The best CRO tools include heatmaps, a/b testing, and analytics features to give you the insights you need to boost conversion rates. Our expert marketers round up their top nine, including Optimizely, Smartlook, and Google Analytics.

You have a killer website with gorgeous graphics, perfect UX, and a rich content library designed for every step of the user journey. Only problem? Your conversion rates tell a different story.

Here, we consulted with HawkSEM’s CRO and tech team, Jenny Palmer, Yara Askar, and Alissa DeGeorge, to bring you nearly a decade of first hand experience with paid and organic marketing using the best conversion rate optimization tools.

Keep reading for their recommendations of the latest and greatest CRO tools on the market which they leverage to give our clients an average 4.5X ROI.

9 best CRO tools list preview

  1. Google Analytics for web analytics
  2. Kissmetrics for web analytics
  3. Hotjar for heatmaps
  4. Microsoft Clarity for heatmaps
  5. Smartlook for heatmaps
  6. Intercom for customer service feedback
  7. HubSpot for customer service feedback
  8. VWO for CRO A/B testing
  9. Optimizely for CRO A/B testing

Most CRO tools fall under categories that speak to specific marketing functions:

  • Heatmaps and user behavior analysis
  • Web analytics tools
  • Lead capture and data collection
  • Testing tools

Let’s lift the veil on web performance with these first few CRO tools.

Best web analytics tools

1. Google Analytics

Wondering who and how many people visited your website yesterday afternoon compared to, say, right now?
Google Analytics gives you web traffic data in real-time so you never miss a beat. Web behavior and organic traffic insights help you visualize your customer journey, all of which help you understand how to better convert them.
Plus, Google optimizes tailored strategies with audience segmentation. And as a data-obsessed digital marketing agency, we’re big fans of GA’s detailed web metrics, like:

  • Pages per session: One visitor viewed two services pages, while the other bounced at the home page. GA just helped you zero in on a warm lead.
  • Average session time: Do visitors spend seconds or minutes on your landing page? There’s a difference.
  • Traffic sources: Find out if your pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, organic social content, or search engine results page (SERP) rankings brought potential customers to your site.
  • Bounce rates for each page: Notice high bounce rates for your sales or product pages? It might be time to revamp them with more conversion-friendly elements.

Plus, recent features on GA4 dive even deeper into audience analysis, which help you target conversion-ready website visitors via machine learning and predictive audiences.


  • Website conversion rates tracked
  • Pageview
  • Bounce rate
  • Data collection and reporting
  • Audience identification
  • Remarketing
  • Traffic sources
  • Campaign performance

Best for: Comprehensive metrics on web performance; for every type of business

Pricing: Free; or $150,000 annually for GA 360 (premium, more data collection for enterprise businesses)

2. Kissmetrics

Take Google Analytics’ metrics for your website and toss in performance analysis on every single channel, marketing product, or campaign you’ve ever run.

That’s what Kissmetrics does with its AI-powered platform, which shows you every relevant customer metric you could think of across your entire marketing strategy.

You can also harness insights from its lead generation funnel, identifying points of friction or success in user interactions. Plus, you can add multiple funnels to speak to your various products or marketing channels.


  • Customer metrics like churn rates and lifetime value
  • Revenue reporting
  • Sales-qualified leads (SQL) queries
  • Business intelligence (BI) reporting
  • Customer funnel analysis
  • Metrics and performance by channel, campaign, or customer
  • Filterable insights by date

Best for: Brands with multiple channels and products

Pricing: Starting at $25.99/month for 10K tracked conversions or events; price goes up with more events tracked. Pay-as-you-go plan starting at $0.0025 per tracked event.

It’s one thing to see a click or conversion, but how do you get into the mind of the person behind it?

Best heatmaps tools for CRO

3. Hotjar

hotjar image

Image: Hotjar

Hotjar is a heatmap tool that switches the analytical lens from your website to your audience. And boy, do they zoom in. How?

For starters, the platform gives your audience a voice with on-site pop-ups and external surveys.

Hotjar subscribers customize questions about your audience’s customer experience and learn what makes them tick directly from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. The platform then analyzes customer feedback submissions to give you more strategic insight.

But the real star of the show is the heatmaps, which let you visualize your audience’s experience on your site — where they linger, navigate, and click (even rage click) — in user-friendly, color-coded reports.

The scroll-maps features tell you how far each person scrolls down your page, which usually reminds our clients to place their product’s value points high up!

Pair all that with an impressive suite of qualitative and quantitative data on conversions, bounces, and traffic sources. Hotjar puts you in the passenger seat of the customer journey and lets you recap the experience with session recordings to boot.


