Website analytics hold the keys to building a successful website. Analytics tell us what we’re doing well and what still needs work.
As we dive into all that data, we often tend to gravitate toward the BIG metric: conversion rate. And while conversion rate provides essential information (how many people are taking the plunge), it doesn’t tell the whole story.
In order to reach your conversion optimization goals, you’ll need to take a closer look at what your customers are doing before the conversion.
What Is a Mini Conversion?
If a conversion is the ultimate goal you have for every visitor on your site (making a purchase, signing up for your newsletter, downloading a document), then every click leading up to that ultimate goal is what we call a mini conversion.
For example, if your goal is for the customer to complete a purchase, then conversion rate can be measured by how many visitors reach the thank you page after submitting an order.
But in order to do that, the visitor must progress through a number of steps (adding an item to the cart, clicking the checkout button, entering shipping and billing information, etc.). Each of those actions is a mini conversion.
Why Should I Track Mini Conversions?
Mini conversions form the bulk of actions that visitors take on your website.
If only 2% of your site traffic converts, does that mean the rest of those visits are unsuccessful? Not at all. People visit your site for many reasons: comparison shopping, research, reading a blog post.
Mini conversions can help you measure the success of each of those visits. They can also point out problems in your conversion funnel.
For instance, if you have four steps in your checkout process, and one step has a significantly lower rate of completion than the others, then you’ve just identified a great place to start testing some changes.
Where Should I Start?
Identify the mini conversions that are most important to your website.
While every action a visitor takes could technically be considered a mini conversion, tracking all of them won’t help move you toward your conversion optimization goals. Start by figuring out all of the important actions that up to a sale or lead.
Key mini conversions may include watching a video, downloading a free e-book, adding an item to the shopping cart, entering the conversion funnel (and each subsequent step in the conversion process) or signing up for your newsletter.
You can track up to 20 different conversion goals in Google Analytics. Although that seems like a lot for a small business, once you start tracking video plays or downloads you can use up that number quickly.
You may find it helpful to set up your mini-conversion goals in a separate Google Analytics profile. By keeping your mini-conversion data separate from your main profile you’re free to experiment with various goals until you find the ones that generate the most helpful insights and you don’t artificially inflate your overall conversion rates while you’re experimenting. .
When you begin to view mini conversions as key indicators of how well your site is performing, you can use those conversion rates as springboards to drive your testing program, helping you improve your site as a whole and move you closer to your conversion optimization goals.
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