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What makes a good school website?

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Before prospective parents even set foot on school grounds, your website provides the opportunity to make a first impression — for better or worse — about what your school has to offer. 

Your school’s website is often the first, and most accessible, place for prospective parents to browse information about who your school is and what you can provide for them and their children.

As a critical tool for the first steps in the enrolment process, a school website must be crafted in such a way as to clearly and effectively communicate your school’s key messages, as well as highlight the unique benefits offered to the children of prospective parents. 

SMJ asked imageseven’s own in-house Digital Lead, Jose Caceres, and Amy Waddell, a Senior Digital Designer at Digistorm, for their perspectives on what makes a good school website.

imageseven: Updating your website or creating one from scratch may seem like a daunting task. It may even have you staring at your screen for hours on end wondering where to begin and what your website needs. Here are four things to consider as you get started.

1. Content

The last thing a prospective parent wants is to feel overwhelmed. How often do you scan through endless pages of text, only to pull out a line or two that you were looking for or found useful? 

It is vital that you create a clear content path for prospective parents to navigate with ease. If you’re questioning whether a parent will click, scroll or read far enough down the page to find out how or why to enrol their child at your school, it’s likely this information has not been made accessible enough for them to discover and digest it in just a few clicks.

It is no secret that in an evolving technological world, our attention spans have shortened dramatically; there is an ever-increasing urgency for information to be delivered instantly.

2. Call to action

Now that you’ve captured the attention of a prospective parent, what’s next? Do you want them to ring the school? Book a tour? Take a virtual tour? 

The idea here is for you to clearly define the end goal and the overarching purpose of the website. Once you know what this goal is, you can create the desired action you are guiding the parent to follow through with. 

Essentially, it doesn’t matter so much where the call to action is, but you need to make sure it’s obvious. 

Make it large, make it bright, make it visible!

3. Follow your style guide 

Your website should be viewed as an asset within your school’s communication collateral. Like all communications regarding the school, it should carry a consistent look and clear tone to engage prospective parents. 

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