Higher education marketers regularly navigate challenges when promoting academic programs and recruiting students. With such a broad recruiting pool, it’s essential to craft messaging across multiple channels that engage prospective students at all touchpoints in their journey.
Unlike traditional web pages, which feature multiple CTAs and navigation paths, landing pages make it easy to move readers from different channels (typically email or social media) to one place where they are encouraged to take specific action. Well-designed landing pages demonstrate an understanding of audience needs and clearly explain how those needs can be met. The following tips are designed to help you build targeted, concise landing pages that drive engagement.
8 STRATEGIES FOR BUILDING BETTER LANDING PAGES
Each landing page should support a promotional objective – creating an opportunity to convince a prospective student, donor, or faculty member to take a specific action, like signing up for an event, requesting information about a course, or making a donation. Consider these tips when building your next landing page to ensure it’s user-friendly, drives traffic, and gives visitors the answers they want.
- Target Each Page to a Specific Action: Landing pages aren’t the same as web pages, so resist the urge to create complex layouts and page navigation. Instead, focus each page on a single piece of information and a related call-to-action, such as requesting info, registering for an open house event, or applying directly to the program. Too many distractions will only keep viewers from completing your intended action.
- Lead With Value Propositions: If you don’t grab a reader’s attention right away, there’s a good chance they’ll look elsewhere. You can accomplish this with a compelling headline and a brief explanation of key benefits. For example, if your landing page promotes a program of study, you could highlight that the program features hands-on learning, leads to internship opportunities, and helps enhance career outcomes. Follow with clear, concise bullet points on why your school’s program is distinctive.
- Showcase Success: It’s perfectly acceptable to “show off” a little on your landing page. After all, prospective students will want to know how your programs will lead to their success and earning potential, potential faculty would want to know why joining staff supports their career objectives, and alumni would want to understand how their support has made a difference for the university brand over time. By adding standout data, you will reinforce your key messaging. And it never hurts to include quotes from students, faculty, or alumni to further enhance your value proposition.
- Highlight Faculty Expertise: If your landing page is promoting a program or a faculty hiring initiative, remember to highlight points about your faculty’s research, field experience, awards, thought leadership articles, and other accolades. This not only adds credibility to the landing page messaging but also reinforces the broader value of the education your school provides.
- Include Simple, Compelling Copy and Calls to Action. Keep sentences short and to the point. Write in a style that reflects your school’s ideals. Make your calls to action clear – “Meet with a recruiter,” “Enroll today” or “Apply to Study Abroad” – highlighted as clearly defined buttons with contrasting colors.
- Bring Your School’s Experience to Life: No matter the program or initiative, your landing pages should serve as an extension of your school’s branding and student, faculty, or alumni experience. Enhancing page messaging with photos, videos, and testimonials can better connect the landing page intent with the overall school experience. Include video testimonials, quotes and photos, spotlight stories, and surveys to boost prospects’ confidence in your offerings.
- Use a Streamlined, Mobile-Friendly Design: Use your school’s branding, colors, and logos, but don’t clutter the page with unnecessary decoration. You should include relevant awards and logos to boost authority and trustworthiness, as long as these elements are part of a clean design that guides readers toward an intended CTA. Also, keep in mind that many people primarily consume content via smartphones. So, be sure your design is optimized for mobile and that the messaging and CTA are legible in a mobile format.
- Test, Test, Test… Then Test Again: Before you launch your landing page, use optimization platforms such as Google Optimize, HubSpot, or Optimizely to A/B test page headlines, content, layout, visuals, and CTAs to see which elements draw the most interest and encourage conversions. For good measure, you should also test after your page launches, to determine if improvements need to be made.