14 Conversion Rate Tools That Every Expert Needs

Conversion rate optimization tools

Exclusive Bonus: Click here to download all 14 Conversion Rate Tools and Receive 7 Bonus Tools not mentioned in this post

The best conversion rate experts use a set of  tools to help them optimize websites based on research, data and testing.

At the end of 2014, digital marketers’ put conversion rate optimization on the top of their priority list.

That’s right, ahead of content marketing, mobile marketing and search engine optimization, marketers’ listed “driving increased conversion rates” as the number one priority.

And why wouldn’t we? For the same traffic, we get more revenue. It makes sense.

Marketing priorities 2014

So as marketers, how are we doing?

According to the TrustRadius survey on Conversion Rate Optimization, 72% have implemented some CRO processes while only 18% consider conversion optimization as a part of their DNA, which is a bit like saying you do content marketing when in reality, you only blog once per month.

OK, but how are we approaching testing and optimization? Surely we’re doing this better, right?

Unfortunately, that’s not good news either. As sixty-three percent (63%) of marketers’ optimize websites based on intuition and best practices.

How eCommerce stores approach testing

Ugghh! If you have ever wondered why conversion optimization isn’t working for your business, then there’s your answer. You are optimizing your website based on things you have heard or read.

How can I get started with conversion rate optimization?

You need to invest in a great set of tools and through these tools, you will have the data you need to optimize your website.

The data is important because it will help you understand how people engage with your website and how they perceive your brand. And to do this, you need to conduct research, and then from the findings of your research, you will test improvements. Once your tests are statistically significant, you can then implement the changes to your website.

It’s a clear framework – Research your visitors, test your changes and then implement the winning results.

You can’t expect to understand and convert your web visitors without the right set of tools. A handyman doesn’t turn up without his toolbox, does he?

But conversion rate optimization tools are expensive, right? Wrong!

Although the Trustradius report shows that 58% spend more than $10,000 on digital analytics tools for conversion rate optimization, most of the conversion rate optimization tools listed below are free (to begin with). At this price, there are no more excuses why you shouldn’t be doing CRO the right way.

Based on my experience, I’ve used a wide range of CRO tools to help optimize conversion rates in a wide range of industries.

My conversion optimization success toolkit consists of 21 conversion optimization tools. Today, we’re going to outline 14 amazing tools.

Analytics Tools

Why you need these tools: To perform quantitative research, which provides you with the numbers and hard data on where things are going wrong on your website (exit rates, bounce rates, shopping cart abandonment, etc).

Google Analytics
Google Analytics allows you to track website behavior and reports on visitors, engagement, traffic sources, content and eCommerce sales. Google Analytics is the most popular web analytics platform on the market and can help you identify your most profitable marketing channels.
Cost: Free

CrazyEgg
CrazyEgg offers a range of tools, but the best tool to optimize your website is the heat map. The heat map allows you to see where visitors click on your website. The benefit of this is you can identify pain points on a page that show where visitors are clicking and where they are not clicking.
Cost: Free 30 day trial

Clicktale
Clicktale Analytics now comes in a freemium package that tracks up to 5,000 recordings per month. Clicktale records website visitors but will hide any sensitive information for user privacy. You can watch website visitors take action on your website and understand how they use the site, or what issues they run into when navigating.
Cost: Free per 5,000 visitors

Mixpanel
Mixpanel is an advanced analytics platform for mobile and web. While Google Analytics measures page views, Mixpanel helps you analyze visitors actions and optimize funnels. For example, an action can be uploading a picture, watching a video or sharing a blog post. This type of platform allows you to understand exactly how people interact with any web page and how they navigate through your site.
Cost: Free for up to 25,000 data points

Formisimo
Formisimo is an advanced form analytics tool that records how a user interacts with a web form and checkout fields. Formisimo records how users engage with the form, the fields they do not complete and when they use autocomplete/ manually enter their information. This information helps you eliminate fields that cause friction.
Cost: Free 14 day free trial

Research Tools

Why you need these tools: To perform qualitative research, which provides you with insights into the “why” – Why customers complete a purchase or more importantly, why visitors do not buy your product or service.

