Is your school website generating the number of leads you need to achieve your school enrollment goals? If not, now might be a good time to reassess your most powerful online marketing tool to determine whether or not it is properly designed to help you effectively carry out your school marketing strategy.
Underperforming websites are a common occurrence. In fact, even if you have a newly-developed website with an awesome look, it won’t guarantee you will your required number of leads. Good-looking doesn’t always translate into good business. The performance of your school website relies on both its design and content.
You can determine if you need to redesign your website through this guide.
Today’s school websites need to be more than just an online brochure. It may contain all the basic information about your school, especially the “Contact Us” page, but it should be far more than that.
It’s not just about aesthetics. Ideally, your entire website’s design structure should be in accordance with inbound methodology.
There are numerous solutions online that can assist you with this. These days, the trend is using a platform that enables your school website to be your all-in-one sales and marketing tool. It should be designed to help market and sell your school to your prospects 24/7.
This ideal website design is what we call an inbound website.
Inbound Marketing + Your School Website
An inbound website is a school website integrated with your inbound marketing strategy. Inbound marketing is naturally about creating websites that attract your target prospects. You guide them through their buyer’s journey from your website.
You can learn more about the benefits of a prospect-focused approach here.
Once prospective families visit your website, you engage them with valuable content that create experiences that leave them a positive impact. You show them the solutions that they’ve been searching for, notably for their challenges with regard to their children’s education.
In delighting your visitors, you gain their trust. They will then treat you as their trusted advisor and regard you as an authority, or a thought leader. You establish this through your content, such as your blog posts.
Notice how it’s always about servicing your prospects through your content? It has to be about your prospects, and not about your school.
This is what we call as prospect-focused marketing.
It’s Not About You
"Our school. Our values. Our staff. Our facilities. Our students.”
It’s very easy to talk about yourself and your school. You are promoting your school on your school’s website, after all.
The only real issue with this is: your prospects don’t care.
Your prospective families don’t care about what your school is offering. All they care about is how you’ll take care of their problems.
This may sound impractical or unfair for you and your school, but this simply means adjusting your mindset to what your prospects are looking for. Write your content with them in mind, and you’re sure to capture their attention.
Remember these questions as you shift to a prospect-focused mindset:
What Are Their Pain Points?
First, determine your prospects’ challenges. What are they dealing with? For example, are they looking for an affordable private school? Are they looking for a Christian school that shares the values they are looking for? Or are they simply searching for the closest private school in their area?
Once you mention any of these challenges, your prospects can easily identify you as someone who might understand them and be able to provide solutions.
Solve Their Pain
Second, show them your solutions to their pain points. Your content should communicate how you will be able to solve your prospects’ problems. If they can see that you can help them, your prospects will stick around to learn more about your school.
No One Else Can Help Them
Lastly, your content should set you apart from your competitors. If your prospects found your school’s website online, then chances are they’ve also used the same search engines to look for other schools. So, when they look at your website, they’re looking for something different.
Ensure your prospects that only you can help them solve their challenges.
Have You Helped Anyone Else?
Convince your prospective families faster by assuring them that you’ve helped other families like them before. Prospects need to be assured that your school has helped other families solve their problems. They’ll immediately look for this on your website to reinforce their feeling that you can be trusted.
How do you go about this?
Post testimonials from your current or former families. Ask them to talk about their good experiences with your school. These can be in the form of anecdotes, videos, or even quotes.
We’ve previously discussed how you can use parent testimonials on your website.
Let your prospects think that if your school was able to deliver for this family, then this school may be trustworthy and reliable, after all. If they can think along this mindset, then your content has done its job and you can be assured of another prospect staying on your website and consuming your content.
Control Focus On Your Content
Your prospects are constantly looking for content that will help them with their problems. As you develop content that fulfills their needs, you can direct their attention to any new or relevant information that may be valuable to them. This is where a Featured Content section on your homepage can be highly useful.
A Featured Content section highlights any important or timely content that your prospects may find interesting. For instance, you may have a webinar you think your prospects would be interested in watching watch or an event you think they may want to participate in.
Keep these guidelines in mind when crafting your school marketing messages and content on your school’s website. It may take getting used to, but the payoffs will be worth it.
A Quick Test
Do you want to test if your school website is prospect-focused or if it’s still utilizing the traditional business-centric method of marketing?
Take this quick, simple test by checking the number of words you can attribute to either form of marketing:
- Have yourself and your staff go over the content of your school website’s homepage as well as any other pages on your website that you want to test.
- Look for the words “our”, “us”, and “we”, including your school’s name. These words focus on your school.
- Likewise, look for the words “you” and “your”, including any references to your current and prospective families. These words pertain to a prospect-focused approach.
- Compare the total number of words you counted for Step #2 with the total number of words you counted for Step #3.
The goal is to have more words under Step #3 than Step #2. If you have more words under the former, then that’s good news, you’re on your way to adopting a prospect-focused marketing approach.
You can read about specific tips on how you can design a prospect-based website in one of our previous posts.
Adopting a prospect-focused approach is not that difficult. As you maintain this perspective in creating your marketing messages and website copy, you will eventually see improved results in engagement from your prospects. This is better and more beneficial for your school, especially if you are using inbound methodology in your school’s marketing campaigns.
If you want to read more about how you can create a prospect-focused school website, click on the banner below: