Ultimate Guide to WordPress Landing Pages

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One of the main goals behind most WordPress sites is to drive conversions and generate leads. Landing pages help with this. However, if you’re unfamiliar with landing pages, you might be confused as to how they differ from the other pages on your website, let alone how to create one.

A WordPress landing page is a powerful tool you can use to drive a specific action from a user. It lets you filter out the clutter and noise so visitors focus only on the product or service you’re selling.

In this post, we’ll explain what landing pages are and walk you through the different methods you can use to create them. We’ll also provide tips for making them as effective as possible. Let’s jump in!

In This Article ✔️

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What Is a Landing Page? 📄

A landing page is a web page you direct users to with the primary purpose of getting them to perform an action. This could be subscribing to a newsletter, downloading an e-book, purchasing a product, and more. WordPress landing pages can help increase sales, collect leads, and drive traffic.

To better understand the different use cases, it helps to take a look at some WordPress landing page examples. Among the most popular are sign-up pages:

A sign-up landing page on the Copyblogger website.

Another common use case is for downloadable products, such as e-books:

The eBook landing page on the WP Buffs website.

In addition to boosting conversions, landing pages can also be helpful for analyzing, optimizing, and improving marketing campaigns. You can create an individual landing page for each product or offer you’re trying to promote.

Although landing pages vary based on specific campaign goals, they typically include four essential elements:

  1. Strong title or headline. This should clearly state what the landing page and offer is about.
  2. Quality images. Though not necessary, high-resolution images can help draw attention and help break up the content.
  3. Engaging content. Your landing page content should use natural language that’s easy to digest.
  4. Call To Action (CTA). The most important element of your landing page, the CTA should stand out more than the other aspects of the page.

The content, design, and structure of a landing page all work together to inspire action. Ideally, there should be a sense of urgency behind it (which we’ll get into more of later).

The most important thing to remember about landing pages is that the sole intent is to drive a specific action. Therefore, anything unrelated to the offer at hand isn’t necessary.

What Makes Landing Pages Different Than Other Web Pages? 🎯

A common question is what makes landing pages different to other webpages. It all boils down to the purpose of the page.

Each web page on your site serves a particular purpose. For example, your home page gives visitors an introduction to your business. It might provide a snapshot of the mission and content of your site. Your About page is to inform readers, whereas the blog might be to educate or entertain.

Landing pages are unique in that they are product- and action-oriented. While other pages on your site may help incentivize customers,  the motive of landing pages is to convince and convert. They are a vehicle for turning your site visitors into customers.

🏆 The primary purpose of landing pages is to convince and convert. #WordPress Click To Tweet

Of course, other pages on your site can be conversion tools too. For example, you might include a CTA on your home page letting visitors sign up for a free trial.

However, the simplicity of landing pages is what makes them special. They contain only what’s necessary, often boasting a minimal design without any potentially distracting elements.

Finally, you’ll find there are different types of landing pages. For example, squeeze pages are landing pages designed specifically for email opt-ins. However, regardless of the type, the ultimate goal is to drive action.

Why Use WordPress to Create a Landing Page? 🔧

WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) on the planet. The features that make it a preferred platform for website creation also make it great for landing pages.

It’s flexible and user-friendly. It makes it easy to customize and manage, even if you have little technical knowledge. While you can write your own code, it’s not a requirement. WordPress landing pages are also useful because there’s a robust offering of plugins and themes to choose from.

Considering it powers a large chunk of the internet (over 35 percent, to be exact), there’s a large support community available if needed. No matter what task you’re trying to perform with WordPress, there are a plethora of online tutorials and resources to draw from.

WordPress landing pages make sense if you already have a WordPress site you want to integrate them with. However, even if you use a different CMS for your website, you can still use WordPress to create your landing pages.

How To Create WordPress Landing Pages (4 Methods) 🔑

At this point, you probably have a solid grasp of what a landing page is and what it can be used for. Now it’s time to learn how you can build one yourself. Below we’ll discuss four methods you can use to create WordPress landing pages:

  1. Install a WordPress Landing Page Plugin
  2. Create a Landing Page Using a WordPress Theme
  3. Use a Third-Party WordPress Landing Page Builder
  4. Create a Custom Landing Page From Scratch

1. Install a WordPress Landing Page Plugin

WordPress landing page plugins are great if you’re looking for a quick and simple solution. They usually don’t require any coding and you can use them with practically any theme.

There are many cost-efficient landing page plugins to choose from. If you’re looking for a free plugin, we recommend WordPress Landing Pages:

The WordPress Landing Pages plugin.

With this plugin, you can choose from pre-made templates and customize them based on your specific needs. You can also use it to track conversation rates and run A/B split tests on the page designs. This plugin is best used for smaller, squeeze pages.

