Speaking of school marketing (see our last blog post), have you evaluated your school website lately? Does it serve the needs of your digital visitors in the best way possible? Your school website serves a couple of purposes simultaneously. First, it houses important information for current students and parents, like the latest school news and schedules of performances or other events. It also acts as an online brochure for future students, their parents, and the community. As you evaluate your website, keep this in mind:
Before any prospective student or parent walks through your doors, your school brand has already made an impression through the website.
Your school website is vital to the efficiency and effectiveness of communication between all groups: students, parents, teachers, and administrators. Beyond the basics like your physical address, a staff directory, and calendar, your school website should include these four important must-haves:
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” as they say. Your site is your first opportunity to make a personal connection with members of your community. As humans, stories trigger our emotions and alter our attitudes. So you want your audience to absorb information, but also to feel something. Define your school’s vision and create a story that resonates with your audience. But do not set it and forget it; continually update your site with dynamic, real-world content that evokes emotion.
Various audiences will view your website. Make sure it is easy to navigate based on different needs: those of students, current parents, prospective parents, etc. Use a simple homepage design with clear navigation that people can easily scan and understand in just a few seconds. Ensure your content is as concise as possible. Can visitors access the major sections of your site in just one or two clicks?
Online forms and other necessities
Moving forms online will reduce paper waste and streamline processes. Website-based forms will also aid in organization and help centralize your most important data. Inquiry and donate buttons should stand out in order to drive action from important audiences outside of the currently enrolled families. Use clear and compelling calls-to-action. Avoid the generic “click here,” and opt instead for an inviting phrase such as “visit us now.” Strengthen your calls-to-action with personality, testimonials, and communication channels that make it easy to interact.
If it is not already, mobile will soon be the primary way that people access your website. The purpose of a responsive web design is to create a website that will provide the optimal viewing experience for your end users, regardless of the device type they are using. Specifically, responsiveness should result in comfortable reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing and scrolling. It is imperative to see how it looks on mobile to ensure your design is responsive, easily scanned, scrollable, and more.
Partnering with experienced branding and web design professionals will relieve concerns that you may have about a school website redesign. At id8, we are expert storytellers with school marketing experience, so reach out for a chat. We look forward to working with you!