WordPress is a beautiful thing. From stunning portfolios to wedding schedules, there are all kinds of sites you can create with WordPress, as 27% of the web will attest.
But we’re not here to big up WordPress or talk plugins. We’re here to discuss landing pages for WordPress: not the tools you use to get there, but rather how it looks when you do get there. Read any guide to landing page creation and it’s all about what you can do to capture more leads and reduce your bounce rate. But before you contemplate what you can do to boost your conversion rate, how’s about considering what you can do to help the reader?
Do your research
This might sound novel, but if you design your landing pages with user experience in mind, all of the metrics you’re tracking will improve; time on page; bounce rate; conversion rate. To achieve that, you need to put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Click through landing pages of similar businesses: What do you like? What sucks? What makes you want to stick around and learn more? What makes you want to leave?
Before you download a plugin or import a line of code, do your research, not as a business owner but as a customer. When a landing page is perfectly designed, it doesn’t feel like you’re being sold something. It doesn’t feel like you’re being coaxed into giving your email address and name. With a good landing page, you give all that up voluntarily because you want to learn more or you want that free ebook or cheat sheet.
The perfect landing page
Creating the perfect landing page comes down to a combination of intuition, psychology, storytelling, arresting copy and the ability to know a killer image when you see one. What else? Oh yeah, eye-catching irresistible headlines and CTAs. Some glowing (but genuine) testimonials from your happy customers wouldn’t go amiss either.
Don’t despair, though. Creating awesome landing pages for WordPress really isn’t difficult. But, until the formula for the optimum landing page is developed, you’ll need to figure things out for yourself through a combination of competitor research, A/B testing and brutally honest colleagues.
Now, let’s look into some specifics of creating landing pages with WordPress.
Choose your theme wisely
As a WordPress user, the odds are your site was built using a customisable template, either designed by WordPress or by a third party.
If you’re planning to add landing pages to your site, research your landing page options before getting the theme. Most developers will showcase landing pages on their theme’s demo site; ideally, there’ll be a few variations that you can use as inspiration before customising them as you see fit. Don’t forget to also demo them on mobile; if it doesn’t look just as good on mobile – in both portrait and landscape mode – discount that theme.
Impress but don’t overwhelm
Speaking of mobile, there are some extremely cool things you can do with WordPress sliders and plugins but don’t get too carried away with the possibilities. If these elements are sluggish or illegible on mobile, you either need to rule them out entirely or disable them on smaller screens. Building a landing page with dynamic elements is like building a PowerPoint presentation: don’t bombard your audience with transitions, or they’ll wind up focusing on the medium rather than the message.
Choose your lead generation forms wisely
How are you going to capture visitor information when they reach the bottom of your landing page? You could build a form from scratch using Ninja Forms or you could insert one as a shortcode using a mail provider plugin such as MailChimp’s. What’s important isn’t so much the source of the lead generation form, but rather that it’s reliable and seamlessly integrated. Some forms allow for a high degree of customisability but require a good working knowledge of CSS to style the text and colours so that they match your landing page. If you’d like to tinker with your CTAs and forms to further optimise them (as you should), it makes sense to choose one that’s easy to edit.
Whether you’re using a WordPress theme or a more comprehensive third party solution such as Divi or Bootstrap, you’ve got a wealth of options for creating landing pages. Do your research, think like a reader, choose your theme wisely and then test, retest and test some more. Rome wasn’t built in a day, the Sistine Chapel wasn’t painted in a night and your landing page probably won’t be nailed at the first attempt. That’s okay: the path to awesomeness is littered with trials, errors, U-turns and reversals. When you eventually hit that sweet spot, you’ll know it and your readers will know it too. There’s no such thing as the perfect landing page but don’t let that stop you from trying.