I’m a data freak so it’s no surprise that I love Google Analytics, Clicky, and organized spreadsheets full of colored rows, bolded cells, average formulas and autosum formulas, like this one:
But the most important thing that most business owners don’t understand about their website is there are tools to put in place to track your business objectives. These are also called goals or conversions, used interchangeably throughout this post.
The Basics: Website Business Objectives & Examples
Types of Business Objectives
There are 2 types of business objectives – macro objectives and micro objectives.
A business objective is referred to as a conversion in the digital world.
A macro conversion is a direct sale or a “hard lead” that immediately can be converted to a customer.
A micro conversion is a trigger that indicates a connection of some sort with the website visitor. Micro converted visitors are visitors that are more likely to lead to a macro conversion in the future. You can think of this as more of a “soft lead.” The great thing about websites and these business objectives is they are trackable with so much data it’ll make your head spin.
A website needs to be tested, analyzed and tweaked constantly. And one cannot know if said website is a success unless they are tracking and analyzing their business objectives.
To paint the picture a bit¹ here are some examples of macro conversions:
1. Sales on an e-commerce site: this is the big no-brainer, but maybe you didn’t know you could track sales amounts, average order value, funnels of what are the most common pages visitors look at before buying, sales per day of week, hour of day and so much more.
However, most companies don’t sell anything on their website directly and usually conduct business offline. You can still attribute a value to other macro conversions, most notably:
2. Lead Generation – This is typically getting the visitor’s contact information usually through the submission of a contact / application form, a phone call (yes, you can track these), requesting a live chat or signing up for an account on your website. They all have 1 thing in common – you’re capturing visitor information.
A note on phone call tracking – phone call conversion tracking can be quite comprehensive; another head spinning situation. Some sophisticated applications can even analyze the transcript of the conversation and can identify a sale if the operator says certain keywords like “Thank you for your order.”
Despite lead generation and sales being the big 2 macro conversions, any of the micro conversions listed below can be considered macro conversions, really. It all depends on your business objectives.
Here is a list of micro conversions that is, by no means, exhaustive:
- Mailing list / newsletter sign up
- Visiting a key page or pages (like your contact page)
- Downloading a specific document or file
- Ad serving
- Social network connection / share (Facebook like, Twitter share, Pinterest Pin, etc.)
- Video view
- Adding product to shopping cart
- Driving directions request
- Support request (reducing phone call support)
- Career inquiry
- Affiliate click
- Coupon download
- Spending a certain length of time and/or visiting specific number of pages on your site
- Visit frequency (returning visitor)
The Guru’s Corner: Advanced Tracking
Micro conversions don’t always lead to a macro conversion. In Google Analytics, it’s important to analyze goal funneling and custom segments to see which micro conversions are more likely to lead to macro conversions.
For example, we track visits to our Portfolio page. I can filter for only visitors to that page then see how many submitted our contact form, get a quote form or requested a live chat.
E-commerce websites can segment customers that purchased multiple products to find common, related products and cross promote them on their site.
Each goal can also be assigned a value even if it isn’t directly correlated like a tangible product that you receive a direct payment for. For example, you can calculate a form’s submission value by doing the following:
If you had 100 form submissions of new leads, you can figure out how many converted to sales. Let’s say those 100 submissions led to $1,000 in sales, of which 40% was profit. Your calculation would be:
($1,000 x 0.4) / 100 = $4, the estimated value of each form submission
This is also a great number to reference for PPC campaigns and other advertising campaigns.
¹ Bob Ross attributed his soft voice to a promise he made to himself “never to scream again when he left the Air Force”.