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Websites vs. Landing Pages: What’s the Difference and When to Use Each
When starting an online business, one of the first decisions you’ll need to make is whether to create a full website or a targeted landing page. This choice can seem confusing at first, but it’s important to understand the key differences between websites and landing pages to determine the best fit for your business goals and audience.
When to Use a Website
A website is a multifaceted online platform that serves as a central hub for your business. It allows you to provide in-depth information about your company, products/services, and brand. Websites typically have several pages like “About Us”, “Contact”, “Blog”, etc.
Websites work well for established businesses that offer various products/services and want to build credibility. They allow you to:
- Showcase your brand identity and story
- Share your expertise and thought leadership
- Feature your full line of products/services
- Engage visitors across multiple pages
If your goal is to establish a long-term online presence and provide a lot of information, a full website is likely the best fit. The main downside is that, with multiple pages, it can be harder to drive focused conversions.
When to Use a Landing Page
In contrast, a landing page is a single, focused page optimized for conversions. It has a clear purpose like promoting one product, capturing leads, or driving sales.
Landing pages shine when you want to:
- Launch a specific campaign or promotion
- Showcase one particular product/service
- Capture leads and email signups
- Drive traffic to a special offer or deal
With their simplicity and streamlined focus, landing pages can be extremely effective at turning your website visitors into leads and customers.
Now that you know the core differences between websites and landing pages, let’s look at how you can create an effective landing page that converts your visitors into leads and sales.
How to Create a High-Converting Landing Page in WordPress
Crafting a high-converting landing page takes strategic planning and design. Follow these key tips to create a landing page that captures attention and drives action.
Craft an Attention-Grabbing Headline
Your headline is one of the first things visitors will see on your landing page, so making it compelling is especially important. Some tips for writing effective headlines include:
- Focusing on your ideal reader and what would grab their attention
- Using emotional triggers like curiosity, desire, or the fear of missing out
- Asking a thought-provoking question
- Sharing what they’ll get from you
For example, if you’re promoting a tutorial on building websites, your headline could be “What if you could launch your own website in 1 hour?”
Include a Strong Call-to-Action
A clear call-to-action (CTA) is one of the most important elements of an effective landing page. Your CTA should:
- Use enticing language like “Get Started Now”
- Stand out visually on the page
- Clearly state the desired action from the visitor
Strategically place your CTA below key information like your headline and product description. Make it easy for visitors to find and click that button to convert.
Use Relevant Images and Visuals
Reinforce your headline and content with relevant, eye-catching images. Images help convey your offer visually and make your page more engaging, so:
- Use high-quality photos or illustrations relevant to your product/service
- Include images of real people using your product for social proof
- Ensure images are optimized for fast load times
- Use videos to demonstrate your product or explain your service
Optimize for Search Engines
Make your landing page easy to find in search engines by:
- Including target keywords in headings, content, URLs, etc.
- Writing concise meta descriptions that get potential visitors to click
- Using keywords in image file names and alt text
- Structuring URLs with keywords
Highlight Benefits Over Features
Rather than focusing on product features, emphasize the benefits and value visitors will get from your offer by:
- Targeting benefits that resonate with your ideal audience
- Including bullet points to highlight benefits clearly
- Using persuasive, benefit-focused language throughout copy
- Sharing testimonials to demonstrate benefits experienced by real users
By highlighting the meaningful benefits your product/service provides, you can better convince visitors to convert.
Step-by-Step: Building Your Landing Page in WordPress
Now that we’ve looked at the elements of an effective landing page, let’s walk through how to actually build one in WordPress.
Choosing the Right WordPress Theme and Plugins
Start by selecting a WordPress theme that has been designed for building landing pages. Whether you choose a free or premium theme, you want to make sure that it is optimized for performance on different devices.
If you want even more customization control, a page builder like Elementor is great for crafting landing pages from scratch. Page builders provide drag-and-drop functionality and many pre-made templates. Give the fast, lightweight, and FREE Hello Theme a try for your landing page. You’ll be able to find some great landing page themes even on the free version of Elementor!
