One of the biggest mistakes we see brands make is focusing on the wrong metrics or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to judge their website’s performance. Many marketers and product owners tend to emphasize data points such as bounce rate or pages per visit, and while these metrics can be good at gauging overall site engagement, they don’t provide enough context towards the experience or inform where efforts should be focused.
To truly understand if your website is helping you accomplish your digital goals, you first have to ask yourself the following question: “What do my users need to do on the website to convert?” You have to understand which micro conversions are most valuable in driving the macro conversion that you ultimately want users to perform. Once you identify these actions, you will start to understand which metrics and data points you should target to drive your site towards digital leadership.
Establishing Your Macros
Macro Conversions, or what I like to call “Macros,” are the ultimate actions you want your users to do on your site. Some sites, like e-commerce sites, will have very clear Macros, such as online purchases. Determining Macros for other sites may be a bit more challenging. The best way to identify them is to evaluate the website actions that most contribute to your overall business goal. For example, brands that depend on one-to-one sales to convert prospects into customers may consider a lead from a website form submission a Macro.
Ensure that you’re properly tracking your Macros in your web analytics tracking tool. Web analytics tools will typically track things like page views out of the box, but they require Event Tracking to accurately capture on-page interactions like clicks, form submissions, or which sections of the page people viewed. Event Tracking traditionally required some advanced coding, but if you’re utilizing Google Analytics, consider leveraging Tag Manager, which makes it easier for non-developers to create event tags with minimal coding.
Determine Your Micros
Micro Conversions, or what I like to call “Micros,” are the actions that visitors need to take leading up to the Macro Conversions. Identifying Micros usually takes more work than identifying Macros, and there are a few ways to determine the most valuable actions to focus on. One of the best ways to start is to analyze the website actions that people take (or don’t take) prior to the Macro Conversion.
When you first identify your Micros, it’s best to leverage Event Tracking to track as many visitor interactions on the site as possible. This will ensure that all actions that lead to conversion are reported. Without it, you’ll miss out on key interactions that contributed to conversion and you won’t be able to look back at a time period when tracking was not implemented. Once you’re confident in the tracking implementation, segment out the users who’ve previously performed a Macro, and start to dive into the actions that they’re performing. You can also do the reverse, and analyze the users who don’t convert in order to understand how their experience differs.
Don’t Take Micros Too Literally
When analyzing your Micro conversions, it’s important to understand the “why” of the actions visitors take. For example, if a significant portion of the users who purchase a computer online download a PDF of product specifications prior to purchase, rather than trying to get more people to download the spec sheet, your focus should be on delivering the most pertinent information the spec sheet contains in the most accessible and digestible manner.
Leverage Data Visualization
Once you’ve identified and properly tracked your Macros and Micros, consider leveraging Google’s Data Studio in Google Analytics to create website performance dashboards. These dashboards can help you focus on the most appropriate data instead of maneuvering through the numerous reports in Google Analytics. Additionally, Google continues to update their suite of analytics solutions regularly, with the current focus for Data Studio being to increase the capabilities to connect to non-Google owned data sources, such as Facebook Ads or Amazon sales, which allows you to view data points for multiple digital initiatives in one dashboard.
Once you have homed in on your Macros and Micros, you can identify your most relevant metrics and KPIs and start to answer the question: “Does my website allow my visitors to perform the actions they need in order to convert in the optimal manner?”
Help With Web Analytics Tracking
At this point, you may be starting to understand the importance of proper web analytics tracking in evaluating the performance of your website. If you haven’t already implemented advanced Google Analytics tracking on your website, or may be interested in how you can up-level your current tracking implementation, contact us here and we’ll get you on the right track (pun intended).
Springbox is a Google Analytics Certified Partner.