Best Practices for Your Certification Program Landing Page

Your landing page plays a huge role in marketing your certification program to prospective registrants. It quickly answers the big questions such as what, when, why, and how much. For this reason, and many others, it’s crucial that you create a compelling landing page to market your certification program.

Do you have a strong landing page for your certification program? If you’re not sure, you’ve come to the right post. We’ll discuss the key elements to include on your landing page and why.

Here’s a list of what to include on your landing page.

What is a Landing Page?

Let’s start by defining the term “landing page”.

Put simply, a landing page is wherever a site visitor “lands” on your website. That could be your home page, your Contact Us page, or a blog post.

However, in online marketing, a landing page is a specific page on your site that’s dedicated to a single idea, such as a product or an event. For the purposes of this post, the sole purpose of your landing page is to promote your certification program.

Understand the Goal of Your Landing Page

Once you understand what a landing page is and what it does, the next question is “why?” Why do you need a landing page? Can’t you simply advertise your certification program on a banner on your website, or maybe devote a blog post to it, or create a series of social media posts for it?

While you can (and should) do all of the above, it’s important that you have a dedicated spot to discuss your certification program in detail. Your landing page should include everything that a prospective registrant needs to know before deciding “yes” to your certification program.

However, your landing page isn’t just about education, it’s also about conversion. It is specifically designed for converting on-the-fence prospects into excited registrants. Banners, blog posts, or social media posts inform but landing pages convert.

Consider this: If you run a PPC ad on Google or Facebook, you’ll need to designate a page for the incoming traffic. The last thing you should do from a marketing funnel perspective is to send incoming traffic to your homepage. Your homepage is information overload and can be confusing for the prospective registrant who only wants to learn more about your certification program.

On the other hand, your landing page will give them the exact answers they’re looking for, without the distractions that are built-in on other site pages.

The Top 6 Elements to Include on Your Landing Page

Keeping in mind that the sole purpose of your landing page is to market your certification program, let’s discuss which elements to include for maximum conversion.

1. Hero Image

Every landing page needs a so-called hero image. This is a large image, often placed near the top of your landing page, that immediately engages the audience.

What type of image should you use for your hero image? To market your certification program, consider using the image of a person who fits the following criteria:

  • The person looks sincerely happy. He or she is smiling or laughing in the image. The image feels light and evokes a sense of well-being and satisfaction.
  • The person represents your target audience. When choosing a model for your hero image, consider age, gender, attire, and so forth.

Your hero image should be high quality and high resolution. If possible, choose an image of your actual program participants. However, if that’s not possible, take your time to find a stock image that accurately reflects your target audience.

2. Compelling Title

After your hero image, the second most attention-grabbing element on your landing page is your title.

You need a title that instantly communicates the greatest benefit that the prospective registrant will gain from taking your certification course. Consider starting off your title with one of the following bold templates:

  • Learn how to…
  • Get started with…
  • Jumpstart your career by…
  • Become a certified _____, and (benefit)

Remember that you have a finite amount of time to convince a landing page visitor to keep reading. You must grab them with your opening line, which happens to be your title because it’s usually the first and the largest text on the page. Here are a few of the best practices to follow with your title:

  • Keep it easy to read. Eliminate big, clumsy words that will slow the reader.
  • Include the biggest benefit. Why should the reader keep reading? What’s your promise/ offer?
  • Start with a verb. The point of your landing page is to get visitors to “act.” Get them in motion with your title.

3. Informative Subtitle

After creating a quick and succinct title, you can spend a little more time with your subtitle. In this brief section under your title, add details to entice the visitor into signing up for your certification program. Your subtitle should expand on the bold promise that you’ve just proclaimed in your title. A few examples of what to include in your subtitle:

  • How long it will take to complete your course
  • How many people have completed your course
  • What former students have to say about your course
  • What employers say about students who’ve taken your course

The subtitle is very short. It’s often just one sentence long, with a maximum of three sentences. However, the subtitle can be persuasive for readers who aren’t easily convinced by your title’s promise. Keep in mind that every element on your landing page is organized like a relay race. The job of each element is to get the reader to the next element, and eventually to your call to action.

Keep in mind that every element on your landing page is organized like a relay race. Here's how: Click To Tweet

4. Clear Copy

In addition to your title and subtitle, you need more written content on your landing page to “sell” your certification program.

Instead of focusing on what you’ll cover in your program, focus on what the prospective registrant will gain. It’s a subtle but important shift that makes your landing page copy more compelling to your prospects.

5. Call to Action

This is the piece de resistance of your landing page. Every element is leading to this one moment where you ask the visitor to sign up for your certification program.

Because the success of your landing page hangs on your call to action, it’s important that you follow these practices:

  • Make it stand out. Whether you use a button or in-line text link, your call to action should stand out from the other text or elements on your page. Make your call to action obvious to the visitor.
  • Keep it short and concise. The visitor should immediately understand what you want them to do next.
  • Don’t use the word “submit.” The word “submit” is not very descriptive. Explain to the visitor what will happen once they click on your call to action, i.e. “join now” or “register for classes” or “get on the registration waitlist for our next class.”
  • Take the path of least resistance. Don’t ask for too much too soon. Make it easy for your prospective registrant to sign up for your certification program. Ask only for what you need (name, email address, payment information). Later, you can ask for more, such as the registrant’s goal in taking your certification program.

6. Social Proof

Whenever possible, add an element of social proof on your landing page. Social proof comes in many forms. Here are a few ideas to include on your landing page:

  • Include testimonials of former students who’ve achieved certification through your program. Select students who most closely represent your target demographic. Ideally, your testimonials will also include an image of the person, along with their name and a link to their website.
  • Share how many people like or follow you on social media. This number can inspire trust with your prospective registrant, even if this is their first time hearing about your association. If you use WordPress, you can use a widget like Monarch or Easy Social Share Buttons.
  • Add security logos to your page. In the absence of the above forms of social proof, feature other respected brands (with whom you do business) to emphasize your credibility. Perhaps your site is secured by McAfee or you belong to the Better Business Bureau– include those logos on your landing page to gain the visitor’s trust.

Related Resources

Before you go, check out these additional posts:

Don’t forget to download this landing page checklist.

Mark is a tech entrepreneur passionate about solving problems through software, and is currently the Marketing Lead at Accredible. If he's not working he's probably running or enjoying craft beer.

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