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Like all businesses that have an online presence, you will have set key objectives to measure your website's performance. Maybe the primary objective for your website is:

  • To gain more newsletter signups/leads.
  • Encourage initial contact through 'contact' forms.
  • Convert visitors into customers.
  • Or get visitors to register for a free trial.

Any of these sound familiar?

If your website is well-established you probably have a good idea about your conversion funnel. And if you think your website could be working better for you or you simply want to make adjustments to your conversion strategy, then this is the blog for you.

Yes, you've got it! We are going to be looking at website conversion optimization.

Also known as Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), Website Conversion Optimization (WCO) is a process for increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that converts into customers, or more generally, takes any desired action on a webpage (depending on your objectives).

We will tackle this by categorizing the tools into specific uses.

Tools for Optimizing Navigation & Encouraging Sign-ups

Some products, more specifically those aimed at B2B markets, require a bit more convincing before you can expect visitors to invest in your product. However, this dialogue can only begin if you have their contact details, which need to be obtained when they visit your site. It might be the case that your business is very good at converting sales that originate from emails and you therefore want more visitors to subscribe.

Even though you have contact forms and several 'sign-up' Call to Actions (CTAs) on your site, you may still be finding it hard to get customer emails. Well, you are not alone.

1. HelloBar

HelloBar is a nifty tool helping you to drive traffic to a secondary landing page. This could be a page encouraging customers to sign up by providing their email address.

HelloBar conversion optimization tool that helps to drive traffic to secondary landing pages

Pricing: Free (25 click-throughs per month) and paid plans starting at $4.95 USD. You will only pay for the amount of real clicks you receive, so its pricing plan allows you to scale the quantity you are paying for. Special features in the paid plan (not present in the free version) include a white-label bar, ssl compatibility, etc.

2. FormAnalytics from ClickTale

Expecting customers to complete a form with 13 mandatory fields was never a good idea and you knew it. This feature from ClickTale provides the proof. It tracks which fields take too long to complete, which are left blank and which deter customers completely. To summarize, it lets you know what stopped your visitors from giving you their data in a sign-up form.

FormAnalytics from ClickTale.

Pricing and features: They offer a free 'Priceless Plan' with a limit of 5,000 pageviews/month with 4 main features (heatmap, visitor playback, conversion analytics and limited Form Analytics) and once you have tried that they will try to sell you any of their custom 'Premium Plans'.

3. BounceExchange

BounceExchange basically looks at user behavior on your site and examines how their browsing experience could be enhanced for conversion optimization. The way they encourage email sign ups is by adopting cheeky tactics such as pop-ups or not allowing users to access further information without signing up first.

BounceExchange conversion optimization tool.

Pricing: Starts at around $2995 USD/month.

4. ExitMonitor

Exit Monitor allows you to track user behavior and detect exit intent. Once an exit intent has been triggered users see a pop-up appear on screen, giving you the ability to capture a new lead.

ExitMonitor converstion tool analytics example

Pricing 4 different packages to choose from including a Lite plan which is $39 USD/month for 5000 pageviews. The top end plan is $499 USD/month but is capped at 325,000 pageviews/month.

Tools for Reducing Your Bounce Rate

Many website owners make the common mistake of packing their homepage with as much information as possible which often results in confusion and an increase in bounce rate. Since the landing page is the first introduction to your business, for most online visitors it is vital that you make a good impression. If your visitors like your landing page they will be more inclined to stay a little longer and have a good look around. Before we move on I would urge you to check out our previous blog about optimizing landing pages.

5. UserTesting.com

If you have a clear idea of who your target is, UserTesting can help you gain a global vision of how your average target users perceive your website. This online service carries out user studies across specific demographic groups. Basically, UserTesting will introduce your website to your chosen targeted audience, recording how they interact with your site so you can determine what's working and what's not quite hitting the mark.

UserTesting conversion optimization service

Pricing: Introductory offer at $49 USD for one user test, and the basic plan is $99 per video.

6. UserZoom – Voice-of-Customer Solutions

UserZoom focus on the customer experience. Their unique software helps brands to optimize online customer experiences by enabling site owners to conduct various types of cost-effective online research projects. So, if you have a high bounce rate, UserZoom can help to determine why.

UserZoom, software tool for user experience

Pricing: Agency plans start at around $1,500 USD and include one study within a 2-month subscription, the use of any of their products and a combination of different types of questions or methods (task-based surveys, card sorting, etc.) Other plans appropriate for larger brands and agencies start at $9,000 USD.

7. Silverbackapp.com – DIY Guerrilla usability testing software for designers and developers

Silverbackapp has become a good-quality DIY solution if you can't afford the higher prices of other platforms like Userzoom or Usertesting. Basically this software allows you to record and perform your own user tests with your hand-picked sample of testers, It allows you to record their session and obtain vital feedback!

SilverBack, testing software

Pricing: Silverback2 is free but unsupported and can be downloaded directly from the website.

