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23 Conversion Rate Optimization Tools for Research, Feedback, Analytics & More

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23 Conversion Rate Optimization Tools for Research, Feedback, Analytics & More

Believe it or not, driving traffic to your website — albeit challenging — isn’t enough to sustain your business. To truly leverage that investment in traffic, marketers must use conversion rate optimization, or CRO, to convince said traffic to complete the desired action.

The list below outlines many helpful tools for marketers looking to optimize their conversion rates. From high-level changes like landing page and email design and inspiration to in-depth insights on how your visitors navigate through your content, these tools will help you improve your site’s performance.

To help you understand the tools and their uses, we’ve also broken this list into a few major categories:

Ready? Let’s start converting.

Lead Capture Tools

These are the tools you will use to capture more leads on your site, thus improving your CRO analytics . While most conversion-focused content has a built-in form or CTA, these tools act as additional lead capture mechanisms to boost the number of leads that convert on your content.

1. HubSpot

Price: Free

It’s Google Analytics meets SumoMe meets a CRM. Sounds cool, right? It starts with an exit intent popup CTA, then syncs with your website’s existing forms to learn about your site visitors and their path through your pages.

Best Conversion Rate Optimization Tools for lead capture: HubSpot

HubSpot’s tools give you in-depth contact insights on prospects and current contacts in your database. It also pairs its contacts database with a dashboard that shows you a high-level view of which marketing efforts are paying off and converting and which ones aren’t.

2. HelloBar

Price: Free plan or $29/month to $49/month

HelloBar is a lead capture tool that allows you to add a popup form to your website to grow your email list, promote your social pages, showcase a sale, or other lead generation strategies. The free version allows you to create one modal that’s shown to every 10th visitor. However, premium plans offer more advanced call to action (CTA) options.

Best Conversion Rate Optimization Tools for lead capture: Hello bar

3. Sumo

Price: Free plan or $49/month

Sumo offers a suite of free tools to help you increase your site conversions. For lead capture, it offers a “Welcome Mat” popup CTA, a “Smart Bar” to increase email subscribers, a scroll-triggered box, and a “Contact Us” form.

Best Conversion Rate Optimization Tools for lead capture: Sumo

Along with their Google Analytics research tools, the Sumo suite helps you gain on-page insights and increase your email list.

Research Tools

Before you create any content, call upon these tools to draw inspiration and check out what other smart marketers have seen success with in the past.

4. BuzzSumo

Price: $99/month to $499/month

The best content gets shared and linked the most. So what better way to gain preliminary insights than to compile all of the most shared content on your particular topic?

With BuzzSumo, all you have to do is enter the keyword or topic. Then, it’ll pull together the most shared and linked content on that topic. Time frames range from the last day, week, month, or year.

Best Conversion Rate Optimization Tools for research: BuzzSumo

So if you’re trying to optimize the landing page for your new webinar on cat fashion, all you have to do is enter “cat fashion.” BuzzSumo will then give you the best articles, resources, videos, and more on the fascinating topic of cat couture.

You’ll then be able to dig in and explore some of the key elements that made these pages popular. With that, you can go back and incorporate them into your own content.

5. SimilarWeb

Price: Contact for pricing

Knowing where your website visitors came from can (and should) have a big impact on the type of content you create. With SimilarWeb, you can see where your traffic is coming from, which keywords are fueling your organic traffic, and what other sites are considered most similar to yours. You can also compare analytics to find out the website conversion optimization by looking over data.

Best Conversion Rate Optimization Tools for research: SimilarWeb

With this information, you’ll be able to optimize content for your biggest traffic sources and dig in to see what competitor sites are doing to drive conversions.

6. Land-book

Price: Free

If you’re creating a landing page from scratch, getting started can be difficult. Luckily there’s Land-book, a free collection of the web’s best-designed landing pages.

Best Conversion Rate Optimization Tools for research: Land-book

With Land-book, you can explore how top companies use elements like copy, positioning, layout, and design to drive conversions. Pick and choose your favorite elements from the Land-book database, and then incorporate them into your own landing page.

