Small Goals – Big Results, Using Micro Goals in Google Analytics

- July 13, 2012

Since childhood we have been told to “Think Big”, “Dream Big” and that “Bigger is Better.” But are these adages true for companies trying to define their Google Analytics goals? As marketers, we are trained to identify macro goals first. These are the goals that are most closely tied to ROI. They are our conversions and the money makers. However, the pressure to “Go big or go home” often leads us astray; defining success by strictly a number of conversions.

In the ever growing online industry, one size truly does not fit all. If we continue to look to macro goals as the only success metric, we end up manipulating data and ignoring the obvious misfit. In many cases, and as any jewelry adoring woman will tell you, good things in life can come in small packages.

When defining Google Analytics goals for your website, try to look at the big picture. If you are gauging success solely on conversions, you may be missing out on an opportunity to capture meaningful data on a smaller scale. Micro goals, or micro conversions, are a way to strategically track visitor engagement across your site. Though we would like to believe visitors come to our site strictly to convert; that is simply not accurate. Visitors browse, check out blogs, download PDFs and generally learn more about your company before they determine if they will officially engage. By tracking these behaviors, online marketers can begin to draw conclusions about events that eventually lead to conversions. Common micro goals include:

  • Using a Live Chat Feature
  • Social Engagement
  • Signing up for Newsletters
  • Viewing the Contact Us Page
  • Dowloading PDFs or Whitepapers
  • Viewing Videos
  • Submitting a Comment or Post

You might discover a visitor who downloads your white paper is 5 times more likely to submit a contact form and ultimately convert. The trick is to determine which of these activities are meaningful to your business and emphasize them in your future marketing plans. While micro goals will never replace the traditional conversions goals, they should be considered as part of the overall picture of customer site behavior and the sales funnel.

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