10 Must-Haves for Every Montessori School Website
The Montessori philosophy, focusing on a child’s independence and sense of responsibility, is a unique education option parents often choose for their child. To stand out and effectively engage interested parents browsing your Montessori school’s website, your website must have several crucial elements to take a curious school parent through the marketing funnel from newly interested to enrolled school family. We have recently launched some new websites for Montessori schools. We loved sharing their information with prospective families and seeing their inquiries increase and their processes simplify with the new websites! In this blog post, we’ll list out the top 10 must-haves your Montessori school website needs to make that all-star first impression on prospective parents.
- The basics— mobile responsiveness, security, website speed: For your Montessori website to perform well in any capacity, it needs to be optimized to the three pillars of good website performance. The website must be able to run smoothly in all formats, including desktop, mobile device, even tablet mode. Your website’s security should also be a top priority. To ensure your website is secure, you need an SSL certificate. This is a must for your website, as it helps protect its security! This certificate acts like a digital “passport” for doing business on the web. Having this certificate on your website boosts trustworthiness because it increases a user’s comfort level interacting with your site, knowing their information is secure and protected. Lastly, your website needs to load quickly; aim for a load time 3 seconds and under. If it takes your website too long to load, interested parents may become frustrated and leave the website altogether.
- Ability to schedule tours online: Once a parent is interested in learning more about your Montessori school, it needs to be as easy as possible for them to see your school in action. Montessori programs are unique and benefit from a visit by prospective families. To make the process easier for them (and your administrative team), there should be a designated space on your Montessori school website to schedule tours (either in-person or virtual) online. There are several programs that can be integrated into your website to ensure the scheduling process is smooth. (Many of our clients use Calendly, and rave about the time savings from having an easy booking system versus back and forth emails and phone calls to set up a tour!)
- Social media buttons: While your school’s social media presence may not be a top priority, it can make or break your first impression. Your school’s social media channels should be updated regularly, and easy to find on your website with distinguishable buttons.
- Easy to find curriculum and tuition information: Montessori schools offer a distinctive curriculum; it is normal that parents will want to review the curriculum before enrolling their child. To make their search easier, make sure your Montessori website has updated curriculum and other important information, like tuition, available to review. A marketing tactic to help garner leads is making the curriculum information gated, meaning a parent would have to fill out a submission form before downloading the information. This way, your team is able to use their information to reach out and make sure they have everything they need, don’t have any questions, and can open a line of communication between you and your potential school families.
- Google Maps integration: This is a no brainer; you want it to be as simple as possible for parents to locate your school. To make sure Google is able to capture your school’s address and identify it, double check it is clearly written out in plain text. Additionally, you can integrate a Google Maps widget into your website so site visitors can receive directions to your school while on the go.
- Updated imagery: Montessori schools are uniquely designed to be different from traditional school classrooms, normally organized into multiple stations with different items, activities, and outdoor play to increase the student’s independence, sense of responsibility, and connection with nature. To truly convey how special your Montessori school is, be sure to feature updated, high-quality imagery like photos or videos on your website!
- Testimonials from other parents: Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tactic. Satisfied school families are normally more than happy to sing your praises— make sure you take advantage of opportunities to feature quotes and testimonials from happy parents and children. Choosing between schools for a child and going through the enrollment process can be stressful on a parent. Seeing positive testimonials from other parents and kids on the Montessori school website homepage might make their decision easier!
- Engagement opportunities for existing and new school families: A supportive classroom community for students is a pillar of a Montessori education, and this notion of support and engagement extends through the parents as well. This engagement strategy can be conveyed on your website by including an active community calendar with frequent volunteer opportunities, a Contact Us submission form, the ability to sign up for the school newsletter, and more. And while that information can be readily available for both potential and existing school families, offering a portal or place to engage specifically with existing parents is another golden opportunity. This designated spot on your website can include helpful directories, FAQs, downloadable forms like permission slips or absence notes, and the official parent handbook.
- Montessori-specific content: The main objective of your school website is to promote your school and what makes your Montessori school unique and special! Your website should feature your school’s mission statement, values, history, exciting moments, and more. Additionally, your About page is an opportunity to highlight any Montessori-specific content that gives parents an inside look at your school’s culture and environment.
- Blog content that is optimized for SEO: Finally, and potentially one of the most effective steps you can take for SEO is to maintain a school blog on your website. We’ve written about reasons why your school website needs a blog before— blog posts can relate to everyone in your school community: parents, students, faculty, donors, etc. and they are perfect opportunities to increase traffic to your website. Some schools find blogs difficult to maintain during the school year, so planning and writing content in the summer months is a great way to schedule posts and ensure you’re remaining consistent in your content marketing strategy.
Does your Montessori school website need an update? Contact us here for a FREE 15-minute consultation, where we can discuss how to strengthen your website to perform at its highest potential.