Why should I send my child to your school?
When a prospective parent arrives at your website, they want that question answered and they want it answered quickly. They don’t want to scroll. They don’t want to read your About section. They want to take a quick look at your homepage and say, “Hmm, this school looks really good. I think I want to know more about them.”
How can we grab a parent’s attention and answer that key question quickly? The design and layout of your website are part of the answer, but the savvy school shopper is looking for your Diamond.
A Diamond is a simple phrase that captures the essence of your school. Most commonly, a Diamond is a tagline, motto, or set of core values.
It is often said that a school’s website is a book that tells their story. That is certainly not a bad approach. A website desperately needs a through-line. It should feel like an interconnected story rather than disjointed pages.
Instead of a book, though, I recommend thinking of your website as a thesis paper. The title of that paper is, “St. Anonymous School is the Right Choice for Your Student.” Then, just under that, your Diamond is your thesis statement. It is the core reason parents should select your school above all others. Every page of your website should serve as evidence supporting your thesis.
The reason I call it a Diamond is that it should be shiny, beautiful, and eye-catching. You have mined the raw elements of your school’s brand – your mission, vision, values, etc. – and condensed them into this perfect gem. Let’s look at some examples.
Diamond Type 1: Tagline
Example: “Success Starts Here”
Taglines are the most common type of Diamond you will find on school websites. A tagline is slick and punchy, but it can appear to be too general if is not explored throughout the site. In order to truly be a Diamond, a tagline like “Success Starts Here” demands examples both of how the school prepares students to succeed and of the successes achieved by alumni. Taglines that are too specific or wordy are also not ideal. Avoid taglines like, “Teaching Responsibly, Learning Faithfully, Loving Fully, and Leading Bravely Since 1958.” Instead, you might consider something like our next example.
Diamond Type 2: Core Values
Example: “Learning. Loving. Leading.”
A classic advertising strategy is to use a set of core values (typically three) as a Diamond. I think it is a terrific way to go, and I particularly love when they are alliterative as in the example above. It is simple to take these values and sprinkle them throughout your site. Use them as headings on your About page. Define how you both teach and demonstrate these values. Whenever one of these values shows up on a page of your website, call it out by bolding or using a different font color.
Diamond Type 3: Motto
Example: “Verso l’alto!” (“Reach for the Heights!”)
Your school motto – whether in Italian, Latin, English, or another language – can make for an excellent Diamond, but only if it is easy to understand and is not dated. I have come across schools with Latin mottos which were not translated anywhere on the site. I have seen other mottos which were clearly meaningful to students at the time they were written, but have lost their relevance over the years. “Verso l’alto” is the motto for a school named after Pier Giorgio Frassati, who was both a mountain climber and a passionate evangelist. That motto ties perfectly both to the school’s namesake and to their mission of encouraging students to strive for excellence, making it an excellent Diamond.
For additional school marketing strategies, visit KurtTheMarketer.com.