Responsive websites look great on ANY device!(see sample below)
NEED A NEW RESPONSIVE WEBSITE?
SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM AND COMPLETE THE ONLINE FORM TODAY!
While we could have come up with a list of 25 or even 100 things about your website, we believe these are 5 very important tips to consider about your school website.
1. RESPONSIVE: In today’s communication-crazed culture, your school website should respond beautifully AND functionally on any device, whether a large desktop, a 17″ laptop, an iPad or a handheld mobile device. If your prospective parent has to pinch and zoom to be able to read the text, you have lost them.your opportunity to showcase the daily evidence of every claim you make on your website. Be sure and put the social media icons clearly visible and in multiple locations. Especially on high traffic pages (Admissions, Academics, Arts, & Athletics), encourage people to follow you. If you have a funny coach on Twitter, be sure and put that on your Athletic page as well as the main school account. If your Fine Arts program has a fabulous Instagram account, especially link to that on your Arts pages.
2. TARGETED AUDIENCE: Since you first launched your school website (5, 10, 15 years ago?), it has grown into a grand repository of information. Most likely it has been so stuffed with data through the years that there is some outdated content on your site. But if you have a chance to start fresh with a new website (see our offer at bottom of page), make sure you know who your audience is! While current families need to have a place to get their information, your website (especially your home page and top visited pages) need to be solely focused on PROSPECTIVE FUTURE families. If you try and speak to both future families and current families on the same page, the future families will get lost in the chaos.
3. TELL STORIES: In marketing your school, consider your school’s “macro” story. This is your mission, your school-wide brand and your big-picture selling point to future families. In your macro story, you want to focus around 3 key themes that can be reinforced in words, pictures, video and repeated in every way possible. This communicates clarify to a potential visitor and it’s easy to remember. Focus your testimonials, reviews, case studies and every success story around one or all of these 3 key themes. Use these themes in your text in your welcome message from the head of school. Use the themes in videos that you can later share on Facebook. The repetition is memorable and it makes a solid case to a prospective family presumably looking at several possible schools. You will also want to create hundreds (yes I said hundreds) of “micro” stories that will eventually make up your social media content. Think Instagram or Facebook posts. If you post even twice a week, in a year you will have shared 100+ micro stories that collectively tell a greater macro story.
4. OFFER CLEAR ACTION STEPS: If a prospective parent visits your website, this is great. You get to count hit as another “hit” in your Google Analytics. But think to yourself: how many times have you visited a restaurant, store or hotel website, looked around and clicked off. That wasn’t their objective, was it? You want to offer prospective families some way to clearly know what to do next. In some cases, a parent has done their research, feels a great deal of trust with you already and is ready to apply. Thus, the “Apply Now” button should have prominence. However, if a family finds you from a Google search or a link they saw on a friend’s Facebook timeline, they are not ready to apply. But how are you going to follow up with them if they don’t give you some information to do that? Certainly, most websites have a “REQUEST MORE INFORMATION” and this is advisable. However, still, there are other families who are “kickin’ tires” and not yet ready to do have someone from the school contact them. This is a good place to consider helpful or valuable content for which they would be willing to give up their email address in exchange for someone that will assist them with a need, problem, pain, frustrration or fear. If can be a free report, “10 Things to Compare with Looking for a Private School for Your Child”. Many parents would love a checklist to help them know how to do an evaluation. But it could also be practical in other areas of life, such as “5 Middle School Moms Tell Their Parenting Tips” or “The 25 Best Places to Find College Scholarships”. Many parents would sign up to receive this content. Creating it is the hard part, but once you have it, I can assure you that you will start seeing people sign up for it. And if you put the offer strategic places on your site, you can also track what they were looking at when they signed up! You can then follow-up with an individual email (always recommended) AND begin to include them in mass emails that go out to all prospective families.
5. INTEGRATE WITH SOCIAL MEDIA: Make it super easy to find your social media buttons. Think of a dating metaphor. You meet someone and you want to follow-up. You get their contact information so that you can stay in touch. As the school, you want their email address. But the prospective parent also wants your information and your social media can be the next step in the relationship! They will have perused your website already, so now they are looking for me . . . and this is your opportunity to showcase the daily evidence of every claim you make on your website. Be sure and put the social media icons clearly visible and in multiple locations. Especially on high traffic pages (Admissions, Academics, Arts, & Athletics), encourage people to follow you. If you have a funny coach on Twitter, be sure and put that on your Athletic page as well as the main school account. If your Fine Arts program has a fabulous Instagram account, especially link to that on your Arts pages.
It’s time to take your website to the next level without breaking your annual budget in the process. Some companies will charge you over $15,000 with very costly multi-year commitments just to update your website. We won’t do that – plain & simple! Contact us for a quote and make your school’s website mobile-friendly and responsive.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?: We cannot guarantee you a timeframe until we have a more in-depth conversation with you about your needs, timeframe and several other contributing factors. However, it has been our experience that when clients are expeditious in providing us the content in a timely manner (text, media, etc.), we can often deliver a new website within 60-90 days. There are numerous variables, but for example, if you sign up in this fall and we all worked together really hard, there is a high probability of giving you a new website before your students come back to school in January as you start the new enrollment season for next year!
PROMO CODE: If you have a promo code to use, be sure and enter it in the last entry on this form under “Promo Code / Question / Message / Inquiry” or you will not receive your discount.
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