Two Must-Have Plugins When Using WordPress for Landing Pages

By Janet Driscoll Miller | Dec 29, 2009
More Articles by Janet


Many of us use specially designed landing pages for PPC campaigns, and most of the time, we have all of the flexibility we need to follow landing page best practices and create A/B tests. But what if your website is based in WordPress?

More and more companies have turned to WordPress as a type of basic content management system (CMS) for their websites. However, while WordPress can be a useful tool for allowing many people within an organization to update a website without much HTML knowledge, WordPress often can limit the flexibility you have as well.

However, there are ways to follow best practices for landing pages and get the flexibility you want for landing page testing. Here are my two must-have plugins if you want to test and create best practices with your WordPress-based landing pages:

Google Website Optimizer Plugin (http://websiteoptimizer.contentrobot.com)

The Google Website Optimizer Plugin allows you to easily add Google Website Optimizer code to your WordPress posts/pages. Why is that so great? This one plugin, using Google Website Optimizer, opens a plethora of testing options, both multivariate and A/B. Test everything from headlines to copy to buttons on your WordPress pages to see which is most effective. Some landing page tests that this plugin makes easier include:

  • Headline copy tests
  • Body copy tests
  • Page layout tests
  • Button verbiage and color tests
  • Form length tests
  • And many more!

Really, the sky’s the limit using Google Website Optimizer when it comes to testing elements or whole pages, so this plugin will provide you with the flexibility to create those tests fairly quickly and easily in WordPress.

Exec-PHP Plugin (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/exec-php)

The Exec-PHP plugin is another must-have in my book. If you know any PHP code, this plugin really can come in handy. Installing the plugin allows you to include PHP code in your WordPress posts/pages.

So why is that helpful? Well several best practice studies have shown that if you incorporate the keyword the person searched on in a search engine into the landing page’s headline, conversions often increase. This is likely because the searcher identifies that he/she has arrived at the right place. You essentially have keep your messaging clear that your site is about that particular keyword.

I typically pass the keyword via a URL string from the destination URL in Google AdWords and other advertising platforms. For instance, http://www.search-mojo.com/?k=keyword. Using the Exec-PHP plugin, I can then add that keyword to headline and even use the keyword in other ways, such as passing it as a hidden form field. That way, when the person converts, I can also track the keyword POST CONVERSION, i.e., all the way through to an offline sale via my CRM or Salesforce.com.

If you use the same landing pages across many engines or marketing tactics, you may want to track which engine or tactic the conversion came from. Again, this can be done via URL string, like this: http://www.search-mojo.com/?source=GooglePPC. This field, using Exec-PHP, can then be passed into a hidden form field to track the source of each lead coming in.

As I said, I find both of these plugins incredibly helpful. I hope you do to!

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