8 tips for a friendly school website
Building a new school website for your school can be a daunting task, so we have rounded up our top tips for making sure your websites are as user friendly as possible.
In the on-line world there is nothing worse than landing on a school website that is hard to navigate. Using clear, unambiguous page titles ensures that students and parents know where they are and where they want to be.
When planning your school website sitemap, make sure that it is concise. No parent wants to read through pages and pages of unnecessary jargon. Keep it simple and keep it focused. Don’t be tempted to add extra pages as a means of keyword stuffing; remember, overly repetitive copy = negative effect on SEO.
Providing breadcrumbs lets the student and parents easily travel back and forth through the sub navigation, meaning that they get a better all-round user experience.
Add Search Functionality
Whether seeking information or products, when searching the web, people are impatient. It’s just the way we are. A valuable addition to any school website is the search function.
The parent does not want to spend hours looking for the information they need, so in addition to an easy navigation, the search function is fundamental in adding value to the user experience.
Using the Correct Imagery
Do not underestimate the importance of your images. Each page of your school website should have its own specific purpose, (If it’s not adding value to your message – get rid!.) With this in mind, using overpowering or unrelated imagery can really detract attention away from what’s important.
Don’t crowd the page with imagery, avoid masses of animation on one page and make sure the imagery used relates to the content.
The overall aim of your school website is to add value to your user. In return for this added value, you want your user to contact you, right? Therefore, it is fundamental that your contact information is easy to find and enquiries are easy to submit.
Responsive, Responsive, Responsive
Q. Everyone is banging on about responsive website design these days, but how important is it?
A. Absolutely essential.
More time than ever before is spent browsing on a mobile device. Unless you want this traffic to bounce immediately you have to provide parents and students with information and design that functions across all platforms.
Fast Loading Speed
No one wants to sit around waiting for your school website pages to load. Ensuring that your school website pages load in no more than 6 seconds is a basic principle which must be adhered to. If you don’t want to wait, your students and parents won’t either. In addition to this, slow loading speeds have a negative effect on SEO - FACT.
NO Broken Links
Simply put, broken links are annoying. No one wants to see the error page. Clean up your school website and make sure that when you have linked from other marketing or social media platforms, you don’t break these links. Don’t send out an email campaign telling your students or parents to ‘check out this link for more information’ and then delete it.
Make it Visually Appealing
Professional doesn’t have to be boring, but it also doesn’t have to be an eyesore. Striking the right balance will mean that your students and parents enjoy their time on the school website, ultimately meaning that they will stay longer and return in the future.
And there you have it, 8 top tips for a friendly school website. Sounds easy right? Well, not quite. We’re afraid the rest is down to you unless you’d like us to take the weight off of your shoulders.
INCO build responsive school friendly websites and completely bespoke to your school needs. We can design school websites that will suit you, your students and parents. For more information please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 01902 784 800 for a friendly chat around your needs.
Happy school website building, INCO