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A Beginner’s Guide to Building a Site with Leadpages

By The Leadpages Team  |  Published Jul 29, 2021  |  Updated Oct 06, 2023
Leadpages Team
By The Leadpages Team
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Your website is the face of your business. So it’s important that it represents you well.

Trying to build a website from scratch is daunting, and hiring someone to do it for you can cost thousands of dollars up-front. Without knowing how to code, or having a framework to guide you on how to build your own website, it's easy to get lost or stuck. That's where Leadpages comes in.

At Leadpages, we’re serious about massively simplifying the website building process. While our drag-and-drop templates make it simple, and our built-in conversion optimizations make success straightforward—there are still lots of decisions to be made along the way. In this post, we’ll walk you through the process of building and publishing a website with Leadpages.

Leadpages Sites

Beautiful websites with the full conversion power of Leadpages

Experience the only online website builder that lets you easily create a high-converting website with code-free customizations.

Pick your perfect(ish) website template

We see it all the time: browsing website template galleries turns into an hour-long doom scrolling session and a severe case of analysis paralysis. That’s because, while templates are all ready-to-publish, they’re really designed to be jumping-off points (ie. they’ll get you 70% of the way there). Remember that you can customize it as little or as much as you need to.

build your own website Leadpages template gallery

Leadpages templates can be sorted by conversion rate, industry, style, or color, to help you find one that will meet your needs really quickly. Don't be afraid to use those filters to narrow your options and find a great fit.

Set a goal

Before you start building with your preferred template, you’ll need to determine what your site’s primary purpose is:

  • Brand awareness and credibility building
  • Lead generation
  • Content publishing
  • Sales & ecommerce

Instead of trying to build a website that does everything, we suggest a different approach—an examination of your specific priorities. It’s great to build a site that can do lots of things well, but make sure to know which one of those tasks is the most important as you get started.

By considering your site's goals ahead of time, and focusing on a single key objective, you're setting yourself up for success. Noah Kagan of OkDork agrees. Specifically, he says that doing so, “simplifies every single decision you make and helps prioritize which actions to take.” On his own site, OkDork, Noah decided to set his sights on gathering as many email subscribers as he could, instead of trying to make his site do everything at once. He goes on to say, “for most of us, it’s too easy to set 5 or 6 goals and then when we don’t reach them, we have an excuse”. Trying to do too many things at once can be a major impediment to achieving your site’s “one goal”. Focusing on one key goal is a great way to avoid that.

Define key pages

Your site needs a structure in order to stand on its own. Take some time to define the key pages your site needs, and map out how they'll be connected together.

We recommend starting with a focus on conversion. The template you choose will generally have a suggested mode of conversion, whether that's offering a free consultation, an audit, a quote, or a free guide. This can be changed pretty easily if needed, since it usually comes down to changing a few words to meet your needs—for instance, replacing "Get my free guide" with "Schedule my free consultation."

Use your primary objective as your north star—a point of reference around which everything on your site is oriented.

Each Leadpages site comes with pre-built pages that fit with the theme, style, and general layout of the site. You can duplicate or delete those pages as needed, and add new pages.

Next, you'll want to add a few key pages to your site navigation so they're easy for visitors to access from anywhere on the site. We recommend making sure to include no more than five primary navigation items—any more will confuse your site's interface and make visitors want to look elsewhere. If you have other items you'd like to include beyond those five pages, consider nesting them together, so that related options can drop down beneath the primary option.

Be brand-ready

By this point, we know you’re raring to go and get started building your site, but before you start adding bells and whistles to your site, there’s one last task we’d recommend tackling as you prepare your site: Take a moment to consider all of the visual cues that set you apart from your competitors—your brand. Skipping this step can be fatal for any business looking to make a name for itself among all the other businesses in the same category out there. Beyond simply making your offer more memorable to your visitors, effective branding also plays a role in your visitors' path to conversion.

Your look, your brand

Your Leadpages account has a brand section to help you add customizations that will be available across every site and page you create.

Here you can add as many colors as you'd like to use on your site, and on all of your company's assets. Not only does the use of color add to the branding effect of your site, but it can also impact your site’s conversion rate.

You can also set up custom fonts here. Using the same font across your site, landing pages and other assets lets you develop a cohesive business identity, and if branded properly, your visitors will get a sense of that identity with every interaction on your site.

Apply global styles

Now that you've set up some details about your brand in your account, take some time to set the tone of your site with global styles. These styles will automatically apply themselves to headlines, body text, and countdowns on your site, so you won’t need to change them one at a time.

build your own website Leadpages builder global styles

To set them, select “Styles” on the left side of the site builder. Use those settings to change the font and color for the text on all of your site’s pages to match your branding. Take advantage of this feature before you start working on the text on your site, so that all of your site's text has a consistent look and feel.

We also recommend adding a favicon, which is the little logo that appears in your visitors' browser tabs. This isn't urgent, but it's worth doing when you can, since that little image goes a long way in making a site look "finished" and it's helpful for brand visibility.

Customize your text, images, and other widgets

Ready for the fun part? Now, you get to express yourself and show off your business by adding your personal flair to your site.

Start with the text and images on each page of your site. Every template's content is designed to be easy to repurpose. So if you don’t have your own copy or images, you can easily reuse what’s in the template and just swap out any relevant details with your own.

build your own website Leadpages builder text editor

Let’s talk about photography for your site. If you don’t have your own photos, Shutterstock is built right in on Leadpages, and has tons of high-quality stock photos to choose from. Or you can use free images from sites like Pexels.

