The Micro-Conversion Bridge You Need To Cross

Johnathan Dane
Johnathan Dane

Have you ever had a managed pay-per-click campaign that didn’t work?
Was it a new social or display PPC campaign?
The reason why it didn’t work wasn’t because the idea wasn’t good. It was your lack of micro conversions not being there, paired with your lack of execution.
But what if you could measure all the micro conversions that lead up to your actual conversion?
Then you’ll know where your problem is, and that will help you get closer and closer to the conversions you’re wanting. That’s the key to unlocking your conversion bridge.

Think of it Like This…

The pay-per-click traffic you’re driving (whether it be search, social, display, video, etc) all has to cross a conversion bridge to get to the promised land.
But every part of that conversion bridge is built up around micro conversion parts that push your visitor closer to completing that conversion.

All these micro conversions are part of the bigger conversion bridge – image source


These are the parts that many advertisers aren’t paying attention to, but will clearly show you why and where the conversion failed.
That way, you can focus your time and energy on the problem instead of shrugging your shoulders and looking confused.

how to get more conversions
Nobody wants to look like this – GIF source


Let’s get started…

What Are Micro Conversions?

Micro conversions are the required steps a visitor needs to take to be able to convert.
As my friend Amy Hebdon said:
It’s a valuable step in the conversion process, but doesn’t get the credit for the actual conversion.
Some of these micro conversions include:

  • Time on site
  • Pages per visit (if more info is needed from the visitor to convert)
  • White paper/guide download
  • Newsletter sign ups
  • Video views & length of view
  • Average read percentage
  • Scroll maps
  • Click/heat maps
  • Filling out some of the form fields
  • Checkout process fallout, cart abandoners
  • etc.

Now here’s the important part:

Not all of those micro conversions are part of your conversion bridge.
Your specific conversion bridge is made of smaller micro conversions that are in succession of each other.
So before you can expect someone to fill out your form fields and complete the conversions, they have to have spent at least 20 seconds on your landing page (on average), as an example.
In the above example, the micro conversion of “time on site” comes before “filling out form fields” making the conversion bridge linear in nature.
And knowing the order of your micro conversions will help you understand where to focus your time and optimization efforts due to bottleneck realizations.
But the important part of tracking these micro conversions is that you’re able to be actionable about them.
They also have to be correlated to each other and directly impact each other.
For us here at KlientBoost, we know that people have to spend at least a certain amount of time on our site before we can expect them to enter our 3-step conversion funnel.
Once they enter, then we know each of our conversion steps precedes the next.
So if we have a bottleneck, we know where to focus our conversion rate optimization efforts.

get more conversions
Here’s what our conversion funnel looks like.

Breaking Them Down

Once you’ve identified your micro conversions, it’s important to know how to track them.

Time On Site

In a typical AdWords or Facebook ads account, the first micro conversion we track here at KlientBoost is keyword/audience level time on site.

If your Google Analytics account is linked to your AdWords account, you can break down the campaign and keyword level average session duration (you just have to activate the Google Analytics columns).

google analytics
Unlock the average session duration column.

As you can see in the above example, the bottom campaign should be paused immediately since it’s having visitors spend 83% less time on site compared to the campaign above (which is also getting conversions).

In this specific situation, you shouldn’t worry about your landing page or ad copy, you should focus around the type of traffic you’re generating.

The reason for this, is the campaign above is now your micro conversion benchmark. It’s showing that 91 seconds is the average session duration to complete a conversion.

You might be able to lower that time amount, but you should shoot for all other campaigns to be in a similar range at least, before you can expect a macro conversion to happen.

Pages Per Visit

Are you running an eCommerce store that requires multiple pages to be visited before the end conversion happens?

Or do you have a simple lead gen goal from sending traffic to your website?

If so, then the Google Analytics metric of Pages / session will give you another micro conversion indicator of quality traffic.

google analytics metrics
Unlock the pages per session column.

If visitors are clicking around to learn more, there’s a good chance they’re engaged. And if they’re engaged, there’s a good chance they’ll convert.

White paper/Guide/Newsletter

Have you ever tried lowering your call-to-action threat to make it easier for your prospects to convert?

