Your Higher Education Marketing Link of the Week… St. John’s University: Landing Page for a NY Times Ad… 22 February 2019

Matching Landing Page with Advertisement: St. John’s University “Outcomes” Example

St. John's UniversitySt. John’s University was one of 4 universities that took full-page ads in the NY Times special “Learning” section of the 24 February Sunday paper. (Rensselaer, SUNY Albany, NYU School of Professional Studies were the others). The “Results That Speak for Themselves” ad is on the left.

We’ll assume this is an image ad, not especially designed for either student recruitment or donations. St. John’s is highlighting 6 particular points:

  • #1 among Catholic universities on an unidentified list of “colleges with the highest student-mobility rates.” “Student-mobility” isn’t defined. US News is adding two measures of student mobility based on Pell Grant graduation rates to the 2019 rankings.
  • 94% employment or graduate school enrollment rate for 2014-2018 grads
  • The largest “first-year” enrollment of any Catholic college for university in the U.S.
  • A highly ranked Risk Management program
  • “More than $232 million” in institutional aid or undergrad students.
  • “184K” alumni who are “connected and committed.”

Do the results noted here “Speak for Themselves”? Some points do that better than others. Let’s see what we’ll find if we follow the link to the landing page at “” at the bottom of the ad.

The landing page…

St. John's University Points of PrideThe landing page doesn’t appear designed especially for the ad.

Ideally, the landing page would repeat the primary “Results…” message on the advertisement so that people immediately know they’ve arrived at the right spot. It does not. Instead, we arrive at a “Points of Pride” page that opens with a short note on the university.

But right under the opening note is more on that “social mobility” ranking from, we are told, the Chronicle of Higher Education. And we learn that it does measure students from low income families who not only graduate but find “well-paying jobs.” No definition of “well-paying” and no link from here to more information about the type of jobs or salary levels.

Scroll down the rest of the page and you’ll find a mix of more informaton about items in the ad interwoven with other “Points of Pride.” That includes more on the risk management program in the “School of Risk Management”… but again, there is no link to learn about the school.

Some points in the ad are included in the right column of the landing page. Alas, these do not include links for people who might want to learn more about, for instance:

  • “Over 184,000 alumni in St. John’s global network.” Perfect place to at least have a world map with the number of alumni in various countries. More defintion of how the network helps “created and committed” alumni would also be nice.
  • 94.3% of the employed or grad school enrolled graduates deserves a link for people interested in know places and typs of employment and what’s being studied at the various graduate schools.

Marketing opportunity missed…

Everything on the “Points of Pride” page is missing links to learn more information about what’s included, from the 100+ programs offered to the “100 countries represented by our students” to… much more.

A page like this should always include a way for visitors to scan the pride points and quickly move along to learn more about the topics of highest interest. That’s also an opportunity for marketing communicators to learn more about the university points that are of most interest to the public. Based on reviewing link clicks, content strategy changes can be based on data.

Without those links, the value of the NY Times ad diminishes. The URL will let St. John’s track responses to the ad. But it won’t tell anything about the relative attractiveness of the content on the page after a visit starts.

Missed opportunity.

On Mobile… an “excellent” 3 second download speed

Google Test My Site gives the St. John’s “Outcomes” page an “excellent” 3 second rating for mobile download speed. At that speed, the estimated visitor loss is noted as “low” without a specific percent. Google doesn’t use a specific loss percent if the speed is 3 seconds or faster.

Follow the Link of the Week…

Compare the St. John’s landing page with the NY Times advertisement when you visit “Points of Pride.

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