A website is essential for any modern school. Once you have a site up and running, that’s not all that you need to do. There’s still work to be done to keep it updated and ensure it can be found by the people who need it, from current and prospective pupils to alumni and beyond. Getting a website online might not take too long or be very difficult. You might only need something simple that provides the essential information about your school required by Ofsted or the ISI and acts as an online prospectus. However, there’s plenty for you to do if you want to stay up to date and help your school website perform as well as possible.
Make Sure You Have a Website with a CMS
If you already have a live website, it could be a little too late for this – or there could still be time. Having a content management system for your website means that you can make updates to it yourself. You don’t need to have a web developer who you have to request makes changes for you every time you want to publish new content or do anything else. If you have a content management system, whether it’s a custom one or just one provided by your website host, you need to make sure that you know how to use it.
Optimise Your Site for SEO
Optimising your school website for search engines is a vital next step once you have your site up and running. There’s a lot that can go into this, so you should familiarise yourself with at least the basics of SEO. Of course, if you don’t want to do it yourself, there’s always the option of paying someone else to do it for you. SEO involves many techniques and elements, from choosing the right keywords to your site to getting other websites to link to your content. Start by doing some keyword research to find out what sort of things your target audience is looking for.
Your keywords will likely include things like the name of your school or schools in your area. As well as finding some relevant words and phrases, you should check just how much competition you will be facing. Use a keyword difficulty tool to find out how hard it will be for you to show up in searches, and check how often people are searching too. Once you have your keywords, you need to use them in all the right places. You should place them throughout your content in a natural way, as well as in the title and description tags for your pages.
Set Up and Incorporate Social Media
Social media is a fantastic tool for staying in touch with parents, staff, and others. There are plenty of things that are suitable for posting on social media but that might not make much sense to put directly on your website. Social media also allows you to communicate with people easily, sending them messages, replies, and comments to engage them in conversation. When you create your social media pages, you can put follow buttons on your website, as well as have sharing buttons on your content to allow people to easily share important things. You can even embed your Twitter feed, posts on Facebook and Instagram images.
Keep Your Content Up to Date
Keeping the content on your website up to date is essential if you want your site to perform well in search engines. It’s also important because you want people visiting the site to see that you’re active and that you care about what’s happening and letting people know about it. Fortunately, there’s plenty that you can post about if you have a blog or news section of your site. Publish content relating to school projects, fundraising, what different classes have been up to, and more. Let everyone know about school trips, clubs or even what your past students are up to now.
Set Up Some Advertising
You might want to consider some paid advertising to get your school’s message out there. It’s easy to get started with pay-per-click (PPC) advertising if you want to. Google Ads will show your adverts on search engine results pages, and you can also choose to display them across a network of websites. Target a relevant audience by setting your ads up correctly.
Once your school website is up and running, make sure you don’t neglect it. Keep it up to date to ensure it’s visible.