With the craziness of today’s current events, your school or organization’s website needs to be as functional and up to date as ever. With COVID-19 wreaking havoc on school communities and organizations, families are frantic for every update regarding the upcoming school year. In addition to informational updates, they will actively search for light-hearted, feel-good community stories to manage a healthy balance.
As the summer season begins and you start preparing for the new school year, now is the perfect time to revamp your school news page so your audiences are well informed.
Before making any alterations to your school news page, check in with the current state of your page and ask yourself these questions to determine the level of changes needed:
- How simple is your school news page design?
- Is your news page easy to find in your site?
- How easy is it to navigate your news page?
- Are you using lightboxes on your homepage?
- Is there a distinction between your blog and news stories?
- Is your most newsworthy information readily available?
- How frequently are you posting on your news page?
- How much has your news page changed since COVID-19?
Here are a few easy-to-implement ideas that can have a big impact on the effectiveness of your school news page:
Create a page specifically for COVID-19 updates for your school
With news about COVID-19 changing daily, it may be an easier task in the long run to create a page just for your school’s COVID-19 response plan. When parents and families are searching for updates regarding COVID-19, they will appreciate a separate page that is organized and easy to navigate, with news and updates separate from regular school news that’s easier to filter. Contact us to discuss how your school news site could benefit from an independent COVID-19 updates page.
Design your news page for simplicity
With online news sources, user experience should be prioritized – your school news page should be no exception! When parents and families seek out news regarding your school, they want to be able to easily find the information fast and digest it quickly so they can adjust and move forward. A news page that is cluttered with pop-ups and disorganized links will be distracting and will further discourage parents from using your school news site as a valuable source of information.
Implement social media buttons for sharing
Your school news will spread like wildfire if you give your online communities the chance to share your updates and stories with their own personal and professional networks. It’s smart to plug in social media buttons somewhere on your news page or underneath articles so parents, donors, alumni, etc. have the option to share any important news your school publishes.
Use high quality images
Strong headlines and high quality images are what first draws readers to your school news stories. Keep your images consistent across all of your news updates in regards to dimension and quality – no one is tempted to read a news article without some sort of attractive imagery to pull them in.
Tag each school news article in a category
Tags are a school news page’s best friend. When posting an update on your school news site, having the ability to tag updates to specific categories will amplify the site’s overall organization. Relevant topics will be tagged together like alumni news, sports updates, school news, COVID-19 alerts, etc. Make sure you are using tags correctly on your site. Don’t use too many and note that these are not the same thing as social media hashtags. Setting up tags on your news site simplifies the search process for the reader and ultimately makes reading your school news a more pleasant experience.
Expand your readers’ interest through additional reading links
Everyone has found themselves going down the rabbit hole on a news site, reading recommended article after article because one topic builds off the last. Having this loop of never-ending content is a great way to engage your school news audiences, and it’s an effective strategy to eliminate confusion for readers and truly offer all of the news you can. The more content that you provide upfront to readers, the more content readers will digest. Additionally, if you provide readers with additional links to related articles at the bottom of your news stories, readers having to hunt for more information won’t be an issue.
A way to provide content for your school news page is to reach out to your school communities. Content from faculty, parents, and students can help convey your school’s personality and culture and showcase your community engagement. This can be done through short videos, feature articles, anecdotes from school community members about how they’re adjusting to remote learning, etc. At the end of the day, the amount of effort you put into your school news page will reflect on its clicks, shares, and views. Your school families and communities will appreciate the small changes to make their news-reading experiences smoother and more effective.
Need help revamping your organization or school news page? We’re here to help. Contact us for a free consultation.