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When running an online store, the objective is clear: to get visitors to make a purchase. This is usually the main measure of success for online shops. However, before reaching this objective, users complete other stages of the customer journey that also deserve some attention. These smaller goals are known as micro conversions. In this article, you’ll learn what micro conversions are, why they should be measured, and how to do it.
Micro conversions are smaller actions that often lead to a website’s main goal: completed purchases (this is known as a macro conversion).
You can think of micro conversions almost like checkpoints in the customer journey that indicate strong potential for a macro conversion.
Many micro conversions are linear in regards to the end goal and fall within the stages of a sales funnel (e.g. going through the checkout process). These are often referred to as process milestones.
However, other micro conversions are simply strong indicators of interest (e.g. subscribing to your newsletter). These are called secondary actions.
Here are some more examples of micro conversions:
You may be wondering why it’s so important to track micro conversions if they’re not directly responsible for your most important metric: sales. Some of the benefits that tracking these smaller actions bring to you are:
Just because a certain user doesn’t end up buying something in your shop, doesn’t mean you can’t gather useful information from them.
For example, by knowing what subpages they’ve spent the most time on or visited the most, you can target them with more specific, personalised, and relevant ads – ones that will have the highest chances of converting them.
If a user is subscribed to your email list, you can segment them by their activity on your website and send them sales offers for interesting products through your newsletters or remarketing efforts.
Do users leave your store at any point in the purchase journey? Are there specific subpages where customers leave your site very often? Do customers add products to the cart but abandon it at check-out?
These are clear signs that you need to take a close look at these elements and optimise them to make the in-store shopping experience easy, enjoyable, and most importantly, effective. A micro conversion analysis is an essential activity to locate the related problems and solve them.
Of course, it is also worth looking at the elements that work, too. If you know the most viewed products or the most shared/liked social media posts, you can focus even more on a particular product range, be it in terms of promotions, logistics, and inventory.
User behaviour within your online shop provides clues to how you can improve the purchase process as well as help them solve problems.
Have you noticed that customers frequently visit a product page, but rarely buy it? Perhaps they have doubts about its use? If so, expand the product description and include an explanatory video or a link to an article that explains how it works.
Maybe the pages that have more product images convert more – if so, work on getting more product images on the pages that are lacking them.
Each new solution implemented in an online store requires testing and analysis. Tracking micro conversions allows you to assess whether, for example, a new call-to-action (CTA) button or a contact form really brings any benefit.
Thanks to these analyses, you can focus on the actions that really convert. For example, if you look at the sources and channels that bring you the most relevant traffic, you will know which of them you should pay more attention to.
This is especially important when it comes to promoting on social media. If the majority of visitors find your online store through Facebook, it is worth using this platform to intensify marketing activities.
Now that you see the value in micro conversions, it’s important to know how to track them.
Depending on your shop’s set up, your e-commerce platform may provide some solutions for you. Many of the popular platforms provide add-ons to let you use external tools as well, including Google and Facebook.
Let’s look at some of the options for you to track micro conversions:
Google Analytics is an essential tool when it comes to tracking micro conversions. The first step is defining which user actions should be measured by the tool, i.e. which are the most important micro conversions for you.
You can find reports on actions by heading to Reports > Behavior > Events in the menu after logging into your Google Analytics account.
Each event consists of three elements:
Once you've named the event and components, you can track the number of CTA clicks. Using the example above, for instance, you would know how many times customers clicked on the CTA button to download the iPhone setup guide.
Learn more about setting up your Google Analytics and tracking events at Google Analytics Help.
However, in order for Google Analytics to know which elements of your website to track, you need to implement the appropriate code in your website's source code.
You can ask your developers to do it for you, but you also have the option of implementing the code yourself. For this, the Google Tag Manager tool is used .
After creating an account, the tool will ask you to insert code generated specifically for your website on each subpage in the and sections of your HTML code.
To be able to track events in Google Analytics, you need to configure events in the "Tags" section and then select the option Google Analytics: GA4 settings (to configure the service on a specific page) and Google Analytics: GA4 event (to send custom events to Analytics).
Next, you need to add a rule to each tag that will trigger it in response to a user action (for example, clicking a button).
Learn more about the Tag Manager in Google Help.
Like Google Analytics, you can also track your micro conversions using the Facebook Pixel tool. This is obviously helpful for those running ads on Facebook, but also for Instagram as well.
To set up tracking, go to the Event Manager, then click "Connect Data Sources" and then select "Internet". Next, give your "pixel" (event) a name and add the URL of your website.
You can find more information on the Facebook help page. Here, you'll learn how to properly set up events to track your micro conversions.
Micro conversions provide your business with a lot of valuable information about user behaviour and the elements of your website that need to be optimised. It is worth keeping a close eye on these micro conversions so you can make the most of your marketing budget and convert as many site visitors as possible.