Maybe you’re using the infamous “Free Consultation” on your lead gen landing pages (that sucks crap, because no one really wants a free consultation), and you’re not getting the conversions you expected.

It could be that your offer is the wrong one, but you eventually want to lead people to a free consultation.

The micro conversion that could happen before that could be a white paper, a guide, or a newsletter sign up.

Average Read Percentage/Scroll Depth

If your landing page has more content than what’s above the fold, then perhaps the average macro conversion needs to consume/scroll to a certain depth.

If that’s the case, then this could be a micro conversion to track.

Using tools like Crazy Egg, Hotjar, and others, you can track the average percentage depth that visitors are taking.

ppc conversions
Notice that people aren’t scrolling? Change up your page – image source

Click/Heat Maps

What if you’re getting a ton of visitors that aren’t doing anything on your page other than just spending time on site?

If so, then your micro conversion of average session duration could be misleading since no one is clicking anything on your page.

To track the click activity per PPC channel (and even down to the keyword level), you can use a tool like Crazy Egg and their Confetti report.

more conversions
Here’s what it looks like – image source

Filling Out Some Form Fields

What if all your other micro conversions are strong enough to get the visitor to start on the macro conversion?

This could mean that the last thing holding you back is the information you’re asking for in your form fields.

To see if there are any friction points on your form, you can use Hotjar to see where people are getting stuck and even see how many seconds on average they spend to fill out that specific field.

conversion help
Here’s what one of those reports look like.


Checkout Process Fallout

One of the most common micro conversion tracking processes comes from the Google Analytics goal funnel.

Whether you have an eCommerce or SaaS product, you can see how many people continue on to the next step that ultimately leads to your macro conversion.

To set that up, you’ll want to follow these steps, which will eventually lead to a Google Analytics view like this:

mico conversion
Pretty, right? – image source

How Do You Track Micro Conversions?

As mentioned earlier, if a new keyword, placement, ad group, or campaign isn’t getting any actual end/macro conversions, then micro conversions are your best bet to see if you’re moving in the right direction.

To start tracking micro conversions, you’ll want to set up some basic connections between your PPC accounts and your Google Analytics account.

For AdWords, there’s the easy combination with Google Analytics. For other PPC accounts, you can use regular UTM parameters in your ad URLs to track specific campaigns and other variables.

My friend, Dan McGaw and his team over at Effin Amazing, created the UTM Builder Chrome extension to use UTMs on the fly.

Beyond Google Analytics, tools like Hotjar and Crazy Egg has helped us track all the other important micro conversions that we can be actionable about.

Creating Your Own Micro Conversions

What if you wanted to track certain values that aren’t readily available?

Frederick Vallaeys and his team at Optmyzr, use something called cost-per-engaged-click (CPEC), which is a mix between time on site and bounce rate that allow them to prioritize focus on keywords that are more likely to turn into macro conversions.

In another example, well respected AdWords pro, Brad Geddes, uses something call “profit per impression” which helps him get a more complete picture around testing and if everything in an AdWords was equal, which test actually is the best performer.

Micro Conversion & Retargeting Power

Using micro conversions to track your conversion bridges are one of the most useful ways you can take advantage of the data, but it also helps you create some of the most engaged (and conversion ready) retargeting audiences.

If you go back to our massive post around different retargeting campaigns to run, a fast one will be to create audiences around minimum time on site.

You can also take this one step further by creating your own “engagement audiences”.

Then, based on your specific data to the showcase specific retargeting ads to help them get to the next micro conversion, or all the way across the bridge, to eventually lead to the final macro conversion.

Wrapping Up…

So now that you know what micro conversions lead up to your actual conversion, it’s important to clearly separate the two (micro vs macro).

Before you can expect your newly launched PPC campaign to gain macro conversion traction, pay close attention to the micro conversions and use that data to optimize for improved PPC performance.

Before you know, you’ll have crossed the conversion bridge and you can shout backwards to all your other awaiting conversions that it’s safe to cross.

Happy bridge-crossing! 🙂

By using KlientBoost, you agree to our Cookie Policy.