“Men have become the tools of their tools” – Henry David Thoreau
Whether you’re a conversion optimization agency, consultant, or in-house at a startup or enterprise, investing in the right conversion optimization tool is a big decision.
We’re asked often whether a tool is good, bad, or downright awful, and until now, haven’t put it all together into a cohesive post – until now.
To navigate the list, you can filter out tools based on function as well as for which size company it works best. We also gave the option to view only Peep’s favorite tools as well.
Adobe Analytics is part of Adobe’s Marketing Suite, and it’s a powerful platform.
Formerly known as Adobe SiteCatalyst, the tool has pretty much everything you could want, including real-time analytics, mobile app analytics, funnel tracking, and Predictive Intelligence. It’s basically only for enterprises, though. It’s not cheap.
Browserling offers live interaction, web-based browser testing.
It gives you a real visual from each browser. From there you can also make annotations and report design errors on any browser.
Canvas, by GrowthHackers, helps support the whole growth process (including archiving results).
Not only does it archive results, but also ideas, hypotheses, etc. This makes it easier for members of the team to extract insights from past tests, and it also lets new members quickly onboard by analyzing what has and hasn’t been tested in the past.
It’s really ideal for startups. It might not help if you’re at a large company (though, maybe I’m wrong, and it would). For us, we run a small team and it’s perfect for organizing and archiving test ideas.
One con is that it doesn’t integrate with Google Analytics or Optimizely. That, however, isn’t much a con, because it will have that capability in the coming months.
I’m a huge fan and we use it at CXL to manage our growth experiments.
ChangeAgain.me provides a visual interface to Google Experiments for A/B Testing.
A good solution for those companies that already have Google Analytics and want to try split testing.
They bill based on the number of tests you run, not the number of visitors as other split testing solutions do.
No coding skills necessary. You can launch new tests with a point-and-click visual editor
Clicky is free (if you have less than 3,000 daily page views) and directly positions itself as an alternative to Google Analytics.
Clicky has a few features that differentiate (all real time analytics, heat maps), but I don’t think it’s worth switching from GA. If you want heat maps, there are other free tools.
Conductrics is an advanced tool that offers methods from AB Testing blended with Machine Learning to deliver optimal experiences, for each user, automatically.
You can use it as either a server-side or client-side tool, and you can pretty much customize it in anyway you’re trying to use it.
Decibel Insight is a high-powered, enterprise level CX analytics tool. They offer session replay, dynamic heatmaps, form analytics, behavorial alerts, and error reporting.
Effective Experiments is a single platform to manage the entire optimization workflow that would help CROs to store their ideas, test plans and results all in one place.
They’ve also created some automated features that will save CROs time – such as automated reporting and integrations with A/B testing tools etc.
Experiment Engine is a workflow management tools that helps you plan, create, and report on A/B tests.
Google Analytics is the most common analytics tool used by marketers (73 percent of marketers use Google Analytics).
It integrates with almost everything. It’s easy to use. No reason not to have it, really. Install it in less than 10 minutes.
Google Content Experiments is Google’s testing and optimization tool, mainly operating with bandit algorithms, but also with the option to run traditional split tests.
Pros: Bandit algorithms provide a different mathematical model for optimization. With Content Experiments you can’t target a specific segment, but you can analyze the results across segments right in Google Analytics (eliminates need for integration). Big pro is that it’s totally free.
Cons: Split URL testing only. No code editor. No visual editor. But you can’t really complain about Content Experiments as it’s free :)
Google Forms is a great survey tool. It’s free. You can get almost anything done with it.
There aren’t any bells and whistles, so the surveys look kind of plain.
Google PageSpeed Insights analyzes the content of a web page, then generates suggestions to make that page faster.
It’s free. While it’s not all encompassing, there’s not reason not to use it. Can find low hanging fruit.
HotJar does (almost) everything. In addition to their triggered polls, they also offer funnel tracking, session cams, heat maps, and more.
They’re available for a good price too, and actually have a pretty extensive free version.
Here’s Michael Aagaard from Unbounce talking about the tool:
And here’s a second opinion by Alex Harris:
Inspectlet is feature rich and affordable, and you can gather and analyze higher volume of clickstream data than other tools in the same price range/category. They do form analytics, session recording, and heat maps.
Iridion is a workflow tool pretty exclusively focused on expert optimizers.
Built by konversionsKRAFT with the purpose of organizing the entire testing process, Iridion is a sophisticated tool for the entire testing process, from ideation to experimentation, archiving and more. It integrates with testing tools like Optimizely, etc.
They’re also adding their knowledge from thousands of A/B tests to help growth hackers and optimizers building stronger experiments with higher uplifts. For example, Iridion will contain a library of 200+ psychological behavior patterns and will include qualitative methods to improve text concepts even before you test them.
Right now it’s in beta.
Kampyle has a whole suite of on-page polling tools – Includes form builder, Dynamic profiling and segmentation, auto-routing and integrations with most major softwares.
Their forms are pretty standard, and include things like General Feedback, NPS, and Task Completion. They’ve also got some nice charts to visualize data.
Not as much freedom as something like Qualaroo gives you, but its simplicity is great. It took a while to get the hang of it. Honestly, the usability could use a bit of work as simple things like saving the design and deleting items wasn’t very intuitive. After a while though, was pretty fun and easy to use.
Google Analytics tells you what happened, KISSmetrics tells you who did it.
KISSMetrics is excellent for tracking funnels and cohorts. They also have an A/B test report that is a great complement to your testing tool’s analysis.
Lucky Orange offers an “All-in-One Conversion Optimization Suite,” including analytics, recordings, live chat, heatmaps, funnel analysis, form analytics, and polls.
Marketizator is another new player in the testing tool market. They position themselves as a sort of all in one optimization tool: pop-ups, on-page surveys, A/B testing, personalization, segmentation.
They’re pretty cheap for all they offer too, even offering a free version for under 10k visitors a month.
They’re an especially good tool for beginners, affordable with lots of features included.
Maxymiser is a powerful tool, one of the more expensive enterprise tools out there.
Offers lots of different solutions. Lots of flexibility, and with a focus on personalization as well. Almost across the board, reviews say that they have great service and support, and people tend to like their UI.
One big con is, of course, that Maxymiser is expensive and therefore not as available smaller organizations.
Mouseflow offers a whole suite of mouse tracking tools – Click maps, heat maps, scroll maps, recorded user sessions – you name it.
Instead of running simple split tests, Myna operates using bandit algorithms.
This means that they do the whole explore/exploit thing differently. Instead of an independent exploration period (A/B test, 50/50 split) and then an independent exploitation period (implementing the winner), they adjust tests in real-time, showing winning designs more often.
That’s a simplification of course. If you’d like to read more about bandit algorithms, read our article on the subject.
Open Hallway allows you to record users either remotely or locally, and watch the video results from your browser. A great way to identify usability fixes.
Optimizely is the leading A/B test tool, by a pretty large margin.
They’re easy to use, you don’t need to be technical to get small tests running, and their new Stats Engine makes it harder for noobs to mess up tests.
Here’s a review of Optimizely from Stephen Pavlovich, CEO of Conversion.com:
PageSense from Zoho offers several optimization tools under one roof to help you with your website conversions.
PageSense primary offerings include Goal tracking and Funnel Analysis to track your key website metrics; Heatmap, Form Analytics, and Session Recording to analyze visitor behavior; A/B Testing and Split URL Testing to optimize your conversions. This makes the product’s approach to the CRO process a comprehensive one. Also, all its features come with a segmentation facility for filtering reports, which is a quality addition to this bang-for-buck CRO software.
This is a new tool, so we need to hear feedback from more users, however, at the time of writing we were very impressed with the customer experience toolset behind Pagesense. Specifically, we were impressed by the ability for the heatmapping tool to capture data behind interactive elements like hover-enabled mega menus.
Piwik is the open source alternative to Google Analytics.
Here’s a review from Yehoshua Coren of Analytics Ninja:
Qualaroo is one of the most popular on-page survey tools.
Sean Ellis started it and it’s grown a lot in the last few years. It is great at targeting the right customers at the right time, and it’s easy to setup. Also integrates with common tools like Optimizely, Marketo, etc.
They’re onboarding is great. Nothing was confusing at all, unlike their competitors. The walkthrough made everything clear.
Here’s a review from Andy Hunt, founder of UpliftROI:
Qualtrics is a powerful survey tool and very common for enterprises (and universities). The data collection and analysis is unmatched for large data sets.
Rob Balon, a market research consultant in Austin, has worked with tons of huge enterprises, though, and says that the tool is useful at scale. Here are his thoughts:
ScreenFly, part of a suite of tools by quirktools.com, is a great cross-browser or cross-device tester.
You just type in the URL and you can visualize it from every device and browser. It quickly shifts to show you different screen sizes and whatnot. Great usability. The same site also offers free wireframing and sitemaps. Seriously great resource.
SessionCam is a popular usability tool that offers a range of capabilities, centering on session playback and mouse tracking.
And a more opinionated review from Peep Laja:
Here’s a rosier review Keren Shohet of Telerik:
SiteSpect is a testing tool that uses a proxy server, so it avoids many of the client-side problems and retains the robustness of server-side tools.
The tool has a wide variety of offerings like site speed optimization, mobile optimization, and personalization.
SurveyGizmo offers easy-to-create online surveys.
They’re much like the other tools, except they have limited features on the free version. You can get basic stuff done, and the UI is great. If you’re looking for advanced customization, you’ll have to pay.
Survey Monkey is one of the most commonly used tools for creating and distributing surveys.
It’s really easy to set up surveys, equally effortless to analyze the data. I’ve also used this tool in the past for easy form submissions, such as nominating people for awards or taking surveys for research projects. I’ve never had any complaints about it, but it’s never blown me away either. Just got the job done.
Here’s a review from Rob Balon, market research consultant:
TryMyUI lets you can have as many people as you want to be part of a usability test (when you recruit your own testers).
“Analytics tell you where people leave your website, UsabilityTools tells you why.
Watch video playbacks of how users experience your website on mobile, tablet and desktop”
VWO is a powerful, popular, and easy-to-use A/B testing tool.
Their ‘What You See Is What You Get’ (WYSIWYG) editor makes it incredibly easy for marketers to set up tests without the help of dev. VWO also launched a new stats engine based on Bayesian decisions called Smart Stats. It is supposed to make it easier to make business decisions and not to mess up tests.
VWO is pretty all-inclusive. It also offers heatmaps and clickmaps, as well as personalization tools and their newest feature, on-page surveys.
Webengage is pretty neat because it includes notifications (like discount popups), as well as surveys and the like.
Their free plan actually goes decently far if you’re a startup or smaller organization. Not as customizable as some other triggered popups and surveys, but the simplicity is alright depending on your purposes.
WebPageTest can run site speed tests from a variety of locations.
By far the most in-depth free tool. Has charts of content breakdown, first view, repeat view, etc. Pretty neat, but not as easy to read as the Google one.
Woopra is a real-time digital analytics tool that is easy to set up and start running.
It also offers some cool features, like real time customer analytics, customer funnel analytics, event tracking, cohort analysis. Basically, it tracks users across digital touchpoints (website, mobile app, help desk, marketing automation, etc.) and builds a comprehensive behavioral profile for each user. This makes it really helpful for startups.
Woopra also tracks anonymous website & mobile app users from their first touch until they identify themselves. A con is that its integration with other tools is limited, especially when compared to universal tools like GA.
Yahoo! YSlow, like Google Pagespeed Insights, gives you a quick and clear picture of your website load speed.
Their algorithms differ a little, but YSlow is effective nonetheless. Try looking at both and tackle the common problems.
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