Picking the perfect high school for their children is something that parents are more concerned about now than ever before. The average college graduate earns around 62% more than their counterparts who have only a high school diploma. More parents are focused on getting their kids into college, and that starts with picking out the best possible high school. The market for private schools has grown quite a bit in recent years — around 10% of all American children are enrolled in private schools — so it’s imperative that schools are able to market themselves well. Digital marketing and website development play a key role in how parents find out about private schools and choose which ones to send their kids to. If your school’s website needs a boost, here’s a quick look at some of the most important things for website development and design:
- First things first: just like any other business, your website needs to be interesting while still being informative and authoritative. The trouble with private schools is that they often have a reputation for being boring places where every single student wears the same uniform and where students fall asleep as an elderly teacher lectures them. It’s imperative to bring action and color onto the front page of your website; it actually only takes a first-time visitor about 50 milliseconds (0.05 of one second) to form an opinion about your “business” after first landing on your website. You’ll want to focus on portraying the school environment as diverse and active, and pictures are the best way to get this message across.
- It’s always a good idea to have separate portals for faculty, parents, and students. This makes it easier to organize information according to the group that will be using it. Just don’t forget that you can’t have everything hidden behind a username and password login! Prospective families will want to see what’s happening in your school, so make sure to keep plenty of information available to the public. Many schools will have photo galleries or school calendars on the homepage.
- As a private school, there are going to be some details that parents are especially concerned with — the defining characteristics of what sets a private school apart from a public school should be accessible on the front page. Parents are going to want information about the admissions process and about tuition, so make sure that the front page of your website gives a clear and direct link to other subpages with more information.
- Another important aspect of private schools is to make the administration more accessible to parents. Many private schools do this by setting up a “Headmaster’s Blog” or with a “Meet the Faculty” page. This should be easily accessible as well, so it’s best to place a link directly on the front page.
- Last but not least, remember that your website development is only one piece of the puzzle. Great web design templates can serve as the foundation for social media marketing, search engine marketing, and email marketing. Make sure every page on your website has a call to action and allows visitors to sign up for more information.