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Micro or Macro – Different Conversion Types

The so-called conversion rate (also known as CTR) is an important indicator in digital marketing. It indicates how effectively ads or other creatives work on certain websites or online shops. The conversion rate describes the percentage of website visitors that carry out a certain action on a website. The rate can range between zero and a hundred percent. A conversion rate of ten percent means that every tenth visitor on a website has carried out a specific action. This may be a ordering a product or even filling out a contact form.

Micro or Macro

Conversions are not always the same

Conversion rates fall into two categories: micro and macro conversions. This difference stems from the fact that there are several website processes going on which can be divided in different steps. For example, when ordering a product the user first puts the item into the shopping basket and later when it comes to payment options or delivery address the user is guided to different microsites before the order is completed.

It depends on the way you look at what the user is doing. If you look at the “greater picture” taking all steps involved together we talk about the macro model. If you look at single steps this is called micro model.

Micro conversions hence indicate the percentage of users that have a carried out only a specific action in the order process, e.g. “add to basket”, the number of users that put an article in their shopping basket or the “basket-to-buy rate which implies that users have bought the product.

Whereas micro conversions describe every single step, macro conversions take the whole process into account, e.g. how many users clicked on an ad, visited the website and purchased a product. The steps involved are not considered and thus the bouncing rate doesn’t play a role. Macro conversion can therefore be seen as a synonym for the real conversion rate meaning sales conversion rate or lead conversion rate. The values indicate how many users completed a purchase or send a request

There is no rule of thumb regarding the ideal conversion rate level. Usually conversion rates for contact forms are higher than those for online shops. Equally important is whether advertisers would like to address a small group or a broad audience. Those who offer very special products in their online shops will surely only have a limited number of visitors on their websites who will, however, most likely buy a certain product.

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