Conversion Rate Optimization Increases University Lead Generation by 75%

In today’s highly competitive digital landscape, colleges and universities are seeking innovative strategies to generate quality leads and attract prospective students.

This case study explores how a university partnered with New Path Digital to improve lead generation by implementing a conversion rate optimization strategy. The result? A remarkable 75% increase in conversion rate while simultaneously reducing the cost-per-acquisition (CPA) by 16%.

The Challenge: Lead Generation

Colleges and universities often promote their web pages through various marketing channels, such as social media and paid advertising, to reach their target audience. However, creating effective landing pages that convert visitors into leads can be challenging for many higher education institutions.

This university recognized the importance of optimizing its landing page conversion rates to attract and engage prospective students effectively. Understanding that an efficient landing page can significantly impact their enrollment numbers, they partnered with New Path Digital to leverage our expertise in the field.

New Path Digital’s understanding of the potential impact of conversion rate optimizations on generating more graduate program leads was supported by compelling evidence. This was evident through the following indicators:

  • Search Performance
    Search performance indicated that pay-per-click (PPC) visitors were looking for more information about graduate programs in North Carolina.
  • Page Load Speed
    The current page-load speed for landing pages was greater than 9 seconds. They understood that a slow page loading time negatively impacts user experience. As a result, visitors are less likely to take the desired action and convert.
  • Landing Page View Rate
    The graduate program ad-to-page Landing Page View Rate (LPV) was 41.5%. This meant that nearly 60% of individuals that clicked through an ad were not waiting to view the landing page.
  • Multiple Navigation Points
    The primary graduate program webpage had multiple navigation points that a visitor could choose instead of converting on the desired call-to-action (CTA). These included:

    • Fourteen top-level navigation points that were unrelated to the graduate program
    • Six on-page navigation points to other graduate program-related content
    • Three on-page links that were not related to the graduate program

The Solution: A/B Testing

A/B testing is a powerful tool for optimizing landing pages for conversion because it allows you to test different variations of your landing page to see which one performs better. By conducting A/B tests and comparing the results, you can identify which design elements, copy, or call-to-action (CTA) language are more effective in engaging your audience and driving conversions.

A/B testing enables marketers to:

  • Make decisions based on actual user behavior and preferences rather than guessing or assumptions. This is especially useful for identifying small, incremental changes that can have a significant impact on conversion rates.
  • Reduce risk by allowing marketers to test changes on a smaller scale before rolling them out to your entire audience. This way, you can avoid making large-scale changes that could negatively impact your conversion rates.
  • Gain insights into what resonates with your audience and what doesn’t, helping you to tailor your landing pages to better meet their preferences.
  • Find the optimal combination of design, messaging, and calls-to-action that drive the highest conversion rates, leading to a better ROI.
  • Remove bias from the decision-making process by providing objective, quantitative data that can be analyzed and used to inform marketing efforts.

The A/B Testing Process

A/B testing involves comparing two or more variations of a particular element, such as a webpage, email, or advertisement, to determine which one performs better. A/B testing over a set time is critical for several reasons:

  • Accurate Performance Evaluation
    By A/B testing over time, you can account for variations in user behavior and external factors that may influence the results. It allows you to collect data across different time periods, ensuring your conclusions are not based on isolated events or anomalies.
  • Isolation of Variables
    Testing one item at a time helps you isolate and understand the impact of individual changes. When you test multiple elements simultaneously, it becomes difficult to determine which specific change contributed to the observed results. Isolating variables allows you to make informed decisions based on clear cause-and-effect relationships.
  • Iterative Improvement
    A/B testing one item at a time allows for a systematic and iterative approach to optimization. By focusing on individual changes, you can test, learn, and refine your lead generation strategies incrementally. This approach helps you build a better understanding of what works best for your specific audience and goals, leading to continuous improvement over time.
  • Statistical Significance
    A/B testing requires a sufficient sample size to ensure statistically significant results. By conducting tests over time, you can accumulate a larger sample and increase the statistical power of your analysis. This helps you make confident decisions based on reliable data and minimizes the risk of drawing false conclusions.

The Testing Hypotheses

For this conversion rate optimization project, we tested two variables over time that we believed could lead to a year-over-year conversion rate increase of 10%. These were:

  • Decreasing Page Load Speed
    Reducing page-load speeds for this university was of the utmost importance. With page load speeds greater than 9 seconds, we knew we were losing valuable leads. To improve page-load speeds we:

    • Reduced HTTP Requests
    • Reduced the Page Size
    • Optimized Image Sizes
    • Minified Javascript
    • Minified CSS

These efforts resulted in an 81% decrease in page load speed. However, it was important for the university to use their CRM forms instead of a webhook for a faster form. When we switched to their CRM forms, the site speed decreased from its original speed by 53%.

  • Clarity Around the Benefit of Requesting More Information
    We believed that for pay-per-click (PPC) visitors, providing clarity around the benefit of requesting more information would result in an increase in conversion rate. To provide this clarity we:
    • Removed the Navigation Bar
    • Removed all On-Page Links to Other Content
    • Used Snackable Content Through Headlines, Subheads, and Bulleted Copy
    • Added Social Proof Through Alumni Testimonials
    • Focused on the Download Offer
      • Used Prominent Call-to-Action (CTA) Buttons
      • Used Image of Download
      • Highlighted the Benefits of the Download
      • Used Simple and Direct Language to Communicate Value

The Conversion Rate Optimization Outcome

  • 75% Increase in Conversion Rate
  • 16% Decrease in Cost-per-Acquisition (CPA)

These results demonstrate the effectiveness of our testing methodology and the value of data-driven optimization. By making informed decisions based on real-world performance data, we were able to help this university achieve significant gains in both conversions and cost efficiency, ultimately delivering measurable results that positively impacted its graduate program recruitment efforts.

Your Organization May Benefit from Conversion Rate Optimization

Our experience with landing page optimization and A/B testing has demonstrated the significant impact that targeted optimization efforts can have on conversion rates, cost efficiency, and overall marketing success. By leveraging data-driven insights and best practices, we were able to drive measurable improvements in this university’s performance metrics, ultimately helping them to achieve their goals more effectively.

If you are interested in learning more about our digital marketing services and how they can benefit your organization, we invite you to schedule a free consultation with our team. Our experts are ready to review your current landing pages and develop customized recommendations for optimizing your conversions and driving growth.


Blog Last Updated on 10 months by New Path Digital

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