Mike Hanbery March 21, 2013

Web Analytics: Monitor Macro Conversions AND Micro Conversions

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In my last post, I discussed the importance of evaluating conversion data within a web analytics strategy.  Data on website conversions can provide fairly direct insights on the bottom line of a business – revenue.

The primary goal of any online conversion is to move the website visitor towards some kind of a transaction, and in many cases, the conversion is itself a transaction.  However, if your website only features conversions for visitors willing to buy your goods/services right at that moment, then you are losing out on important data as well as potential future revenue. This is where the term “micro conversion” enters the conversation.

There is a great analogy that has been used to distinguish a macro from a micro conversion. A macro conversion can be thought of as a wedding.  This is the point at which the members of a couple are ready to commit long-term (that may have already happened in a relationship, but let’s stick to this definition for the purpose of demonstration.)  Within a sales funnel, this event would coincide with the time when a potential client is ready to buy. The micro conversions, on the other hand, can be thought of as the steps that lead up to the wedding. First, you have to meet, and then you go out on some dates, and so on. Both parties are learning more about each other, gradually building up to a final decision.These steps would be synonymous to the awareness stage in a sales funnel. In this way, a micro conversion can be thought of as a pre-macro conversion.

Your website’s micro conversions are smaller steps that enter a visitor into your sales funnel. Web forms are a great example of micro conversions. They collect visitor information so that you can market to these individuals later on, ideally ending in a purchase or series of purchases. Without the option of micro conversions, you make it much harder to track potential clients through the sales funnel.  Along the same line of thought, it is also more difficult to ascertain whether or not your various marketing campaigns and efforts are actually working. Basically, you have only given website visitors the options to buy…or not to buy. What if certain visitors require more information? What if they simply forget or move on? Let’s go back to the wedding analogy. If you had to decide whether or not to get married as soon as you met someone, how likely is it that you would decide to go ahead with it? My guess: no.

The story is similar for a customer thinking about purchasing your goods/products (obviously, a purchase probably won’t be a lifelong commitment, but I think you get the point.) If you leave the purchase decision to a sole interaction, you’re probably leaving a lot of business on the table. There are plenty of ways to lose potential clients within your sales funnel, and those possibilities only multiply if there is only one step (the purchase) within that funnel. In fact, Google has collected conversion data showing that macro conversions only make up 4% of all website interactions. In order to capitalize on the other 96%, create multiple steps that allow customers to gain more information on your company and products, as well as giving you the option to market to them on an ongoing basis. These steps are the micro conversions leading to the macro conversion (purchase) that your business relies on.

How to use this Information

When setting up web analytics for your company’s website, it is important to provide ways for visitors to enter your sales funnel. This allows you as well as the potential customer to vet each other, leading to more effective marketing efforts as well as more sales.

Measuring conversion data is among the best ways to see how well your website is working for you, and breaking this data into micro and macro conversions can greatly improve your website, your sales funnel, and your bottom line. Webolutions® is a full-service marketing agency, and we apply this methodology to every online presence that we manage. If you have any questions, give us a call or contact us online.  Let us help you get the most value out of your online presence.

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