Is your school website back to school ready?
Summer is over. School is underway. Your school website is an important marketing tool for prospective families, and is also an important communication tool for your enrolled families.
It’s not too late to be sure your website is ready for new and returning families to ensure they have a positive experience interacting with your school.
Here is a checklist of things to look over on your website.
Make sure school address, phone and social media links are correct
Make it easy for current and prospective families to find you and contact you. Test the links to your social media pages to make sure they are going to the right place. While you’re at it, make sure your social media profiles are accurate and up to date.
List Upcoming Events
Parents come to school websites to check important dates, such as back to school night and parent teacher conferences. Make sure you have updated these dates, and that they are easy to find on the site. Also, be sure that expired events from the previous year are not showing up, which can cause confusion and frustration.
Check Staff/Team Page
Make sure your team page is up to date with your current staff and contact information.
Read Your Website, Page By Page
So often we find schools create their websites, and then don’t ever look at the pages other than the home page. Take a couple of hours to go over every page on your website, read what is there and make updates/corrections or make a list of edits to send to your website agency. Things like tuition, application due dates and forms often need to be updated every year.
Test School and Contact Forms
Fill out the forms on your website and make sure the confirmation message that appears is what you want it to be. Check to be sure you or whoever is supposed to receive notifications of form submissions receives these forms.
Check For Broken Links
Broken links can be internal or external. Internal links are those which go to other pages on your site. External links go to other websites. Broken links not only make you look bad and frustrate website visitors, but they can negatively impact SEO. To avoid internal broken links, be sure to use redirects when you change or delete pages or posts on your site. You can check for broken links by using Google Search Console, or a tool like Dead Link Checker or Dr. Link Check or you can use the Chrome Extension Broken Link Checker.
Google My Business
While it is not exactly your website, be sure you have claimed and configured your Google My Business page. This is important for helping people find you on Google Maps and in Google searches, and can help your search result rankings.
Is it Time For a Refresh?
If it has been a few years since your website has been updated with a fresh design and images, consider planning for a refresh in the coming year. A redesign can be an opportunity to poll parents to find out what they like about your current website and what they would like to see on a new version. Launching the new website can be an exciting time for the community, and can demonstrate your commitment to communicating well with your school family.
If you don’t have time to go over the whole school website yourself, divide sections of the website among colleagues and share create a master list of edits and updates. The small investment in time can help your website create the right impression and be a useful resource for your current and prospective school family.
Need help going over and updating your website? Contact us for a free consultation.