8. Emolytics

Unlike some of the other tools and services that select users and web testers from a database, Emolytics tests current visitors. Emolytics provides a plugin you can show on your website that helps you determine the mood of your visitors when they are on your site.

Emolytics emotional testing tool

Pricing: Free forever but capped at 150 responses/month. They also offer tailored packages depending on your requirements.

Tools for Testing Operation and Functionality

When developing websites it is crucial to test all of the functions. This includes links, buttons and expandable sections. Nothing will be more off-putting than a website that simply does. not. work.

If you don't have the human resources in-house to test everything then you can automate it or out-source using these nifty tools.

9. Utest.com

Used by Google and Netflix (don't be put off) this tool offers an efficient way to get your web, mobile and/or desktop apps tested; on-demand, through a global community of pro software testers.

Utest testing community.

Pricing: Quotes are constructed based on the number of elements, pages, applications, users and devices that you want testing. But, you can get a quote easily using their calculator tool.

10. TheBetaFamily.com

If you are looking for light user testing (and by 'light' I mean the kind of tests that do not require edits of your source code), TheBetaFamily.com is the right service for you. Unlike other services where the tester provides in-depth analysis of your site or app, TheBetaFamily simply highlight inconsistencies or functions that are failing. It is also worth noting that their emphasis is on testing apps across mobile devices rather than single websites.

The Beta Family, for testing apps.

Pricing: Free plan includes audit and testing from unrated testers that are combined with your own testers. For $39 USD/month you can test up to 5 apps.

11. BrowserStack

BrowserStack offers testing on real browsers including Mac or Windows OS and a bunch of pre-installed developer tools that will make your test process even smoother.

Browserstack Cross Browser Testing

Pricing: Offer a lot of flexible plans and will vary depending on requirements. However, standard pricing ranges from $29 USD/month to $99 USD/month.

12. CheckMyLinks - Chrome Extension.

Check My Links is an extension developed primarily for web designers, developers and content editors. When you're editing a web page that has lots of links, this tool is great for quickly checking that all the links on the page are working ok. The checker highlights all of the links on the page and informs you of any invalid links - highlighting them in red.

Example of CheckMyLinks in Action.

Pricing: Free.

Tools for Determining Drop Off Points

You may experience a sudden, unexplained increase in drop-offs on your site and you may not always be able to determine why? Either way, drop-offs can be annoying, especially if your visitors are exploring your site but you aren't managing to convert them further. What is putting them off?

13. Google Analytics

Using Google Analytics you can create goals to monitor abandonment. The Conversion Funnels displays where users drop off compared against the number of users who continued onto other pages or actions.

Google Analytics Conversion, Goals, Goal Flow

Pricing: Free.

14. Conversion Funnels from ClickTale

This tool allows you to visualize and map where your customers are dropping off in your funnel. You can build test hypotheses for both desktop and mobile and find out where best to optimize your site.

ClickTale, a conversion optimization tool.

Pricing: Same as above.

15. CrazyEgg

A useful tool for SMEs because it can boost test sites with little traffic. Unlike conversion funnels which are limited to showing where users abandon pages, CrazyEgg uses heat-mapping to determine what is grabbing their attention and what elements are causing confusion.

CrazyEgg also uses Scroll-mapping tools to highlight how far down the page your visitors are scrolling which is great for speculating whether your customers are looking for something that you aren't providing on a particular page.

CrazyEgg heat-mapping tool.

Pricing: Basic plan starts at $9 USD/month allowing 10,000 visits/month and ten active pages.

Useful Tool During Site Development

A problem faced by many businesses is how to display complex information, like a scalable pricing structure, without scaring potential customers away. Web-users are impatient and want to be able to find information quickly and easily. So, how do you get around the issue? What you need is split testing tools.

Split testing tools are great for A/B testing your site based on two different sets of conversion elements served to your site visitors. Most tools can be integrated with Google Analytics or have their own analytics so that you can keep track of visitor behavior while the test is being done.

16. Optimizely

Optimizely allows you to schedule tests which are easily customized. Multivariable testing is available and you can immediately deploy all visitors to the winning variation. You need not wait for designers or developers to push the design live, thus preserving precious web traffic.

Optimizely A/B testing

Pricing: Pricing can be obtained from their website but they do offer free trials.

17. Unbounce

Not only is this A/B testing, Unbounce takes the role of the project manager when including A/B testing on your pages. Among other features, it provides a drag-and-drop building platform that will give you a clear idea of how your site will look, along with real-time stats (including the 'Variant Conversion Delta'). Unbounce looks simple and is a great tool.

Unbounce conversion optimization tool

Pricing: Basic plan is $49 USD with a limit of 5,000 visitors/month but no option to use the features present in higher plans; like multi-user, integrations, email notifications, etc. All plans start with 30-days free.

For even more information about optimizing your website and testing usability then head over to our previous blog, Awesome Usability Testing Tools

What other CRO tools have you tried? Have you tried any of the tools we've listed above?