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What’s the Difference Between Micro and Macro Conversions?

What’s the Difference Between Micro and Macro Conversions?


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Even if a shopper doesn’t buy or make a booking when they visit your website, you can still benefit from their visit.
There’s a lot you can learn from the actions they take and the pages they viewed. This is what micro conversions are all about.
This is what micro conversions are all about. In our latest SaleCycle Academy video, CMO Chris Sheen explains what micro conversions can tell us about our visitors. 

Video Transcription

Here we explain the difference between micro and macro conversions, and what they can tell you about your website visitors.
Macro conversions are the main goals of a website. For a retailer this would be a purchase, for a travel company it would be a booking and for a charity site a donation.
As you can see for many websites, the number of macro conversions are relatively low, and the majority of visitors to a site will not purchase on that visit.
However, there’s a lot that websites can learn from people that visit without buying, and this is where micro conversions can help.
Micro conversions are often split into two categories, and this is a useful way to look at them:

  • Firstly, we have Process milestones. These are steps taken towards a macro conversion like a purchase or a booking. For example, viewing a product page and even adding something to their shopping cart.
  • Next, we have Secondary actions. These may not directly lead to a purchase, but indicate an interest and engagement in the site. This could include actions such as signing up for an email newsletter or reading a blog post.

Micro conversions can help to build up a picture of how people use your site, and give you a clear indication of the steps people need to take before purchasing.
In short, find ways to increase your micro conversions – and you can be pretty confident that an increase in macro conversions will follow.
And that makes everyone happy.


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Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is Editor in Chief at SaleCycle. He's been covering ecommerce and digital marketing for more than a decade, having previously written reports and articles for Econsultancy. ClickZ, Search Engine Watch and more.