  • Scroll maps
  • Session recordings
  • User interviews
  • Survey tools
  • User feedback analysis
  • Reporting dashboards
  • Customer funnel analysis
  • Historical trends
  • Integrations (i.e., with Google Analytics)
  • Heat maps

Best for: Audience research and user behavior analytics
Pricing: Free, $32/month, or $56/month, depending on your subscription tier

4. Microsoft Clarity

Microsoft enthusiasts flock to the tech giant’s behavioral analytics tool, Clarity. Like Hotjar, it records user sessions and generates heatmaps to tell you how your audience interacts with your website.

We also like the fact that Microsoft Clarity is free, which even applies to scaled businesses with over 100 million website visitors. That’s some serious value for a CRO tool, though Hotjar’s feedback widgets and surveys do dissect behavior insights a little deeper.

The best part about heatmap tools? Askar says they go further than the data:

“Heatmaps provide a visual representation of the user interactions that data can’t show,” says Askar. “Brands can then monetize that insight to improve the user experience, optimize for conversion rates, make decisions on their content strategy, improve their product, or even provide more personalization on the site.”


  • Session recordings
  • Heatmaps
  • Excessive scrolling and rage clicks
  • Metrics dashboard

Best for: Getting started with heatmaps

5. Smartlook

smartlook image

Image: Smartlook

Smartlook is another heatmapping tool that’s especially popular among SaaS brands and tech apps, especially for its bug tracking and cross-platform audience analysis (web and mobile).

It offers similar features as Hotjar in terms of session recordings and heatmaps, though we especially like Smartlook’s highlights to help you identify important events (bounce, conversion, etc.) without having to watch the entire recording.

While Hotjar gets a bit deeper into behavioral analytics with interviews and real-time feedback, Smartlook still offers a comprehensive look into your audience for a better price. There’s a free version that allows up to 3,000 recorded monthly sessions. That combines both web and mobile apps, as well as 10 heatmaps.

We think Smarlook is perfect for small businesses with smaller budgets. It lets them take advantage of similar features to Hotjar without having to worry about paid plans.


  • Bug tracking
  • Integrations with more tools like Shopify
  • Session replay
  • Heatmaps
  • Activity dashboard
  • Event tracking
  • Funnel analysis
  • Cross-platform behavior tracking

Best for: Startups and tech brands

Pricing: Free for the basic plan, $55/month for mid-tier, or custom pricing for enterprise plans
Heatmaps reveal customer sentiments about your website. But if you want to know what they think about your products and services? You might need a few weeks to consult your customer service team.

A faster option?

Customer service feedback tools

6. Intercom

intercom image

Image: Intercom

This conversion rate optimization software is a mixed bag of customer service automation and audience analysis. The platform gives you a bird’s-eye view of customer conversations that would otherwise take hours to sift through.

Think about it: Your customers might try to reach you through social media, phone calls, or your website chatbot. That’s a lot of platforms and potential messages to scope out.

Intercom gives you a 360-degree view of all customer service communications (call logs, chats, etc.) thanks to its AI-powered CRO tool. Sure, you can peruse through your chatbot convos solo. Or you can have Intercom detect common patterns of concern across all your customer chat logs for you — in over 100 languages, too.

Automation helps you pinpoint issues quickly, so you can correct anything that might stop your prospects from progressing down the funnel.

The software does the same for customer communications from call recordings, as well as customer support threads and help desk requests.

On top of everything, Intercom also streamlines your customer service and promotion strategies with live product tours, where the platform walks through products in 3-D, without you needing a demo or in-person viewing.


  • Integrations with over 300 apps
  • Live chat
  • Content analytics
  • Custom support
  • Product tours
  • Call recording
  • AI chatbot

Best for: Streamlining customer service analytics quickly and efficiently

Pricing: $36, $99, or $139/month, depending on the tier

7. HubSpot

hubspot image

Image: Hubspot

What do DoorDash, Reddit, and EventBrite have in common, other than a ton of conversions and annual revenue? They all use HubSpot as their customer relationship management (CRM) software.

This platform has a ton of use cases, but we’ll focus on the marketing aspect, which helps you achieve two CRO-forward things.

First, it helps you automate your internal workflows enough to speed up conversions and make your employees’ lives easier. Custom triggers schedule follow-ups, consultations, and other customer-focused interactions that move your audience down the conversion funnels.

Of course, no CRO tool would be complete without a robust analytics suite, too.

HubSpot brings all your essential metrics to the table, helping you identify which marketing assets make the most profound impact on your audience at every stage of the funnel.

Conversion actions, clicks, website traffic, bounce rate, and are just a taste of this powerful platform’s key performance indicators (KPI) and tracking potential.


  • Lead form builder
  • Live chat
  • Lead scoring
  • Website analytics
  • Workflow automation

Best for: Marketing automation

Pricing: Free, $18, $800, $3,600, depending on your subscription tier

Backed by Hotjar, HubSpot, and Intercom, you have a solid idea about what your audience needs to convert. Last step? Use CRO testing tools to refine your strategy.

