Who is looking at your school website in 2022?
You may not be thinking about your September 2022 cohort intake yet, but their parents are already asking questions, and the parents of your September 2023 intake are starting to think about which schools they may want to visit this year ready to make their choices.
Which makes now the ideal time to consider refreshing your information pages, and potentially even producing a new prospectus.
During the pandemic and various lockdowns parents have become more and more used to looking up all the information they need online – from asking other parents in Whatsapp groups which secondary school their children are going to see; to asking questions on local Facebook groups about the best local nurseries and infant schools. They will take those recommendations and start to look around your website. They are just browsing at this stage, wanting to get a feel of your values and ethos and checking out your facilities. They will be comparing you to others in the area.
See if you can take a look at your school website with fresh eyes and ask the following questions:
- Does the content seem relevant and up-to-date? I.e. if the last date in the diary is from 2020 parents might feel disconnected from the current school
- Does the headteacher’s welcome message reflect your current feeling and most recent news?
- Can you easily find relevant information on facilities, prices (for nursery), and even things like lunch menus to show parents what to expect?
- Is there a download they can keep to look at again? An e-prospectus perhaps or an information sheet for prospective parents?
- Is it clear what to do if you want to attend an open day or book an appointment? (You can use our new form builder for this!)
- Are the policies and SENDCo information easy to find?
You may want to run a survey with current parents and find out what they were looking for when they first looked at your school, to see if you can preempt possible questions or worries prospective parents may have.
If you are a FE setting you may want to think about what your current students wanted as part of their transition and any careers advice pages or support around picking the best courses before they apply.
Although some keen parents will be looking at your site now, many will join them in coming weeks and months so there is still time now to make any changes you feel are needed. Do not feel you need to do everything if you are the person updating the school website. You can delegate and give edit rights of specific pages to any other members of staff – and even governors as appropriate to update their own pages. This all helps to lighten the load and keeps your website even more fresh for the current students and parents as well as prospective ones.
Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss freshening up your website. Why not as us for a free Impression Audit?