While your school students, parents and families are relaxing this summer, your team may be taking advantage of the vacation and preparing your website for the next school year. We are going to share our top recommended tasks for school websites for your summer break. Summer is short— if you are looking for a few website projects to complete this summer to set you up for success in the fall, look no further! In this blog post we’ll list a few easy-to-complete summer website tasks that won’t break the bank or disrupt your much-needed time to relax before summer ends.
Quick SEO Pulse-Check
The summer months are a perfect opportunity to check in on the health of your school website’s SEO. SEO is a huge factor in your school marketing efforts; if your school website’s SEO isn’t meeting your expectations, then you may struggle reaching your recruiting, marketing, and engagement goals in the fall.
To check in on your school website’s SEO, you can lognin to your Google Analytics account. Where on your website are site visitors clicking the most? How many visitors are finding your website through Google searches? How was your website performance in the last school year? These analytics will assist you in completing your website pulse check. Additionally, we recommend you look for broken links, duplicate content, and check on your site speed. Site speed is a large reason someone will leave your website— if it takes too long for your website to load, making it difficult to navigate, you will lose the interest of potential school parents.
This is your chance to find what is working for your website and SEO, and what isn’t. Take what you find and implement that into your strategy for the next school year.
Another task for school websites? Conduct Keyword Research
If you aren’t satisfied with your Google search rankings, one of the first steps is to identify a few keywords to include in your web content that can be picked up in Google searches. To know which keywords to strategically place in your content, you must conduct keyword research. This is another great summer task for your school website.
Keyword research, while sounding simple, has a few steps to complete effectively, making it a perfect summer project:
- Think of a list of words that apply to your small school. How would you or your colleague categorize your school? What are buzzwords related to your school brand? What words make you unique in your industry? What are terms you would use to Google Search a small school like your own? Aim for at least 100 of these words— be creative.
- Rely on your search engines to give you hints! When you start typing any terms into the Google Search Bar or your browser bar, you will see some “autocomplete” suggestions, where Google is guessing what you might be asking about or looking for.
- Find which keywords are used to find your school. Do some basic search queries until you find your school in the Google search rankings, and record which keywords are providing those results. Compare your rankings to your competitor’s rankings.
- Use a tool to help! Our current favorite tool is Google Search Console (GSC), and bonus— it’s free! If your site is connected to Google Analytics, you should make sure it is also connected to GSC. The data this tool provides is really helpful in identifying which keywords can help your search result rankings.
Customize Meta Descriptions for top pages
Creating meta descriptions for your website’s top pages is an easy task once you get the hang of it. Meta description is additional content (great for SEO!) that describes your webpage, setting content expectations for the reader.
As you can see above, the short sentence below the title of the website article describes the content of the article. The keywords in the search query above were “School SEO,” and you can see those words highlighted as keywords in the meta description. Having meta description with your content’s keywords for your school website’s top pages is incredibly helpful to your SEO, as it will help you rank higher in searches.
You can log in to the backend of your website and add meta descriptions to content you have already published. Need help with this? Contact the team at Design TLC.
Add alt text to site images
Like adding meta description to your web content, adding alt text (alternative text) to images and multimedia is another great summer project. Backlogging all of the images on your website with alt text, while a mindless task, can pay off for your SEO.
Alt text is necessary for your website to be accessible— the accessibility of your website is extremely important! Alt text is content that can be read aloud by a screen reader. Alt text is a great way to plug your keywords in, which also will help your search rankings. To write effective alt text, include your keyword, and write a meaningful phrase that connects the image to your content.
Add sharing buttons at the bottom on content
A final task for a school website over the summer is really simple! Boosting your SEO can be done organically through your school communities if you provide them with the opportunity to do so. To increase engagement and the sharing of your school website content, add sharing buttons to your content this summer. This can be through linking your school social media accounts, or the ability to create a shareable link for folks to post on their own accounts or send in emails.
If you don’t have your social media accounts already connected to your school website, make it a priority! Have the social media icons visible on your homepage and on pages where you publish shareable content. The easier it is to share your content, the more likely people will partake, especially if it is school news updates, helpful blog posts, etc.
Is your school website ready for a tune up? Summer is the perfect time to take your website to the next level! Contact the team at Design TLC for a FREE 15-minute consultation.