Macro and micro goals in digital marketing

When customizing Google Analytics to a business it’s important that it is configured to include the right types of goals, so the business can review goals achieved and then develop tactics to improve goal volume and quality as part of data-driven marketing.

In this Google Analytics Academy video, Google distinguish between business goals or actions you want to achieve on-site as conversions and Google Analytics goals that are used to measure conversions.

Since there are so many goals you could potentially measure across the 5S goals of digital marketing, it’s useful to focus on the most important goals to include in your digital marketing dashboard by considering which goals are Micro goals and which are Micro goals. Google’s digital evangelist Avinash Kaushik first wrote about this in his article: Measure Macro AND Micro Conversions.

His recommendation is that to increase the overall conversion rate to the headline macro goals like leads generated and sales it’s useful to identify smaller actions which show nudge people along the path-to-purchase as other types of content are interacted with.

Considering goals across our RACE marketing model you can then identify these types of goals.

RACE stageMacro goalMicro goal
ReachNot applicable - offsiteNot applicable - offsite
Free subscriber
Product page viewed
Watched Video
Search completed
Start checkout
Checkout steps
For B2B, different Nurture interactions
EngageRepeat saleCustomer sign-in

You can see that many goals occur on site with many interactions at the ACT stage.

Note that most of these goals are destination or Event goals within Google Analytics. Another type of goal to consider is more relevant to brand engagement is time on site. Since many people bounce off a site it’s useful to consider visitors who engage with brand for a duration of 30, or 60-seconds.


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Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of digital marketing advice site Smart Insights. We’re a publisher and learning platform that helps our 150,000 active members in over 100 countries plan, manage and optimize their digital marketing activities by applying the actionable advice in our planning templates, guides and interactive e-learning tools.

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