7. Really Good Emails

Price: Free

In today’s marketing landscape, if you want to get your message across, you’d better know a thing or two about visual communication and design.

Don’t know a thing or two about either? Enter Really Good Emails.

Best Conversion Rate Optimization Tools for research: Really Good Emails

Similar to Land-book, Really Good Emails is a database of the web’s best-designed emails from the world’s most innovative companies. Use this as a resource to see how you can design your email to get your message across in the best way possible, as fast as possible.

(Check out this post for even more resources where you can find great marketing examples.)

8. SubjectLine.com

Price: Free

When sending an email, the subject line can either make or break your performance. Before you choose which ones to send, check them out using this awesome resource.

Best Conversion Rate Optimization Tools for research: Subjectline.com

SubjectLine.com has tested over three million subject lines and has a tool to evaluate your potential options. It gives a deliverability and marketing score, plus advice on improving.

9. Headline Analyzer

Price: Free

CoSchedule’s headline analyzer gives a score of 1–100 to gauge the effectiveness of titles. The score is calculated based on word usage, grammar, vocabulary, type of headline, character, and word count.

Best Conversion Rate Optimization Tools for research: Headline Analyzer

The tool shows you what your headline looks like on Google and in an email subject line. This tool serves as a great litmus test to generally know how well your headline will perform.

CRO Analytics Tools

These are the tools you will use to measure and track your content’s performance. You can use the CRO analytics to fully analyze the dips, jumps, and fluctuations in your conversion rate.

10. Kissmetrics

Price: Contact for pricing

Kissmetrics is a complex tool that integrates with your email service provider to make it easy to analyze your audience and email them in specific cohorts.

Best Conversion Rate Optimization Tools for CRO Analytics: Kissmetrics

With Kissmetrics, you can learn the path that your customers have taken through your website. You can also conduct A/B tests, build data sets (without SQL), perform website conversion optimization, and assess the ROI from your campaigns.

11. Google Analytics

Price: Free for basic, contact sales for premium

Google Analytics is a free way to track your website visitors. You can see how long it takes visitors to bounce from your pages, if visitors complete goals from a certain path, and which sources bring people to your website.

Best Conversion Rate Optimization Tools for CRO Analytics: Google Analytics

What’s great about Google Analytics is that it allows you to see which keywords people are using to find your page, devices they’re searching on, and uncover demographic data. However, there are no specific emails or contact information associated with your site visitors.

12. HubSpot Website Grader

Price: Free

Website Grader is a great way to get a quick snapshot of a website’s overall performance. It gives insights on performance factors (including speed, page size, and page requests), mobile responsiveness and appearance, SEO (page titles, meta descriptions, headings, and site map), and security. It’s great for website conversion optimization.

Best Conversion Rate Optimization Tools for CRO Analytics: HubSpot website grader

From there, the tool devises a grade and provides suggestions on how to improve, which makes it easy to come up with some quick wins that’ll help you boost conversions.

Mouse Tracking and Heat Mapping Tools

These are the tools you will use to see how people interact with your content, including how they scroll and where they click.

13. Hotjar

Price: Free for Basic, $29/month

Once you’ve nailed the basics like landing pages, CTAs, pop ups, and content, you’re ready for some more advanced conversion rate optimization. Hotjar offers heat maps and screen recordings. They enable you to track how much your page is being viewed and how visitors navigate your website.

Best Conversion Rate Optimization Tools for Heatmapping:  Hotjar

Hotjar also offers analytics, so you can see how well your pages are performing. This is helpful to see what’s working and what you can change to increase conversion.

14. Clicktale

Price: Contact for pricing

Clicktale is similar to Hotjar, as it also offers heat maps to help you determine the most valuable real estate on your pages, scroll depth (where is the “fold” on your website?), click tracking, and link analysis.

Best Conversion Rate Optimization Tools for Heatmapping:  Clicktail

Using these tools, you’ll have the information you need to organize content, CTAs, and page design in a way that makes the most sense for engagement.

15. Clicky

Price: Free plan, or $9.99/month to $149/month

Clicky gives you real-time analytics on the visitors to your website. It tells you where people are accessing your site, how long they’ve stayed on each page, and how many visitors are actively online. The resource also offers heat maps and scroll tracking.

