Micro-Conversions: The Key to Measuring the TRUE Success of Your Website

By Jenny Knizner | Oct 24, 2014
More Articles by Jenny

There are many reasons a visitor ends up on your website, but your website typically exists for one primary purpose. Your site’s main goal may be to close a sale, generate a quote request, or get an event registration. You are likely already measuring the success of your site based on the conversion rate of this key performance indicator (KPI).

But if your site is one that focuses on driving interest for in-store purchases or you have a long sales cycle, tracking and optimizing for the “bottom line”, revenue generating actions (macro-conversions), will never indicate your website’s true ROI or why the vast majority of your customers walk away from your site without doing anything.

To gain a more holistic view of the user journey and ultimately improve your website and business, you will want to also track and measure the smaller commitment actions (micro-conversions) that help build trust and show preferences over time and across sessions, indicating interest from a potential future customer. Micro-conversions are typically going to be your top of funnel KPIs and are not necessarily going to be as valuable as your macro-conversion, but are a necessary and vital step toward that larger goal.

Examples of micro-conversions to track can include:

Engagement micro-conversionsEngagement

  • Downloaded a PDF
  • Played audio or video media
  • Shared or connected socially
  • Posted a comment
  • Followed a topic
  • Downloaded or installed new version
  • Added to Favorites
  • Viewed a particular number of article pages
  • Subscribed to RSS
  • Time on site over a certain threshold
  • Visit frequency/recency above a specified target

purchase intent micro-conversionsPurchase Intent

  • Added a product to cart
  • Viewed a product page
  • Viewed pricing page
  • Used a store locator
  • Checked online availability
  • Searched in-store inventory
  • Bought online, picked up in store

Customer SupportLead Acquisition

  • Created account
  • Subscribed to newsletters, alerts, or updates


  • Requested a callback
  • Filled out a contact form
  • Engaged with a representative via live chat

By measuring and optimizing your site for micro-conversions, you are able to make incremental user experience improvements that often have a significant impact on the overall conversion rate of the site, as well as macro-conversion rates. Although these improvements are not always detected at the macro-conversion level, they can be indicators of larger issues, and offer the benefits of reducing obstacles, improving effectiveness, and bringing more value to your business.

When creating your conversion rate optimization strategy, it’s best to optimize for things that actually produce revenue, such as sales or leads generation forms. Unfortunately, these macro-conversions generally have lower conversion rates, which means that they take longer to test and are particularly challenging to optimize on low traffic sites.

Optimizing for micro-conversions as test goals will help your experiments to complete faster, resulting in those incremental conversion rate improvements. But remember: the micro-conversions are what helps the user get to your bottom line goals, so be wary not to lose sight of your macro-conversions in the process.

As the great Google Evangelist, Avinash Kaushik says “Focus on measuring your macro (overall) conversions, but for optimal awesomeness identify and measure your micro conversions as well.”

Add to the discussion below or give me a shout on Twitter @JennyKnizner.

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