Optimizing Conversion Rates With Quantitative and Qualitative Tests

Written by Alex Harris

Driving traffic is just half of the battle. If you can’t convert that traffic into leads and sales your business will be bled dry.

To convert visitors into paying customers, you have to deploy conversion optimization. You fine-tune the elements of your web page such as buttons, copy, images and colors to ultimately persuade your visitors to take action and convert.

Now there is a multitude of “Definitive Guide to Conversion Optimization” out there, one such excellent example is Quicksprout’s found HERE, so I won’t go into the details.

But if we need to remember, conversion rate optimization is:

  • Finding out why your visitors are not converting
  • And fixing the problem.


Conversion rate optimization is not:

  • Based on wrong/misleading metrics
  • Following gut feel
  • Split-testing irrelevant things


It’s actually very simple, but a lot of people forget this, and go about complicating things, and in the process, wasting time and money.

Going In a Bit Deeper

The key is to remember that the ultimate goal of CRO activities is to make more money. When you optimize, it means that you understand your website issues and you make decisive actions to fix them.

It is best to pay attention to the frequency and quality of your CRO activities. It won’t hurt to start out small, and gradually adding more activities especially when you see significant progress and positive results.

There are two groups of CRO activities that you can perform: Qualitative and Quantitative.

Qualitative vs. Quantitative: Who Wins?

In market research, performing BOTH quantitative and qualitative testing is crucial in optimizing your web sites. Qualitative tests while quantitative results are taken from automated systems and applications. Nevertheless, BOTH are important to conversion rate optimization.

So let’s take a closer look:

Quantitative Data

Here, we deal with absolute measurements and numbers. Essentially, this is the data that can be easily measured. This is an integral part in CRO, because we always measure our conversion rate, scroll depth, a/b testing results, and heat maps, which give us facts and numbers.

There are many activities that you can perform to collect quantitative data, but here are a couple of the ones that matter most:

1. The ABC of Google Analytics (Acquisition, Behavior, Conversions) 

The recent Google Analytics update brought changes on its interface, identifying three key metrics that cover areas you should be interested in.

Acquisition Analyses—this is about your main traffic sources or how people reach your website. Here, you will know the share of new and return visitors and the kind of campaigns that delivers the most effective traffic. You can analyze these reports using metrics such as conversion rate, bounce rate, newsletter signup rate and the average order value.

Behavior Analyses—is about what users do when on your website. This will show you where they land on your website, what type of content do they typically consume, and the common exit pages. When you focus on this area, you will determine the common customer paths and the areas where they encounter difficulties.

behavior analyses

Conversion Analyses—this focuses on conversions and conversion funnels. With these reports, you can determine the areas where you are losing most of your prospects, and be able to dig deeper into the reasons behind it. Some of the activities you can do here are Usability Testing and Customer Surveys. 

  1. 2. A/B Testing

Testing is a highly essential CRO activity that allows you to simultaneously expose different versions of your landing page to a set of visitors and test if A performs better than B, or vice versa. Though it sounds intimidating, it is actually easy to perform A/B tests using tools like Google Website Optimizer and Optimizely. The results you get will provide you definitive answers on which section is more effective.  A/B Testing is especially helpful because the results you get are quantifiable representations of your goal—conversion.

Qualitative Data 

a. Usability Testing

For many people, usability testing is the most enjoyable CRO activity. Here, you can watch how people interact with your website, and the data you receive often provides excellent insight. Usability testing is also very affordable; you can do it just spending a few bucks.

free_usability_testing_program (1)

Usability testing is valuable because it amplifies user experience so you can actually see your content from the fresh perspective of someone who does not know anything about your product or service. There are many ways that usability testing can be done, such as on-site testing and remote testing.

2. Heat Maps

There are plenty of tools in the market that allow you to get a clearer view of your visitors’ activities and track their clicks. These tools are easily implementable and affordable. All you need to do is just add a script to a selected page and start collecting data immediately.

heat map


The output is referred to as a “heat map” of the clicks, and it visually shows the elements that are getting the most attention in your web page/s. there are heat map tools that also contain scrolling maps that allows you to see just how far down people scroll on one page, which is a nifty feature if your website has long pages.

Note: It is best to segment your heat results and monitor where you organic traffic clicks compared to where your paid traffic clicks.

3. Customer Surveys

This is another brilliant Conversion Rate Optimization activity. When you ask the right questions to the right people at the right time, you will get priceless insight. I’m sure you’d be highly interested to know how your customer answers the following questions:

customer-survey-1_1 (1)


  • Why did they choose your product or service?
  • Why did they sign-in?
  • Why did they sign-out?
  • Why did they abandon the checkout page?
  • What’s the one thing that stopped the customer from buying from you?


These are but some of the activities that you can do to collect qualitative data for your conversion rate optimization. When you spend all of your time trying to market your business and make it grow, it can sometimes be easy to lose focus on how a new potential customer perceives your website. Qualitative testing can help you take a step back and review your website, and ultimately understand how a visitor who does not know your company at all develops an opinion when he lands on your site.

Final Thoughts

Always be testing. According to an eConsultancy.com report, businesses whose conversion rates saw an improvement over the last 12 months performed 3 x more tests than companies whose conversion rates did not improve. It is very important that you do not stop trying different things and find out which work and which do not, as this will help you learn more about your business. Testing does not guarantee that your conversion rate will improve, but you will surely know which areas to improve on and which to ditch.

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