Depending on the conversion rate optimization services and the hypothesis that you'll want to test, each step of the optimization process requires specific tools to either gather, manipulate or crunch the data.
There is a lot of conversion rate optimization tools out there from free, low cost to high priced enterprise level ones so depending on your yearly revenue and profits + size of the business, you want to get the best possible.
Remember that if you have bad data and you make a strategy based on it, you may do more harm then good. Don't trust data until you really double of triple check it.
Content & competition research
The more insights and data you have on the message (what resonates with your audience) and what the competition does (be careful here as you don't know why they do what they do).
Check for relevant content that motivates your users to engage (based on shres, likes,...)
To know your competition is to know yourself, but don't copy or steal. Use this as a learning experience and think about why and how things can be done. Inspiration and idea generation is the key here.
Heatmaps and session replays
These tools will help you learn more how your users use your pages. Its close to the "looking behind the shoulder" experiene you would do with a friend so there is a ton of value to acquire.
Find conversion killers or why people leave your site and where (misleading buttons,...), find bugs and optimize clicks to CTAs
Stop guessing where your visitors struggle or have problems. UX is important so look how people actually use your design solutions
Survey and User Testing
Voice of customer and knowing your audience is the key to growth. Facebook ads are great but they “scale” to just one level, beyond that, what you know about your customer is extremely important.
Ask your customers questions, find out their pain points, problems, dreams and wishes. Use their own words in your marketing and ads.
Free survey tool
One of the better performed and UX optimized survey tools with personalizations
Test your prototypes with real users, get feedback, find problems, improve before you spend resources and time in development and redo things later
Use the live chat to talk to your customers live, you will get different responses and can ask new questions directly - surveys can't do that
Free and paid survey tools that can also be automated
Auditing and finding bugs and problems the current site has can get some quick wins for you. Here are some conversion optimization audit tools to help
Cross-browser testing tools
Test if your website works same on all platforms, browsers, operating systems and devices as it should. Test various mobile and desktop devices with these tools.
Website speed testing
Speed is going to be one of the features that will help you compete with other ecommerce sites. Fast site performance is going to get you more SEO traffic, lower your CPA ad costs and increase conversions. There are many stats and data out supporting this.
Each tool measures a bit differently, but make sure you test what Google sees with their own tools as that is the data Google will use to rank.
Google Lighouse v6 speed testing tool
Google PageSpeed Insights
Pingdom Speed Test
Comprehensive advanced site performance testing tool.
Treat your data as something precious as it has the most impact on CRO. As it's one of the things at the start of the process, if you make a mistake there or see wrong data, anything you do from this point on will be a mistake. Do health checks and audits regularly. You need to test and double check all data is gathered well.
Google Data Studio
Wireframing & Design tools
Expressing ideas fast and clear to your design and development team is important to get the best results possible. Better input equals better output and if everyone is clear on what and how things need to be done will get you far. UX/UI is extremely important for any online business and makes or breaks it.
A/B testing tools
There's a ton of work that has to be done before you can start a test. Integrate these properly as well and test both variations with the browser support tools as well. You don't want to have wrong data and missing sales if you do any optimization.
There are some free but limited ab testing software options to get you going.
Build and testing of landing pages
Sometimes a landing page will need to be designed and tested quickly so use one of these combo tools that offer design and testing features. Be lean and fast when you need to, but don't rush as that creates mistakes.
What are the best CRO tools?
It depends on the conversion rate optimization agency as one has its own stack of tools that they feel comfortable with and are reliable. The best conversion rate optimization tools are the ones we use most and have mastered them.
In case you're hiring an agency for your eCommerce, saas or lead gen business, you need to ask them what tools they use and then subscribe to them. You want to have full ownership of your data and stats and just share it with the CRO agency or a consultant.
You can get away with some free conversion optimization tools, but they may be limited in what you can do with them or have some drawbacks like speed. But A/B testing has become quite affordable as it used to be so test everything.