Web Macro Vs. Micro Goals

Establishing clear goals for your business website is very important. Once you have goals, you can set targets and track success comparing actual metrics, such as revenue, with targets.

Goals Come in Various Sizes!

Micro Goals and Macro Goals

In this post, we'll review setting macro goals (the "big stuff") and micro goals (smaller steps that help lead website visitors to your big goals).

Goals (a.k.a. conversions) vary depending on your type of business or organization. There are big goals. And small goals. Here are some different "types" of websites and common "macro-goals".

"Macro-Goals" - The "End Goals"

Website TypeMacro-Goal Examples
eCommerce Revenue / Transactions / Revenue Per Transaction
Lead Generation Form Submission(s) / Phone Calls
Media Publishing Subscriptions 
Blog Page Views / Time on Site

These probably make a lot of sense to you. For example, if you are selling products such as hotel stays on your website the "end goal" is online bookings. Knowing the number of transactions and revenue per transactions are also very likely important metrics to track as well. If you are a law firm generating leads, via online forms and phone calls that lead to a consultation, these leads are also likely your "end goals".

These marco-goals are usually triggered by a specific Call-To-Action. For example, a "Buy Now" button, a "Contact Us Now" form, a hyperlinked Phone Number or a "Join Our Newsletter" field.

Website goals come in various sizes. Macro AND Micro Goals should fit into any website strategy

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It's a fairly easy process to set up "macro goals" in most website analytics tools. Google Analytics spells out how various goal types and how they work.

But, as is often the case, people just don't visit your website for the first time and "connect" with you whether that be an online purchase, lead request, subscription, or other "macro goal".

Enter "Micro-Goals" Stage Left

So if people just don't buy or get in touch with you immediately what are you to do? The online "journey" to "macro-goals" is typically not a straight path. People jump around from channel to channel, from device to device, or can change where they are in the "sales funnel" many times. We've written on our blog about the "traveler buyer journey." And 'think with Google' has posted some really good information about the "customer journey to an online purchase."

It's very important to address those people who are interested in your products or services but aren't yet ready to buy or connect to you immediately!

Here is a list of some "micro-goals" for different website types. These "micro-goals" are sometimes setup as goals or tracked as "events" in Google Analytics. (FYI... I like using Google Tag Manager to efficiently set up event tracking within Google Analytics for "micro-goals" tracking video views, file downloads, page scroll depth, etc.)

Website TypeMicro-Goal Examples
eCommerce Product Flier Downloads / Product Video Views
Lead Generation Product Flier Downloads / Product Video Views
Media Publishing 60+ Second Visits, Page Views per Visit
Blog Social Sharing, 60+ Second Visits, Page Scroll Depth

These "mico-goals" require a Call-To-Action too.

The bottom line? You need to introduce various Call-To-Actions for micro-goals into your website's content and then measure these micro-goals! You may be able to establish a relationship between the quantity or type of micro-goals and macro-goals. I often find that if you can increase micro-goals on your website you will see an increase in macro-goals.

Measuring "Micro-Goals" and "Macro-Goals"

I like to build dashboards to help measure the relationship between "micro-goals" and "macro-goals". The first thing I am often looking to establish is "does an overall increase in micro-goals positively impact macro-goal conversion?" I would argue there is often a direct relationship. Why? Having the appropriate "micro-goal" Call-To-Actions on your website (on the right pages and in the right place on these pages) help with visitor engagement. This is based on the assumption that typically the more people engage with your website, the more likely they are to do business with you.

Measuring "Micro" + "Macro" Goals

Here is a screenshot of a dashboard that I have built that tracks traffic along the various levels in the "sales funnel". Note the "Conversion" section and how I split this group even further into "Micro-Goals", Leads, and Transactions. The Leads section is tracking people who contact this business for more information about products. And, obviously, Transactions are online purchases.

Micro and Macro Goal Conversion Tracking

Combining "Micro" + "Macro" Goals

To wrap things up, consider what Call-to-Actions you can offer on your website. And when and where you offer these.

Do Call-to-Actions related to "micro-goals" help support customers along their journey to doing business with you resulting in increased "macro-goals" conversions?

Remember this... you wouldn't ask someone to marry you on the first date. You first cultivate the relationship over time, often over a year, before "popping the question". Although this might not be as "intense" on a website, you should pick your spots on where you add different types of Call-to-Actions on your website. Asking for the sale immediately at the top of the home page might not be the best place for that type of Call-to-Action.

If you can figure out where to place Call-to-Actions for micro-goals and macro-goals and measure, then you are on your way to having a high performing website! AND that is a good starting point for my next blog post.

Have any questions or ideas about using "micro-goals" or "macro-goals" on your website? Please feel free to leave a comment below.

Roy McClean
Jul 26, 2016
By Roy McClean

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