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10 CRO tools and tips to improve UX and increase conversions
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) tools collect data about your website and its visitors to help you understand how people use your site and identify and test potential changes to increase conversion rates.
Last updated30 Sep 2021
What are CRO tools?
CRO tools help you:
Understand why visitors aren’t converting into leads or customers
Identify possible changes to make to your website to increase conversions
Test changes you make to your site for the highest conversion rates
There are a lot of CRO tools to choose from, so we’ve put together a list to make your search a bit easier. We’ll go over nine popular CRO tools:
And we’ll throw in a bonus CRO testing tip to help you get the most out of a few specific tools (spoiler alert: Hotjar is involved).
But before we dive into the tools themselves, let’s take a look at the different types of CRO tools that are available to you:
3 types of CRO tools
CRO tools generally fall into three categories:
1. Web analytics CRO tools: understand what’s happening on your website
Understanding what’s happening on your site is an important part of conversion rate optimization—without knowing what’s going on (or what’s going wrong), you won’t know where to look for improvements.
Web analytics tools gather numerical, quantitative data about your website and its visitors, giving you insight into metrics like:
Common drop-off or exit pages which can help you find answers to questions like:
Are visitors sticking around or bouncing from the landing page?
What path are visitors taking on my site?
Where are visitors stumbling and exiting from the funnel?
For example, if visitors arrive at your landing page but don’t convert into leads or customers, web analytics tools can help you understand what’s happening once they get there so you can identify blockers they may be experiencing on the page.
👉 Are these the tools you’re looking for? Check out these 3 popular web analytics tools.
2. Behavior analytics CRO tools: understand website visitor behavior
Understanding why your visitors behave a certain way on your website is another important part of conversion rate optimization—without knowing what your visitors want, you can’t give them what they need.
User behavior analytics tools gather qualitative data about how visitors use your website and why they behave a certain way on your site.
Behavior analytics tools can help answer questions like:
Why are potential customers abandoning their shopping carts?
Are visitors able to find what they’re looking for?
Why are visitors exiting the landing page without [taking the next step]?
For example, you may see that visitors are bouncing from your landing page (the what), but until you understand what’s causing them to leave (the why), you’ll be left guessing how to improve the user experience.
👉 Are these the tools you’re looking for? Take a look at these 3 popular behavior analytics tools.
3. CRO testing tools: compare and measure changes on your website
Another important part of conversion rate optimization is testing and measuring changes you make to your site.*
Once you’ve identified potential improvements, testing tools help you compare and measure changes to see which version(s) converts better.
For example, your web analytics and behavior analytics tools may have clued you into a high bounce rate on your landing page, caused by a poorly-placed call to action (CTA): people get confused about which step to take next, so they leave.
In this example, you could test different versions of your landing page—maybe with an updated call-to-action CTA or by moving key information above the fold—to see which one converts better.
👉 Are these the tools you’re looking for? Jump to our list of 3 popular CRO testing tools.
3 best web analytics tools for tracking traffic data
1. Google Analytics (and GA 360)
What it is: Google Analytics is the most popular web analytics tool, installed on over 29 million websites. It’s free to use, but you can upgrade to Google Analytics 360 if your website exceeds 10 million hits per month and you need to record more data.
What it’s good for: GA helps you track traffic patterns, traffic sources, and goal conversion rates in real-time. You can also track common metrics like sessions and session duration, and identify where visitors exit or what web pages have high bounce rates.
💡 Did you know?
You can use Hotjar and Google Analytics together to make your analytics data easier to understand and share with your team.
Using Hotjar and GA together will help you uncover the most important information about your users—so you can make the right changes at the right time, and have the greatest impact on the user experience (which can boost conversion rates).
2. Adobe Analytics
What it is: Adobe Analytics tracks real-time multichannel analytical data across various sources (your website, email marketing, kiosks, apps, and more).
