How to build an inbound marketing website with WordPress
Inbound marketing is the option that most digitally informed companies want to adopt. Up to 60% reduction in cost per acquisition over traditional marketing methods and a marketing to sales qualified lead generation engine weighs a heavy case to adopt the practice.
However, with the cost of the annual fees of the Hubspot platform with marketing automation functionality added to the agency retainer fee to put this in place for you it can be an option for only well-funded businesses.
But I can tell you how to build an inbound platform on WordPress, it’s not going to be as practical or efficient as Hubspot’s solution as you will still need to use other apps like Hootsuite for social media management but it will work for smaller businesses with a tight budget, and we can help you plan to scale up to a full Hubspot agency retainer.
WordPress Plugins You’ll Need
On the assumption that you already have a great WordPress website that is getting some traffic and is reasonably well optimised from an SEO perspective, here are the plugins you should use to create an inbound lead generation engine. I’ve separated them into 9 categories to make it as simple as possible. While most of these plugins have comprehensive install instructions and it’s pretty simple once you know how to do it, here’s a good video tutorial to help you out if you’re in any doubt.
Legal Compliance Plugins
Cookie Notice – Data Regulations
Lead Capture Plugins
Leadin – Lead Capture
Leadin is a free and user-friendly marketing automation and lead tracking plugin for WordPress that helps you better understand your web site visitors. You can see your visitors activity on your website and social media and instantly view contextual information about them, such as their location and company info. It also pushes your contacts to an email list of your choice without replacing any forms. You can easily connect with tools like MailChimp or Campaign Monitor and is fundamental to capturing contacts details and getting them into your sales funnel.
Contact Form 7 – Form Creation
Contact Form 7 can manage multiple contact forms, plus you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple markup. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and so on.
Content Management Plugins
WordPress Editorial Calendar – Content Management
This editorial calendar gives you an overview of your blog and when each post will be published. You can drag and drop to move posts, edit posts right in the calendar, and manage your entire blog. As blogging is and integral part of your inbound marketing efforts, this makes your life easier.
Yoast SEO – Content Optimisation
Yoast SEO is a WordPress SEO plugin that incorporates a snippet preview (how it will appear on Google), page analysis functionality to help you optimise your pages content, images titles, meta descriptions and more. It’s definitely a good option to include, as you’ll quickly learn content optimisation best practises while using it.
Simple Download Monitor – Content Monitoring
The Simple Download Monitor plugin manages your digital downloads and monitors the number of downloads of your files and documents. You can configure downloadable files from your WordPress admin dashboard then allow your visitors to download the files and the plugin will monitor which files get downloaded how many times. The tracking works by logging the IP addresses of the users who download your digital files and documents. It will also log the date and time that each download takes place.
Landing Pages/Call to Action for Blog Posts Plugins
Plugmatter Optin Feature Box
An optin feature box is an email optin box that sits right under the header of your WordPress site but above the content. Using an optin feature box, you can easily grab the attention of your visitors and convert them into email subscribers. This plugin allows you to create these optin boxes without writing a line of code or any professional design tools.
WP Ultimate Landing Page – Conversion Optimisation
This tool lets you use templates to create your landing pages. By using the templates you can A/B test your content easily by switching with other templates without losing your content. It also integrates external forms from Mailchimp, Contact Form 7 and more, or you can add custom form shortcodes + html forms.
Content Distribution Plugins
Twitter Facebook Social Share – Social Sharing
WP Social Sharing places attractive social share buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Xing, Google+ and Pinterest to wordpress posts, page, media or any custom post type. They’re also responsive, so know they’ll work, regardless of your visitors device. You want to actively encourage people to share your content so this is a useful plugin to add to your arsenal.
Social Media & Monitoring Plugins
Hootsuite Dashboard – Social Monitoring
A free way to manage up to 3 social networks from a single easy-to-use Dashboard. There are also paid membership options, but this free version has some very useful functionality including message scheduling, social listening streams and analytics. You’re also able to connect Hootsuite to a wide variety of 35 social networks.
Data Analytics Plugins
Google Analytics by Yoast – Data Analytics
This plugin makes Google Analytics simple to set up, just copy and paste your Google Analytics tracking code, and you have a range of reporting and tracking information at your disposal. Even for an analytics novice this is a breeze, as there is a complete step-by-step guide for installing it and connecting it to your Google Analytics account.
Performance & Security Plugins
WP Optimize – Performance Enhancement
A simple but effective plugin, it allows you to extensively clean up your WordPress database and optimise it without doing manual queries.
W3 Total Cache – Performance Enhancement
This plugin prides itself as the only WordPress Performance Optimization (WPO) framework; designed to improve user experience and page speed. It certainly does improve speed so be sure to download and install this. W3 Total Cache improves the user experience of your site by increasing server performance; reducing the download times (vital) and providing transparent content delivery network (CDN) integration.
All in one WP Security – Website Security
While WordPress is a very secure platform, it helps to add extra security to your site by using a plugin that enforces a lot of good security practices. It reduces security risk by checking for vulnerabilities, and by implementing and enforcing the latest recommended WordPress security practices and techniques. It’s also the most user-friendly security plugin I’ve come across.
Cloud Backup Plugins
UpdraftPlus – Backup / Restore – website cloud backup using Dropbox/OneDrive etc.
This plugin allow complete backups (manual or scheduled) and restores of your website, and connects to a range of popular cloud storage platforms. If you’re investing lots of time on your digital presence and are working hard to generate more qualified leads, the last thing you need is for it to all disappear. Protect your site (and your sanity) with this plugin. I can’t stress this enough, back it all up. ASAP.
Good talk, see you out there
Now that you have your ultimate WordPress lead generation engine built you need to feed it some fantastic content and start gaining visitors and converting them to leads. We have a great ebook that will give you all the tips and pointers you need to get on your way to inbound marketing success.