Why you should be tracking your micro conversions

Improving micro conversions can lead to sustainable growth. Micro conversions are the small actions taken on a website before completing a main conversion, such as subscribing to a blog or adding an item to a shopping cart. By tracking and improving micro conversions, you can improve your website’s overall performance.

When you think about conversions, what comes to mind?

You’re probably thinking about the moment when a potential customer visits your site and signs up for a free trial.

Are you thinking about people who are not paying for your product signing up and starting to pay?

If paying customers is the only metric you’re tracking to measure success, you’re missing out on data that could be valuable for growth.

A user must complete dozens of small tasks before they can successfully convert. Tasks such as configuring a key feature in your app, inviting their colleagues to collaborate, or visiting your pricing page.

Small actions that help boost your primary conversion rate are called micro conversions. Tracking and improving them over time can lead to a significant increase in your conversion rate.

Let’s dig in.

What Are Micro Conversions, Anyway?

A micro conversion is a single specific action or a set of actions that show that a user is most likely going to achieve the main goal. This is often referred to as a macro conversion.

Macro conversions are directly related to the overall goal of the page or website and directly affect revenue. For example:

Micro conversions, on the other hand, come in many different forms, depending on your business type. For SaaS tools, micro conversions could be any of the following:

Bryan Eisenberg first coined the term “micro-actions” way back in 2001 to describe the small steps that a customer takes on the road to conversion:

Your website should be designed in a way that encourages visitors to take an action, even if it’s just moving on to the next step. If your website doesn’t encourage customers to keep moving forward, your conversion rates will suffer. Once you’ve defined the path that you want customers to take and described the micro-actions required, you can start working on optimizing the most effective call to action for each step.

If you’re not getting as many leads as you want, look for opportunities to patch up holes in the user’s journey. Each small improvement you make will help more leads make it to the bottom of the funnel, and your overall conversion rate and revenue will increase.

Types of Micro Conversions

Typically, micro conversions are actions that a user takes that are related to the main conversion goal and help the user move closer to that goal. Nielsen Norman Group breaks micro conversions into two categories:

Process Milestones

A process milestone is an action that directly leads to the primary goal. By identifying and monitoring process milestones, you can figure out which part of the user experience needs to be improved.

Recent studies have shown that Peter Clark, the head of the growth team at AdRoll, has discovered that the users who have configured the Mailchimp integration within AdRoll are some of their most loyal and consistent customers. However, the adoption rate of this feature is alarmingly low.

Peter’s team increased adoption of the Mailchimp integration by over 60% by using modal windows made with Appcues. This helped customers get more value from the service and boosted AdRoll’s revenue significantly.

Secondary Actions

Secondary actions are those that are not part of the direct path to conversion, but may help to build awareness and trust over time, and can even predict future conversion.

An example of this would be if Podia knew that live product demos were very effective at converting leads, they would advertise their upcoming webinars on the front page of their site. Even though attending a demo may not directly lead to a visitor signing up for the service, the trust built during these demos helps convince users to sign up eventually.

Tracking micro conversions

Tracking micro conversions—whether they’re process milestones or secondary actions—is essential. Tracking these small actions allows you to:

  1. Obtain a holistic view of your website visitors, leads, and customers. Not every visitor arrives at your site with their wallet out, ready to sign up for your product. Tracking and measuring micro conversions gives you a better picture of the complete customer journey—who they are, why they’re visiting your site or trialing your app, and what they’re looking to achieve—without waiting for them to become paying customers.
  2. Identify areas where your users are getting derailed. By tracking process milestones independently of each other, you can start identifying the biggest contributors to your overall conversion rate. This knowledge can help you prioritize tests and opportunities for improvement, and make it easy to track the outcomes of those tests over time.
  3. Build a comprehensive view of website performance for stakeholders and executives. There are few things revenue-hungry executives value more than concrete data. Reporting on how each micro conversion contributes to the overall business strategy can help you get buy-in for your product roadmap decisions.

Incremental Improvements Are the Keys to Growth

Your product’s primary conversion rate is an overall measure of all the smaller conversions and gradual improvements you’re able to make. Although you would love to see a significant increase of 50% in trial-to-paid conversions, it is unlikely to happen overnight.

You can’t directly improve your micro conversions, but you can indirectly improve them by developing a system to identify, monitor, and improve them. These micro conversions may not have a big impact individually, but over time they will add up to significant improvements in your overall conversion rate.

