Does your school website design need a refresh in 2022?
Is your school website design looking a bit dated? The year is winding down, the holiday season is upon us! At this point in the year, students are preparing to be released for holiday break and your team is tying off projects and prepping for the next semester.
As you dig into your Winter 2022 preparations, are you taking a look at the health and design of your website? Taking notes on what can be improved in the new year?
If you’re not, this is your sign to START before the year ends. Your school’s website is a direct line to your marketing funnels, student retention rates, campaigns, and more. Besides, haven’t you heard? Web design is good for business! It’s an investment that will be a key asset in your marketing toolbox.
First of all, we have to address this fact: businesses are more successful with a higher-functioning website. Traditional media has shifted to rely on technology, and as competition between school websites increases, your creativity and web design head front and center to lead your website marketing. First impressions are everything, so your branding, layout, other design elements, and more must be in top-top shape to impress your viewers.
There are several obvious reasons why your website should be updated in 2022:
Technical issues are a clear reason to redesign or refresh your website. These issues range from slow loading times on pages, images not loading, or outdated CMS… the list goes on. If your website is lacking in functionality and it’s impacting your marketing, contact us.
Site navigation is difficult
If your site visitors can’t find what they’re looking for in your website, your website navigation needs to be retooled. When was the last time you checked out your navigation menus? Is all of the necessary information there easy to find and understand? A great way to test your site’s navigation is by running user tests. Potential school families will skip over your website if they have trouble navigating it; it doesn’t matter how beautifully designed the site is. If they become frustrated, they’ll check out. Testing your website with users gives you the opportunity to fix any kinks in your design. Check out our blog post on user testing to learn more.
Your school website design isn’t mobile friendly
Is your site easy to use on a tablet or mobile device? If your answer is no, or you’re not sure, you’re in need of an update. Over the last decade, the increase of smartphone usage has made “mobile first” website designs crucial. Folks searching your school online through their phones are counting on your site working just as well, and just as fast as on a desktop. The world is on-the-go these days, no one has time to try and navigate long menus; scrolling is the fastest and easiest way users want to find their information. It’s important that your website gives your users a seamless experience across all the devices they may use — desktop, tablet, or smartphone.
If the branding of your small school has changed or evolved at all during this last year, it needs to be reflected in the school website design. This is a must! Nothing looks more disorganized than discrepancies between branding. This can be a tweak in the school’s logo, color changes, or a whole new rebranding project. No matter the depth or complexity of a change in branding, it’s important that all of your marketing materials, including your website, are cohesive. For example, if you’re launching a new logo, don’t only add it to your school’s Instagram account. Make sure the logo is uploaded everywhere your current and prospective families will see it so there isn’t any confusion.
Website traffic has fallen below target
Seeing a dip in your web traffic or a sharp rise in page drop-off rates is a warning sign to make some changes in your school website design. The first step is to figure out why people are leaving or not finding your website. Does it take too long to load? Can parents find everything they need with ease? Is the font legible, is there too much information to digest, or not enough? We can help dig into your site analytics to find the possible causes for a decline in website traffic. It is important to take action when you notice a decrease in website traffic. This directly impacts the success of your marketing and you should put a plan in place to get those numbers up in the new year.
What happens if your website doesn’t have any of these glaring issues? Your site may look a bit out of date, but doesn’t necessarily need a total overhaul or redesign? Not to worry. There’s nothing wrong with investing in a few touch-ups to update the look and improve the performance of your website. Whether this is refreshing the imagery on your site, optimizing some content for SEO, or choosing new fonts or colors, we’re here to help you make small changes that can have a big impact.
School website design trends to watch out for 2022
If you’ve made a list of things you need to change, tweak, or overhaul on your small school’s website design, it’s a good idea to consider what will be trendy in 2022!
In 2022, we should see an influx of bolder colors on websites, and a strong use of hero images and other visual elements on homepages. These can be implemented into your school’s website by updating school photography and choosing a bold hero image for your homepage that communicates the mission and personality of your school. The next trend to watch out for is minimalism. While bold colors and visual elements can be effective, it’s important that they are implemented in a way that isn’t overwhelming for the site visitor, and still looks clean and professional. Be sure to incorporate white space in your website design. There’s a way to balance fun and sophistication— we can help you!
Another trend to note is an increase of personalized content. This is developing content for your website that directly meets your target audience’s needs. For example, if you run a survey that collects parents’ top concerns from the last semester, it could be smart to answer their questions online in an FAQ format, or move your “contact us” information to a more visible spot on your website so parents can ask the questions they need! Basically, you are providing your audiences with the content they are looking for directly, making the process of visiting your website personalized, quick, and easy.
Ready to make some impactful website changes in the new year? Contact us to achieve the school website of your dreams in 2022!