Finally, take a look through the other options in the "Widgets" menu on the left side of the builder. For instance, if your site could use some added urgency on an offer, a well-placed countdown timer can go a long way. Similarly, an extra social sharing widget might help your content spread to new visitors organically. Try to envision what uses those other widgets might have, and see if there are any opportunities for tactful additions on your site.

Configure page layout and add sections

By this point, your website is starting to take shape. But you might be noticing some holes—a space where the template could use an extra testimonial, another "About Me" space for your co-owner, or maybe just a bit of rearrangement. Leadpages makes this process simple.

build your own website Leadpages builder add a section

If some rearrangement is in order, you can move each page’s sections from the "Layout" tab. To add new sections, click on "Sections" inside the site builder. You'll see an entire gallery of pre-designed content blocks, just waiting to be added to your page. Dragging and dropping one of those sections onto your page will let you set up your page quickly, customizing the layout of the page in practically no time.

Add CTAs and customize your forms

The next step is to set up your CTA (call to action) buttons. There should be a CTA button in almost every section on every page of your site, prompting the visitor to take a desired action like signing up for a newsletter or downloading content.

What should your CTA say? Think back on your objectives—what do you want visitors to do on your site? Keep your CTA copy short, simple, and clear. Most of the time, your call to action will have a pop-up form attached to it that asks for important details like a name and email address.

If you’re using an email service provider like Mailchimp, AWeber, or ActiveCampaign, be sure to connect the appropriate integration to your forms so that leads are funneled to those services. Collected leads are also automatically stored in the built-in Leads Library, so you always have that backup.

If your offer involves sending content, you can use the built-in Lead Magnet Delivery feature to send files directly to visitors after they opt in. If you’re not sending a lead magnet to your visitors, it may be worth considering—a free PDF showing off your expertise, or a digital sample of your product, can go a long way in starting to build your relationship and credibility with new visitors. Finally, take a moment to let visitors know that you appreciate their interest, and to show them a bit of your personality, by sending them to a customized thank you page.

Don't neglect your 404 page

build your own website Leadpages 404 templates

Your site has a secret weapon that is often overlooked, and it's built right in: the customized 404 page.

Yes, you read that right! The page that visitors land on when they use a misspelled URL, or link that no longer works, can be used as a lead generation tool instead of a flub. This is the perfect opportunity to offer your favorite freebie or your most popular content, and build up a little impromptu rapport with your visitors.

Depending on how your site is set up, and how you send traffic to it, there may come a day when your 404 page suddenly gets a large influx of traffic. It’s rarely intentional, but sometimes visitors are sent to an invalid address on your site, like a link that was sent out with a typo, or a page with a slug that was changed after being published. This results in a 404 error.

If your 404 page is ready for it, you can take advantage of that traffic, and avoid losing those leads. But, you can only do so if you make the 404 page your own, and put it to work for you.

Set up tracking

Once your site is up and running, you'll want to know as much as you can about how many visitors you're getting, and how many of those visitors are opting in to your offer (your page's conversion rate). This is provided by your site's analytics, which are accessible right from within your Leadpages account.

Leadpages also allows you to add tracking code to your site from services like Facebook and Google Analytics. You can use those tools to gather more in-depth analytics, such as where your visitors came to your site from, and what they did while they were visiting. Any tracking code you'd like to add can be placed on your site through the "Settings" tab.

Publish your site

In Leadpages, you have two options for putting your site out on the web; you can use the domain that comes with your account (yourdomain.lpages.co), or you can connect to a third party domain you own.

To connect a domain you own to your Leadpages account, head to the "Domains" section and follow the prompts to get connected.

Do you need your own domain? That depends. Having a domain is a great way to establish professionalism and credibility, but they do come at a (usually small) cost. However, if you’re just looking to get online quickly, Leadpages’ free domain is a great way to do it.

Drive and measure traffic

You did it! Your website is up and running, and you've made it your own. Now it's time to start sending traffic to it, so your site can start working for you.

Take some time to consider the resources you already have available to make this happen. If you've got an email list started, a quick message to that list can be a great way to start getting the word out. If you're set up on social media, whether you've started to amass a following or not, posting about your new site is a great way to start building up a buzz.

It's always worth optimizing your website for search engines, to make sure people looking for sites like yours can find it. Of course, you can also set up Facebook advertisements, pay-per-click (PPC) ads, and referrals from other sites to drive traffic to your new site.

And be sure to keep an eye on your analytics to get a better idea of what’s happening with your traffic. From there, you can start running A/B tests to optimize your pages and improve your conversion rates.

The fun has just begun

Of course, your work is not through now that your site is published. You may have tweaks you’d like to make, as you find out what works for your needs and what doesn’t. You can absolutely make changes and update your site as needed, even after you publish it.

With Leadpages Site Builder, you’ll be able to get back to running your business, meeting with clients, and working on projects at lightning speed.

If you’re not yet a Leadpages customer, sign up for a free trial and get started on your site today!

Now that we've walked through the ins and outs of how to build a website with Leadpages, have you created your site yet? Was it different from trying to build a website from scratch? What strategies did you use to make the process work well? Let us know in the comments!

Leadpages Sites

Beautiful websites with the full conversion power of Leadpages

Experience the only online website builder that lets you easily create a high-converting website with code-free customizations.

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Leadpages Team
By The Leadpages Team
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