Guest blog for LinkedIn Pulse: December 2016
You may think you already know all about WordPress. It’s that blogging platform where people share tit-bits about their lives or go on rants about some current topic. It’s true that WordPress started out as a blogging platform in the early 2000s, but since then, it has evolved into an instrumental business tool with the continued development of its Content Management System (CMS).
WordPress is now the most widely used CMS in the world. Most people are shocked by this fact, as they still see WordPress as a purely blogging platform, but it’s time to start taking WordPress more seriously.
The reason WordPress’ CMS has come to dominate the world, is because it is so simple to use and is also hugely adaptable. It was particularly great for people who had built up successful blogs and wanted to monetise them. WordPress obviously didn’t want to lose the customers they’d built up, so they incorporated plugins that bolted on to customers’ existing blogs and allowed them to start making money out of them.
These days, WordPress can be used to create which ever kind of website is best for your business needs. You can use their ready-made templates to create an ecommerce site, one that drives lead generation or even one that acts as portfolio for your company, showing potential customers what you sell and points them to where you can be contacted in the real world but that doesn’t actually sell anything online. This is particularly common for smaller businesses who have built their reputations on offering a bespoke service, something that’s difficult to offer online.
As you can see, WordPress is more than merely blogging. They still do blogging extremely well, allowing you to easily run a business blog on any kind of business website.
Arguably WordPress’s greatest feature is that it supports a thriving online community. WordPress is an open source project, which means that it was created by and for the community, and so anyone can use its code. This openness means that thousands of people around the world can create websites using its platform, not just WordPress themselves, which inevitably means you’ll be able to find local WordPress experts who can build you a website that won’t cost the earth.
The WordPress community is now mainly based around lead generation sites, rather than blogging. It is constantly creating new plugins to enhance the functionality of existing sites, as well as new themes that change the look of websites.
In this article we’ll look at why WordPress is the best choice for a lead generation website.
Connect your site to Salesforce or other CRM packages
If you already use the Customer Relationship Management product (CRM) created by Salesforce, then you could link it to your WordPress site.
The main benefit of this is that you can create lead forms that can be tracked. You can use a feature on Salesforce called web-to-leads enables you to create a contact form you can track. Once you’ve created a form, Salesforce gives you a little HTML code to paste that lead form into any website, including your WordPress.
To find out more in-depth information on how your WordPress site and Salesforce CRM can be linked, read wpmudev’s article.
The web-to-leads process makes it much easier and faster for you to keep track of the leads you’ve created. You also automatically channel your leads through your CMS, so the whole lead generation process is much more streamlined, while it is also easier to run reports on past performance.
Countless lead generation plugins available
As WordPress is community-based there are countless developers around the world creating lead generation tools and plugins for WordPress sites, many of these are free. This means you have a lot of choice and makes your WordPress site incredibly useful at capturing new business.
Let’s take a quick look at a couple of these lead generation plugins.
SumoMe: is more than a simple lead generation tool; it is a complete toolbox to grow your website traffic.
One of these tools is Welcome Mat. This application displays a full-screen call-to-action (CTA) when visitors land on your site. This CTA can encourage visitors to do all manner of things from join your email list, download an ebook, to read a particular blog post.
Another useful SumoMe application is Scroll Box. This tool allows you to trigger CTAs at specific moments in the user’s visit. For instance, you can set a CTA to pop up once the visitor scrolls half way down the page. Scroll Box allows your CTAs to be less pushy than the Welcome Mat option.
Over 300,000 websites are currently using SumoMe, including Airbnb, Complex and Canva.
Hello Bar: if you’re worried about being too shouty, then Hello Bar is a great and more subtle way to create more leads. When installed, Hello Bar displays a subtle contact bar at the top of your site that encourages visitors to sign up to a newsletter, a free trial, or whatever offer you’d like to draw people in with.
WordPress Leads: if you really want to double down on lead generation, then WordPress Leads is a great tool. This tool allows you to track every activity a visitor takes on your site before converting on a web form. You can also link activity to specific users, which enables you to target your visitors more effectively. WordPress Leads also allows you to gather other intelligence on your leads:
- Geographical location
- Demographic data
- Which pages they’ve viewed on your site
- What they’ve searched for on your site
- Learn their interests
- Past or current job histories
- Where referral traffic is originating from
WordPress Leads produces powerful data that lets you target visitors to your site more effectively and efficiently, and so you focus your time on leads that are more likely to convert into customers.
WordPress Landing Pages: enables you to create landing pages for your WordPress site. These pages give you the chance to monitor and track conversion rates, run a/b and other testing in order to increase your lead flow.
Landing pages are a great way to convert casual visitors to your site into leads. Some other benefits of the WordPress Landing Pages plugin include:
- Track conversion rates on your landing pages
- Use your current WordPress theme
- Pre-populate visitor forms to increase conversion rates
- Create custom landing page designs
With the WordPress Landing Page plugin you’ll be able to create pages that do more than just look pretty. Your landing pages will harvest visitor information, so you can monitor and target your leads with content that will appeal to them. It also offers the ability to test and tweak your landing pages so they’re perfectly optimised to bring in more conversions.
Great developer support
As I mentioned earlier, because WordPress is so widely used and based on open source code, a huge number of developers can code for it. This flexibility means that unlike proprietary CMS systems, your not tied to only one developer. Healthy competition also leads to innovation, hence why the WordPress plugin store is a busy place, chocked full of new or improved plugins.
WordPress’s community-based nature means that should a disagreement arise between you and your developers, you’ll be able to find plenty of other developers to pick up the code and make the changes you want with minimal disruption to your business.
Use themes or custom designs
WordPress offers countless options for website design. For users on a small budget, there are thousands of cost effective themes available to download for your site.
These themes are fine if you’re a local business, as it’s unlikely that any of your competitors will also have this same theme, even if another company somewhere in the world does share your site’s design, they’ll probably be in a different line of business, so it’s unlikely your customers will confuse your businesses.
However, if you’d like to ensure your site has a distinctive design that clearly differentiates you from your competitors, then a web designer can create a custom theme to apply to your WordPress site.
WordPress sites are good for SEO
WordPress follows many best practices for SEO, so you don’t need to make many tweaks to your copy. As long as you ensure your pages are optimised around the right keywords, you’ll start earning backlinks from relevant sites, which will help your site become more trusted, not just in your customers’ eyes, but also in the all-seeing eye of Google.
If you’d like to give your site an extra SEO boost, there are some powerful plugins available for your WordPress site, such as Yoast. Yoast is designed to help you write better content for your site. It forces you to focus on keywords while you’re writing instead of shoehorning them in at the end.
There is also All In One SEO, which is one of the most downloaded plugins for WordPress (over 30 millions downloads since 2007). This is an incredibly powerful pack that enables you to further improve your SEO by doing things such as adding meta tags, generating XML sitemap, and avoiding duplicate content.
Is WordPress the right choice for your lead generation site?
Hopefully this article has given you a brief introduction to WordPress and convinced you that it is more than just a blogging platform. A WordPress website can offer your business huge flexibility when it comes to design and lead generation.
Get in touch with Attract and Convert and we’ll build a site that meets your exact requirements.