Once you install and activate the plugin, you can create a landing page by going to Landing Pages > Add New. After you choose a template, name the page, then click on the Create Landing Page button:

The Add New Landing Page from the WordPress Landing Pages plugin.

On the next page, you can add your own content and customize the page to your preferences. If you click on the Launch Visual Editor button, you can preview the changes as you make them:

The WordPress Landing Pages plugin visual editor.

Another WordPress landing page plugin you can use is Beaver Builder:

The Beaver Builder WordPress plugin.

This is a page builder plugin that comes with flexible drag-and-drop functionality. You can easily create and customize the content modules to build a responsive, mobile-friendly landing page.

While the plugin does offer a free ‘lite version’, we recommend upgrading to a paid plan. To create a landing page, go to Pages > Add New. It will present the option to Launch Beaver Builder:

The message box to launch Beaver Builder in the WordPress editor.

From there, you use the drag-and-drop features on the front-end of your site. You can refer to the Beaver Builder Knowledge Base for detailed guidance.

2. Create a Landing Page Using a WordPress Theme

Similar to plugins, there’s also a WordPress theme for nearly every niche. If you’re looking for a way to create a landing page without downloading a plugin or coding a solution, you can use a WordPress theme.

The features and functionality that comes with your pre-built landing page depends on the theme. However, with any WordPress theme, they come ready to use. This can result in a significantly faster creation process than other methods.

However, there are some caveats. A WordPress theme governs the design of your entire website. If you end up switching themes, your landing page may not translate well to your new design.

To explore free options, you might want to start with the WordPress Theme Directory:

The WordPress Theme Directory filtered by landing page options.

Another option is ThemeIsle’s One-Page WordPress Themes directory. With both, you can sort and filter based on your industry or niche.

Once you choose a theme, you can download it as you would any other WordPress theme. Of course, if it’s a free theme from the official WordPress directory, you can find and install it within the search dialog within WordPress itself. For this example, we’ll use the free WordPress Author Landing Page theme.

If you’re using a ZIP file (often when you’ve purchased a premium theme, or have downloaded a free theme directly from the WordPress website), head to your WordPress admin dashboard, then navigate to Appearance > Themes. Next, click Add New > Upload Theme. WordPress will do its thing, and give you a success message. Make sure you activate your new theme before continuing.

You can also import the demo content so everything looks like the theme preview. You can then replace it with your information and make minor tweaks as necessary.

Depending on the theme you use, there may be an option to import demo content. Our advice is to check the documentation for your theme. In our case, there’s a plugin that lets you upload the demo content:

The option to import demo content on a WordPress landing page theme.

When you’re ready, you can then customize the landing page theme by going to Appearance > Customize:

The Theme Customizer page in WordPress.

From here, you can edit the style and appearance to your liking. You can also add new sections, page elements, and more.

3. Use a Third-Party WordPress Landing Page Builder

We’ve already discussed using a page builder plugin such as Beaver Builder. However, you also have the option of using third-party drag-and-drop page buildersThey offer a bit more flexibility as far as customization options.

Third-party landing page builders include building blocks and pre-built templates you can customize with ease. They’re also useful if you plan on creating a large number of landing pages to serve various purposes.

Using a standalone landing page builder doesn’t require any coding or technical know-how. However, they do offer more flexibility when it comes to usability and design. Plus, you can easily integrate them with WordPress or wherever your website is hosted. Page builders also work well with any theme. In contrast, WordPress themes can be limiting by only letting you edit the content that’s already present.

The only drawback to this method is that most require a subscription. The upside, though, is that you gain access to a range of features to make it worth the cost. For example, many third-party platforms also offer marketing tools such as A/B split testing and tracking and analytics reports.

If you’re interested in trying a third-party page builder, we recommend Leadpages:

The Leadpages WordPress landing page builder website.

Once you sign up for an account and select a plan, you can use choose from a wide selection of landing page templates. You can sort by industry, as well as the type of landing page you’re looking for, such as a sign-up page, free resource and download, or lead capture.

We recommend signing up for the free trial. That way, you can experiment with the page builder a bit before deciding whether it’s the right fit.

4. Create a Custom Landing Page From Scratch

This method is not for WordPress beginners. However, if you have basic HTML and CSS knowledge, you have the option of creating a custom WordPress landing page from scratch.

The main advantage of taking this approach is that you’re in complete control. Regardless of the theme you’re working with, you can create a custom template designed for your specific needs and purposes. Plus, it’s free.

With this approach, you can add a custom page template for your landing page based on your current WordPress theme. The first step is to create a child theme folder within the wp-content/themes directory.

You can name it whatever the default name is with appended with child. We’ll name ours twentytsixteenchild. In that folder, create two files: style.css and functions.php.

Next, go to your WordPress dashboard > Appearance > Theme Editor. It will open the default theme stylesheet:

The Twenty Sixteen WordPress theme stylesheet.

