insights | 04.10.2022

Micro vs macro conversions: Which should I be using?

Article topics
  1. What is a macro conversion?
  2. What is a micro conversion?
  3. Which one should I be using?
  4. How to track micro and macro conversions
  5. The benefits of tracking conversions in GA4

Whether it’s a sale or a lead, measuring the conversion rate on your eCommerce website is essential. However, did you know there are two types of conversions – macro and micro? Find out which is the right one to use for your business, and how to track them in Google Analytics.

What is a macro conversion?

When you imagine a typical conversion on an eCommerce site, it’s likely to be a macro conversion. These are the ‘standard’ conversions that businesses use to gauge success and generally involve spending money or the intention to spend money.

Examples of macro conversions include:

  • Buying a product
  • Subscribing to a service
  • Completing a lead generation form
  • Creating an online account

What is a micro conversion?

A micro conversion is a small action a customer takes on your website. This typically involves, but isn’t limited to, clicks and navigation.

Examples of micro conversions include:

  • Navigating from one page to another
  • Playing a video
  • Adding a product to a cart
  • Leaving a comment on a blog or a review on a product
  • Viewing an image gallery
  • Clicking on a popup
  • Adding an item to a wish list
  • Sharing a page on social media
  • Downloading a document

Engagement-based conversions also count as micro conversions. For example, staying on the website for a set amount of time or viewing a certain amount of products.

Which one should I be using?

You might think that macro conversions are more useful to your business than micro conversions, but the truth is that both play a part in the success of your website.

Micro conversions are generally seen as the steps a customer takes before they complete a macro conversion. These conversions can help ensure the user journey is as optimised as possible. They’re extremely valuable in helping you get a comprehensive view of what is happening on your website, especially if you don’t see a lot of macro conversions.

For example, you can analyse the micro conversions a customer that buys a product takes against a customer that puts an item in the cart and leaves the site. Using this information, you can improve the customer journey to reduce the chances of cart abandonment.

Another example. Let’s say that your data shows a large number of customers drop off at the checkout page. This could mean there is a major issue at checkout which needs investigating.

How to track micro and macro conversions

You can track both macro and micro conversions on Universal Google Analytics (UA). To do this, you go to the goal-set-up page and create the conversions you want to monitor.

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) will come into effect from July 2023, replacing UA. This means if you don’t already have GA4 set up on your eCommerce website, you should add it in as soon as possible.

One of the benefits of GA4 is that it is more efficient when it comes to tracking both types of conversion. Here are some of the ways you can use it to your advantage.

The benefits of tracking conversions in GA4

The first advantage of conversions in GA4 is that they are called ‘conversions’ rather than ‘goals’, something which has confused digital marketers for years!

Secondly, GA4 automatically tracks certain events, for example, page views, video views and purchases – this had to be done manually in UA. You can convert these into conversions with just one click, making it easier than ever to see how micro conversions affect your site.

Next, you can set up 30 conversions for each property, as opposed to 20 in UA.

Finally, you can track the same conversion multiple times in a visit, which is something you can’t do in UA. For example, if a customer buys a product, then goes back and buys a different item, this conversion is counted twice instead of once in GA4.

Our final tip, regardless of whether you use UA or GA4, is to use segments to analyse your conversions. This helps you drill down into your data and understand more about the users accessing your eCommerce site.

For example, you can use segments to see how shoppers in different countries purchase products on your site. Is there a particular route they take to complete the checkout process?

Alternatively, you can see how new website visitors behave compared to returning visitors, or how shoppers who have bought from you before differ from those that haven’t.

Choosing and monitoring the right micro and macro conversions can help you not only understand how profitable your site is, but help you assess buyer intent. Both types of conversion are equally important to your eCommerce website.

Whether you need GA4 setting up on your website, or help to boost your conversion rate, Xigen can help.

Contact us today and see how we can support your eCommerce business and unlock the data you have available.

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