WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system. The CMS powers websites of all shapes and sizes. Although, WordPress was originally designed to be a CMS for blogs, the system has evolved into a general purpose tool–helping enterprises, non-profits, individuals and corporations publish and manage web content.
Many brands and enterprises use a WordPress-powered website as the centerpiece for their marketing efforts. Here are a few, helpful tips for sharpening the effectiveness of a WordPress website for lead-generation. These WordPress web design tips include suggestions for plugins, design best-practices and lead-generation must-haves.
- Design a mobile responsive theme. More and more users check websites and conduct searches from their mobile phones everyday. Ensure that your website is responsive to mobile devices. Consider designing a responsive WordPress theme using a mobile framework, such as Twitter Bootstrap or Zurb’s Foundation CSS.
- Check load-time for your mobile responsive website. Explore Google Webmaster Tools for a handy web page speed test that will give you detailed load time issues for your mobile-empowered users.
- Install Yoast SEO tool to improve your search visibility. Yoast designed a fantastic SEO plugin that embeds comfortably in WordPress, and helps publishers better optimize their WordPress posts for Google. Search can be a powerful driver of website leads, and this plugin will help strengthen articles for organic reach.
- Social sharing for driving traffic. Within the blog, news or press sections of the website, which most likely use WordPress Posts, install social sharing tools to allow for audience promotion within social networks. Use Addthis or Sharethis tools to easily embed social sharing. For B2B websites, you may most likely be interested in sharing to Twitter, Linkedin and Google+, but it ultimately depends on the type of content offered within your website.
- Hubspot marketing automation. If your organization uses marketing automation with Hubspot, consider installing the Hubspot blog plugin to track the performance of your blog content back into Hubspot Analytics. There is also a plugin for Marketo as well: Marketo Gravity Forms Add-on, which easily submits contacts to Marketo from a Gravity Forms web form.
- Design a strong 404 error page. There is a chance that your website may eventually develop missing pages. It happens… especially as your website ages. For this reason, we highly recommend designing a highly useful 404 error page that has a company overview, plus a lead capture form and clear call to action.
- Web forms. Ensure that your website has easy to use web forms for capturing leads. A low cost option for small businesses would be Gravity Forms (gravityforms.com). For medium and larger enterprises, we highly recommend investing in marketing automation to close the loop between marketing and sales.
- Create thank you pages that are linked to conversion goals in Google Analytics. The thank you pages should have a reinforcing statement about your brand. For organizations with the ability to do progressive profiling (using marketing automation), use thank you pages to capture more information from prospects and leads.
- Design clear calls-to-action. Your website should contain clear and persistent calls-to-action that guide users to an offer or data capture form. Design your website calls-to-action so you can make edits to the language and placement of the buttons within your website. Install tracking code to measure the engagement with your calls-to-action in order to measure their effectiveness.
- Thought-leadership with RSS. WordPress does not require an additional plugin for really simple syndication (RSS). However, as your organization discovers how to create great content that attracts and inspires users, RSS may become a great tool for bringing prospects, journalists, influencers, leads and customers back into the fold. RSS will enable your brand to publish alerts and real-time responses to industry trends. RSS will also allow other websites from around the world to pick up this news quickly and easily–building links and citations around your brand.
- Design an offer page layout within your WordPress theme. Consider designing a simplified theme layout as an option to your standard web page layout. Your landing page should have a clearly visibility place for a data capture form, offer copy and page content–all above the fold. It may be useful to experiment with landing pages that have little navigation or distractions from the offer presented.
- Nurture using email marketing. For many organizations, email nurturing is at the heart of their marketing automation and lead generation efforts. For behavior-based segmentation, your brand will need to employ some heavy lifting automation tools or build applications using PHP within WordPress that leverage email API providers like SendGrid. For lighter efforts, you can create inquiry forms using Jetpack / Gravity Forms and port those emails to mailchimp based on user service or product interests. Ideally, the more specific your emails can fit their interests and reasons for contacting your organization, the better. Use email marketing to not just pitch offers, but also to entertain, inform and add value to the client’s experience with your brand.
- Key performance indicators. Most importantly, your organization needs to define clear and measurable KPIs in order to judge your lead generation efforts. Examples of good KPIs include monthly traffic from organic search, conversions, conversions from organic search or positive brand mentions through social media. Create a reporting schedule that fits the speed and dynamics of your brand. For example, establish a quarterly, monthly, bi-weekly or weekly reporting schedule where stakeholders gather to track the progress of KPIs over time and make decisions on the next period’s objectives.