WPToronto East: Building Landing Pages in WordPress

July’s WPToronto East meetup followed up on June’s conversation about social media advertising. We discussed the purpose of landing pages, the features of landing pages, and plugins + tools that help us create landing pages in WordPress.

These are the takeaways from our conversation:

What’s the purpose of a landing page?

  • People make the mistake of sending ad campaign traffic to their homepage. If you’re running a promotional campaign, send people to a page with focused messaging that relates to the campaign you’re running.
  • Landing pages answer the question raised by the promotion or advertisement. You piqued their curiosity with the ad. Follow up with the relevant information on the landing page.
  • Landing pages need to have a single message, or a single task: What are you asking the visitor to do?
  • When we talk about conversion: Of all the people who visited this page, how many of them took the action you wanted them to take?
  • Another way to think of it: This is a squeeze page, a page where traffic is driven from elsewhere, e.g. through on-site promotion or off-site advertising campaigns. You’re taking that referred traffic and trying to get them to take an action.

What do you put on a landing page?

  • A relevant message: You should know who the audience is that’s being sent to the landing page, and your landing page should contain specific messaging for that audience. E.g. if you create a Facebook group, you can create a landing page on your website specifically for members of that Facebook group.
  • Understand the goal your audience wants to achieve: What’s the intent of the audience you’re reaching?
  • An offer of value: Moving them away from the platform or place they’re on causes friction. Whatever you’re delivering on the landing page needs to be strong enough to pull them away from the place they’re on.
  • Evidence to reinforce the value of the offer: Testimonials, reviews, real stats… these are all great proof points.
  • An easy way to convert: Asking them to sign up for something? Include the registration form on the landing page. Asking them to make a purchase? They should be able to buy directly from the landing page.

How do you build a landing page in WordPress?

Start by defining your goal. What do you want people to do on your landing page?

  • Email capture. Get an email address that you can follow up with. Improve your chances of getting the email address by providing something of value. Tip: Provide something of value on the landing page. Then offer an upgrade in exchange for the email address. Also keep email privacy and anti-spam laws in mind (CASL, CAN-SPAM, Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, etc…) Whatever tool you use, make sure they have the ability to unsubscribe from your list, and you have clear evidence of their explicit opt-in permission.
  • Asking for a registration (or other form submission). For example, you could be hosting an event, and your landing page will get people to register for the event.
  • Selling a product. It could be digital (sold with Gumroad, Easy Digital Downloads); it could be access to a membership site; it could be a physical product (linking off to Amazon, for example, or embedding a product from Shopify or WooCommerce).

In each case, the purpose of your landing page is to build a case for why the visitor should do any of the above. Why should they give you their email address? Why should they register? Why should they buy a product from you? This landing page is your chance to convince them!

What happens after a person visits a landing page?

  • Track what they do next. Create goal funnels in your analytics software (e.g. Google Analytics or Hotjar) tracking each step from visiting the landing page through completing the action to hitting a final “Thank You” page or equivalent.
  • Captured an email? Check your ESP (email service provider, e.g. MailChimp). Are people confirming their signups and opting into your list?
  • Asking for registrations? Trigger a follow-up email campaign in your ESP  and refer to the metrics of that campaign. For example, an autoresponder “thank you for signing up” email campaign will have its own open and engagement metrics. Tip: Be very careful with automated campaigns. Double and triple-check your settings!
  • Selling a product? Check if the product orders are actually going through, and add these new customers to your CRM for follow-up campaigns later.

Tip: Look at integrations between the different tools that you’re using. For example, if an email is submitted via a form, integrate it with your email service provider. Tools like Zapier and IFTTT are helpful for this.

Another tip: Collecting sensitive information on your site? Make sure you have HTTPS enabled! (But you should have HTTPS enabled anyway for SEO and performance reasons.)

What are some good plugins (and tools!) to use for landing pages?

Page builders are a great solution for easily building the layout:

For capturing email addresses or custom forms:

For selling products:

For managing follow-up emails & ongoing communication:

Other tools mentioned in the discussion:

  • WordPress Zero Spam: Block spam comments. “A better Akismet.”
  • BuddyPress: Build a social network on your WordPress site.
  • Gonzales: Conditionally load resources like JS and CSS. (Paid plugin)

Related Reading

Image credit: Ultra Mendoza via Flickr