What it’s good for: use Adobe Analytics to examine user flow, measure key performance indicators (KPI), and monitor conversion rates. Users of Adobe Analytics appreciate the visually-appealing reports, which are easy to understand.
What it is: Heap is another real-time web analytics tool that gives you in-depth information about users’ interactions on your website and app.
What it’s good for: Heap tracks common metrics like page views and sessions, and form analytics like clicks, field changes, and form submissions, helping you understand how people use and interact with your website.
3 popular tools for understanding user behavior
What it is: Hotjar (hey there! 👋) is behavior analytics software that helps you measure and track user behavior and feedback. Over 900,000 websites use Hotjar to help them improve UX and increase conversions.
What it’s good for: behavior analytics tools like heatmaps and session recordings can help you identify pain points a customer experiences on your site—like website bugs, a confusing design, or broken links and elements. Feedback tools like on-site surveys and Incoming Feedback give you voice of the customer (VoC) feedback so you can learn from real users what they like and dislike about your site. One UX expert said:
“Instead of seeing UX as a chore, Hotjar is making data gathering and analyzing more fun, because we can see tangible results from a much larger pool of user/user-data than we could in the past.”
👉 Read more Hotjar reviews from real users.
2. Crazy Egg
What it is: Crazy Egg is a heatmap and testing tool that helps you collect and evaluate visual data, and test changes made to your site.
What it’s good for: Crazy Egg can be used to test different variables and changes to your site, and to observe how users behave on your website. Read our comparison of Hotjar vs Crazy Egg for a more in-depth look at what our tools have in common—and how we’re different.
What it is: FullStory is an analytics tool for measuring digital interactions a user takes across multiple channels.
What it’s good for: FullStory offers heatmaps, session recordings, and bug tracking, which can help your team identify barriers and improve user behavior on your website and mobile app. Read our comparison of Hotjar vs FullStory to see which tool will help your business.
After you know what’s happening on your website, why it’s happening, and have identified opportunities for improvement, it’s time to test and see which changes result in happier visitors and higher conversion rates. The following CRO testing tools will make it easy to test and implement changes.
3 popular tools for testing changes to your site
1. Google Optimize
What it is: Google Optimize is an experiment and testing platform that integrates with Google Analytics.
💡 Pro tip: we recently announced Hotjar’s integration with Google Optimize, making it easy to compare how users experience changes you make to your site. You can filter session recordings by Optimize experiment ID to see how visitors interact with each test page.
2. VWO Testing
What it is: VWO Testing is a visual editor and A/B testing tool for websites.
What it’s good for: through real-time A/B testing, you can see how your website visitors will react to potential changes on your site—and which changes are more likely to lead to conversions.
What it is: Instapage is a landing page builder that focuses on personalization and behavioral targeting. It helps you create unique landing pages tailored to different audiences.
What it’s good for: You can use Instapage to serve dynamic content to your visitors based on who they are, and test different elements on your web page to create a tailored experience for every audience segment.
Bonus CRO testing tip
Hotjar can help you measure user behavior and get feedback from real visitors while you’re A/B testing changes on your site.
For example, you can monitor A/B tests with heatmaps to see how visitors move, tap, or scroll on different versions of a page. And on-site surveys give you VoC feedback directly from real users: just place a survey on an optimized page to find out what they think of the changes.
Why CRO tools aren't just for testing
After going through this list of CRO tools, it might seem odd what we’re about to say, but take note!—this is important:
CRO tools aren’t just for increasing final conversion rates.
A lot happens before a visitor converts—i.e. the customer journey—and if you use CRO tools only to increase some numbers on a quarterly report, you’re missing the most important piece of the puzzle: the people behind the conversions; your customers. A user-centric approach to CRO focuses on understanding the:
Drivers that bring people to your website
Barriers that make them leave (and prevent them from converting)
Hooks that convince them to convert so you can give your visitors the best experience possible on your site.
💪 Learn how: create a 3-step, user-centric CRO plan to improve your conversion rates using the tools we mentioned above and a customer-first mindset.