Optimize for Your Big-Picture Goals

It is important to remember that there is a big difference between tracking micro conversions and optimizing your site to increase them exclusively. Your ultimate goal should always be to track micro conversions while optimizing for macro conversions.

Understanding Macro and Micro Conversions

It is important to understand the different actions you want people to take on your business website when setting your conversion goals.

Actions that can be classified as Macro Conversions are ones that are important to the success of a website or business, while Micro Conversions are actions that are less important.

You need to be attentive to what you want to track or measure in Google Analytics. Categorizing your business goals online assists you in determining the priority of the types of conversion actions.

This means figuring out what is most important to your business when it comes to conversions.

What are Macro Conversions?

money. The primary goal for any business should be to make money, and macro conversions are the best way to do that. Identifying and driving these conversions is essential to success.

To give you a way to think about macro conversions, here are some examples of Macro Conversions:

Macro Conversion Examples:

Make sure you’re using Google Analytics to measure your primary goals—these are your priority when setting up your account.

After setting up your primary goals on Google Analytics, you need to supplement them with micro conversions.

What are Micro Conversions?

A micro conversion is a less valuable goal than a macro conversion, but it is still an important part of the process. Micro-conversions are specific actions with specific goals, but they are not the main goal. Still, micro-conversions are essential parts of the funnel to achieve your desired outcome.

KPIs that measure micro conversions can give you insights into whether your website visitors are engaging with your content on a deeper level, and can help you determine which areas of your website are most successful in fostering engagement.

Check out the following list of good examples to consider Micro Conversions:

Micro Conversion Examples:

The micro conversions that can be easily tracked using Google Analytics are listed above.

Why do you need to measure micro conversions?

We look at micro conversions to get a better idea of how well our website, sales funnel, and marketing campaigns are doing.

This can be seen when looking at the results of marketing campaigns. Some will be better at achieving the overall goal, while others will achieve smaller goals. Having this information helps us to improve future campaigns.

Configure Google Analytics Conversion Goals

Google Analytics has four types of goals you can configure.

  1. Destination Pages
  2. Duration
  3. Events tracking
  4. Pages/Screen per session

The first goal type we will discuss are Destination Pages, or page goals. These goals allow you to measure how many website visitors reach a specific important page within your website. Yes, this is one of the most commonly configured goals in Google Analytics. The most commonly used page for this goal is usually the “thank you” page.

A landing page goal in Google Analytics is defined as a conversion goal when someone is redirected to a confirmation page after filling out a form on your site. You can track the number of people who were able to complete this action on your website by looking at the Google Analytics event goal.

How Destination Pages Goal Works With Google Analytics

If you’re looking to funnel your web traffic to a specific page, you’ll likely have to take a few steps. You can configure a goal in Google Analytics to add an app screen name or URL.

We also have the option to add a monetary value to the conversion goal.

If we want to make our funnel conversion measurement more detailed, Google Analytics allows us to add up to 20 steps to the funnel. This means we can define all the steps a potential customer must go through before they convert.

Adding too many steps to your conversion funnel can make it too complicated and result in fewer conversions. Google Analytics offers the flexibility to avoid this problem and it’s free.

The targeting mentioned here is for websites where people need to do things like fill out a form, download a file, or watch a video.

However, for e-commerce websites, it is preferable and recommended to use e-commerce tracking code.

Our second type of goal is based on how long people spend on our website or how many pages they visit.

How Duration Goals Work With Google Analytics

You can set your duration goal to be based on how long a visitor stays on your site. You can tell Google Analytics that this goal is considered complete when the user spends a certain amount of time on a particular page of your website. For example, you can set the goal to be completed when the user spends four minutes on the page.

You need to be careful of the following:

A goal for a particular form on a page can be set by comparing the people who fill out the form to the visitors who spend more than 4 minutes on the site.

I’m sure you’ll find big differences between those metrics.

If you want more accurate numbers, you should set up your engagement goals without a page-based goal.

Although you may experience a high number of conversions, you will likely discover that a small portion of visitors who converted actually completed the form.

Duration goals can be useful for sites that don’t have goals based on pages or events.

The goal of events is to measure the interactions our web visitors have with various elements on our website. For example, we might track events like watching a video, downloading a PDF, or any other interaction we want to track on our website.


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