5 Conversion Rate Optimization Experts Critique an ESPN Landing Page

by 5 08/29/2012

Does ESPN get it right with their Fantasy Football landing page?

This is the landing page I arrived on after clicking on a Google Adwords Ad that appeared from the query ‘play fantasy football.’

Have a look at the landing page and what our Crazy Egg Conversion Optimization experts had to say.  And, leave your opinion in the comments section.

Click here to visit the landing page


ESPN Fantasy Football Landing Page

Brian Massey, Conversion Scientist

Brian Massey

What I Liked:

It’s very clear what the site is about. Three calls to action stand out and I assume match the desires of the target visitors. I like the awesome catcher for “top of funnel” visitors that is just below the calls to action: “Never played fantasy football before?”

What I would change or test:

The biggest benefit is almost invisible, “100% Free.” It’s light gray on lighter gray. Move this to the banner to immediately eliminate this question.

I would test different copy treatments. The copy in the header area is not easy to read, and doesn’t carry any emotional punch. “Do you really love Football? Most armchair coaches limit their fun to Sunday. You don’t have to.”

The video image doesn’t look like a video. It looks like some kind of membership card. Make this more obviously a video thumbnail. Video converts.

~Brian Massey, Author of The Customer Creation Equation

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Naomi Niles, Intuitive Designs

Naomi Niles

It’s great that they repeated the words “fantasy football” from the PPC result. It would be even better if the word “play” was defined somewhere. As a heading above the three red buttons might be a good choice, just to help pull more attention back down to that call-to-action area.

It’s good that the page has a clear hierarchy. The basic information is at the top while the supporting information is highlighted further down.

The buttons stand out well against the green and black background. I think they made the right choice for those.

What I would change or test:

  • The Headline: Try adding the word “play” on the main headline.
  • Heading: Try creating a new heading with the word “play” in it.
  • Highlight the “free” more clearly, perhaps in the headline. Since it’s further down, it could be missed.
  • Narrow the choices: The reactivate button could be taken out since it’s for someone who’s already using the service.
  • It would probably be worth looking at the visitor stats and see how many new visitors there are vs. returning visitors and tighten the offer and messaging up for the corresponding visitor types. Also, right now it appears that it’s targeting both people who are familiar with fantasy football and those those who aren’t. It might be worth only targeting one group, at least at a time.

~Naomi Niles, Intuitive Designs

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Justin Rondeau, WhichTestWon

Justin Rondeau

I think one of the major perks of this landing page is its simplicity.

It immediately tells you what you are looking at and provides 3 solutions that lead to the desired goal of ‘Playing Fantasy Football’.

As a Fantasy Football novice, I also appreciated how they had a section for fantasy newbies above the fold. Though it adds another option to visitors on the page, it will likely reduce the feeling of intimidation to new players resulting in a decrease in bounces.

While the top fold of the page is fairly simplistic, as we go further down the fold more content is shared about the features of ESPN Fantasy Football. This type of content is perfect for users who want to make sure they are using the correct platform, e.g., instead of using Yahoo fantasy.

Overall I think this page is great on a layout perspective and on a content perspective.

What I would change or test:

The first thing I would test removing is the top navigation. Insofar as the traffic is coming from paid campaigns it would be in ESPN’s best interest to get rid of the top nav and only focus on getting signups for fantasy football.

Another area that I would change on this page is the white supporting text in the header. I am not a fan of white text in general, and due to the gradient on the image this text is difficult to read and just wasting space. Two possible tests ESPN could run – 1) a removal of the text 2) shorter more targeted text in a larger font.

As a side note, I would love to see a different font color, but due to the color scheme on the site, the designers were likely backed in to a corner with white text and I understand this is likely not possible

I think that ESPN should stress that their Fantasy Football service is free throughout the page, maybe get this major benefit above the fold?

Also, I hoped that they would reiterate the ‘Create a League’ ‘Join a League’ and ‘Reactivate’ call to action below the fold. For the visitors that scroll through and consume your content, it is important to keep these calls-to-action top of mind.

~Justin Rondeau, WhichTestWon

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Wider Funnel Marketing

Joseph Seo

When analyzing pages we usually try to take a strategic approach, which includes understanding the incoming audience, historical data, the product, goals and objectives etc. Upon doing so, it much easier to analyze and make informed decisions regarding the strengths and weaknesses of a specific landing page.

With this in mind, some general comments would be that the overall layout and design of the page clearly focuses the attention to the main CTAs of the page. This page has obviously been designed with past fantasy football users in mind, and the placement of the CTAs allow them to quickly choose what they want to do. The CTA targeted to new users is also a good addition to the page as it can act as a way to reduce anxiety for those unsure about whether to join or not. It also nicely correlates with the header and value proposition below it: “Highlighted Features – 100%.”

What I would change or test:

First and foremost, there is a lot of competing design across the page. Within the banner especially, the small white font is unclear and no specific call-to-action. I would consolidate the text in the banner as well as test how conversions are affected by testing value driven statements or new features associated with ESPN’s online fantasy football leagues. The highlighted features section could also be re-written to be more concise.

~Joseph Seo, WiderFunnel Marketing

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Rich Page, Website Optimizer

Rich Page

Nice clear call-to-action buttons that fit main needs of visitors to this page. Highlighted features are great to influence people to sign up.

What I would change or test:

A lot of wasted space about the call to action buttons, pushes everything else too low. The text below the main header is much too small to read or be effective and occupies too much space. Test closing up that space. Highlighted features take up too much width – should be condensed, moved up higher, and changed to more traditional bullet points. Test moving the ‘100% free’ wording much higher, as is likely a big influence on converison.

~Rich Page, Author of Conversion Optimization: An Hour a Day

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Did you notice some trends in these comments from our experts?  Here are three:

  • Highlight the fact that the service is FREE, it’s likely a major question on the mind of the site visitor
  • The white text in the header is difficult to read
  • The “Never Played Fantasy Football?” text under the header likely increases conversion for a newer audience

Of course, the only way to know is to test.  But the consensus amongst our experts is compelling.

What are your thoughts on the ESPN Fantasy Football landing page?

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5 COMMENTS

Elan Sherbill

I tried to replicate your search and landing page experience and was surprised that I couldn’t find the landing page featured in this post. Instead, I landed on a page that was more focused on an experienced user, rather than the newbie:

http://games.espn.go.com/ffl/welcome/createleague

And while this page still has the nav menu (a big no-no IMHO), the black text on a white field is more easily read than the white text on a green field.

August 30, 2012 Reply

    Russ Henneberry

    Very interesting. Looks like ESPN is iterating on that page — good for them! Thanks for the comment!

    August 30, 2012 Reply


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