How much thought have you given to the landing pages on your website? With the Winter 2018 Olympics right around the corner, it’s time to stick the landing.

What Is a Landing Page?

Just because someone might “land” on any one of your school’s website pages, that doesn’t make those pages a “landing page.” The fact is that a landing page is one that: 1) has a form; 2) exists exclusively to capture a viewer’s information via that form; and 3) makes an appealing offer in return for the viewer’s information.

Driving a prospect from an ad (print, radio, digital) to a landing page is about conversion. You want to engage them to complete an action and be excited to learn more about your school and its mission. Forms on landing pages equal conversion opportunities. A conversion could result from:

  • Registering for an open house
  • Submitting personal info to receive a phone call from your Admissions Director
  • Completing a form to download an e-book or white paper
  • Signing up for a newsletter or blog
  • Purchasing tickets for a school event
  • Donating dollars to your annual campaign or fundraising activity

A word about forms for Admissions: If you want to register people for your open house or school tour, keep your form short. This is not the place to ask what a prospective student’s favorite sport or subject is.  Name, grade, parents’ name, email and phone should do just fine.

What a Landing Page Isn’t.

You may have a form on your website’s home page, your Admissions page, or any one of your other website pages. But they aren’t “landing pages” if the targeted audience is distracted by other actions (navigation bar or links directing traffic to other pages, articles to read, and/or your social media sites, etc.).

By sending your prospects to a landing page free of distractions, they are more likely to complete the desired action – and you’re more likely to dramatically improve the chances of conversion.

In two case studies, HubSpot and Yuppiechef learned that landing pages without additional links perform better than landing pages that offered additional navigation for viewers. For Yuppiechef, removing links unrelated to the desired action increased conversions by 100%

6 Attributes of an Effective Landing Page.

Navigation: Limit links that will prompt viewers to leave the page. You want them focused on the action you want them to complete. This includes hiding your website navigation tabs. Your landing page should include all the information a viewer needs to know to decide whether to convert.

Multimedia: The written word isn’t always as effective as multimedia elements. Use video, audio, or mobile marketing as well. Video, especially, is great on a landing page, just don’t send the viewer to your YouTube channel or a video gallery page on your website. Stream the actual video onto your page.

  • Research shows that parents, more than anyone, want their child to be happy at school. If you want to boost open house registrations or awareness for your school, stream a video on the landing page of parent testimonials with the heading “Why X School is the Perfect Fit for Our Family.” Or embed a short 30-second video that highlights the benefits of your school.

Add Value: Make a compelling offer. Always give the viewer something of value in return for their information. Think about the questions that are in your prospect’s mind and heart and answer them on the landing page.

  • Offer a downloadable PDF of a “White Paper” written by your head. How many parents would download a paper entitled “Why X School Students Are Successful in College and Life.” A longer narrative, written in your head of school’s voice, explaining how your school’s mission helps prepare students of character and competence will get read. Include a few alumni success stories with photos. List some important stats.

Create a Sense of Urgency: Give the viewer a persuasive reason to “act now.” For example:

  • Only 10 seats left!
  • The first 20 people to sign up will receive…
  • Want your child to be the next Oprah Winfrey, J. K. Rawlings, Marc Zuckerberg, or Walt Disney?
  • What you need to know before selecting a private school for your child.

Organization: Organize your landing page content in the form of a “visual hierarchy.”  In the article “Creating a Visual Hierarchy: The Art of Capturing Attention,” by, in a visual hierarchy, a viewer’s eyes land on the most important information first, and the second most important information next, and so on. Prioritize the content on your page through design elements such as varying text sizes, bolding, italicizing, using color and so forth. Remember to emphasize what you’re giving away in the headline with text and imagery, convey the offer’s benefits in the body copy, and let your prospects know how to claim the offer with a persuasive call-to-action button – Act NOW and Tap HERE; Claim Your Offer NOW!; I Want to Learn About Private School Admission.

Short and Sweet: Short direct paragraphs increase conversion rates. Paragraphs with no more than three sentences max are more attention grabbing, and make it easier for viewers to read and retain the information.

The Best and the Worst in Landing Pages

If you’re planning to craft a landing page for one of your school campaigns, it’s always good to learn what to do and what not to do so that you can motivate viewers to convert. Digital expert Ted Vrountas recently gathered and analyzed 100 of the best and worst “action-oriented” landing pages to help readers create a highly effective landing page of their own. Check out these examples, which can easily be adapted to many of your school’s landing page projects.

Need to create a dynamic and highly engaged landing page for your school’s upcoming event, giveaway, or for overall awareness? Contact us today for a free consultation and we’ll help you to stick the landing!

Sarah Achenbach is Director of Communications for Kalix Marketing.

These previous blog posts may also pique your interests:

The Power of Video

11 Essential Photography Tips for Independent School Marketers : Summer Marketing Series #8

Measuring Your Admissions Marketing ROI