What are Micro Conversions & Why Do They Matter
When most marketers think about conversions and how to optimize them, they are thinking about purchases (ecommerce), requesting a demo (SaaS), creating an account (social networks), or signing up for a newsletter (content sites). But there are many steps customers take before the big conversion, called micro conversions. Today we’re talking about what micro conversions are, why they’re important, and some examples.
What are micro conversions?
Micro conversions are the small steps people take as they move towards and the primary conversion on your website.
They may not be the main event, but they are building blocks toward it and a big indicator of how well your sales funnel performs.
What’s the difference between micro and macro conversions?
A macro conversion is the primary conversion on a website and what is being referred to when talking about a website’s overall conversion rate. It’s the primary purpose of the website and are usually industry specific.
Common macro conversions by industry:
Ecommerce: Making a purchase
SaaS: Requesting a demo
Content sites: Signing up for a newsletter
Affiliate sites/influencers/bloggers: Clicking a sponsored link
Social Sites and Freemium Products: Creating an account
Micro conversions on the other hand are the path to the macro conversion and vary little by industry. Examples are given below.
Why are micro conversions important to track?
Most people do not buy anything the first time they visit your website. Depending on the industry, less than 3% convert. The rest are gathering information and checking things out. This is where micro conversions come in, filling the gap between awareness and macro conversion.
Micro conversions are correlated to reaching the primary conversion on your website. They can tell you where people are at in your funnel or along the customer journey.
Tracking micro conversions can show you where people are dropping off in your funnel, or where there are pinch points you need to work out to increase macro conversions. Fixing weak spots, failing micro conversions, will increase your website’s overall conversion rate.
How do you track micro conversions?
Micro conversions can be tracked in Google Analytics as events. Here is a complete guide to setting up events in GA4.
You can also track micro conversion with behavior analytics tools such as Hotjar, These tools show you how people actually use your website and can really highlight points of frustration.
We recommend using both. Use Google Analytics to see where people are falling off in your funnel, and then zero in on that point with Hotjar heatmaps and page recordings.
What are examples of micro conversions?
Opting in to email or text
Above we mention signing up for a newsletter as a macro conversion, and it is for websites where content and the newsletter are the main product. But for websites where content isn’t the main product, it’s a micro conversion.
We believe email is one of the most important micro conversions because it gives you a direct line of communication to a customer. This line of communication allows you to build trust, nurture the lead, direct them towards other micro conversions and ultimately the primary conversion.
Starting to fill out a form
People hate filling out forms. We hate filling out forms, and you probably do too. The longer they are, the more we hate them. But tracking form abandonment can help you optimize your forms. Form fills are usually one of the last micro conversions before the macro conversion, so it’s important to track.
How do you track it?
If you’d like the contact information from the abandoned form, use RAEK.
Creating an account
Whether you are an ecommerce business or a SaaS company offering a freemium product, someone creating an account shows a massive amount of intent.
This person has a high likelihood of becoming a paying customer if nurtured through email marketing or through your sales team. Tracking how many people are reaching this stage and ultimately converting is an important metric.
Downloading a free resource
One of the ways to build trust with potential customers is by being an expert in your field. If they view you as an expert, they are more likely to come to you for a solution.
While downloading an e-book, White paper, or case study doesn’t mean someone is a strong lead, it is a step along the journey to becoming a customer. Tracking how many people download your free resource and ultimately convert gives you a good metric on how valuable the resource is to your target audience.
Commenting on your blog
Commenting on a blog takes more effort than social media comments. You often have to register to leave a comment or at least enter your email address. Comments are also more in depth than the heart emojis or praise hands you see on social platforms. Comment sections are a place for people to ask questions and receive answers.
Blog comments show engagement and trust. They can tell you how much people value your content and if you’re providing your target audience with what they need/want.
Watching a video
Consuming video content is a micro conversion across all industries. They’re interested in what you have to say and want to learn.
Tracking how many people view your videos and then move on to complete more micro conversions and ultimately convert can tell you if you’re providing the right information.
If you have YouTube videos embedded on your website, you can track it as an event in Google Analytics.
Viewing multiple pages on your website
If someone views one page on your website and then bounces, they’re probably not interested in your product. The average number of page views per session across all industries is 5 (2 for B2B). If someone is viewing significantly more pages than 5, it shows a high level of intent. And while most first time visitors do not purchase, this person has a higher likelihood of converting than most. It’s an important metric to track.
Adding a product to a wishlist.
Like creating an account, this micro conversion shows higher intent because of the effort it takes to complete. Creating a wishlist requires an account. And adding something to a wishlist means they want to make sure they don’t lose the item, so they can come back to it later. It also means they are likely ok with you sending them emails to remind them of their wishlist items.
You want people to add things to their wishlist. Tracking this metric can show how easy it is to use your wishlist, if people who add wishlist items actually convert, and how well your reminder email flow works.
Adding a product to their cart
Adding a product to the shopping cart shows a level of intent. The person browsing your website is at least a little interested in your product.
Shopping cart abandonment is high across all industries, with the average being 69.82%. That can seem defeating, but if your rate is close to the average, it’s normal.
If your abandonment rate is higher than the average, you should dig in and evaluate the checkout process to see where the friction is. Is it your form? Creating an account? Your shipping costs? You can use the tool mentioned above, Hotjar or Contentsquare to see where the friction is exactly.
Wrapping it up
The majority of your website visitors will not convert the first time they visit your website. The path to a sale is longer for most. Keeping tabs on micro conversions and how they fit into the customer journey can help you remove friction and convert more visitors to buyers.
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