an account, saving a page to a list, or watching a product video.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to track micro conversions as goals in Google Analytics:

Step #1 - Sign to your GA account and click “Admin”.

Step #2 - Find the “View” column and choose “Goals”.

Step # 3 - Add a goal by clicking “+ NEW GOAL”. This button will no longer be available to you if you’ve already used all 20 goals.

Step #4 - Choose one of the GA pre-built goal templates, or make your own by clicking “Custom”.

Step #5 - Give a name to your goal and choose the type of goal you want to track which can be a destination page, duration spent on a certain page or URL, number of pages or screens per session, or an event such as clicking a button. Once you set the name and type of your goal, go to “Continue”.

Step #6 - You can find your custom goal in the “Goals” chart.

Step #7 - To track how this goal progresses, go to “Goals” which is under “Conversions”.

Tracking these goals can help you optimize your site or funnel and improve your user experience. For example, if you find that a particular blog post is converting really well, you can include more call-to-actions on that page or update it. Or, you may find that most of your visitors are leaving your marketing funnel on a specific stage, in which case you should change it and test it to see what works best.

How Do You Calculate Micro Conversion Rate?

Calculating conversion rate and monitoring it is essential for marketers. It can help you scale your ad spend predictably, determine your profitability, hire sales teams, allocate resources more efficiently, etc. The goal is to increase your conversion rate so that you can have a high sales volume.

The calculation can help you measure both macro and micro goals. By calculating your micro-conversions or micro-goals, you can help achieve your primary or macro goal.

Here’s the formula for conversion rate percentage:

Conversion rate percentage = total number of conversions / total number of sessions or visitors or leads * 100

You can apply it for all of your micro conversions and macro conversions.

Example: Calculating Micro Conversion Rate

Let’s say you want to calculate a micro-conversion which is visitors downloading an eBook.

Tracking this goal on Google Analytics will help you find out the numerator or the total number of conversions. If the total number of visitors who’ve downloaded your eBook is 1,000 and the total number of your website visitors is 10,000 for a specific time period, then the conversion rate percentage for this micro conversion would be:

1,000 / 10,000 = 0,1 *100 = 10%

The answer is 10%.

Conclusion

The seemingly insignificant actions taken on your website like sharing content on social media platforms, playing a video, setting up an account, are not irrelevant to your business. They shouldn’t be ignored as they offer huge potential to learn more about your customer experience and buyer’s journey.

This useful data can help you make the necessary improvements in order to achieve your site’s primary goal or macro conversion. Therefore, do take them into consideration.

Whatagraph team
Written by Whatagraph team

The Whatagraph blog team produces high-quality content on all things marketing: industry updates, how-to guides, and case studies.

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