Five things to think about with your school’s website
Here are five things to think about with your school’s website design:
1. Is your site optimized for search engines?
SEO is a broad and significant factor in helping to get your website found on search engines. There are two essential pieces, technical SEO and on-page SEO. You will want to make sure you are following best practices regarding the technical aspects of optimizing your site. These include the title tag and meta description that show up in the search results, keywords used in the page’s content, and proper naming of images and multimedia.
2. Is your site sticky?
When it comes to making your school’s website sticky, you will want to make sure you answer searchers’ questions as best you can. You shouldn’t be afraid to address complex questions such as cost, graduation rates, or college preparedness. These are things that prospective parents will most likely want and need to know. By simply answering these questions, you are already more attractive to parents who care about their child’s education.
3. What is your user experience like?
Your school’s website design and its overall look can lure or turn off prospective parents, especially millennials. Often a visitor will be able to decide whether they want to visit the school and submit an application for enrollment after a few minutes of navigating around your website.
Elizabeth Sillence and her team conducted a study in which they found that 94% of the participants didn’t trust a site due to its user experience.
When it comes to site navigation, the simpler, the better, often people will want to overcomplicate the site navigation and have menu items as how you refer to them. This is a major no-no! You should think about how your parents and prospective parents refer to things and keep your links named as such.
Also, think about how the site is laid out. Is it responsive and mobile-friendly? If not, it should be! We live in a mobile world. The internet is constantly at users’ fingertips, there for your site should look as good on a mobile device as it does on a desktop device.
How well your website is designed plays a role in your online marketing strategy for your school and makes sure visitors contact you. If a parent peruses the website and doesn’t end up calling you or submitting a contact form, then there’s something wrong.
4. How likely are visitors to return?
To answer this question, you must ask yourself, what are you doing to entice parents to come back? Are you providing them with valuable information? Or are you just posting fluff in hopes that you show up for Google searches and you can convert them on the first try?
5. What are you doing to prompt visitors to sign up or contact you?
The principal job of any website is to get visitors to reach out and contact you. Therefore how can you ensure that prospects want to contact you? Again if you provide valuable information for visitors that answers their questions, they will be more likely to want to reach out. However, website users can be lazy, for lack of a better word. You want to make it easy for them to contact you by using CTA buttons that take them right to your contact form or tour page. You will also want to limit the amount of information you collect to just the bare necessities such as first name, last name, email address, and possibly a phone number.
Three Tips For Designing a Prospect-Focused School Website
Now that you are thinking about your site, here are three tips for designing a prospect-focused school website that will lead to more applicants for your private school.
1. Parents want a responsive web design
As we mentioned above, your site has to be easy to navigate. With the prevalence of smartphones, website architecture and navigation are no longer restricted to laptops or desktop computers. Your content must be viewable on any device in a clean and readable way or mobile-friendly. In other words, you shouldn’t have to zoom in and out to read the content. Buttons should be large and have plenty of space between them so that they can be easily clicked with a thumb. While mobile-friendly and responsive are often interchanged words, responsive is referring to ensuring that text, images, and even videos, should be viewable, readable, scalable agnostic of the device being used.
2. Give parents ways to convert
We know the goal of your school website is to have prospective parents give you their contact information. You need to make it easy and give them ample opportunities to do so. Having a form for an e-book or check sheet might be one way. Another might be registering for your open house or to schedule a free no-obligation tour. You may also want to consider doing a virtual tour as part of a webinar. At the very least, you will want to direct them to a contact form.
3. Your website isn’t set in stone
I have good news and bad news; your website is never done. There is always something that will need tweaking or changing. While you may see that as a bad thing, it is actually great! There is no other marketing medium that allows you to test and measure as fast as you can with your website.
Hopefully, I have given you plenty of food for thought. If you take nothing else away from this post, then take this; when planning a marketing campaign, be sure to think about how your online presence can be maximized and used to your advantage. Marketing your private school isn’t something that you need to go at it alone. At Cube Creative Design, we specialize in helping private schools with their marketing efforts. Contact us today to see how we can help your school increase enrollment with our proven methods.