Best CRO A/B testing tools

8. VWO

vwo image

Image: VWO

VWO is a testing CRO software that gives you real-time insights into your audience’s user experience. You can use focus tests to optimize specific metrics like customer revenue or homepage visits. Performance reports are easy to digest and allow filtration for granular insights.

We like VWO for its multi-armed bandit (MAB) algorithm, which helps you accelerate experiment results accurately for time-sensitive results. The platform also offers testing on web performance, customer experience, as well as product and app features and server-side elements.

One last powerful feature? Web push notifications remind customers to return to your product page or abandoned shopping cart.


  • Visual editor
  • Form analytics
  • AI content suggestions
  • Multi-page and multivariate testing
  • Audience targeting
  • Analytics
  • Integrations

Best for: Brands with multiple domains and subsidiaries (allows for cross-domain testing)

Pricing: Available upon request

9. Optimizely

optimizely image

Image: Optimizely

Everyone has hypotheses for what works, but Optimizely puts them to the test.

Trusted by big names like tech giant IBM and email marketing software Mailchimp, Optimizely is one of Palmer’s favorite CRO testing software on the market. A/B testing (also known as multivariate testing) helps you pinpoint elements in your campaign or piece of content that convert the most.

The platform helps you test elements on your website and app features if you opt for their experimentation field feature. You can also generate templates with more personalized suggestions and test out copy, CTAs, or other site elements accordingly for different stages of the funnel.

All your test results appear on a clean, user-friendly dashboard with actionable insights to inform your new strategy.
Pair that with a stats accelerator for quicker insights and easy integrations to combine results from other platforms. Optimizely covers all its bases for A/B tests that make your marketing strategy beam with new conversions.


  • Visual editor
  • AI content suggestions
  • Multi-page and multivariate testing
  • Audience targeting
  • Analytics
  • Integrations
  • Website optimization

Best for: Ecommerce businesses

Pricing: Available upon request

What is CRO?

CRO stands for conversion rate optimization and is a digital marketing strategy that prioritizes efforts to boost conversions, or desired actions, from people who visit your website or click on your ad.
The most popular and desired conversion is a purchase, but it could also be:

  • A newsletter signup
  • Completed lead form with contact and personal details
  • Repeat purchase
  • Referral or shared product
  • Visiting a specific webpage

Conversion rate is a metric that represents the percentage of people who interact with your brand and convert. This differs from those who perhaps see or click on your webpage without any further action.

Conversion optimization tools are software dedicated to making your CRO strategies more effective and profitable. They use features like A/B testing, customer data collection, behavior analysis, and more to help you assess user experience and lead generation with analytics to inform a more effective CRO strategy.

Why do you need CRO tools?

CRO tools deliver insights that help you convert a larger chunk of your audience. Each type (heatmap, customer service, testing, analytics) plays an important part.

For example, analytics CRO tools (like GA and Kissmetrics) help you see existing performance metrics and monitor progress to enhance your CRO strategy.

Data from CRM software (like Hubspot and Intercom) couple those metrics with more specific customer insights to loop you into your customers’ experience based on data and demographics.

But what if you could see what your customers see? Askar says this intel goes beyond standard analytics data, and you can access it with heat mapping tools.

The takeaway

Heatmaps, A/B testing, and customer feedback can all help you boost your conversion rates. And the CRO tools on this list pack these features and heaps more into a neatly, optimized package.

But CRO tools come at a hefty price and learning curve. How do you leverage all their features to see the fastest results? Easy.

Find an expert CRO agency with years of experience using these tools to manage it all for you.

When you partner with HawkSEM, that’s exactly what you get. We pair every client with a dedicated account manager who handles all the heavy lifting — from data collection and audience research to CRO strategies.

All you have to do? Sit back and soak in that record-breaking ROI.

It’s time to make the most of your marketing toolbox — drop us a line.

FAQs about CRO tools

  • What is a CRO tool?

    A CRO tool is a type of software meant to help brands increase conversion rates with lead capture, audience analysis, web analysis, and A/B testing functions.

  • How much does a CRO tool cost?

    Subscriptions for CRO tools vary greatly, from free versions that offer basic insights and a set number of tracked conversions, to more enterprise plans that can cost hundreds of dollars each month.

    But Askar says free plans are limited:

    “Since Google has sunsetted its A/B testing tools, companies will most likely have to pay for a CRO tool now to do basic A/B testing,” says Askar.

  • What are heatmaps?

    Heatmaps are visual representations of your audience’s session on your webpage, with color-coded indications of where they linger, click, or bounce on each of your web pages.

Christina Lyon

Christina Lyon

Christina Lyon is an entrepreneur and writer from sunny SoCal. She leads Lyon Content, a tight-knit team of bold creatives, and crafts engaging written content that helps brands sparkle and scale.