A Guide to Optimizing Your School Website for Admissions

Avatar

Nina Bernardi

December 9, 2022

    Your school website is often the first stop for prospective families to learn about your school. From showcasing your school mission to search engine optimization (SEO), there’s a lot you can do to put your best foot forward.   

    We’ve rounded up our favorite school marketing tips and resources that explain how to use your website to attract new families. Incorporate these strategies into your marketing plan for a successful admissions season. 

    Start with a School Website Audit 

    Conducting a school website audit can help you gain clarity around where you need structural updates or new content.  

    According to a survey conducted by Top Design Firms, 42% of people will leave a website due to poor functionality. Reviewing user experience, forms, integrations, and responsiveness will ensure that you are not missing out on prospective families due to easily preventable functionality issues.   

    Use our three-step process—including a functionality checklist—to review and refresh your school website. Set a goal to regularly revisit and refresh your website (quarterly or bi-annually) to provide the best possible experience for new and existing families visiting your site throughout the year.   

    Showcase What Makes Your School Great 

    When prospective families visit your website, they should be able to get a sense of what it would be like to be a part of your school community. You can convey this through messaging, imagery, videos, and design.  

    School Messaging

    Start by understanding your audience and what they are looking for in a school. You can use those insights to develop messaging and content that appeals to their school needs or answers their questions. Then, make your mission stand out by crafting an engaging school story 

    Website Imagery and Videos

    Get creative with videos and images on your website! Think about visuals showcasing school culture—use photos of real staff and students, when possible, rather than stock photos.  

    Videos can be a powerful way to distill important information quickly while showcasing school personality. Short videos can feature students and staff talking about their school experience, answering questions, or showing campus activities.  

    A quick tip: Encourage your school community to share photos and videos on social media throughout the year using a common school hashtag or tagging your school account. You can then feature these photos or videos on your website and highlight their posts in other marketing communications.

     

    Website Design 

    Your website design has the power to make a lasting first impression. In the survey done by Top Design Firms, 50% of respondents believe that web design is crucial to the overall brand.  

    As you start the design process, think about how you can incorporate modern features, such as a mobile-friendly design, a school shop, and a responsive event calendar. Need some help? We work with schools one-on-one to create custom websites that are easy to update and showcase your school brand. 

    School Success Story: St. Teresa’s RC Primary School worked with Parentapps to overhaul their website design. “We have had people comment on its design—our parents and children love the video and photographs,” said Headteacher Sandra Burgess. Read more about their design process.

     

    Help Families Find You Online 

    There are a few ways you can enhance your visibility online. First, make sure that all your contact information is up to date in directory listings, social media profiles, and major search engines. Double-check the website links, phone numbers, email addresses, and descriptions listed. By ensuring information is current, families can easily move from the exploration phase to inquiry and application.  

    Bonus tip: Ravenna ADMIT offers a directory that houses information about every school in your area. Families can easily search, filter, and find the information they need about your school’s size, mission, the application process, and more. This makes it easy for families to explore, contact, and apply to your school from a central system.

    Search engine optimization (SEO) is another way you can boost your visibility. Essentially, SEO helps your school website show up in searches on the internet. Targeting relevant keywords will help families find you through major search engines like Google or Yahoo. Ideally, you want to rank on the first page for your target keywords for the best results. Our latest blog explains SEO strategies to get started. 

    Keep in mind, SEO takes time to see ranking results—six to nine months on averagebut it’s a great long-term strategy to bring in leads; after you do the initial work, your content grows in ranking over time, bringing in leads long beyond the time it took to create the content. To make the most of SEO, make sure you have an easy way to get in touch with your school on all ranking pages.  

    Boost Admissions with Your School Website 

    With optimization and engaging content, your school website can be a powerful admissions tool. Start making improvements today to prepare for your most successful admissions season yet.  

    Looking to elevate your entire admission process? Nurture leads, process applications, and communicate directly with families all in one place with Ravenna ADMIT. Pair it with a Parentapps website for a user-friendly experience from exploration to application.  

    Recommended for you