Every click your website earns has been hard won. It takes a lot of work (and money) just to get those website visits. But once you’ve successfully gotten someone to visit your website, it’s so easy to lose them right away.
For most websites, somewhere between 26% and 70% of visitors bounce after visiting one page.
When you think about your own web browsing behavior, that’s probably not too surprising. We’re all busy and have a lot of different web content to choose from. You probably don’t spend too long on any one website (unless it’s Facebook or Reddit).
As someone with an interest in getting people to not only visit your website, but also take a specific action once they do, how do you make each of those hard-won clicks go further? You build landing pages.
Why to Build a Landing Page
You put a lot of work into getting your website homepage just right and building out individual pages for each of your products and services. When you have all these other perfectly good pages, someone telling you to build a whole different type of page can be frustrating. I get it.
But if you’re investing in marketing and advertising, landing pages are how you make sure that investment pays off. Landing pages are hyper-focused on what your visitor is interested in. If a consumer clicks on an ad that promotes a specific offer and lands on your homepage, they may be confused about how to find the offer they were promised. If their first response to landing on your website is confusion or annoyance, they’ll probably click away.
Building a landing page to match each of your campaigns gives you the chance to tailor what your visitors will see to what they’ve shown interest in. You can make sure the page matches what they’ve been promised, and design it to have minimal distractions so it more effectively drives them to take the action you want.
How to Create a Landing Page in WordPress
If you’re familiar with WordPress, you won’t be at all surprised to learn that the best way to create a landing page is with the use of a plugin. And you’ve got a number of good options to choose from.
Here are some basic instructions for creating a landing page in a couple of popular plugins.
SeedProd is a premium plugin, so the first step to creating a landing page with it is to purchase the plugin. With that done, install the plugin within WordPress. Where prompted, fill in your license key and click Verify Key.
SeedProd makes getting started easy with a welcome screen that guides you in your first steps, and introduces some of the main features available. Click the Create Your First Page button. Select Add a New Landing Page, then browse your different template options. Once you’ve picked a template you like, start filling in the details for your page and customizing it for your purposes.
If you’re not ready to shell out money for a landing page plugin, Sunny provides a free option. Search for and download Sunny within the WordPress plugin menu. You’ll then be prompted to either create an account or log in. If you don’t have an account with Sunny yet, choose the option to create an account.
The plugin will direct you to Sunny’s website. This is where you’ll create your landing page. Browse your template options, and select the one you like. Use the tool’s drag-and-drop builder to customize the page to your liking. Once you have the page looking how you want, click Publish on the website, and select the WordPress option.
When you navigate back to the plugin section of your WordPress account, you’ll see the page you created. Click on it, fill in the URL you want it to have, and Publish it.
Alternatively, if you want to skip using a plugin, you can create a page in WordPress that leaves off potentially distracting elements like your main menu, sidebar, and footer by creating a new template to use. But this option gets a bit technical, so it’s only recommended for those who have some comfort with coding.
5 Best Practices for a More Effective Landing Page
That covers the technical side of building a landing page, but how do you make sure it does its job? There are a few main best practices to follow when creating a landing page.
1. Have one clear goal.
The focus of any good landing page is singular. Make sure going in you know exactly what you want the page to accomplish. Is the goal to get visitors to sign up for your email list? Set up a sales call? Sign up for a trial? Your whole page will be designed around this one goal, so make sure you’re clear on what it is.
2. Only feature one call to action (CTA)—and make it really obvious.
Once you know the main action you want your visitors to take, design your page so that it’s front and center. You don’t want anyone that visits the page to have the slightest confusion about what you want them to do next.
Remove all other distractions. If your main goal is to get them to sign up for a trial, don’t also put a form for your email list. Most landing pages even remove common parts of a website page like the main menu or sidebar, so visitors don’t venture away from the main CTA you want them to focus on.
3. Make a compelling case for your call to action.
Why should the visitor want to take this action? Make a persuasive case for why your CTA is valuable to them. What will they get out of taking this action? How will it make their life easier or better? Be concise but clear about what they’ll get in return.
4. Include social proof.
Most consumers will trust their peers more than a brand, so use that. Feature compelling social proof on your landing page, like testimonials or the number of people that have taken that action before them (e.g. Join over 100,000 subscribers!). For anyone on the fence, knowing the choice other people have made can push them over the edge.
5. Make sure the way you promote it matches the page (and vice versa).
You should build a different landing page for each campaign you launch, so you can make sure the page matches the campaign. The copy and CTA on the page need to follow through on the messaging that drove people there to begin with. If you’re promoting a particular offer in your campaign, it needs to be the focus of your landing page. If your visitors end up seeing something other than what they were promised, they’re more likely to click away without taking action.
Use Landing Pages for Better Results
Because they’re more focused, a good landing page can achieve better results than dropping visitors on your general homepage. As with anything, it pays to test out your landing pages as you go. Pay attention to your analytics to see what works best with your audience, and make tweaks based on what you learn. With practice and analysis, over time you’ll see conversions grow.
Casey is the Senior Director of Marketing for Hosting and has been in the web hosting space for 7 years. He loves the slopes and hanging out with his kids.