Tracking conversions is the key to making your website more profitable. However, the basic approach of only assigning a conversion to a sale won’t drive digital business growth. Here are all the conversion types that you can track on your website and how to do it.
To start off, we need to explain the importance of micro conversions.
How are they different from regular conversions?
Micro conversions are actions and interactions that indicate your visitors are on their way to the desired goal.
Your website has various entry points:
And just like in a regular setting, there are various sales funnels. On a website, they have to create a cohesive user journey. This typically includes visits to multiple pages and several interactions along the way. Some of these interactions are micro conversions, and they let you know that the visitor is getting closer to becoming your client.
Tracking micro conversions will help you identify the drop-off points in the user journey. While a drop in a macro conversion rate is a signal that something is wrong, a drop in a micro conversion rate can help you find exactly what is wrong.
This is crucial for all business websites, but it’s even more important if you’re a small business with just hundreds, instead of thousands of visits a month. Learn more in our article about A/B testing low traffic websites.
Before we dive right into the lists, please note that while they’re extensive, the diversity of website and business types makes it impossible to include all of them in a concise format. We’re confident to call the following lists comprehensive, but some unique conversions might be missing. We may not list some conversions explicitly, but you’ll likely find a similar one.
To this day, email marketing is one of the most effective digital channels. Mailing lists are among the most popular secondary conversion types. Knowing the conversion rate can help you optimise the layout of your website to drive more subscriptions. You can also use it to evaluate the profitability of your email marketing campaigns.
You can calculate the conversion rate using the data from your newsletter service, the website’s contact form, or using website events, which we cover later in the list.
This conversion is self-explanatory. Tracking how many products visitors added to their carts lets you calculate the cart abandonment rate and benchmark various pages on your website. If you’re selling less, you might intuitively look to areas such as the checkout, or even question your product. However, if you find that people aren’t adding your products to the cart, perhaps the issue is with the design and/or functionality of the product page?
Depending on the platform you’re using, you can track these using built-in methods or custom events in Google Analytics, like with the newsletter subscriptions.
No amount of research and data analysis will tell you what’s wrong with the website better than direct feedback from your customers. Many websites make it hard to leave feedback, often not giving a noticeable option to do so.
Tracking feedback conversions is as easy as creating an applicable contact form.
First of the more advanced metrics on our list. Using third-party solutions like Crazy Egg or Hotjar, you’re able to track how far down a specific page your visitors scroll. You can then use the data to determine whether there’s an important section that needs to be moved because visitors are rarely seeing it, or that perhaps some of your pages are too long and your content needs a trim.
Tracking scroll depth is possible with third-party scripts such as Crazy Egg or Hotjar.
In the Google Analytics department, time spent on a page is one of the most telling metrics. If you’re getting hundreds of visits from ads but the average time they spend on a landing page is 4 seconds, you’re effectively wasting your money. It’s also impossible to read a blog article in 30 seconds, so perhaps you need to tweak it to make it more engaging?
All you need to track time on page is Google Analytics.
As a more general metric than time on page, session time is hardly useful on its own. It signals an issue, rather than pinpointing it. However, if your session times are low, tracking them will enable you to quickly take action and follow up – perhaps with time on page analysis.
Session time is tracked in Google Analytics.
When someone visits your website and exits without taking action, it’s called a bounce. It’s also a signal, telling you there’s something wrong with the website. A high bounce rate might lead you to investigate the performance of your website or the layout. Please note that you shouldn’t use the overall bounce rate value – analyse it on individual pages. You can learn more in our article about bounce rate values and how to fix them.
Use Google Analytics to measure your bounce rate.
Exits differ from bounces, as they can be preceded with interactions. They help you identify the exit points on your website – but a high exit rate isn’t always bad. If it’s a checkout confirmation, or if many visitors perform a desirable action (such as newsletter subscription), exiting from some pages is natural.
You will find your exit rate in Google Analytics. Identify the most common exit pages by sorting from high to low.
If your website enables likes, shares or comments on social media from the built-in widget, it’s important to track the social engagement on your website. If you don’t set up custom events to track in Analytics, you won’t be able to differentiate these engagements from organic ones.
As mentioned, track using events and Analytics.
