Jeanne Hopkins, Director of Marketing at Hubspot, taught the 7th class at IMU and she discussed how to optimize website landing pages and calls to action in order to create more conversions. Jeanne was very enthusiastic throughout the class and made the content even more intriguing.

Assignment #7: Take a screenshot of one of your website’s landing pages. Write a blog article about the changes you could make to decrease
friction and increase conversion.

I created the website for Rhode Island College’s Chapter of the American Marketing Association and am going to use this for my homework. I would like to note that while there is tons of room for improvement on that website, it was the first full website I ever created and am proud to say that it earned 3rd place honors in the website competition at the International Collegiate Conference this past April.
(Note: Please pardon the site’s slight outdatedness)

The ultimate goal and purpose of our chapter’s website is to not just gain awareness of our organization, but to gain members. While Rhode Island College is largely a commuter school, it is important for us to have an on-line presence where we can reach out to the students and give them all the information they need.

I’m going to look at a particular travel path of the website, rather than one specific landing page, and then add suggestions for improvements at the end.

Starting with the homepage:

We can see three places for potential members to learn more about our organization. The navigation bar contains an About Us button and there is also a noticeable link that leads to the same page in the body text. Additionally, they can jump to the benefits page, also via a link within the body text. We also have a very visible Facebook button that links to our FB group.

The About Us page:

This shows some text straight from the National AMA’s about page and then my own description of the AMA and what our particular chapter does. After reading this, the potential member is encouraged to learn about why they should join with a link at the bottom of the page. There are also clear, noticeable links in the right column that are straightforward in what information is provided upon clicking.

If the reader clicks on the Why join the AMA? link they are brought here:

This page also comes up when the viewer clicks the Membership button in the top navigation bar. This shows a quick, 3 paragraph explanation of why it is beneficial to join the AMA and our chapter. Again, visible, informative links in the right column include benefits, testimonials, points system, and an application. The one last screenshot I want to show you is the benefits page that is linked from the above page:

I have a link going back to the About Us page just in case the reader arrived at this page from some other travel path. The use of bullet points makes the page an easy and quick read. A visible link on the bottom also explains that the National AMA has listed benefits for joining a collegiate chapter.

Here is where improvements can be made:

On the About Us and Membership pages and all pages that fall underneath those categories, there is a right column containing related links. Below that right column is a lot of blank space that is not being utilized. In this space there can be a large image box that is appealing, has a brief description on what a student gains by joining, and reads “Join Now!” or “Jumpstart Your Career!” at the bottom. The entire image will be clickable and leads to an application form.

Or, the space can be used for quick blurbs of testimonials that highlight key, valuable phrases. Make these clickable as well with a “Read More” link in order to access all of the full-length testimonials.

The Membership page provides a lot of great content, but looks like a lot of text that may turn people away. By applying the bullet structure used on the Benefits page or breaking up the text with relevant underlines, bolds, and links, the page will be more visually appealing and lead to an increase in reading by site visitors.

The Application link leads to a PDF file – a scan of the paper version of our application. Obvious friction exists here as there is little to no instruction on what to do. Instead of hoping people will print it out, fill it out, and come to a meeting, we should make an on-line version of the application. Or, instead of having a full-length application, have a quick way for people to join our e-mail list and then fill out the paper application when they attend a meeting.

These changes would improve the readability of informational content, increase traffic through specific pages, provide greater information in less clicks, and hopefully increase conversions! Thanks for the class and the tips Jeanne!

Next class: Inbound Lead Nurturing