Unearthing Micro-Conversions from Mounds of Data

By The Good
5 minute read | Last Updated: April 1, 2016

To better understand how customers are really using your website so you can improve their (buying) experience, track your site’s micro-conversions.

The better the experience a consumer has with your brand’s site, the greater likelihood they will spend money on your site, tell their friends about you, or identify themselves with your brand.

To ensure a great experience, brands need to understand the small interactions that create the overall experience.

Each interaction your customer has with your site matters. From downloading a brochure to clicking on a product gallery to running product comparisons on your website, the experience customers have at every juncture will determine whether or not they take the next step forward. Each one of these steps, while not a sales conversion, is still a type of conversion called a micro-conversion.

Micro-conversions, according to Google’s Analytics guru Avinash Kaushik, are “accomplishments of other goals for which people are on the site (other than what you think the site’s primary purpose is).”

If your site is an e-commerce site, when your customer clicks a product photo gallery, uses a product filter, or views a video, those are micro-conversions. If your site is designed to generate leads, when your customers download a brochure, click a link, or fills out a form, those are micro- conversions.

So how do you track micro-conversions on your site? The answer is Google Analytics. The challenge is in uncovering the micro-conversions hidden in the mound of data Google Analytics generates. To do that you have to do some homework and set up some specific structures.

The better the experience a consumer has with your brand’s site, the greater likelihood they will spend money on your site.

Tracking your site’s micro-conversions in 5-steps:

  1. Audit your brand’s site, review all the site’s assets that you feel have value (site search, product filters, videos, etc.)
  2. Make a note of important actions you want your customers to perform on your site, if your list is very long, chose the top five items.
  3. Decide if you will track these items as Goals or Events (see below for explanations).
  4. Using Google Analytics, set up your Goals or Events. If you decide you want to track Events, your in-house developer will need to help set up custom tracking code.
  5. Once Goals or Events are set up, review Google Analytics to ensure proper implementation, review data, and make adjustments as needed.

Understanding what your site’s specific micro-conversions are can be hard to figure out (at first).

Defining micro-conversions for your brand’s site

The first step in tracking your micro-conversions is identifying what’s important to your brand’s site. Depending upon what the goal of your site is (e-commerce or lead generation), your micro-conversions may be different.

Generally speaking, you will want to ask the following questions:

  1. What actions on your site indicate a customer is doing the right thing?
  2. What actions (that your consumers can perform) on your site creates value for your brand?
  3. What has your company spent money on producing (videos, photos, etc.)?

Understanding what your site’s specific micro-conversions are can be hard to figure out (at first). Here are some tips:

Generic sites:

Micro-conversions may include newsletter signup, account registration, Facebook like, being on a blog post for a certain amount of time, customers follow a particular flow, or visit five pages or more.

Lead generation sites:

Micro-conversions may include downloading a brochure, clicking a link, anything you can download, or filling out a form. Anything that shows intent to contact you or serious interest in your products.

E-commerce sites:

Tracking anything that includes a deeper immersion into a product (video, photo gallery), using product filters, using site search, reading reviews and ratings, looking at warranty or registration papers, using image zoom, or using product compare tools.

Setting up goals and events within Google Analytics

Once you have identified the micro-conversions to track, it’s time to set up Google Analytics. There are two ways to track micro-conversions in Google Analytics.

  1. Goals tracking allows you to gauge how well your site helps your customer achieve a goal or objective. For example, someone who searches for a local retailer on your brand’s site.
  2. Events tracking allows you to see how your customers interact within a single web page. For example, someone who uses an image zoom or loads an alternate image of a product on a single product page.

Before you can track Events in Google Analytics, you need set up special tracking code, your in-house developer can help you with inserting the code into your brand’s site.

Following this process will allow you to implement changes quickly and maximize your micro-conversions helping your site improve its overall conversions.

Test and analyze your results

Once you have created your measurement tools, you can begin to look at your data. Begin by establishing a baseline for the data. This will give you a sense of how your tests and adjustments help or hurt your micro-conversions.

Next, start with one micro-conversion (choose one you think has the largest impact) and implement your test or adjustment. Review the results of the test to see what impact it had. Finally, repeat this process, gradually adding in more micro-conversion tests. Following this process will allow you to implement changes quickly and maximize your micro-conversions helping your site improve its overall conversions.

Successful micro-conversions indicate consumers are finding what they are looking for on your site and able to get what they came for (and hopefully more). These successes create a positive connection between your consumer and your brand. Your customer will see a brand that cares about them, their time, and resources.