Peek (by Usertesting.com)
Launched earlier this year, Peek provides you with a free five minute usability test. You simply enter your website URL, and the test participants will review your website. Having a tester browse your website and complete “simple” actions will unlock plenty of hidden usability issues that you can work on to improve the user experience and boost conversion rates.
Cost: Free

i-Perceptions
I-Perceptions has been endorsed by Google Analytics Evangelist, Avinash Kaushik and it’s a pop up that asks 3 simple questions to website visitors. The three questions include “How would you rate your site experience?“, “What describes the primary purpose of visit?” and “Were you able to complete the purpose of your visit today?“.

You can use the feedback to understand how people engage with your website and find opportunities for improvement.
Cost: Free

Survey Monkey
Collecting customer feedback is essential to understanding what turns a website visitor into a customer. Survey Monkey allows you to ask up to 10 questions and collect up to 100 responses for free, which means you can ask questions such as:

  • What made you buy [product]?
  • What’s the best thing you like about [service]?
  • How would you describe [brand] to your friends?

Answers to these questions will give you great insight into how your customers view your brand.
Cost: Free for up to 100 responses

Cross Browser Testing
Cross Browser Testing allows you to view your website in real time through a wide range of browsers and operating systems. This tool helps you to identify why some browsers convert better than others.

For example, if you find that the latest version of Chrome converts better than IE9, then you might want to look at how IE9 is being displayed to your visitors. Using the cross browser testing tool, you can see exactly how is displayed and what you need to fix.
Cost: Free trial for 60 minutes

Testing tools

Why you need these tools: To experiment and test your hypothesis, which is based on the quantitative and qualitative research (Congrats! You’re now testing based on historical data and no longer testing based on best practices).

VWO (Visual Website Optimizer)
VWO offers split testing for as little as $49 per month but the free trial allows you to test for up to 30 days for 1,000 visits. You can edit, modify and remove elements on your webpages through the VWO editor and you can test images, copy, design and web-forms. At the end of your tests, you can see which test won and then implement the changes directly onto your website.
Cost: Free for up to 1,000 visitors

Fivesecondtest
Fivesecondtest allows you to ask for community feedback on new landing page designs, without having to change any elements on your website. Your new design will be displayed for five seconds and then a series of questions are asked to the user. Feedback comes in the form of answers and a word cloud, to identify the post prominent elements that the user remembers.
Cost: Free for 20 responses

Unbounce
Unbounce is an easy-to-use landing page platform that allows anyone to build great landing pages without the need for a designer or IT. You can create landing pages from scratch or choose one of the many landing pages templates. You can use Unbounce to create landing pages for your paid search campaigns or to quickly test out new web page designs.
Cost: Free trial

Website tools

Why you need these tools: To growth hack your way to a better conversion rate. Be aggressive in what you want your web visitors to do and at the very least get that email address from your visitor.

Screen popper
Screenpopper helps you convert more users through a pop-up appearing on top of a web page, with the goal of promoting one single call to action. The benefit is that you get the visitors immediate attention, which can be used to for conversion purposes. If your goal is to get more newsletter sign ups, you can use the pop-up to offer an incentive in exchange for an email address.
Cost: Free 14 day trial

Hellobar
Hello bar is an optimization tool, which displays a visible bar that sits at the top of a web page to draw the web visitors’ attention. Hello bar acts as a primary website call to action. You can include Hello bar on one page, several pages or across your entire website. For example, if you are launching a new eBook, you use Hello bar to include a simple message to promote it.
Cost: Free

Conclusion

These conversion rate optimization tools are easy to implement and most only require a single line of code that you or your developer can insert into the header of your website.

And while some of the tools listed above are free for the basic packages, they do come with limitations. However, even with the limitations, you will still be able to collect mountains of data to help you grow your conversion rate.

At no cost, there are no more excuses. You can double or triple your conversion rates for free!

Get Access to All 21 Conversion Rate Tools

I want you to be a master at conversion rate optimization and so I’ve created a set of bonus tools you can use to optimize conversion rates.

  • First: I’ve put together 7 (seven!) bonus tools not mentioned in this post
  • Second: The bonus tips include seven of my secret tools to help you get even better conversion rate results
  • Third: The entire list of all 21 conversion rate tools can be downloaded as a PDF (to save or print out)

Does this sound good?