Best Conversion Rate Optimization Tools for Heatmapping:  Clicky

Clicky is an excellent one-stop-shop for customer behavior. You’ll have multiple formats at your disposal to leverage for optimizing the performance of your website — so you can convert as many leads as possible.

16. Crazy Egg

Price: $24/month to $249/month

Crazy Egg offers a full suite of heat maps and click tracking, with the additional functionality segment clicks by source and evaluating link effectiveness. The basic package is fairly inexpensive and gives great insights into how effective each website page is.

Best Conversion Rate Optimization Tools for Heatmapping: Crazy Egg

17. Heatmap.me

Price: Free plan or up to $100/month

Heatmap.me is a great free option for anyone looking to start exploring heat maps, responsive web design tests, and real-time page statistics. Heatmap.me can also track dynamic elements on your site in the heat map tool. Think slider bars, photo galleries, and other interactive sections.

Best Conversion Rate Optimization Tools for Heatmapping: Heatmap.me

When you use the tool, you’ll see real-time analytics. It gives you important data you want to see, such as CTR and page performance. They’re easy to analyze for beginners and provide the numbers you need to enhance success.

Feedback Tools

These are the tools you’ll use to engage and receive feedback from your visitors. Feedback tools include surveys, polls, messaging, and user testing programs.

18. Intercom

Price: $87/month to $153/month

You can use chat tools to acquire new customers and chat with existing customers.

Best Conversion Rate Optimization Tools for Feedback: Intercom

As a CRO analytics tool, you can use Intercom to communicate with website prospects to learn if they need additional help, find out how their experience is going, and learn how you can improve. It also allows you to track leads and use a shared inbox with your team.

19. Qualaroo

Price: $149/month to $499/month

Using chat windows doesn’t have to be limited to just being live. In fact, Qualaroo proves that. It offers popups to collect live feedback from website viewers.

Best Conversion Rate Optimization Tools for Feedback: Qualaroo

With this information, you can tailor a site experience, target specific customers, and learn what issues people may be experiencing. This tool is extremely helpful at all stages of the funnel, and is frequently utilized in the e-commerce space.

20. SurveyMonkey

Price: $25/month to $99/month

SurveyMonkey has a free option for those just starting with survey research. You can use this tool to learn demographic information, discover which types of content your prospects and blog subscribers prefer, and get product feedback.

Best Conversion Rate Optimization Tools for Feedback: Survey Monkey

Survey your customers about their satisfaction. You’ll get great insight straight from the source about what draws your audience to your company. From these results, you can work on improving conversion methods.

21. Five Second Test

Price: $50/month to $100/month

UsabilityHub has an awesome community-fueled tool called Five Second Test that allows users to upload a product, app experience, or design and have the community test it before launch. For example, one of the tests you can run is a click test, which will give you a heat map of page performance.

Best Conversion Rate Optimization Tools for Feedback: Five Second Test

You get responses about recall, general feedback, and UI thoughts. This is a great way to have opinions. Five Second Test also offers click, preference, question, and navflow tests for other website and UI questions. You can also design surveys with the tool.

Experiment Tools

These are the tools you’ll use to manage, plan, and execute A/B and multivariate tests. Some of these tools will help you turn ideas into experiments, while others will help you create the variations and run the actual tests on your site.

22. Optimizely

Price: Contact for pricing

Testing is hard. It’s hard to come up with a good control group, find a large sample, and determine if your experiment is statistically significant. Luckily, Optimizely helps a lot with all of that – and then some. With Optimizely, you conduct tests across all devices and platforms, then figure out if it’s significant. The software offers A/B, multiple page, and multivariate tests.

Best Conversion Rate Optimization Tools for Experiments: Optimizely

Optimizely’s tool gives you a full, robust report of test results (example shown above). You’ll see interactions and, best of all, sign up clicks. Your report will tell you how many leads each test variant earned, so you can choose the best.

23. Effective Experiments

Price: Contact for pricing

Effective Experiments is a concise way to track all of your experiments. If you have tons of Excel spreadsheets cross-referenced with Google Analytics data, you are probably going crazy trying to keep track of everything. This tool puts it all in one place and helps you determine statistical significance.

