Improve your school website accessibility and user experience
Most underestimate the value of a well-designed school website and how much of a difference it plays in getting enrolments through the door.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Responsiveness – if the website doesn’t scale well on mobile devices, then you will most definitely miss out. Most parents in this day and age are on their mobile devices such as phones or tablets. A non-responsive website will result in parents leaving within the first 3-6 seconds of opening your website.
- Navigation – If parents are spending a long time to look for specific information, then this will end in frustration. The desired result is to get them to their destination within the fewest number of clicks.
- Quality – it shouldn’t look like GeoCities of the mid-90s. Having a website designed by a professional, who knows the balance between design and user experience, could be the difference in getting the next enrolment. A poorly received website by parents will result in them looking at another school instead.
- Optimisation – don’t be afraid to ask how the websites will be built, and don’t be afraid to gather granular details If needed. Many websites are poorly optimised in many ways, but the most important one is search engine optimisation (SEO). Poor on-page/school SEO will make it harder or less-likely for search engines showing results for your website.
Improve your on-page/school SEO
On-page/school SEO is an important step in making sure you are maximising your school website being discovered by both search engines and parents.
Basic things to keep in mind:
- Does my school website have correctly set headings?
- Is my content written to incorporate keywords parents would be searching for?
- Are there descriptions for all images to bolster discoverability?
- Has Google My Business (GMB) been setup correctly and does it have the right information?
- Are all your contact details up to date?
Parents will be researching schools within their area to determine which school is best for their child. They’ll be searching by certain keywords to find the right information. If you do not rank for these keywords, then your website won’t show up in the search engine results.
Targeted traffic with school marketing
Paid traffic from Google Ads or Facebook Ads can give you additional traffic but it requires careful planning. Targeted school marketing campaigns can yield quicker enrolments, but you need to identify your goals. It is essential that all the goals can be measured whether it’s a clickable phone number or a form submission.
Here are some goal examples to get you started:
- I want parents to see a page and contact the school directly via phone
- I want parents to register to our newsletter
- I want parents with kids ready to enrol for year 7 to see a page and submit an enrolment form
Here are a few tips to give you better school marketing ads and pay less for clicks:
- Setup a landing page that speaks directly to the audience you are targeting
- Make sure the landing page contains exactly what the parents are expecting when they click on the ad
- Ad copy must contain keywords that drive your particular audience to the landing page
- Continuously review your ads to make sure you get a good ROI out of them. Make changes to keywords to better position ads. Targeting high traffic keywords may be tempting, but the cost per click would be very high. Less trafficked keywords will be cheaper but are a long-term investment.
Being more active on social hubs such as Facebook and Instagram
Facebook and Instagram are such powerful tools in your school social marketing arsenal. Most parents can be found on Facebook and this adds an additional layer of marketing at your fingertips. Building a community on Facebook exposes your school to an additional funnel for enrolments, as it allows parents to share events, posts, etc. with other parents within their network.
Similar to Google Ads, you need to identify your goals and your audience. Perhaps on your next Open Day you’d like to focus more in increasing primary school enrolments? It’s easy to narrow down an audience with Facebook Ads. Measure success with your campaigns with set goals such as how many impressions (how often your ad has been seen) have been generated or how many parents have clicked through to a landing page. There are more advanced options available on Facebook that allow you to capture various audience types or even market to passerbys.
Instagram is a great source to further advertise your school by posting images and linking them back to your school website, Facebook or landing pages. A picture tells a thousand words, and so do enrolments as parents love visual glimpses of schools, their students and staff.
Gather reviews from parents and students to build an online reputation
Testimonials are worth as much as gold now of days. Parents researching a school for their child will often read reviews of schools of other parents to get a feel for things. A bad online reputation can lead to parents casting your school into the “maybe” pile.
You should be looking at three places to improve your overall online reputation: your own website, Google reviews and Facebook reviews. Your website is a great first spot to showcase glowing parent testimonials, right next to a form for even better conversion! Google has become the de facto spot for most to check reviews of various organisations which is why it should be high up on your list to have parents post their reviews on it. Facebook reviews is another great place to show off your testimonials as it would tie in with your efforts of establishing an active and healthy social community around your school.