Need help choosing a high-quality effective theme for your landing page? E. Houston Studio is happy to install a recommended free or premium theme on your WordPress site, as well as get you sorted with the plugins you’ll need for a successful landing page or website. Book a call with me at your convenience if you’d like to talk about some options.
And if you’re looking to tackle landing page creation on your own, I highly recommend the course “Creating Landing Pages in WordPress” from Faith’s Biz Academy. It teaches you step-by-step how to build landing pages in both Gutenberg (the native WordPress block-based editor) and Elementor and also how to integrate email signup forms on your landing page using MailerLite. Of course, the concepts can be applied to any email platform you choose.
Crafting Compelling Content
The copy on your landing page should quickly communicate your key message and value proposition. In other words, your copy should:
- Focus the content on your ideal customer and their pain points
- Use concise paragraphs and bullet points for skimmability
- Share testimonials from satisfied customers to build trust
- Use persuasive language tailored to your target audience
Remember, every piece of copy should ultimately direct visitors towards your Call-to-Action.
Strategically place your CTA in visible areas on the page to drive conversions, such as:
- Below your headline and supporting paragraphs
- Above the footer so it’s visible when scrolling
- In the sidebars or menu for consistent visibility
- On photos/images to attract more clicks
Use bold colors and borders to make your CTA stand out. Apply these principles to any CTAs you add.
Optimizing for Mobile
Since most people browse the web on their phones these days, optimizing your landing page for mobile is essential. You should:
- Use a responsive WordPress theme for adaptable layouts
- Ensure content is easy to read on smaller screens
- Check that CTAs and forms work on touchscreens
- Confirm pages load quickly when used over mobile data
Continuously test your landing page on multiple devices to improve the experience.
Testing and Refining Your Landing Page
Monitor the performance of your live landing page and make refinements to optimize it. I recommend that you:
- Use Google Analytics to track conversion rates, bounce rates, etc.
- Try A/B testing different headlines, copy, designs, etc.
- Get user feedback through surveys and calls-to-action
- Check speed and mobile optimization using online tools like GTmetrix
- Update content regularly to keep visitors engaged
Ongoing testing and iteration will help boost the results from your landing page. Struggling to update your website or landing page regularly with everything else you’ve got going on in your business? Check out my Monthly Content Update Service for help with blog posts, images, and more each month!
Grow Your Email List with WordPress Landing Pages and MailerLite
One of the best uses for landing pages is growing your email subscriber list. Here are some tips for doing that effectively:
Creating Opt-In Forms with MailerLite
Use a tool like MailerLite to create opt-in forms for your landing pages. The course I mentioned above, “Creating Landing Pages in WordPress,” not only shows you how to create your landing pages in WordPress but also shows you how to create signup forms in MailerLite!
Integrating Signup Forms into Your Landing Page
Seamlessly embed your opt-in forms into your landing page in WordPress using plugins. Your email marketing platform of choice likely has a plugin designed exactly for this purpose!
Strategically place your forms “above-the-fold” (so it’s visible before visitors start scrolling through your landing page) or near relevant content to increase signups.
Promoting Your Landing Page to Collect Leads
Get the word out about your landing page through social media, email, and bundles. Offer a compelling freebie like a guide, checklist, or video to encourage signups. With the number of emails we all receive each day, you really need to offer something valuable to people in exchange for their email address.
And if you want a full game plan for quickly growing your email list, I highly recommend Emilee Mason’s 5-Day Email List Jumpstart Challenge inside her Index to Inbox Academy. You’ll learn about everything from creating your freebie, to creating your landing page, to setting up your email automation to deliver your freebie. I went through this challenge myself when it first launched!
Crafting landing pages in WordPress is completely doable, but I understand that the process can be a bit nerve-wracking. Remember, I’m here to help if you have any questions throughout the process—from planning your pages to choosing the right WordPress plugins. You can totally do this!