Best Conversion Rate Optimization Tools for Experiments: Effective experiments

How to Shop for Conversion Rate Optimization Tools

It can be hard to shop for the best conversion rate optimization tools, so we gathered together these five tips to keep in mind:

  1. Sign up for trials before making a decision.
  2. Be thorough when searching for reviews.
  3. Go for quality, not quantity, when it comes to price.
  4. Ask other marketers what they are using.
  5. Read reports from other companies about CRO.

The Benefits of CRO Analytics Tools

There are several benefits of selecting CRO analytics tools. Some include:

  • Being able to effectively track ROI.
  • Using tools to create an engaging headline.
  • Capture customer leads.
  • Collect marketing research data.

Now, you’re armed and ready to start improving conversion rates across your website conversion optimization and marketing efforts. These tools range from free and for beginners to robust and more advanced. Feel out which options seem right for you, and soon you’ll be upgrading to the more complex tools when you’ve mastered the basics.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in July 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Marketing Team Reorgs: Why So Many and How To Survive

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Marketing Team Reorgs: Why So Many and How To Survive

How long has it been since your marketing team got restructured? 

Wearing our magic mind-reading hat, we’d guess it was within the last two years. 

Impressed by the guess? Don’t be.  

Research from Marketing Week’s 2024 Career and Salary Survey finds that almost half of marketing teams restructured in the last 12 months. (And the other half probably did it the previous year.) 

Why do marketing teams restructure so often? Is this a new thing? Is it just something that comes with marketing? What does it all mean for now and the future? 

CMI chief strategy advisor Robert Rose offers his take in this video and the summary below. 

Marketing means frequent change 

Marketing Week’s 2024 Career and Salary Survey finds 46.5% of marketing teams restructured in the last year — a 5-percentage point increase over 2023 when 41.4% of teams changed their structure. 

But that’s markedly less than the 56.5% of marketing teams that restructured in 2022, which most likely reflected the impact of remote work, the fallout of the pandemic, and other digital marketing trends. 

Maybe the real story isn’t, “Holy smokes, 46% of businesses restructured their marketing last year.” The real story may be, “Holy smokes, only 46% of businesses restructured their marketing.” 

Put simply, marketing teams are now in the business of changing frequently. 

It raises two questions.  

First, why does marketing experience this change? You don’t see this happening in other parts of the business. Accounting teams rarely get restructured (usually only if something dramatic happens in the organization). The same goes for legal or operations. Does marketing change too frequently? Or do other functions in business not change enough? 

Second, you may ask, “Wait a minute, we haven’t reorganized our marketing teams in some time. Are we behind? Are we missing out? What are they organizing into? Or you may fall at the other end of the spectrum and ask, “Are we changing too fast? Do companies that don’t change so often do better? 

OK, that’s more than one question, but the second question boils down to this: Should you restructure your marketing organization? 

Reorganizing marketing 

Centralization emerged as the theme coming out of the pandemic. Gartner reports (registration required) a distinct move to a fully centralized model for marketing over the last few years: “(R)esponsibilities across the marketing organization have shifted. Marketing’s sole responsibilities for marketing operations, marketing strategy, and marketing-led innovation have increased.”  

According to a Gartner study, marketing assuming sole responsibility for marketing operations, marketing innovation, brand management, and digital rose by double-digit percentage points in 2022 compared to the previous year.  

What does all that mean for today in plainer language? 

Because teams are siloed, it’s increasingly tougher to create a collaborative environment. And marketing and content creation processes are complex (there are lots of people doing more small parts to creative, content, channel management, and measurement). So it’s a lot harder these days to get stuff done if you’re not working as one big, joined-up team. 

Honestly, it comes down to this question: How do you better communicate and coordinate your content? That’s innovation in modern marketing — an idea and content factory operating in a coordinated, consistent, and collaborative way. 

Let me give you an example. All 25 companies we worked with last year experienced restructuring fatigue. They were not eager creative, operations, analytics, media, and digital tech teams champing at the bit for more new roles, responsibilities, and operational changes. They were still trying to settle into the last restructuring.  

What worked was fine-tuning a mostly centralized model into a fully centralized operational model. It wasn’t a full restructuring, just a nudge to keep going. 

In most of those situations, the Gartner data rang true. Marketing has shifted to get a tighter and closer set of disparate teams working together to collaborate, produce, and measure more efficiently and effectively.  

As Gartner said in true Gartner-speak fashion: “Marginal losses of sole responsibility (in favor of shared and collaborative) were also reported across capabilities essential for digitally oriented growth, including digital media, digital commerce, and CX.” 

Companies gave up the idea of marketing owning one part of the customer experience, content type, or channel. Instead, they moved into more collaborative sharing of the customer experience, content type, or channel.  

Rethinking the marketing reorg 

This evolution can be productive. 

Almost 10 years ago, Carla Johnson and I wrote about this in our book Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing. We talked about the idea of building to change: 

“Tomorrow’s marketing and communications teams succeed by learning to adapt — and by deploying systems of engagement that facilitate adaptation. By constantly building to change, the marketing department builds to succeed.” 

We surmised the marketing team of the future wouldn’t be asking what it was changing into but why it was changing. Marketing today is at the tipping point of that. 

The fact that half of all marketing teams restructure and change every two years might not be a reaction to shifting markets. It may just be how you should think of marketingas something fluid that you build and change into whatever it needs to be tomorrow, not something you must tear down and restructure every few years.  

The strength in that view comes not in knowing you need to change or what you will change into. The strength comes from the ability and capacity to do whatever marketing should. 

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:  

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute 

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Boost Your Traffic in Google Discover

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Boost Your Traffic in Google Discover

2. Understand topical authority: Keywords vs. entities

Google has been talking about topical authority for a long time, and in Discover, it is completely relevant. Traditional SEO includes the use of keywords to position your web pages for a specific search, but the content strategy in Discover should be based on entities, i.e., concepts, characters, places, topics… everything that a Knowledge Panel can have. It is necessary to know in which topics Google considers we have more authority and relevance in order to talk about them.

3. Avoid clickbait in titles

“Use page titles that capture the essence of the content, but in a non-clickbait fashion.” This is the opening sentence that describes how headlines should be in Google’s documentation. I always say that it is not about using clickbait but a bit of creativity from the journalist. Generating a good H1 is also part of the job of content creation.

Google also adds:

“Avoid tactics to artificially inflate engagement by using misleading or exaggerated details in preview content (title, snippets, or images) to increase appeal, or by withholding crucial information required to understand what the content is about.”

“Avoid tactics that manipulate appeal by catering to morbid curiosity, titillation, or outrage.

Provide content that’s timely for current interests, tells a story well, or provides unique insights.”

Do you think this information fits with what you see every day on Google Discover? I would reckon there were many sites that did not comply with this and received a lot of traffic from Discover.

With the last core updates in 2023, Google was extremely hard on news sites and some niches with content focused on Discover, directly affecting E-E-A-T. The impact was so severe that many publishers shared drastic drops in Search Console with expert Lily Ray, who wrote an article with data from more than 150 publishers.

4. Images are important

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. If you look at your Discover feed, you’ll see most of the images catch your attention. They are detailed shots of delicious food, close-ups of a person’s face showing emotions, or even images where the character in question does not appear, such as “the new manicure that will be a trend in 2024,” persuading you to click.

Google’s documentation recommends adding “high-quality images in your content, especially large images that are more likely to generate visits from Discover” and notes important technical requirements such as images needing to be “at least 1200 px wide and enabled by the max-image-preview:large setting.” You may also have found that media outlets create their own collages in order to have images that stand out from competitors.

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Everything You Need to Know About Google Search Essentials (formerly Google Webmaster Guidelines)

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Everything You Need to Know About Google Search Essentials (formerly Google Webmaster Guidelines)

One of the most important parts of having a website is making sure your audience can find your site (and find what they’re looking for).

The good news is that Google Search Essentials, formerly called Google Webmaster Guidelines, simplifies the process of optimizing your site for search performance.

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