18 No-Fail Tips for Stunning Landing Pages with WordPress

18 No-Fail Tips for Stunning Landing Pages with WordPress

We’re all familiar with the term “landing page” thanks to Google Analytics. But while a landing page is technically the first page someone “lands” on when they visit a website, that’s not always what we mean when we talk about landing pages.

While most pages on your website should be able to convert visitors (i.e. sign up to an email list, click a call-to-action button etc) in some form or another, that’s not always the explicit intention of them (at least from the visitors’ point of view). Home pages elicit emotion. Services and product pages educate. Blog posts inform and deliver value.

In marketing speak, landing pages created for the specific purpose of driving conversions. For example:

This is Wistia’s home page. Notice how it follows the standard best practices of minimalism.

Video hosting service Wistia has a gorgeous, minimalist home page that focuses users on clicking the "Get started" call-to-action button.
Video hosting service Wistia has a gorgeous, minimalist home page that focuses users on clicking the “Get started” call-to-action button.

Now, check out Wistia’s sign-up landing page. It’s similar in its dedication to minimalist design, but it’s much more simplistic in terms of what it offers. There are very limited options available on this page: sign up or log in.

The Wistia signup page assumes users are ready to do one thing, and one thing only: sign up for an account.
The Wistia signup page assumes users are ready to do one thing, and one thing only: sign up for an account.

The assumption then is that visitors don’t need to be informed at this point. That’s what the rest of the website was for. If they’ve reached your landing page, they’re here for one reason and one reason only: to convert.

While landing pages will differ from business to business in terms of what they say, what they sell, and how they look, the technique developers use to create powerful, conversion-generating landing pages is always the same.

The following guide will lay out all the essential steps and pieces required for building a WordPress landing page that delivers.

What It Takes to Build a Great Landing Page

So, what’s your goal in building a landing page for your WordPress website? Do you want to teach prospects about a game-changing technology solution? Do you want to offer selected visitors a once-in-a-lifetime deal on coaching services? Do you need to sell more spots to an exclusive webinar?

It’s pertinent to have a clear goal in mind before starting – and to only have one. If you have more than one goal, then you’ll need multiple landing pages.

In terms of developing a landing page, there are three essential pieces you’ll need:

  • Copy,
  • Design, and
  • Analytics.

Take a look again at the landing page example from Wistia above or this one from Shopify:

Super simple: Shopify's landing page.
Super simple: Shopify’s landing page.

While the copy, design, and (most likely) analytics pieces are all present, there really isn’t a whole lot going on. And that’s a key point to remember. In general, you want to keep the amount of work visitors have to do to convert at a minimum. Give them less to read, less to scroll through, less fields to fill out, and so on.

Less is always more when it comes to landing pages.

Crafting Copy That Sells

1. Remember the Source

Every landing page has a source. It may be an email marketing campaign, a special offer link on social media, or maybe it’s a redirect from a remarketing ad. Wherever the traffic originated from, it’s important to maintain consistent messaging between the source and the landing page.

2. Start with the Headline

Every landing page needs a unique selling proposition (or USP). What will this page do for your visitors that they won’t find anywhere else? Once you know your USP, weave it into the headline and grab your visitors’ attention from the get-go.

3. Use Eye-Catching Copy

While the words themselves matter, so too does the way you present them on the page. This is why landing pages make use of eye-catching header text to guide visitors easily through the page. Ultimately, each sub-headline (or other stylized text) should support the original USP and persuade visitors to make their way down to the CTA.

4. Be Brief

I can’t stress this enough. Brevity is absolutely critical to your landing page’s success. Use the copy to be as clear and specific as possible about what visitors will get out of the page. Define their pain and offer up a solution that will ease their worries, questions, or problems.

5. Create One Call-to-Action

Barry Schwartz said, “As the number of options increases, the costs, in time and effort, of gathering the information needed to make a good choice also increase. The level of certainty people have about their choice decreases. And the anticipation that they will regret their choice increases.”

One landing page. One choice.

