If your school's website homepage is your "front door," then your landing pages are your rooms — each neatly organized and designed to fit a specific purpose. They are what make your house a home, filling it with detail, and inviting guests to stay awhile (you know, because no one has ever had a Thanksgiving dinner in a mudroom or on a patio).
We often say here at Finalsite that in some cases, landing pages may be more important than your homepage, as they help guide your online visitors to the next stage in their journey — which is hopefully a conversion. Landing pages are sometimes neglected, as most attention is giving to a school's homepage during the redesign. However, a set of landing pages has ability to take your user experience from average to extraordinary.
As part of their recent Best-in-Class website redesign, Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School put a great deal of time, thought and effort into their landing pages, noting their importance. Their landing pages all follow the school's digital brand, while featuring something different on each page to tell a different story.
They also follow what all great school landing pages should consist of - these three qualities:
1. A consistent, predictable design that makes content easy to find as a user jumps from section to section.
Three landing pages follow this by using the school brand colors, organizing the pages in different sections, and keeping their designs relevant on each respective page. While Visi has a lot of information to share, they make it easy-to-digest for mobile and desktop users, narrowing down powerful statistics on their About Us, Academics, and Athletics landing pages in their "By the Numbers" slideshow. It's easy to read, straight to the point, and stays relevant to the content of the landing page:
When it comes to making it easy for a visitor to jump from page to page, they also do a great job with content segmentation, meaning they are able to narrow down content based on their target visitor, which helps guide their eye down the page making content easy-to-scan.
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2. There should always be a clearly defined "next step" to guide website visitors to a conversion, or more content to prompt a conversion.
Another great feature in these landing pages is how well they distribute content and also offer a next step to those visiting the pages. For example, their About Us, Academics, and Athletics landing pages all have a section for the Visitation Voices blog and a link to a related interior page on the site, towards the end of each page.
This strategy helps lower bounce rates, increase time spent on the website, and ultimately get the website visitor far enough down the funnel where they may feel ready to inquire or apply.
This section works so well because it helps the visitor navigate to a new section on the site, while also educating the visitor more about the school with stories from their own students/athletes, teachers, and faculty.
At the bottom of each page, they all offer additional next steps for visitors to continue during their journey on the website through redirects to other topics like:
Links to their curriculum and college counseling on the Academics page:
A section on the latest Athletics news on the Athletics page:
And links to more information on the school, such as the At a Glance and Student Life pages on the About Us page:
3. A combination of photos, text and video for a storytelling format.
Each of these pages showcase and visualize the school's story as a whole. For instance, the About Us page opens with a bolded bright green quote to attract the visitor's attention. From there, the mission statement holds true to its meaning and shares its impact and influence on its students and alumnae.
The Academics page uses the perfect storytelling video to intrigue visitors from staying on the page and getting more information.
The Athletics page, as needed, incorporates all information needed to follow Visi's sports all year round.
Using elements like a header ticket with different action photos, to describing what makes Visi athletes unlike others, help tell the story of the Visi athlete. This combination helps justify how effective a good landing page can be on your website with the right amount of photo, video, and text.
How do your marketing strategies compare? Want to be on our Featured Friday blogs? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your success with social media, the Finalsite platform, admissions, crowdfunding, or content marketing!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stephanie brings a fresh new marketing perspective with her background in social media, communications, and radio broadcasting. She is a co-producer for the FinalsiteFM podcast network and is passionate about helping schools stay ahead of their marketing goals by tracking new trends and developments. She is also a practicing singer/songwriter and loves to expand her creativity in DIY projects.