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Today I’m going to run through the must-have conversion rate optimisation tools for any online brand, but this won’t be like most articles you see on this topic. Instead of focusing on the tools themselves, I’m going to flip things around and list the essential CRO tasks you need to complete with a number of tool recommendations along the way.
The reason I’m doing it this way is because most optimisation tools do various tasks, but none of them do it all. So it’s better to know what you need from your toolset before you sign up to anything. This way you can choose the right combination of tools and make sure there are no gaps or unnecessary overlaps in your CRO tech stack.
The first conversion optimisation tool any serious business wants to look at is Google Analytics 360 Suite. This is the enterprise version of Google’s powerful analytics tool, giving you access to more data and features to power your marketing strategies.
Conversion optimisation is all about data and this is the first piece of software you want in your stack.
If Google Analytics tells you what’s happening on your website, Mixpanel makes it easier to see who did what. It also gives you a second data channel for you to compare against Google’s data – because it never makes sense to put all of your faith into one tool.
Iridion is like Google Calendar on a serious CRO fix, helping your entire team create and track an entire conversion optimisation strategy. It also packs a 7-level analysis framework to discover new opportunities to optimise for.
VWO is one of the best A/B testing tools in the game
VWO is a complete conversion optimisation toolkit for brands with a long-term vision for better business performance. You get A/B testing, heatmaps, visitor recordings and all kinds of optimisation tools bundles into this platform – almost everything you’ll ever need for CRO.
More importantly, you get a full overview of your entire conversion optimisation strategy, allowing you to understand its true impact and spot new opportunities.
Marketo is still the industry leader in enterprise marketing automation. Automation is vital for maximising conversions while reducing the workload of your marketing and development teams. Instead of optimising for conversions in isolation, automation allows you to close the gaps between different conversion types and turn more leads into sales, repeat customers and brand loyalists.
The Enterprise version of Instapage’s landing page builder and optimisation tool is just about the best piece of software in this category. You get full customisability, A/B testing features and dynamic content personalisation all added to the usual landing page builder tools – plus a whole lot more.
ActiveCampaign is an all-in-one marketing suite that helps you to build email campaigns and nurture leads across the entire buying journey.It packs a host of marketing automation features so you can setup auto-responses for different leads based on their actions. And with its built-in sales and CRM system, you can keep track of all your leads as they work their way along the consumer journey.
Unfortunately, forms are a real conversion killer but there are plenty of optimisation tools you can use to reveal where users are running into problems with your web forms. The reason I like Leadformly is it comes with pre-optimised web forms you can embed on any page and customise without writing any code. Of all the form tools I’ve used, this is by far the quickest way to make a positive impact on your form conversion rates.
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#9: Optimizely X
Optimizely makes it easy to personalise your content for multiple audiences
Personalisation is the new big trend in conversion optimisation, allowing you to show different messages to users based on their previous actions. For example, first-time visitors can see a completely different homepage to returning visitors and different again to previous visitors who abandoned their shopping cart.
Optimizely X currently offers some of the best personalisation features around but this is one area where new tools are constantly hitting the market.
Decibel steps away from the usual dialogue of “conversion optimisation” and focuses on creating better experiences. That might sound ambiguous but Decibel actually measures the performance of your site across hundreds of metrics to calculate your Digital Experience Score (DXS) – an actual KPI that means you can measure user experience in pure numbers.
Ethnio turns user testing on its head by helping you recruit real users to participate in your test. Unlike other platforms attempting to do this, Ethnio lets you choose the right kind of people to test your site and pages – the kind of people you’re actually designing and optimising for.
It’s no good generating leads if you don’t have the resources to handle them and platforms like Infusionsoft automate a huge chunk of the process for you. One of its best features from a conversion point of view is automating lead follow-ups with personalised messages for a range of different actions: email sends, form submissions, payment history and more.
As the number of interactions between consumers and brands increases it can be tricky to keep track of where users are long the buying process. With sales automation, you know where everyone is and you have an automated system to send them personalised messages encouraging them to take the next step.
Clicktale is an incredible enterprise analytics and CRO tool
One of the best ways to measure website performance is to see what users get up to while they’re on it. If people aren’t seeing your call-to-action, you know it needs to go somewhere else. If they keep clicking on static elements, you know it’s time to revise the design of your links, buttons and other UI elements.
There are plenty of software options for this but Clicktale is one of the fully-featured enterprise level tools out there.
The best tool you can have on your side for speed optimisation is a quality developer who knows how to put code together with performance in mind. However, if your site is already live and lagging behind, you need to diagnose what the problem is.
Pingdom goes further than any of the free options you’ll find, such as Google’s page speed tools (which are fine for free options). However, Pingdom constantly monitors the speed of your site, looking out for issues and helps you diagnose the root cause rather than treating the symptoms.
Browserling helps you optimise your site for all the major web browsers and all their intricate quirks. There’s nothing worse than working on your site for months to find your new layout doesn’t work in Firefox or falls apart in Opera when users work in split-screen mode.
With Browserling, you can create a consistent experience across all browsers and devices.
Every tool we’ve looked at so far helps you analyse your own site but there’s a lot to be said for learning from your competitors. Competitor analysis tools have been around for ages but Similar Web is the standout option for me right now.
First of all, its pool of data is huge and global (many are US-centric). With this tool you can pinpoint your closest search competitors, based on keyword performance, and it also tells you when new competitors emerge. You get detailed insights into their performance, including number of visits, page views, bounce rate and visit duration – plus audience interests, geolocation details and a whole lot more.
Be efficient with conversion optimisation
It’s easy to get lost in a sea of data and irrelevant tests with conversion rate optimisation, which only ends up wasting time and money for nothing – or worse, causing more harm than good. Conversion rate optimisation only works when it’s efficient and this means choosing the right tools and areas of your site to focus on. Always aim for key areas of your website rather than small details because this is where the real impact will be made and automate as much of the process as you can with your CRO tech stack.