4 Higher Education Landing Page Mistakes That Can Hurt Recruitment

Pete Schauer

Marketing Director

Creating relevant content is a great way to naturally recruit students, but sometimes, you need something fast and direct. Paid advertising allows you to reach a large audience for a low cost. Using targeting features, you can focus on specific niches. Before you start throwing money into a paid ad campaign, get your ducks in a row; this includes having effective landing pages.

Here are four landing page mistakes to avoid at all costs. Let’s make sure your paid ad campaigns are helping your recruitment efforts - not hurting them.

Mistake #1. Redirecting to the home page.

Where are visitors sent when clicking on your ad? It should be a designated landing page, not your home page. Unfortunately, some higher institutions make the mistake of sending visitors to their general home page, reducing the effectiveness of the ads.

First, sending prospects to a generic landing page is a wasted opportunity. There is a lot of information to sort through, when really, the person was only interested in your nursing program. Second, the prospect could feel misled and be turned off from your school as a result.

Bottom line: Create designated landing pages for each campaign.

Mistake #2. Not following good design practices.

When a prospect clicks on your ad and is appropriately brought to your landing page, you have just seconds to capture their attention. A good design helps you with this process. Here are the elements to take note of:

  • Short text. People tend to scan information on landing pages. Include short blocks of text, easy-to-understand terms, and bullet lists.

  • Empty space. Your landing page doesn’t need to be “busy”. Leave white space to make the page appear clean and uncluttered.

  • Important info only. Now is not the time to share little details. Include only the need-to-know information and facts.

  • Organization. There should be a flow to your page. Use optimized headings to organize content.  

  • Visuals. Include visuals to reinforce your message. In this case, less is more.

Mistake #3. Having slow loading pages.

Another mistake is not testing the speed of your landing pages. The longer it takes for a page to load, the more likely the prospect is to leave. In fact, a 4-second load time increases bounce rates by 25%! Aim for 2-3 seconds.

You can test your landing pages using a tool like Pingdom or GTmetrix. If the results show that your pages are not loading fast enough, take steps to improve performance. This includes cleaning up the design, optimizing images, and minimizing redirects.

Mistake #4. Including ineffective lead capture forms.

The purpose of landing pages is to collect information from prospective students. With an email or phone number, you can start the nurturing process. The key is to collect the right information so that you may ask questions and provide more relevant, helpful content.

Don’t miss the mark when it comes to your lead generation forms. Ask enough questions to qualify the students, but don’t overwhelm them. Over time, you can ask more personalized questions. Usually, the best information to start with includes name, email, program of interest, and preferred campus.

To make the most of your paid ad campaigns, you must have effective landing pages. Take some time to review your pages and make necessary updates. You’ll get more interest from prospective students and more bang for your buck!

About the Author: Pete Schauer

Born and raised at the Jersey Shore, Pete Schauer is the Marketing Director at SEMGeeks. He holds a M.A. in Digital Communications from William Paterson University and has 8+ years in the digital space with companies such as Bleacher Report and Social Media Today in addition to SEMGeeks. His background includes creative and professional writing as well as strategic digital marketing communications and management.

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