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Less is More: How Much Content Should You Have on a School Website Page?

Posted by Ralph Cochran on Feb 23, 2016 3:00:00 PM

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Your school has a lot to offer.  Assets such as strong academics.  State-of-the-art technology.  Opportunities for spiritual growth and development.  Great extra-curricular programs and activities.  The list goes on and on.  As a marketing tool, your school website is an ideal place to provide details about these offerings for your current community as well as to gain the attention of prospects.  But just how much information about what your school has to offer should appear on the pages of your website?

Many schools tend to gravitate towards putting lots and lots of content on their website.  On the positive side, this is great for your current community.  Unfortunately, much of this information is unnecessary and irrelevant to outsiders and prospects.  Too much content may even hinder your school marketing efforts.

What’s Your Purpose?

When it comes to school website content, there must be a balance, especially if you’re building a prospect-focused website for lead generation.  So before you decide on what content to post on your school website, you need to identify the purpose of your site.

If you are interested in building a prospect-oriented website focused on lead generation, you must first consider user experience.  In other words, how a person will engage on the website, move around, and click and scroll.

If you’re just trying to create an informational brochure as a website, that is a different issue. What we find with many schools is they tend to want to put everything about themselves on the website.  While this content is informative, it is not always effective from a marketing standpoint.

Before you create content for each of your web pages, you need to ask yourself these questions:

  1. What do you want visitors to accomplish on the page?
  2. What information do visitors need to make a decision to take action?

To generate leads, web page content needs to be concise and it also needs to entice visitors to want to dig deeper into the site for more information.  How is this accomplished?  By taking into account the users experience and offering premium content.

mobile user experience

User Experience is Paramount

Here’s an example.  Say you want to attract prospective kindergarten students.

  • The journey begins on your kindergarten page where you provide visitors with some basic information.

  • The journey continues when interested visitors are invited to follow links to additional information or to click on the “download ebook” button located on the web page to gain access to a valuable resource that includes the ins and outs of your kindergarten program

  • Visitors who click on the button convert to leads when they enter an email address and gain access to the valuable information they are seeking

In this scenario, visitors follow an engaging process leading them to the content most relevant to them and you obtain the information necessary to continue to nurture them through the buying process.

This is a much more effective and engaging user experience than filling a web page with content and expecting the visitor to scroll and read through lines and lines of text that may not even be relevant to them.

Based on client data research, a review of internal web page view rates via Google Analytics and HubSpot Analytics supports the effectiveness of an engaging user experience.

It’s Not About You

It is important to keep in mind that the things you think are really important are really not that important to your prospects.

If the purpose of your website is to help your community (board members, parents, etc), that’s fine. But if you are interested in using your website to attract prospects and get them to engage and convert, you need a different approach to content creation.

The Solution

If you are interested in building a prospect-focused website designed for lead generation, rather than providing all your information up front, consider limiting each page to a couple of concise paragraphs and providing an engaging user experience by offering premium content designed to convert.  This will take time, but as you slowly work at it, you will create a website that could be very effective at generating lots of leads.

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Topics: School Website Design