When you build a website, you create a variety of funnels for your visitors. You should do this intentionally to control how visitors browse your site, but you can track them even if you didn’t. On many sites, the major funnels will be intuitive. If we take ecommerce as an example, if visitors rarely click through to a product from search results, perhaps you’ve failed to show them what they were looking for? Identifying these drop-off points will help you sell more.
Tracking funnels is possible with Google Analytics, but tools like Hotjar can make it easier.
Every action on your website is an event, even mouse movement. They’re used to track many of the metrics mentioned in this article.
You must add custom code and Google Analytics goals to track events.
Here are two other examples of event conversions:
We’d all love for all of our customers to return to us. But if you have 100% returning visitors on your website, it means you’re not getting new ones. That’s obviously never the case, but we just wanted to illustrate the point. It’s a metric that is often overlooked but it can show you that your site has issues with visitor retention. Perhaps a low value will lead you to investigate other micro conversions to keep your customers?
Returning visitors are tracked by default in Google Analytics.
Under the surface, reading a blog is a combination of a few metrics. It’s simply a page visit to a specific article, but as mentioned before, you should combine it with time spent on page. Depending on your content marketing strategy, the bounce rate also comes into play here.
Whether an ebook or a white paper, downloading a resource from your website is an important step during the customer journey that you need to track. Preparing such resources is quite an investment in your content marketing, so you can’t afford to just let them be.
You can use “Thank you” page visits or events in Google Analytics to track the downloads. You’ll also likely collect email addresses for marketing purposes. Your contact form submissions might suffice here if they’re easy to track over time.
If you’re selling and accepting payments on your website, this is the obvious one. It’s your #1 conversion to track and without it, you won’t be able to estimate the overall profitability of your website.
Tracking purchases depends on your website. Many shopping solutions track it by default but it’s disconnected from your Analytics. Platforms like Shopify can integrate with Google’s solution to get all the data in a single place. In some situations, you might need custom solutions (such as events) – but in that case, consider investing in a more complete website solution.
Many businesses, especially in the services industries, won’t sell directly on their website. If you’re promoting your services or allowing quote enquiries, this will be your main conversion to track. In that case, read our article if you’re facing the challenge of calculating the conversion value.
Track the enquiries using your contact form solution or by measuring the “Thank you” page traffic.
We’ve mentioned “Thank you” pages as examples of a “page view” conversion before, and we’d like to highlight their importance for Google Ads. You’ll often use a page view as a conversion for your ads, which will be crucial to ensure you’re running profitable ads.
Set it up in Google Analytics’ goals.
While we’ve covered enquiries before, a general contact form conversion deserves a separate entry. Conversions on customer support pages will give you a better idea of what your visitors are expecting there. And if that conversion is too low, perhaps you need to investigate if your forms need optimisation?
You can track this using your contact forms, custom events, or “Thank you” pages.
Whether a call is your main conversion or another form of customer support, tracking them will help you notice issues with the placement of your phone number. An added benefit to measuring phone call frequency is that you’ll ensure the phone numbers on your site are interactive. Many websites still fail to address that and force users to copy them, which is bad user experience.
Phone calls can be tracked using custom events.
When customers set up an account, there are obvious benefits for both sides. You can customise their experience, while also making communication and interactions much easier. If they’re not registering enough, the experience might be confusing – or perhaps you need to consider additional incentives?
Set up a custom event goal in Analytics, or use your websites’ account management system to calculate the conversion rate of registrations.
There are dozens, if not hundreds of conversions on your website. In a way, your most important conversions – purchases, enquiries – are not that important at all. Of course, you need to know the profitability of your website to acknowledge there are issues, but micro conversions help you identify these issues.
If all you know is that your website is breaking even, the best you can do is guess the cause. And the most common solution is to build a new website, continuing the vicious cycle.
But if you know that you’re selling less, and you know that your Google Ads visitors spend less than 5 seconds on your website, and you know that only 1% of people click through to a product from search results, you have a very good foundation to make educated choices.
But remember, getting reliable data for any goals can be time-consuming. Some will work with historical data from Analytics, but goals like custom events can’t take advantage of existing data. The sooner you start measuring, the better.
We have helped businesses more than double their conversion rates, exceeding the 2019 revenue in just a few months of 2020 – despite the global crisis.
If you’d like to find out what we can do for you, we are now offering free strategy sessions worth over £500.Schedule a call
Originally published Jun 23, 2020 1:21:44 PM, updated June 15 2021.