In comparison, converting and becoming a real potential student requires them to invest their time and energy to understand your school or university and stay and fill out your form (as well as risk unwanted marketing emails since you require they share their contact information).
Below you will find ten tips, which we have tested to improve and optimize your landing page(s).
1. First Impressions Matter
When a potential student looks at your landing page, they decide in just a few seconds whether to leave the site or continue viewing. When making this decision, they consider two things:
"Is this website difficult to use or understand?"
"Is this page useful to my search query?"
A number of factors can influence their first question, decisions such as design, copy, font size, and form length. To influence the second, make sure the headline as well as your page is relevant to the search query. This means having dozens or hundreds of landing pages - preferably at least one per ad group and one for your each of your top keywords.
2. Have an Offer
Your landing page doesn't need to sell your course, campus, or school. It just needs to sell your offer. Focus your page around a single call to action, such as a free whitepaper or brochure. Avoid the temptation to include irrelevant school information.
3. Remove The Navigation
Remove your main navigation, as it is unnecessary to have lots of pages. Simpler pages almost always work better for lead generation, the fewer the better. In studies showing eye movement across a webpage, the navigation catches the eye of the viewer and takes attention away from your offer and conversion action. To make matters worse, each link is an invitation for the visitor (which you paid for) to click away from the form instead of converting. It is tempting to links just in case the potential student wants to dig through your site and learn more, don't, remove these links. Your goal is to sell your school, and the only thing those links can do is lessen your conversions. It is better to provide information after they convert, on the thank you page or after you have received their details.
4. Use Graphics with care
Graphics are the #1 thing that draws the eye. Use them carefully since the wrong graphic or placement of which can distract from the offer and conversion.
Include a hero shot, e.g. a mock up of the white paper cover with the title blown up to be readable.
Let people click the graphics to get more info because visitors often click on graphics.
Be sure to have a caption for your graphic this is because besides the headline, captions are the most read copy on the page.
5. Make Your Content Scan-able
Visitors don't read landing pages, they scan through them. Write in bullets, if you can. Be sure your copy sells your offer when someone scans just the first three words of each bullet or paragraph. Make key words bold. Think of using interactive components, such as an audio clip, short video / demo, or flash animation on your landing page. This can engage buyers who want more info without overloading the website with information.
6. Just Request Information That You Really Need
If you met someone interesting, you wouldn't ask for a lot of questions like their life history. Instead you would just get their contact information so you could get to know them over time. This principal applies to landing pages as well. The more questions or information you request the more this will reduce your conversion rate, so collect as little as you really need to acquire the lead and stay in touch. As you begin contacting them you can always request more information then.
7. Capture Hidden Information
Use concealed fields to collect additional information about your leads, such as the keyword used, the search engine they came from, and the ad they clicked. You can also use "click paths" to capture implicit information. For example, if you want to know the prospect's subject area, add some navigation on the left that lists your top courses. This is different than your site navigation. Prospective students are likely to click on the link for their interested subject area, so take them to an even more targeted landing page -and capture their subject as a hidden field.
8. Have Reasons to Give Correct Information
After conversion, don't just allow them to download your offer, instead email it to them. This is a great trick to ensure that you get a valid email address. Also, be sure to place a link to your privacy statement near to where you ask for their info.
9. Include a Thank You Page
After a customer has submitted the form, take them to a thank you page. This is important to track the conversion. It is also a great opportunity to deepen the relationship by making another offer, promoting your blog, asking for feedback, or running a poll. Up to 40% of prospects say they are willing to share additional information after they convert.
10. Test... But Don't Over Test
Testing lets visitors vote with their actions, removing any debate about what works and what doesn't. The most valuable things to test are the headline, graphic captions, the submit button, form length, and graphical elements. However, be careful not to over-test and change the items too much. A good rule to follow is to take the number of conversions you get per day and divide it by 10. Then take your testing period in weeks and divide that by 2. Multiply the two results together to get the number of versions you can confidently test in your testing period.
Final point, keep it simple the landing pages don't have to be complicated.