As we cautiously emerge from lockdown into a Summer Term of pupil-filled schools, the countdown to 2022 entry applications will begin in earnest. One thing is certain: the pandemic speeded up the ‘digital first’ approach to school enquiries, driving families to investigate potential schools online to a greater degree than ever before.
So what is our advice?
Most parents are likely to form their first opinions of your school from visiting your website. Try to see your school website through the eyes of a prospective parent, one so far unfamiliar with your ethos, provision, grounds, staff, pupils and reputation. Your website is your shop window, so consider how it appears to those who’ve never visited before:
- Is the photography bright and engaging? Does it truly reflect every aspect of the school at work and play?
- Is it intuitive to use? Can parents find the information they need simply and easily? It is particularly important to clearly signpost everything pertinent to visits and applications, such as Open events, information sessions or webinars, the admissions process and relevant links.
- Is everything up to date? From staff lists to term dates and application deadlines, check that nothing still refers to previous application cycles or academic years.
- Is your messaging clear or lacklustre? How quickly can visitors identify why your school is different from competitors and how that benefits your pupils (their children)?
- Does your website have consistency in appearance and messaging? Check pages, PDFs and attachments to ensure they match the visual and brand identity of the rest of the content.
Address any weaknesses as soon as you can. You will undoubtedly find some items that are relatively quick and easy to fix – your quick wins can make a big difference.
Don’t forget, the Stickman team helps school leaders, marketing, admissions and school business managers to boost revenue via powerful and simple marketing strategies.
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Emily and the Stickman team x