(This post originally appeared on Search Engine Journal)

Vendor bullshit detector – 5 questions you should ask

It´s a jungle out there. There are vendors for everything. Consultants, advisors, strategists, specialists, experts and developers. All of them  telling you how amazing they are and how they easily can solve all your problems.

The reality is that success requires lots of hard work and that ability to execute is more important than fancy words(Research indicates that 70% of strategies fail, source: Tribal Leadership).

Don´t misunderstand. External vendors can help you, but it´s important to be critical and show common sense. Remember that vendors are normal people – they are not super heros. Use consultants to bridge knowledge gaps in your organization and to help you get things done faster and smarter! Don´t let them run your organization and don´t outsource your core competencies for too long!

To help detect the bullshiters among vendors, We´ve put together a list of critical questions that you can ask potential vendors.

1. Which recent project are you proud of? Explain the results, why you´re proud of it and why it´s relevant to me.

It´s a warning signal if a vendor can´t think of a project they´re(the person that will help you) proud of! Most people love to talk about things they´re good at(and it´s not a bad thing). If a vendor is good at something, you want to benefit from it! They should be able to share specifics about what it is – of course without revealing sensitive client information. Many companies will be happy to share success stories if you ask as long as it´s not benefiting their direct competitors! When people talk about things they´re proud of, it´s easier to sniff out what is important to them(values). If their values match with what´s important to you, there´s a good chance that the partnership will be successful!

If the vendor is proud of something that cost alot of money without delivering success for the client, you should be sceptical!

2. What can YOU help me with? And how will we work together to get the best results?

“Do what you do best and outsource the rest” is a well-known phrase. You use consultants because they´re good at something that you are not good at. Make sure the vendor is open about sharing knowledge with you! That does not mean that you should require your vendors to share their trade secrets. It merely means that you should enter into and open win-win relationship where information and knowledge flow freely to increase the probability for success! Remember to ask the vendor specifically who you will work with and how they run projects.  There´s a huge difference between working with an experienced person and a person fresh out of school. In some instances, it´s an advantage to work with an inexperienced person, but you should not be paying the same price!

Don´t accept a junior if you´re paying for a senior!

3. How do I pay for your services?

Don´t focus too much on money(ref. 8 secrets of success), but it´s important to get a ballpark number or a general idea of how much it will cost you. If the price seems too good to be true, it usually is. If putting together a Facebook strategy and running your Facebook site costs $750, you should think twice or at least ask how many days the agreement will last. Most consultants work with a standard hourly rate. If the hourly rate is $250, you can expect 3 hours of work. If they promise you more than this without explaining how they can run a sustainable business, there´s a great risk that you´ll be disappointed. They may have other revenue streams that can explain a low initial price, but you can be quite sure that you will be paying for it at some point. Good people know their value.

When you ask consultants for help, make sure you understand what they intend to do and ask them how long it takes. In some cases, it´s impossible to say how long something takes. In these cases you should ask for a rough estimate, an estimation period and/or stay in close dialogue with the consultant to ensure that you´re moving in the right direction. If you want a result-oriented deal, make sure it´s good and realistic for both you and the consultant.

If you pay peanuts – you get monkeys

4. Why should I choose you? Who else should I consider?

Warren Buffet once said “The business schools reward difficult complex behavior more than simple behavior, but simple behavior is more effective.” Ask the vendor  why you should choose them. If they can´t answer the question or if they are reluctant to name competitors, you should get your guard up. Spend time to get to know eachother and don´t accept complex answers from vendors! If you´re a vendor, try to simplify as much as possible. Remember that you´re the expert. It´s your responsibility to help the client! If you´re a client, make sure to read up and get a basic understanding of what´s going on. Knowledgable action-oriented people working together deliver superior results!

Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius-and a lot of courage-to move in the opposite direction.

5. How will we measure success?

It´s not easy to agree on what should be considered a success, but it´s smart to discuss expectations and WRITE them down in the beginning of the relationship. Managing expectations is one of the most important factors in a successful consultant/client relationship (thanks Jeremy). With modern web analytics, it´s easier than ever to measure success. If you´re an e-commerce store, you can measure online revenues, conversion rates and agree that the client will be happy with an X percent increase. Some things are difficult to measure and not everything that matters can be measured. In these cases, an open discussion on desired outcomes can be beneficial. In many cases some critical success activities are outside the control of the vendor. This should be taken into consideration.

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.

Sources: