Conversion optimizers know about tools — the cool, powerful, and awesome tools that turn visitors into buyers, and traffic into revenue.
What good are tools if you don’t know when to use them? If you’re familiar — even just a little bit — with the wild world of CRO, then you know that there are a ton of conversion optimization tools out there. The problem comes when you don’t quite know when to use them.
My list below doesn’t just recommend tools haphazardly. As I often do with my lists, I’ve organized the best optimization tools according to purpose. If you find an area that you need some help in, just check out this shortlist, and see what you come up with.
1. Make better headlines: Portent’s Content Idea Generator
Headlines are one of the most important parts of a landing page, product page, or homepage.
I would go so far as to say that your landing page doesn’t matter unless you have an absolutely killer headline.
Great headlines get more inbound links, earn more clickthroughs, gain more shares, garner more sales, and improve your revenue. Simply put, everything depends on a great headline.
Notice how some of these pages unleash spectacular headlines for their website’s main page:
Sprig uses a three-word headline to describe what they do, creating a sense of intensity and excitement over their product:
The startup AirPair uses this headline to absolutely nail their benefit, while also calling out their target audience.
VinoMofo uses their attention-grabbing headline to shock their readers and create curiosity.
All of these pages have something in common: They’ve got killer headlines.
Whether you’re unleashing a great piece of content, designing the world’s most amazing infographic, or simply trying to create a sizzling hot landing page you must create a good headline.
So how do you do it?
I haven’t found a perfect tool, but I have found a tool that can help.
I like to think of this as just that — an idea generator. There’s no such thing as a piece of software that can create a true headline for you ex nihilo. Use the tools to get ideas, analysis, and inspiration, but depend on your own gray matter to settle on the best headline.
Here’s how the tool works.
All you do is write your subject in the little box. This is basically a keyword or query.
The Idea Generator spits out a possible headline with analysis.
What I like about this is that you get some sample headlines, but you also get some insights on why headlines work (or don’t). For example, the tip “numbered lists are winners” is absolutely correct. That’s the kind of tip you want to tuck away and use again, maybe for a future article.
Keep clicking the arrow button to generate idea after idea after idea.
Eventually, you’ll get so inspired that you’ll rush off to write down your own killer headline.
Great headlines mean great conversion rates. Once your headlines are purring right along, the conversions will come rushing in.
2. Improve your usability: Five Second Test
Some people get so hung up on the term “conversion rate optimization” that they neglect an important fact. Conversion rate optimization is really about usability.
CROs spend a lot of time looking at data. We drill down into metrics, learn about CTRs, examine heat maps, and meticulously review every datapoint in Google Analytics. But sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees. Sometimes, we just need to step back and look at the site’s usability.
One of the most direct ways to improve your conversion rate is to make your website as user-friendly as possible.
If your checkout process is clunky, slow, insecure, and buggy, then it’s no wonder you have shopping cart abandonment and terrible conversion rates. If your CTA buttons are hard to find and click, then don’t expect to get a lot of conversions. If your headline is confusing or unclear, then you aren’t communicating effectively to your readers.
All of these issues have to do with usability. I would argue that usability testing is just as important for CRO than traditional split testing.
Often, usability testing comes early in the development process. It’s the realm of UX experts and designers, not CROs, right ? Well, if you’re a good CRO you realize that you should also analyze a site’s user experience, and make sure that conversions can happen easily.
One of the best tools for improving usability is produced by Usability Hub. It’s called the Five Second Test.
With the five second test, you show your page to real users. Those users have five seconds to look at your page, then it disappears gone. On the next page, the test-taker has to answer a question that you create.
You can take a test right now if you want to. Here’s what you’ll see as you begin your test:
Then, you’ll take the test:
Once you view the image for five seconds, you get to answer a few questions.
I go to the site sometimes to provide feedback for designers, UX developers, and CROs. It’s actually kind of fun.
The good news is, you can get this kind of real-life, real-person feedback on your own website. It’s free, it’s easy, and it provides invaluable information.
The best people to provide feedback on your site are real people — people from different perspectives, backgrounds, countries, and professions. FiveSecondTest is kind of random, and you need to listen to the feedback with a grain of salt. But it’s still a great tool for understanding how your page speaks to the user base.
A few well-placed usability improvements will go a long way in improving your conversion rates.
3. Create killer Call to Action buttons: ButtonOptimizer.com
When it comes right down to it, a page is only as successful as its CTA buttons. A good button can either make a break a landing page.
The success of a CTA button depends on so many things — size, color, font, position, icon, text, contrast, placement, etc.
We’ve all seen these buttons, and we know what to do.
Where do you get ideas and features for creating your CTA buttons? How do you actually make a CTA button that works?
ButtonOptimizer is a great choice for inspiration or design ideas, or even a ready-made PNG or CSS code to put directly in your page.
All you do is set up your button according to the tool’s parameters.
Creating a button literally takes just a minute or two. I made the button below, and it took me less than one minute.
The great part about the tool is that you can go back and create more buttons, as many as you want, for split testing purposes. There’s power in the CTA button, and the more fine-tuning you perform with your CTAs, the better uptick you’ll experience in your conversion rates.
4. Understand the reliability of your A/B test: A/B Significance Test Calculator
A/B testing is the way to go for top-notch conversion optimization.
Sometimes CROs don’t quite understand how A/B testing works. It’s easy to toss a test on up on Optimizely, or pull some split tests from a MailChimp email campaign. What’s not so easy is understanding these tests, specifically the statistical significance of those tests.
Statistical significance? Do you even know what I’m talking about?
Whenever you run an A/B tests, you need to know whether or not that test is statistically significant. In other words, you need to know whether or not you can trust the data from your test. If the test lacks statistical significance, then you might be viewing results that are completely unreliable.
If, on the other hand, you are creating a test that has statistical significance, then you know that the information should be trusted, and you can take action on the results.
The best way to figure this out is not to trust your gut, and instead to use the A/B Significance Test calculator from GetDataDriven by Kissmetrics.
The A/B Significance Test allows you to plug in your overall test results. First, enter in the information from Test A — number of visitors and the number of conversion rates. Then, enter in the information from Test B.
The calculator analyzes your results:
This tool could keep you from making stupid mistakes. One of the biggest mistakes that stems from A/B testing is right in this area — the realm of statistical significance.
CROs love to run a test, pull the results, and declare to the world — ”LOOK!! 890% INCREASE IN CONVERSIONS!” But when the dust settles, and you you actually plug in the numbers, you realize, “Wait. This test has questionable significance.”
Not every A/B testing platform reports the confidence level of a test. That’s why this tool is so important.
The better you know your test’s statistical significance, the better you will be able to understand your data, and take action on it.
5. Determine the length of your A/B tests: http://abtestcalculator.com/
One way to improve the quality of your A/B testing is to run the test for the correct length of time?
So, how long is long enough?
The A/B Testing Calculator will tell you. All you do is plug in your data — pageviews, and conversions.
Then, you get your results:
The last thing you want to do is skew your results by running a test that is either too long or too short. A/B testing takes a lot of time, and you want to run as many different tests as possible.
The calculator gives you reliable information for knowing exactly how long you should run your tests.
The way to become a more successful conversion optimizer is to know and use the best tools. These five tools are perfect, because they help you focus on the areas that are most important in a CRO’s job. Plus, they’re free.
What free tools do you use for conversion optimization?
Read other Crazy Egg articles by Neil Patel.