What is the Difference Between Macro and Micro Conversions for B2B CRO?

If you’re creating campaign landing pages and conversion funnels for your website, you probably have several intended conversion goals. For a B2B website, these may be things like filling out a contact form, downloading a whitepaper, requesting a demo appointment, or clicking another call-to-action button.

All of these goals are only one type of conversion, though. There is another type of conversion happening on your B2B website all the time — even if you don’t realise it. These other conversions are known as micro conversions, and while they’re smaller than your main goals, they’re still very important.

In order to develop an effective CRO strategy, you need to be familiar with both micro and macro conversions and how they work.

What is conversion rate optimisation (CRO)?

First things first — let’s discuss conversion rate optimisation as a whole. CRO is the process of making strategic changes to a website or webpage in order to increase specific actions. 

While you may think of “conversions” as purchases (and that’s true in e-commerce), a conversion can really be any action you’d like website visitors to take. These are your macro conversions: the main goals.

Macro vs. micro conversions for CRO

The path to a macro conversion isn’t always straightforward, though. Many times, there are a variety of micro conversions that lead up to this point. Here’s how they differ.

Macro conversions

As established above, macro conversions are the main goals you’ve set for a website or webpage. Common examples of macro conversions include:

  • Downloading software
  • Purchasing a product license or subscription
  • Filling out a lead generation form

Let’s say we set up a sales funnel for a freemium software product. At the end of the funnel, we have a CTA button inviting people to download and use our product.

The act of downloading the software is our desired action here, so it’s the macro conversion. This is the number one thing we want visitors to our funnel to do.

Micro conversions

A micro conversion, on the other hand, is a smaller or secondary conversion that may happen, even though you weren’t directly optimising for it. Micro conversions are often based around site navigation, engagement, and interactions.

Common micro conversions include:

  • Signing up for an email list
  • Adding a product to a shopping cart
  • Visiting a sales pricing page
  • Watching a video
  • Spending more time than average on site during a session
  • Visiting more pages than average during a session

Each of these smaller, alternative conversion actions can ultimately feed into our larger goal of getting visitors to purchase our product.

How micro and macro conversions work together

Using our example above, let’s say we have several website visitors who sign up for our email list rather than download the software product. We can target them with a welcome sequence for new subscribers and further educate them on the benefits of our software. They may ultimately click through to our sales page from one of those emails and download the product.

You can also have several micro conversions link together before leading to a macro conversion. Here’s how it might look:

  1. A website visitor goes through our funnel and engages with a high number of pages on our website (micro)
  2. They do not take any further actions
  3. We retarget them with display advertising to keep our product top of mind
  4. They click on one of these ads and come back to our site, registering for our email list (micro)
  5. After going through the welcome sequence, they download the software product (macro)

Using micro conversions to support macro goals

You don’t need to blindly hope that micro conversions lead to macro conversions later on. Instead, you can take the data gleaned from analysing micro conversions and identify possible friction points that are roadblocks between website visitors and macro conversions.

Using our example above, if we see that many of our visitors are leaving the funnel midway in favour of signing up for our email list, we may need to rework our funnel content to better hold their attention. Similarly, if we see that people are reaching the end of the funnel but are not actually viewing the CTA, we may need to redesign our pages.

Optimising your site for macro and micro conversions

You’ll need to properly prepare in order to effectively optimise the macro and micro conversion rates on your website.

1. Install analytics software

Website analytics software, like Google Analytics, is an absolute must when conducting conversion rate optimisation. This will allow you to track macro conversion rates and see historical changes over time.

You’ll want to install the software on your website via its tracking code and wait for data to populate. Once you have some historical data to work with, you can calculate your baseline conversion rates. 

It’s often a good idea to calculate your conversion rate by device, such as mobile or desktop, as well as by source. This way, you can see if you’re getting higher conversions when visitors come to your site from a social media page vs. via search engines or vice versa.

Analytics software will also show you a variety of important metrics for micro conversion optimisation, including bounce rate, time on site, the user journey and website search queries. As an added bonus, these metrics can also help you improve your site’s performance SEO, usability and overall user experience.

(To learn more about metrics referenced here — and how to calculate your website conversion rate — check out our article on the best analytics to track for CRO.)

2. Select a conversion rate optimisation tool

A/B testing and multivariate testing is a critical part of conversion rate optimisation. By conducting these tests, you can get clear data about whether or not your website changes actually improve macro (and micro) conversion rates.

Our complete guide to best practices for A/B and multivariate testing explains the nuances of these tests in more detail, however, the key difference is simple:

  • A/B tests involve testing one change to a webpage, such as moving the placement of a CTA button
  • Multivariate tests involve testing multiple changes to a webpage, such as moving the placement of a CTA button and changing its colour

CRO tools like Google Optimize will help you clearly monitor your tests and help you make sure you have collected enough data for the findings to be statistically significant. Depending on the results of your test, you may decide you need to tweak your website design, improve functionality, take a fresh look at your content marketing, and more.

3. Choose your preferred heat mapping software

Heat mapping tools allow you to see exactly where visitors are scrolling — or not scrolling — and clicking on your website. If you’re seeing a high number of visitors reaching a landing page, for example, but a low conversion rate, you can use a heat map to see if people are even scrolling far enough to see your CTA.

Hotjar and Crazy Egg are two examples of heat mapping software that can provide these insights and help you improve your conversion rate optimisation strategy.

4. Create an effective conversion rate optimisation plan

Lastly, you’ll need a solid CRO strategy in place in order to effectively use all of your tools and improve macro and micro conversions.

If you’re new to the world of conversion rate optimisation, developing a strategy can be a long process full of trial and error. And, the longer this process takes, the more your profitability may dip due to lost macro conversions.

Get help with professional conversion rate optimisation services

You can expedite this process by working with an established CRO consultancy. These experts will be able to guide you and your team through CRO auditing, testing and the development of an effective strategy. 

CRO isn’t one-size-fits-all — it’s bespoke. Be sure to look for a CRO agency that understands the unique needs of a B2B company, rather than one focused on B2C. At 93x, our team of London-based CRO specialists is experienced in optimising conversion rates for B2B tech industry clients. We’ll leverage our years of experience to improve your macro and micro conversions through strategy, CRO testing, analysis and more.

If you’re looking for a specialist conversion rate optimisation agency for your B2B tech company, check out our CRO services.

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