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Conversion Rate Optimization: Why You Must Understand It

Conversion rate optimization has many layers which unfortunately for the untrained eye, you wouldn’t know otherwise.

What draws you in when you think about Conversion Rate Optimization? Does the word itself make you feel hopeful? Does it sound like more money in the bank? Or does it sound like something so simple anyone can do it? Regardless of your answer, conversion rate optimization is key to any business that wants to unlock the door to uncapped money making opportunities.

Now don’t get me wrong, conversion rate optimization doesn’t guarantee certain results… But it does guarantee that you will find hidden opportunities you might miss otherwise in most common optimization methods.

Typically business owners think of CRO as something that is straightforward and easy to implement. Anything is far from the truth. If you’ve never built a CRO program in your business there is much to be done. So this week I want to talk to you about conversion rate optimization and what it really is.

Why You Must Learn CRO

Last week I wrote an article about, The Science Behind Website Conversions: how people make decisions and how that correlates with the design of your website. If you haven’t read that one yet I highly recommend you do.

See, conversion rate optimization consists of many layers. Kind of like an onion. You know that Skrek episode where he gives Donkey the reference that because he’s an Ohgor he has many different layers to himself? Well, when you look at humans and websites there are many different layers you must understand in order to do any diagnosis well.

The easy way to start breaking down conversion rate optimization is to understand what the methodology consists of. Here are the two crucial parts:

Qualitative Analysis:

This data describes qualities or characteristics. It is collected using questionnaires, interviews, or observation, and frequently appears in narrative form. For example, it could be notes taken during a focus group on the quality of the food at Cafe Mac, or responses from an open-ended questionnaire. Qualitative data may be difficult to precisely measure and analyze. The data may be in the form of descriptive words that can be examined for patterns or meaning, sometimes through the use of coding.

Quantitative Analysis:

Is used when a researcher is trying to quantify a problem, or address the “what” or “how many” aspects of a research question. It is data that can either be counted or compared on a numeric scale. For example, it could be the number of first year students at Macalester, or the ratings on a scale of 1-4 of the quality of food served at Cafe Mac. This data are usually gathered using instruments, such as a questionnaire which includes a rating scale or a thermometer to collect weather data. Statistical analysis software, such as SPSS, is often used to analyze quantitative data.

In order to optimize efficiently and accurately you need to understand what the numbers mean and back that up with user data which your CRO specialist will collect from qualitative analysis. Typically your CRO specialist will set up surveys on your site and send a questionnaire to your email list asking for specific information about their experience on your site.

It took me a while to truly understand how to connect the dots between qualitative data and quantitative data when I first began CRO. To be honest, I had no idea that the two were so interlaced with each.

Typically you’d look at your analytics and draw conclusions from there without actually collecting any qualitative data and that’s a big no-no.

The numbers only tell parts of the story while your customers fill in the rest.

So when you think of conversion rate optimization think of it like a research methodology because at the end of the day that’s really what it is. You need to understand what this data tells you from the macro to the micro. It’s something that takes time but yields the best payouts.

This is why you need to learn what CRO really is so you know what to look for when looking for your optimization specialist. They should be well versed in all aspects of human psychology and digital analytics.

So How Does This Connect To You?

As a business owner or marketing director Neuroscience is starting to hack the human brain, we now know what influences human behavior, how we react to certain stimuli, and what persuades a human to make a decision down to the very part of the brain that is being used in any given situation.
This is a huge opportunity for you to learn more about their customers and what influences their decision-making.

For further more reading I would recommend you check out Roger Dooley’s framework on increasing conversions on your site by reducing friction, increasing unconscious motivation, and creating triggers or nudges.

I’ve been reading his material here at CXL this week and highly recommend you check him out.


Conversion rate optimization has many layers which unfortunately for the untrained eye, you wouldn’t know otherwise. You gain a significant advantage when you understand what a well put together CRO program can do for your business.

Combining the best of neuroscience and analytics can supercharge your optimization efforts.

But remember, just because you have an analytics setup doesn’t mean you are painting the full picture of what’s going on in your business. Do your homework. Do your research. Or hire someone who can do it for you!

Final Statement

If you want to build a powerfully successful CRO program within your business reach out to us for a free consultation. We’ll see how we can help you achieve your business goals through CRO!

I’ll see you in the next blog post and happy optimizing!

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