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Microconversions Matter

Every marketer wants conversions: form fill-outs, phone calls, shopping cart purchases, but marketers also need to pay attention to “micro-conversions:” these are actions taken by users that fall short of a primary conversion but may indicate a level of interest sufficient to track and optimize around.

Measuring microconversions is a straight-ahead matter for marketers running Google Analytics, which provides a way to set up Goal Tracking. By tracking, aggregating, and visualizing the footsteps (“click steps?”) that users take prior to reaching your primary conversion page, you can identify:

  1. Service offerings that may be more popular than you may have assumed.
  2. Weak areas in your web site that do not efficiently funnel users toward a conversion action, and therefore need improvement.
  3. Areas for which you may once have had high hopes, but which – in light of weak performance — could be eliminated in favor of more popular products and services.

Setting up Goals to track microconversions isn’t exactly simple, but it’s a task that most marketers can accomplish in Google Analytics. Just click on the Admin tab, navigate to your property, and choose the pages you want to track as Goals. GA allows up to 20 Goals to be set up for each property – that’s likely more than enough for most B2B sites. Each Goal can be assigned a dollar value.

What should be tracked? B2Bs sites should count any visit to a technical page, whitepaper download page, client page, investor relations, or “about” page as the fulfillment of a secondary goal. (B2C sites will likely need to deploy some other means of tracking micro-conversions, given that they typically list dozens – if not hundreds – of individual products).

Setting up microconversion tracking can yield many useful insights, and allow you to visualize how each component part of your site works – or doesn’t work – with its other parts. You can also learn how each component responds to outside events, including any outward bound media efforts your making, external PR hits, and social media visibility.

The many insights you’ll gain from mastering microconversions can be used to improve your site experience for your users, and – most importantly for any business – to more efficiently guide people to where you really want them: your primary conversion area.

(Note: Watch Your REGEX. If your GA Goals aren’t working correctly, and you’re capturing no data, the odds are that simple syntax errors may be to blame. Pay careful attention to the various match types (Page matches, Page Contains, Equals/Does Not Equal Regex) required, and be ready to type in escape characters when necessary. (While this will not be a problem for code people, you may not be a “code person”).

Steven Baldwin
Steven Baldwin
Author, Editor, Web Producer, New Yorker. Best known for bird-centric blog:

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