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Micro and Macro Conversions: Which one should you choose?

Donald Ng
October 14, 2023
5-star rating
Reviews on Capterra

When it comes to formulating a successful website strategy, understanding your conversions is key.

Conversions can broadly be classified into two categories - Micro conversions and Macro conversions. Both of these classifications add value to your Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) strategy in unique ways and choosing the right metrics to track and analyze can be a game-changer for your business.

Micro Conversions

Micro-conversions are the small but significant actions taken by users on a website, indicative of their progress towards a primary conversion goal. These actions may appear trivial but contribute to the larger framework of user engagement and interpretation.

Visitors partake in these actions on their path to conversion, say, watching a product video, signing up for a newsletter, adding products to a cart, or sharing content on social media. Every smaller interaction or engagement the user has with your website corresponds to a micro conversion.

An understanding of micro conversions gives a more profound insight into user behavior. It sheds light on the portions of your website where users are highly engaged or the ones where they seem stuck. Micro conversions happen more frequently than macro conversions, providing you with an extensive dataset to work with and helping you fine-tune your CRO strategies more efficiently.

Consider an example, if a large number of users are watching your product video but very few are adding the product to their cart after watching it, it could suggest a gap in the video content. You might need to overhaul the video content and work on more effective communication of the product’s benefits.

Macro Conversions

Macro conversions, on the contrary, represent the primary goals of a business’s website. For a retail business, it would be a purchase, while for a service-based business, it could be as simple as filling out a contact form or even booking an appointment. In essence, macro conversions signify the accomplishment of the desired outcome through user interaction with the website.

Macro conversions are usually tied directly to revenues making them the primary focus of a business’s CRO efforts. However, while they are indeed crucial for the bottom line, they don’t paint a complete picture of user behavior on a website. Macro conversions are less frequent as compared to micro conversions, making them more challenging to analyze statistically.

Choosing the Right CRO Metrics

What’s crucial to understand here is that CRO isn’t about pitting the tracking of micro and macro conversions against each other. Both types of conversions hold critical importance for a comprehensive optimization strategy.

The key lies in determining the right blend of micro and macro conversion metrics, aligning them with your unique business goals.

Here are some parameters to consider while choosing your CRO metrics:

1. Start Broad and Narrow Down

The first step in choosing the right CRO metrics involves casting a wide net. Begin by comprehensively listing all potential macro and micro conversions on your site. This inventory could include everything from a user signing up for your newsletter to making a purchase.

Once you’ve created this exhaustive list, start narrowing it down. Identify the conversions that have a significant impact on your business, such as those that have the potential to directly influence your bottom line. Additionally, focus on those that enhance the customer journey, such as a downloadable guide or how-to video on your site.

Remember, not every micro or macro conversion will have the same impact on your business. The right metrics will vary from business to business and are heavily dependent on your specific goals and customer journey.

2. Test Frequently

Even after you’ve identified the significant macro and micro conversions, it’s crucial to maintain a regimen of regular testing. Frequent testing makes it possible to validate your assumptions or challenge them, thus enabling the ongoing refinement of your key performance indicators.

Different types of tests could be applied here, such as A/B testing different landing page designs or conducting a split test on two different call-to-action messages. Over time, these tests will help you understand which factors significantly impact your conversion rates.

3. Don’t Forget Customer Retention

A common oversight in the CRO process is overwhelming focus on acquiring new visitors and converting them, while ignoring existing customers. Do not neglect to measure conversions related to customer loyalty and retention. You might want to consider metrics like the number of return visits, average time spent on the website, product upgrades, or repeat purchases.

Existing customers can offer valuable insights too, and they’re often more profitable. According to the Pareto Principle, 80% of your future profits will come from just 20% of your existing customers. So, metrics related to customer retention should be given equal importance in your CRO strategy.

4. Monitoring, Review and Improvement

Lastly, CRO isn’t a one-time process; it involves consistent monitoring and improvement. Regularly review your metrics, and if a certain KPI isn’t providing actionable insights, don’t hesitate to change your focus. Use analytics tools to track your progress and understand how your improvements are impacting your conversions. This iterative process helps you stay in tune with your users’ needs and aptly update your website to mirror those needs.

Key Takeaways

  • Micro and macro conversions form the twin pillars of assessing a business’s website performance. These conversions synergistically contribute to formulating an impactful Conversion Rate Optimization strategy.
  • Even though they may appear unimportant, micro conversions provide a larger dataset, enabling quicker modifications to a company’s strategies. They also throw light on potential friction areas in the customer journey.
  • Macro conversions are directly correlative to a business’s revenue. Though their impact is more significant, they offer lesser datapoints due to their infrequency.


In conclusion, the key to a successful CRO strategy is maintaining a fine balance of tracking both macro and micro conversions. The challenge is to identify the right ones based on your specific business requirements. By continuously testing and re-evaluating your chosen KPIs, you can progressively optimize for better conversions, driving business growth and expansion.

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