Over the next few blog posts we are going to focus on a school's online presence.
Why? Because it might be more important than you think.
I have begun looking for schools for my son. Sure he is only a toddler, but it's a really big decision, it's a new decision and it all starts with Preschools and Daycare centres. When I get a spare moment, I start my Google searching and I begin to look at the websites of all the primary schools, and centres nearby. I want to know anything and everything I can - where are you? who are you? what sort of things do you believe and do? when are you open? how do I apply? how are you different to the other one? how much does it cost? what are your facilities like? and so on...
At Digerati, we have also worked with close to 50 schools and school organisations across Sydney with their website project. In order to serve them and other school's better, we also conducted some research.
So what have we learnt about parents looking for a new school?
Parents are looking up a school's website to get information. Not surprising! As is my experience, this is my first step. We know this is not only the case with schools but with all businesses now. A school's website is a key part of researching and decision making.
The research also indicated that when searching, parents are looking for schools in their local area. 64% of respondents would include their suburb or their region as one of the keywords in their search.
And I thought I was the only one! Nothing bothers me more than comparing schools/preschools and seeing the same boring template!!! The respondents of our survey agreed. More than two thirds marked 'Good website design' as either Very Significant or Significant in their decision making process. Obviously, parents perceive that a good website reflects upon the school as it's the first impression they get.
School's need to represent who they are and present their best through their website. After all, first impressions last!
Parents looking for a school want as much information as possible available online. And they want to be able to find it! This means, your menu's and information architecture needs to be logical! This might require some testing - grab your friends and ask them to find specific pieces of information. Watch them use the website - is it the way you imagined?
If you are a school or a school based organisation, ask yourself: does my website send the right message? Is it the best first impression? Does it show how we are different?
Digerati would happily talk with you further - we'd love to share our expertise and advice about how to get your message across clearly.
Contact us - www.digeratisolutions.com.au or phone Adam on (02) 9545 2983