January 28, 2010 By BJ Cook,
So once in awhile I come across some ads that speak to me and peak my interest. Today I had a page saved to go back and check out. On that page was the following ad from The Ladders. Yeah you know them, $100k+ jobs around the country. Talk about targeted browsing. [caption id="attachment_393" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Find $100k+ jobs"]Find $100k+ jobs[/caption] What catches my attention?
  • Find $100k+ jobs in your area - Who doesn't want a salary at that level?
  • A map of the US - I love my country and this makes it easy to scan.
  • Pinpoints listing titles and salary levels - I can browse to a location that interests me plus see sample salary levels. A kind of buffet for finding a new job.
  • Find a great job now - A simple call-to-action always tops off great creative.
So I click through. (Contributed to the campaign's click through rate) I come to the following Landing Page. [caption id="attachment_395" align="alignnone" width="499" caption="The Ladders - Landing Page Audit"]The Ladders - Landing Page Audit[/caption] Are MY expectations met as user once I land on this page?
  • I can search for 54,749 jobs at $100k+ salary level - Numerical data points add value for users.
  • I see the same US map creative I just saw in the ad - consistency is great!
  • I can search around my own area - zipcode searches are simple for users.
  • I can select my field - filters are good to avoid overwhelming users.
So The Ladders is doing well so far. Let's take a look at what I didn't like as a user.
  • Form fields - If they're not required, why are they there?
  • Personal Information - Why do you need/want my information?
  • 54,749 jobs text should be visually different from $100k+ text as it blends together.
  • Job categories - why are they on the right? Seems random. Why not follow top to bottom form progression, ending at call-to-action with a button?
So I started to fill out the form fields that I thought would get me into some search results, which is really all I wanted to do. Then I get this. [caption id="attachment_396" align="alignnone" width="499" caption="The Ladders - Landing Page Audit w/ Bad Form Flow"]The Ladders - Landing Page Audit w/ Bad Form Flow[/caption] Dear Ladders UX Design Team and Marketing Team, Please don't show non-required form fields and then display a message like the above. I'm leaving your landing page, you didn't capture any of my information, you left a bad taste in my mouth as a user and I won't see anymore of your ads when I'm browsing. So some quick lessons and tips for Creating Landing Pages and Meeting Users' Expectations:
  • Set expectations - If you tell me I'll be able to do something, then let me do it
  • Be consistent with your creative - pull in similar elements to continue that user experience
  • Avoid unnecessary form fields - they're an eye sore
  • Don't Trick Me - Avoid trying to get users to create accounts covertly - not nice
  • Visual Hierarchy is important - separate important data elements, so they stand out to users
  • Quick Interaction Points - Make it simple and fast for me to perform the action I intend to
  • Smooth Form Flow - Top to bottom is standard, don't get all creative
  • Testing - Use a tool like Google Site Optimizer to test creative, messaging and form completion to see what actually works ... this one didn't.
I hope these Landing Page Creation Tips help. Keep your eye out for ads that interest you and see if they meet your expectations as user when you click through. Have fun browsing the web!

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