Macro Conversion

The term macro conversion describes the conversion of a website visitor into a paying customer or a subscriber of a web service. Macro conversions are usually defined as website goals, so that the success of a website can be measured using the conversion rates. Based on this goal definition and using a tracking system, the economic success of a website can be measured so that the specific user actions represent the conversion rates. Therefore, a distinction should be made between actual conversion rates and macro conversions as the target. The extent to which the conversion rates reflect the economic value of a website depends on the business model and the accurate definition of the macro conversion.

General information[edit]

For example, an e-commerce website has as a large number of sales as its goal, in this case these would be the macro conversions. Before completing a purchase process, however, customers must enter their data, review the products, select a payment method, and click the legally-binding “Buy Now” button before a macro conversion takes place. The individual steps before macro conversion are referred to as micro conversions or micro interactions. The definition of the macro conversion of a web site affects all its elements of, content, design, layout and, in particular, the interaction options at the micro level.

The micro interactions have the task of preparing a macro conversion. Similar to lead nurturing, micro interactions can initiate a business relationship and build trust before monetary targets with corresponding interactions take effect. Accordingly, it is advisable to focus on macro and micro conversions. Focusing only on the macro level does not necessarily result in improvements in the conversion funnel, customer journey, and user experience. Macro conversions are an economic perspective for decision-makers. How the visitors of an online shop behave and how the macro conversion can be increased can only be answered within the framework of an overall perspective, which includes the customers and their interactive options on the website.

Types of macro conversion[edit]

Macro conversions depend on the business model and the website goals. But they can be categorized to provide a first overview:[1]

  • Revenue-based conversions: Monetary website objectives are the focus.
  • Lead / member acquisition conversions: This concerns datasets and applications from interested customers.
  • Enquiry conversions: Contact and service queries can play a central role in websites where there is no focus on financial or lead-based conversions.

Specifically, macro conversions can be further subdivided so that they can be tailored to the business model:[2]

  • E-Commerce: Completed orders and applications for paid services are the most common macro conversions in e-commerce.
  • Lead generation: Sent-in contact forms, registration for mailing lists, and full customer records can also be macro conversions.
  • Publishing and media: Subscriptions, as well as various KPIs such as page impressions, time of stay, scroll behaviors or bounce rates are often used as macro conversions for editorial websites.
  • Customer service: Numerous KPIs are available in customer service, which can be counted as macro conversions, for example, first contact resolution or customer satisfaction. In part, these KPIs refer to the quality of the customer service and not directly to customer conversion.
  • Blogs: Similar to editorial content, pageviews and other KPIs such as the time of stay, bounce rate or the number of comments are considered important for bloggers. For reviews and tests, click rates to product pages may also be relevant.
  • Branding and campaigns: Different branding campaigns can be captured and evaluated using pageviews, downloads, or click-through counters.
  • Communities, forums, and pin boards: Opened accounts, as well as posts, and comments from customers or subscribers may be used by websites that rely on many users and their involvement.

The nature of the website or the digital medium on the one hand, and the nature of the business model or campaign on the other hand, limit the possibilities for macro conversions and help find the right goals.

Practical relevance[edit]

In practice, tracking and settings in web analytics software are often the biggest challenges. Typically, macro conversions are usually captured using tracking. Certain content and interaction elements are distinguished in a specific way so that page impressions, clicks or completed orders can be quantified. Code parts (for example JavaScript) are inserted in the HTML source code of a website, which in most cases work with the on-click event. Markup with the Google tag manager is optional.[3]

Ideally the macro conversions should be matched up with the micro conversions in order to capture data at the detail level as well. This means that not only tracking codes are integrated, but it must also be matched with the analysis software.  Google Analytics has certain settings, which can be selected in the admin area. The definition of goals is a key factor in this context for which predefined templates exist in Google Analytics. You can also customize your goals there.

The definition of macro conversions can be done in such a way that sequences of micro interactions are preceded by the completion of the interaction. The descriptions of the objectives can cover both macro and micro perspectives to create a comprehensive conversion funnel. In order to get more detail and to capture data across sessions, it is also advisable to define segments. Based on user data, very specific criteria can be selected as a next step to replicate customer journeys and possibly improve the user experience along this customer journey.

Relevance to online marketing[edit]

The collection of conversion rates is one of the most important control levers for optimization measures in online marketing. The success of a website depends on high conversion rates. However, this often amounts to only about 3% and the site visitors who do not convert are often ignored. That is why the economic effectiveness of digital media rises and falls with the quality of the data situation. It is therefore not enough to define the macro conversions and track customer behavior. The actual customer interactions are only observed with regard to monetary values ​​in macro conversions and changes to the design or the content often only result in short-term increases of the conversion rate.[4]

An overall look, however, reveals details about the customer’s path towards a macro conversion.[5] These details highlight optimization potentials and can change the entire customer experience of a website. Therefore, a conversion optimization should be done along the entire customer journey, so that a positive user experience is the result. If individual changes have a negative impact on the conversion rates, A/B tests and other test methods can aid decision-making.


  1. Identifying Macro and Micro Conversions Accessed on 04/13/2016
  2. Conversion Goal? It Depends on Your Business Model Accessed on 04/13/2016
  3. How Event Tracking can improve your Micro and Macro Conversions Accessed on 04/13/2016
  4. Define Micro Conversions to Measure Incremental UX Improvements Accessed on 04/13/2016
  5. Excellent Analytics Tip #13: Measure Macro AND Micro Conversions Accessed on 04/13/2016

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