You can use this as a guide to create the heading section of your child theme. Of course, adjust the information accordingly based on the theme you’re using.

Next, add the following code to the functions.php file:

<?php
function my_theme_enqueue_styles() {

    $parent_style = 'twentysixteen-style';

    wp_enqueue_style( $parent_style, get_template_directory_uri() . '/style.css' );
    wp_enqueue_style( 'twentysixteenchild-style',
        get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/style.css',
        array( $parent_style ),
        wp_get_theme()->get('Version')
    );
}
add_action( 'wp_enqueue_scripts', 'my_theme_enqueue_styles' );

When you install and activate the theme on your WordPress dashboard, you’ll notice it’s a blank template. You can now add custom styles and functions.

To create a custom page in your child theme to use as the landing page, create a new page-landing.php file. Then add the following code:

<?php
/**
Template Name: Landing Page
**/
?>

Now, when you go to add a new page, you can select Landing Page from the Template drop-down menu:

The template dropdown menu in WordPress.

For landing pages, it’s a good idea to remove the header.php and footer.php files. You can also remove the sidebars. This makes your template clean and free from distracting elements.

Tips for Creating Effective WordPress Landing Pages 💡

Regardless of the method you use to create your landing pages, there are ways to maximize their effectiveness. Remember, each element on your landing page should serve a specific purpose.

Before you even begin designing your landing page, you should already know what the specific goal is. You should also have a solid understanding of your audience. With these two elements in hand, you’ll be better positioned to build a landing page that aligns with both.

Here are some additional tips for creating effective landing pages:

  • Keep it simple. Aim to keep the page design (as well as the language) simple and concise. Minimal designs work best. Use easy, natural language that your audience can connect to.
  • Be specific and relevant. It’s important that the title and content match the link the user has initially clicked. For example, if you post on social media about an e-book, the linked landing page should be only about this subject.
  • Instill a sense of urgency. When crafting your content, try to write it in a way that instills a sense of urgency. With links and buttons, use descriptive, action words. For example, rather than “Click here,” it’s more effective to use “Start Your Free Trial” or “Download Your E-Book Now.”
  • Create a logical flow. There should also be a logical flow to the page. The hierarchy should be what it is (the title), brief body text explaining the benefits of the product/offer, and a prominently placed CTA. The page should be formatted in a way that’s easily digestible.
  • Use high-contrasting colors. This makes it easier for your CTAs to stand out.

These are just a few of many ways you can improve your landing pages. Depending on the type of landing page you’re creating, you may also consider including testimonials and success stories on the page. This can help create trust and credibility.

How to Test and Measure the Performance of WordPress Landing Pages 🧪

By now, you’ve decide on a method for creating WordPress landing pages and follow best practices and tips for effective designs. However, hitting Publish isn’t the end of the road.

To get the most out of your landing pages, as with any type of marketing campaign, it’s crucial that you have a way to track and measure the performance of them. This way, you can continuously work to improve your landing pages to drive results, see what is and isn’t working, and optimize accordingly.

Some landing page tools we’ve discussed in this post have built-in features that can help with this. For example, the WordPress Landing Pages plugin comes with a function to track conversion rates and perform A/B split testing.

However, you might also consider using an analytics tool such as MonsterInsights:

The homepage of the MonsterInsights website.

MonsterInsights is a Google Analytics plugin you can integrate with your WordPress site. It lets you monitor landing page visitors and track their interactions with your site.

You can use MonsterInsights to track:

  • Link and button clicks
  • Form impressions and submissions
  • Top landing pages
  • Keywords people use to arrive at the landing page

You can install Google Analytics in WordPress with ease using this tool, with no theme or code editing required. The first step is to pick a MonsterInsights plan. Then, you can download the  Google Analytics plugin for WordPress:

The MonsterInsights Google Analytics WordPress plugin.

After you install and configure it, you can use it to access analytics reports directly from your WordPress dashboard. You can view these reports by navigating to Insights > Reports.

It’s a good idea to periodically check-in with these reports. It may take some time for these reports to provide any meaningful insights you can draw from. However, over time, you can use them to gather the information that helps fuel your landing page strategy and, ultimately, enhance your marketing campaigns.

Wrapping Up 🎁

When it comes to driving leads and conversions from your WordPress site, landing pages are of paramount importance. If you’re new to them, figuring out how to go about creating landing pages can feel overwhelming at first. However, depending on your skill level and specific goals, you have a variety of options to choose from.

In this post, we discussed four methods you can use to create WordPress landing pages:

  1. Install a WordPress landing page plugin such as WordPress Landing Pages.
  2. Create a landing page using a WordPress theme.
  3. Use a third-party page builder such as Leadpages.
  4. Create a custom landing page from scratch.

Do you have any questions about WordPress landing pages? Let us know in the comments section below!

Image credit: Wilson Ye.

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