Using your school website to help parents choose your school
Parent Ping recently ran a survey in their app asking parents about the research they undertook before choosing a school/nursery for their child(ren).
The results were as follows:
Which shows pretty clearly that the school website is an important element when parents are searching for a school. On the Parent Ping blog they also broke these results down further by school phase as follows:
We can see that visiting the school website, reading the inspection report, and visiting for an open day or meeting, all rank very highly as ways parents will choose a school. We also the school prospectus featuring highly.
Therefore we know that parents will visit the website and read a prospectus (good news!) but, when this survey result was posted on Twitter, many parents said they didn’t find the websites actually gave them all the information they wanted, or were too difficult to navigate. It seems a shame that schools may be missing the opportunity to wow all these parents who are visiting the school website.
Some parents will never get a chance to visit in person and the website or prospectus may be the only information they receive which is written directly from the school perspective, versus other sources such as an inspection report or chatting to other parents and ex pupils.
We know that in the current situation many schools are also not able to offer in person visits and meetings, or to run open days. We have some great ideas on our website helping to run virtual open days via your school website which you can read via this link. These might help parents to get the feel of an open day from the safety of their own home and will perfectly complement the main school website.
Within the website itself there are lots of ways we can help you to ensure parents find the information they are looking for really quickly and easily. Click the links to see an example of one of our real school websites using this feature:
Social Media Wall: Our social media walls, an add-on feature, are really popular with schools who may not have time to update the website frequently as the posts from their social media come through to the website in a really easily digestible way. This makes information accessible to parents who choose not to have their own social media accounts for whatever reasons.
Curriculum Pop-ups: Our curriculum pop-ups are a great way to show the breadth of your curriculum for prospective students and parents.
Changing Quotes: The changing quotes option allows you to share the views of parents and past pupils with your prospective students.
Animated Statistics: The animated statistics help parents to see past successes at the school. You can include whichever statistics you think best represent the school whether that is exam results, attendance, or even survey responses showing how happy pupils are at the school.
Quick Links menus: A sidebar Quick Links menu can help you to guide visitors straight to the most sought-after links or whatever you want them to see first. This could be links to your newsletters, Ofsted report, or, as in our linked example, some fun learning websites for children to use from home.
Video on the Home Page: A video on the home page can give a more animated first impression to visitors. We can help you make a video, including drone footage of your grounds, to give the feel of being welcomed in, or you can even have the children making a video to welcome prospective students to the school. Your video can be whatever you want it to be but placing it prominently on the first page people see helps to give a more personal welcome.
Photography and Virtual Tours: Still one of the most engaging aspects of any school website is the collections of photos and tours which can help a parent get an impression of what life in the school might be like for their child(ren). We can help with the photography, and virtual tour building, even in current circumstances. And we can also help you make the most of any photos you already have within your school website design.
Beautiful school website design is in our DNA. We can help you to ensure that those prospective parents are getting the right information and, crucially, the right impression of your school. Get in touch to find out more.