Every headteacher and school marketing expert knows that your school website has the potential to be one of the most powerful marketing and information tools available. After all, it gives you a chance to inform students and parents about developments in real time while celebrating its successes through the use of engaging media. Best of all, it’s a great way to cut the costs of communication and ongoing marketing. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to enjoy those benefits if nobody ever visits.
So, what are the reasons that nobody is finding your site? Let’s find out.
Poor Mobile Design
In addition to low traffic, you need to think about the threat of high bounce rates. This is the percentage of people that leave your school website after visiting just one page – think of them as students that have signed in to the register and then decided to walk out of class!
The most common reason for leaving (the website, not your classroom) is that poor design sets a bad first impression. While most schools have invested in a good layout for the desktop, often they neglect to make it mobile friendly. Given that over half of all online sessions take place via mobile, this is the first thing you should look to fix.
Aside from reducing the bounce rates, it should boost your traffic as well, as Google is more likely to show it for searches from mobile devices.
Anyone with even the most basic grasp of online marketing knows that SEO is imperative. If you don’t rank highly on Google, you will struggle to gain traffic. After all, we all naturally gravitate to the first few sites on the results page – and you only need look at your personal browsing experiences for confirmation of that fact.
While keywords, meta tags, and other simple items all have important roles to play, they aren’t the only crucial elements. SEO tactics aimed at voice searches and modern searches are just two examples of how you should update your approach.
Perhaps you should actually pay attention to the kids next time they say that you need to get with the times. Seriously, it’ll give your website a serious boost.
Not Using Google My Business
Most parents (of existing students and prospective students) will be in the local area. They will search for the school on Google by adding the town or city name. This kicks Google into ‘local search mode’ meaning you should pay extra attention to local search results. Google My Business is the ideal way to stand out.
Creating your free profile and adding the necessary information will fire your school up the local search rankings while also ensuring that it appears on the local map representation. As long as you include your website details, this should bring more clicks to the site.
You’re Not Telling Parents About It
If you think worrying about kids between the hours of 8 and 3 is tough, imagine the 24/7 challenge facing parents. As such, they aren’t going to go out of their way to search for the school. They need to be presented with the information clearly and need an incentive to visit.
Leaflets, posters, or adverts on the school planners can make a big difference. Meanwhile, you can use parents evenings as an opportunity to inform them about the many benefits of staying abreast of the latest school developments through the website. If all else fails, a competition or special promotion on school-related activities can work wonders.
Repetition isn’t only key for children to soak up information. So, be sure that the parents are regularly reminded too.
Poor Social Media Strategies
I can already hear jaw droppings as I inform you that social media isn’t the enemy. In fact, it’s probably the very best way to recruit new visitors to your site and interact with the parents in a communal and accessible manner. Just remember that the age demographic of parents means that Facebook is a far more likely solution than Snapchat.
Social media offers fast, free, and informal interactions with parents. Videos, polls, and other media can be used to direct people to your site while the Analytics tool allows you to monitor exactly where you are going right or wrong. Paid and sponsored posts are great ways to gain new interest too. Private groups for parents are also very useful.