It’s important for the Google Analytics novice to understand the distinction between macro and micro conversions, but it’s a simple one. Basically, macro conversions are the key objectives of your business model, and they vary company by company. A few examples:

  • Selling products
  • Generating leads
  • Generating content/publishing
  • Customer support

And while tracking these macro-conversions are one of the main reasons for using web analytics in the first place, typically only 2% to 4% of a site’s traffic ends up as a macro conversion. This doesn’t mean that the other 98% of traffic is worthless, in fact there is a lot of value and potential to be found within this group. There are many indicators of a future macro conversion all over your site, and they are called micro conversions.

Savvy web analytics users depend on micro conversions to tell a more complete story about what makes a site really hum. And by determining which visitor actions are leading to your site’s macro conversions, you’ll have the actionable data to optimize your site and fine tune it for your unique target audience. Not only that, through determining how well you’re engaging them, you’ll be able to build a stronger relationship with your visitors.

Micro conversions can be any number of things, and they are different for every unique site, but usually you want to look for actions that indicate some interest in your product/service or an interaction with the site’s main architecture. A few good examples of micro conversions for a typical website include:

  • Adding products to the shopping cart
  • Using live chat
  • Playing games
  • Watching video
  • Subscribing to newsletters
  • Sharing social media content
  • Commenting on blogs

While these may not be generating immediate revenue for your business, they are strong indicators of a connection with your site. And it’s really that initial connection (after driving traffic to the site itself) that can lead to the macro conversions that your site is aiming for. In the next few posts, we’ll go over how to set up conversion tracking in much more detail.