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    If you’re running experiments and A/B testing for conversion improvement you’ll need to make sure you’re measuring the right stuff. Conversions are usually broken into two categories: macro and micro. Each is important, yet provides different value in terms of success.

    Macro (think big) is our primary conversion point. This means we’re getting a new lead, usually by a visitor filling out the contact form or calling directly.

    Micro (think small) is our secondary conversion point. It tells us we’re providing value to our visitor and they’re taking actions to become a potential lead.

    For example, if a visitor shares or comments on a blog post, Re-tweets or Likes a comment, visits five or more pages in one visit, and so on–then we’ve built credibility and rapport. These actions could lead to a returning visitor, referral, or an eventual customer.

    Most dashboards and Analytics tools do a good job communicating these metrics. But what aren’t they telling us?

    1. You don’t always know conversion data from phone calls. Ironically enough, these are usually the most important macro-conversions to a company.
    2. Most people don’t understand the bounce rate metric and cause themselves a lot of unnecessary stress.
    3. You can’t track all websites the same. Each company or industry should have unique conversion points and methods for tracking, depending on their unique audience.


    #1 Don’t neglect phone calls

    Phone calls generated through the website are web leads, but it’s a lot more difficult to track this conversion with any precision. Not knowing this information can drastically skew your perceived cost-per-lead and conversion rates.

    I suggest setting up an account with a company like If By Phone or Mongoose Metrics. These services allow you to generate unique phone numbers that can be tied to web leads, PPC ads, offline collateral and more. They can be integrated with Google Analytics and Adwords to ensure phone calls are being counted as conversions. This provides a more accurate look at conversion rates and costs-per-lead.

    Also, it can be very costly to advertise offline. Yellow Pages, Magazines, Billboards, etc. can easily cost over $10,000/mo. Using trackable phone numbers allows you to know for sure what is working and what is a waste of money!

    #2 Don’t freak out over bounce rate

    Bounce rate is a confusing metric for most. Certain webpages, such as resources pages or instructional blog posts, are meant for a visitor to land on that page via search, find the information they need, then leave and go put their new knowledge to use.

    Since they only visited one page you just earned a 100% bounce rate. Which would usually be a very bad thing.

    Let’s assume your article was extremely helpful, the reader commented on your post and shared it socially counting as a micro-conversion you would still end up with a sky high bounce rate! Not to mention the visitor is now aware of your brand making them a potential future client.

    The best way to use bounce rate is to analyze specific data. A general site-wide bounce rate can vary too much due to various marketing campaigns and user needs. Focus your bounce rate insights towards specific traffic sources. Apply it to other dimensions such as medium, campaign, landing pages, or content groups rather than site-wide averages.

    #3 Know your audience

    Not all conversion metrics are universal–different strokes for different folks. For example, we frequently work with the medical industry and they need to follow a different set of conversion metrics. When there’s an emergency and someone needs directions or a phone number to the nearest ER they’re not going to spend time browsing through your website or filling out a form. First, they’re going to be on a mobile device so we already know we need a mobile-first design. They’re going to use a Google Maps feature to find directions quickly or the click-to-call option to speak with someone. No forms, no opt-ins, no multi-step sales funnel.

    Be aware of your audience and their needs and keep in mind the different factors that can skew your conversion and bounce rates.


    • Try the tactics listed in our post on increasing conversions
    • Track the metrics mentioned above
    • Leave a comment with your conversion results