Developing Designs That Convert

6. Remember the Basics

All the basic best practices you usually follow when creating a WordPress website (or new web page) still need to be abided by. Responsive design will ensure people can convert no matter which device they visit your landing page from. Minimalism will keep distractions away and the focus on the messaging. And page optimization is important, especially if your goal is to convert.

7. Align with Your Branding

Although a landing page usually doesn’t show up within your site’s navigation, it should still align with your website’s look and branding. That doesn’t mean it needs to 100% match the site’s design, but there should be a clear correlation between the two.

8. Use Images the Right Way

Images aren’t a necessity for landing pages (see Wistia example above) unless they are relevant to the page and will improve the user experience.

9. Apply Color Strategically

Color, on the other hand, is an absolute must for landing pages. If you’re unsure of how to use color to optimize your landing page and improve conversions, check out this article on the psychology of color. It explains basic color theory and how you can use colors to evoke the right emotional response from visitors.

10. Customize the Navigation

Minimizing the number of options your visitors have doesn’t just mean having one CTA. This also means that you may want to do away with the navigation altogether. This way, there will be one singular pathway leading visitors to convert. If you do want to include outbound links, keep them simple and non-competitive, like links for social sharing or a redirect to a related service’s or product’s landing page.

11. Keep in Contact

If you choose to remove the standard navigation from the landing page, consider including alternative methods of communication with your visitors. You can add a short FAQ to the bottom of the landing page to answer common questions about the service/product/offering. Or you can add a live chat module as a way to stay in contact, just in case.

12. Stay Away from Popups

This is not the time to distract visitors.

13. Add Trust Marks

Since a landing page’s goal is to get visitors to convert, it wouldn’t hurt to include some trust marks or social proof to give them extra assurance and peace of mind about making their decision. Trust marks include things like customer testimonials, partner logos, security badges, and case studies.

14. Use Video When Possible

Studies have shown that landing pages that include video can increase conversion rates by up to 80%. If you have a short explainer video, a customer testimonial caught on video, or something else that would more effectively capture leads than a whole lot of text, consider creating a video-centric landing page.

15. Optimize the Form

Every landing page needs a lead or conversion capture form. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Keep it short.
  • Only ask for pertinent pieces of information.
  • Link the form to your CRM.
  • After signing up, direct visitors to a Thank You page written specifically for the landing page.

Analyzing Your Page for Better Results

16. Start with Google Analytics

Google Analytics is the go-to analysis and performance-tracking tool for WordPress websites. If you haven’t paid much attention to the Conversions module within this tool yet, now is the time to do so.

Within the Admin dashboard of Google Analytics, you can create different goals for your landing pages, including video clicks, time on page, form fills, and Thank You page arrivals. This will help you track the performance of the page and identify any possible missteps made in the copy or design that may be preventing visitors from converting.

17. Dig Deeper with Heatmaps

Once you have an idea of how your WordPress landing page is performing, you’ll want to dig a little deeper. Maybe there is too little text up top and visitors are confused about what to do. Maybe the imagery and colors aren’t shocking enough. Use a heat mapping tool to see if your landing page’s design or copy is tripping visitors up where it shouldn’t be.

18. A/B Test… Even If All Is Going Well

Google Analytics and heat maps will let you know what’s happening with your landing page, even if you already have a sense for its success or failure based on the ensuing sales (or lack thereof). Regardless of how well or poorly your landing page performs, it’s important to run A/B tests on it. You never know. It could be going a whole lot better if you just tweaked the font size or shifted the CTA to a spot slightly higher on the page.

Use A/B testing to confirm your theories and play around with new ones to improve your WordPress landing pages’ conversion rate.

Wrapping Up

Landing pages are a highly effective way to help visitors make up their minds about you. You can use them to build trust, demonstrate value, or offer something they absolutely can’t live without. By applying best practices to your WordPress landing page development, you’ll soon have a landing page that visitors will have no choice (or desire) to say anything but “yes” to.

Brenda Barron
Over to you: Do you have a recent example of a landing page that quickly sold you on converting? If so, share it with us!