You can spend a lot of money getting prospective students to your site—but how much do you spend on the actual destination? A landing page can be described as what the viewer “lands” on once they click on an ad. Each landing page should be campaign-specific and have a direct objective, such as generating leads. Utilizing tracking systems such as Google Tag Manager, you are able to track form fills and other actions to help determine the campaign and landing page success. If the landing page is not specific, the user may be confused about what they’re looking at and close out all together.
Be relevant yet on brand
The headline of your landing page is specifically important, as it’s the first text prospective students will read. It should relate to the ad that was clicked on as well as the content beneath it. Try to make the headline compelling so the reader wants to read on. Another item to include is any type of alert that’s at the forefront of students’ minds, such as the COVID-19 impact. Giving prospective students a message that reassures them that the university is taking the necessary precautions and that the admission office is still operating as usual is comforting and will help potential students feel more at ease. Check out this blog post to learn what students want to see on a virtual tour.
Make sure to stay on brand and follow brand standards in your campaign landing page. A prospective student could click on a bright, cartoonish ad and end up on a dark, serious page then immediately close the window thinking they went to the wrong place. Try not to confuse your audience and stay consistent with your brand standards across your ads, website, and landing pages.
Be creative and have a call to action
Include eye-catching images or videos of students so they can see themselves at the university. According to a study conducted by WordStream, using videos on landing pages can increase conversions by 86%. Say something no one else is saying, but make sure it relates to the creative and is relevant. Are there any interesting stats or logos of groups that have endorsed your university? Do you have any testimonials from students? Can you condense long content into bullet points? Think about the viewer and what they’re looking for.
Also consider the action the university wants the user to take from this page. Do they want to “Learn More,” “Apply Now,” or “Visit Today”? Think about the relevant call to action (CTA) and include only one on the landing page. According to the same WordStream study, 48% of landing pages contain multiple offers. And landing pages with multiple offers receive 266% fewer leads than single offer pages, according to Transaction. Prospective students can get confused if there’s more than one CTA. Also, keep the CTA above the fold where the viewer will see it. If you’re using a form, try to keep that form short as to not deter students from filling it out. They’ll be looking at the landing page for what’s next.
Continuously test and check page speed
Universities should be testing landing pages just like they’re testing ads. According to the same study by WordStream, only 52% of companies and agencies that use landing pages also test them to find ways to improve conversions. Some ways to test landing pages are through Google Optimize or platforms like Unbounce. Take some time to come up with a “B” variant to your landing page so you can learn more about your audience and cater to what they’re looking for in the future. The average viewer spends about 15 seconds on a page before closing out; this is the amount of time a university has to capture the interest of the prospective student. If the prospective student is waiting for the page to load for half that time, that doesn’t help. Use compression tools to keep your image file size down and your page speed up. Also avoid bloated code—the fewer lines of code, the faster your page will pop up. Check out this blog post for some free tools on how to tell if your pages are slow to load.
Great landing pages can fuel your success
All of these tips can help universities create a user-friendly experience for prospective students and receive additional conversions. Make time to constantly optimize your landing page strategy to fuel your marketing strategy. We often see great ads that Carnegie Dartlet creates that lead to a landing page that feels like a dead end. Take a step back and look at the destination to see if it follows marketing best practices. It may be what’s holding you back from extra conversions and ultimately your enrollment goals.