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Micro-conversions – what they are and why they matter

Micro-conversions are all the steps a user takes toward sthe ultimate conversion goal.

In conversations with businesses, we spend a substantial portion of our time discussing the customer journey. It is, in our humble opinion, time very well spent. The route that transforms a mildly interested user into a customer should be as easy, efficient, and pleasant as possible.Perfecting this process is a great achievement (and one aspired to by most who have something to sell).

The steps to achieving this conversion cannot, and should not, be rushed. Just like a polished dance routine, there are steps to be learned, followed, and carefully put into sequence. Any attempt to bypass this choreography and simply skip to the finale is likely to resemble something more akin to ‘dad dancing’ than an awe-inspiring performance.

The real key to success is in critically assessing your process; ensuring you understand and master every single step to maintain a seamless flow. Such success is delivered in an effortless display for an audience who remain enraptured by the overall experience, unconscious of the individual elements orchestrated to ensure their full engagement.

Micro-conversions vary depending on what is being sold and who is buying.

When a customer visits a company website, or phones with an enquiry, they are unlikely to jump straight to a purchase, instead they will go through predictable and traceable stages. These stages will vary for each customer dependent on their needs and character, as well as their budget.

Predicting and preparing each of these stages will increase the likelihood a customer is able to find what they need and achieve their goal, satisfied with their experience.

As an example, the journey of a customer buying a necessary, everyday product or service will require fewer ‘hooks’ than a customer considering a luxury or simply nice-to-have purchase. For such essential products, the decision may be more about where to buy an item, rather than whether to buy at all, requiring differentiation rather than justification.

From a more individual standpoint, there will be customers within any audience who are happy to make rapid decisions using basic information only, whereas others will need convincing with a variety of information. Therefore, to satisfy both audiences, customers need to be able to view top-line informative summaries, as well as have access to a significant amount of supporting evidence.

Whatever the nature of the product or the individual customer, there is one hard and fast rule: The customer journey must never be rushed. Time may well be money, but a quick and unconsidered customer journey that is not carefully curated will seldom achieve much in the way of success.

Optimising through micro-conversions.

Through our experience at Credo, the best route to planning the customer journey is to forget the end goal. As tempting as it may seem to try to take an audience directly from point A (introduction) to point B (sale), it is a strategy which isn’t particularly successful.

The delicacy and detail required of getting people to convert is often underestimated and, as with most large complex problems, it is best to break the whole down into smaller, more digestible steps (which is less intimidating for both parties!).

The aim at each individual point in a customer’s journey should be to get to the next point, and nothing more. In doing this, there is a much greater chance of bringing the audience along on the planned journey. These smaller steps are more subtle and will reduce the overall feeling of being pushed into a hard sale (a tactic which most, if not all, customers are highly averse to).

Having minimised the risk of scaring the audience off, a gentler approach such as this will follow with a much larger proportion completing the whole planned customer journey. Along with a much lower dropout rate, this also increases engagement – an important, and highly coveted, factor in achieving optimal conversion rates.

Micro-conversions in the non-digital world.

It’s not that often you will find us making sports analogies about improving conversion rates (regardless of the temptation to do so!). However, it’s difficult not to mention the similarity between micro-conversions and ‘The Brailsford Effect’ utilised within the GB cycling squad when preparing for the 2012 Olympic Games. Dave Brailsford gained just as much notoriety for his training strategies as for the resulting success achieved by Team GB. He coined the phrase “aggregation of marginal gains”, referring to the cumulative effects of very small improvements across several areas to achieve a greater goal.

Micro-conversions are the steps you need to take to reach the finish line.

Within a customer journey, micro-conversions are the marginal gains we seek at every individual stage and, just as in cycling, the finishing line (i.e. an optimal conversion rate) is secured even before the journey begins when the overall process is broken down into the tiniest aspects with deliberate and attentive preparation.

With ‘slow and steady’ groundwork producing significant returns in the long run, it also evokes the story of the tortoise and the hare – perhaps an analogy for another time…

Discover the impact micro-conversions can have on your website’s performance by undertaking a CRO Website Audit. Learn more about these comprehensive reports and how they can help your business thrive here.


As you can see, there is so much more to conversions than reaching the end goal. Thorough planning of the customer journey, with suitable encouragement and reassurance along the way, is vital to enable optimum conversion rates.

We help you make sense of all this and more within our CRO Website Audits. Get in touch to learn how an audit could benefit your website.