6 Free Resources that Will Help You Become a Better CRO

by Neil Patel

Last updated on July 3rd, 2018

Quick! What’s the fastest way to jack up conversions, improve your revenue, and turn your website into a money-making machine?

Answer:  Become a better conversion rate optimizer.

Conversion rate optimization works, and improving your CRO skills is one of the quickest ways to drive up your site’s success.

Think about it. Becoming a better CRO takes time, but very little money. Once you optimize your site for more conversions, you can raise conversions, and improve revenue. The ROI is huge.

It’s really that simple.

So, now you just need to become a better CRO, right?

I’ve rounded up six of the best free resources for amping up your CRO credentials, and boosting your site’s conversions.

1.  Get cutting edge information on conversion rate optimization.

First, you need to hone your knowledge.

I recommend that you check out at least three resources. I’ve organized them here in order of shortest to longest.

  1. Infographic from Conversion Rate Experts: 9 Steps to Better Conversions. After working with Hiten Shah and me, the Conversion Rate Experts made this infographic. If you apply their methodology, your conversion rates will
  2. The Beginner’s Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization from Qualaroo. Qualaroo creates a customer insight software, but they also have a killer conversion guide. If your knowledge of conversion optimization is about as advanced as my knowledge of astrophysics, this is a good place to start. The 12-chapter guide is packed with actionable tips, powerful insights, and conversion-boosting knowledge.
  3. The Definitive Guide to Conversion Optimization from Quicksprout. Joseph Putnam and I wrote this guide to help entrepreneurs, startups, marketers, and bloggers wrap their minds around CRO, and blast their businesses to insane levels of success. I can personally attest to the quality and power of this guide. You will not be disappointed.

If you read one or more of these free resources, you’ll have a level of knowledge on conversion rate optimization that few people have attained to. Already, you’re way ahead of the game.

2.  Google Analytics Content Experiments

If you’re just getting started in A/B testing, Google’s tool is as good as any. Keep in mind that there aren’t a whole lot of bells and whistles on this tool. It’s just a tester, which is okay.

Google Analytics Content Experiments (or GACE) is slightly different from the typical A/B testing model in that it uses A/B/n testing.

A/B/n split testing creates a test that compares the control (A), against the variation (B), and any other variations (C, D, etc., That’s why the notation “n” is used.). GACE allows up to ten variations of a page, each served by different URLs.


Image from WiderFunnel.com.

A/B/n testing can be a bit cumbersome. GACE’s interface is fairly straightforward, but you’ll need to have some technical knowledge and implementation skills to pull off a successful test.

content experiments

Give it a try, though. You’re sure to uncover some important and actionable information.

3.  Visual Website Optimizer

Visual Website Optimizer, or VWO, is free for thirty days. Thirty days is long enough to test out its sizzling-hot power, and you may want to upgrade at the end of your trial.

VWO allows you to track a variety of different goals — visits to specific pages, engagement on the web page, form submits, button clicks, revenue generated, and any other custom event.

The interface is big, bold, and beautiful. Plus, it’s easy to use. If code scares you, breathe easy. VWO is pretty much a code-free place.

qucksprout more traffic

If you get stuck anywhere, you can read more about an issue. You’ll learn a lot about conversion optimization along the way.

Here’s VWO in one minute and forty-five seconds:

The nice thing about VWO is that it makes the whole process pain-free, hassle-free, code-free, and cost-free, at least for thirty days.

4.  Optimizely

Optimizely is also free for thirty days. Still, you should be able to gain some value from the product for as long as you’re testing it.

I should also point out that at some point, you’re going to want to ramp up your A/B testing. It’s just what CROs do. They test. Optimizely, VWO, and Unbounce are among the more popular A/B testing platforms, so you definitely won’t be wasting your time by testing them out.

Optimizely assumes a slightly more advanced level of coding knowledge than VWO. You don’t have to be a straight-up developer, but you should probably understand some basics of coding in order to make full use of the platform.


There’s a lot you can do with Optimizely. If deep, data-driven action is what you’re looking for, then Optimizely is prepared to deliver.

5.  AnnotateIt

Some of the best resources are the simple resources.

AnnotateIt is a free bookmarklet that lets you mark up web pages with your own comments. It takes just ten seconds to sign up and start annotating websites.

What you do is create an AnnotateIt bookmark, open it while you’re on a site, and then start adding notations to the website.

quicksprout traffic

This tool comes in handy whenever you want to discuss features of a website, point out conversion insights, indicate items that need to be fixed, and conduct any other action.

I’m impressed with AnnotateIt’s simplicity and functionality.

6.  Five Second Test

This is both a fun and free tool.

You can upload your designs to be tested by the Five Second Test community. Test takers have five seconds to view your page and answer your question. You get to pore through test results and make actionable decisions based on what you see.

explore the collection

There are paid options to this tool. For example, you can place your tests higher in the priority cycle. But the free testing tool gives you results. In order to get the free test results, you have to “pay” by doing tests yourself.

Simply taking the tests is a good exercise in CRO. You get to discover what other websites are doing, testing, and asking. You might just get some free ideas.


This list is short for a couple reasons. First, I’ve curated it so you don’t have to waste your time trying out crappy tools. Second, there aren’t very many free tools out there.

Conversion rate optimization is a powerful skill that will improve your revenue. So, I wouldn’t be too stingy about dropping some money into CRO investment. The ROI is definitely there. I’ve spent more than a quarter million bucks on CRO, and haven’t regretted it a bit.

What are some of your favorite CRO tools?

Read other Crazy Egg articles by Neil Patel.



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Neil Patel

Neil Patel is the co-founder of Crazy Egg and Hello Bar. He helps companies like Amazon, NBC, GM, HP and Viacom grow their revenue.


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    June 29, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    Thanks! The 1st time here. Sorry for my bad english by the way. I tried hotjar and works perfectly for me. You can record your visitors and see where they click, track the mouse position and that stuff. Anyways I’m a newbie blogger trying to improve everything about SEO. Bye!! 😀

  2. Tim says:
    January 2, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Great bunch of resources thanks. So AnnotateIt works with ANY website or just ones you own?

  3. Anonymous says:
    November 11, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Great article Neil, some of these tools I did not know about so this is a great resource, thanks

  4. Miraj Gazi says:
    November 11, 2014 at 1:37 am

    Hi Neil,

    Very well written post. Thanks for sharing some awesome Conversion Rate Optimization Tips and best Practices. You also mentioned some good CRO Tools. I think Optimizely is a good tool.

    Best Regards
    Miraj Gazi

  5. Kostas Chiotis says:
    November 11, 2014 at 1:23 am

    These are really usefull Neil, I didn’t know most of them, especially the last one “Five Second Test’ is something that I will definitely try when I need to check a page, there is no better test than actual people checking your page for you and tell you their opinion!

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