Does your school have an active website? Has it been updated recently? A school website is an important part of maintaining a presence online and bringing potential families offline with more enrollment and better community engagement.

So, how do you leverage your school website to get your school in front of more parents? Here, we will discuss why your school website is a crucial part of your school’s identity and how you can take advantage of it to highlight your school’s individual personality and connect with parents and families that resonate with you.

Why Your School Website Matters

For many families, the first way they meet potential schools is through a school website. This is your chance to make a statement and show who you are. On top of showing off your amazing school, your website is the place where you can directly engage with potential families, familiarize them with your values, and create a trustworthy reputation with current and future parents.

Creating a professional online presence is a key part of maintaining a successful school persona, enhancing your school’s reputation, and leading to better enrollment. Stay on top of your school website and update it at least every two to three years to take advantage of current SEO guidelines, giving you the best chance to rank higher with the Google algorithm and meet potential families.

The Importance of SEO Best Practices for K-12 School Websites

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is how your website will gain traffic on search engines. Leveraging SEO in your favor gains you more visibility as prospective families research school options for their students and can make your school’s content easy to find and engage with for current community members or stakeholders. Good SEO practices can also make your school more credible and enhance your reputation as it ranks higher on search engines and holds more authority.

Here are some tips you can use to better take advantage of SEO tools.

  • Identify relevant keywords for schools. The right keywords can help your school website reach parents by showing how your site matches up with what parents are looking for. There are plenty of free tools to help generate the right keyword tags for your website. Keywords can be tricky, though. Avoid “keyword stuffing,” or using an excessive number of keywords on the page, as this can have a negative effect on your website’s SEO and make your page seem spammy.
  • Make your mark with a relevant title tag and meta description. Start with a good title tag between 50 and 60 characters and a meta description not much longer than 155 characters. The title tag is the title of your webpage, and the meta description appears in the search results right underneath the title tag, giving visitors an idea of what they’ll find once they click.
  • Boost SEO with relevant tags. Add alt (alternative) tags for better rankings, greater visibility online, and, ultimately, more clicks. Alt tags are HTML tags that add more textual information to the images on your site. On top of being a great accessibility tool, they create a perfect opportunity to add more SEO keywords to the page. Search engines like Google or Bing have bots called search engine crawlers that can use these tags to index your website and make it available on search engines for potential visitors to find.
  • Use a clear and straightforward URL structure. Keep it short, include keywords, and ensure your URL clearly shows that it’s about you. How else will potential families remember your website?
  • Take advantage of social media and customer reviews. Word of mouth has always been the best promotion. Use social media and reviews from members of your community to lead new people to your website and boost traffic organically.
  • Update website content regularly. Keeping the content on your website fresh and accurate can aid not only your community but your SEO rankings, too, especially if you’re updating keywords and tags in a timely manner.

Trends in Website Design for Schools

While maximizing SEO tools to get your website out there is important, you also need to ensure you have an inviting and engaging design to keep people engaged while online. There are plenty of trendy designs and layouts to consider, but here are some of the ways you can create a website that’s best for your school.

  • A mobile-friendly and responsive design. Families crave convenience, especially the new wave of Gen Z parents enrolling their students in school. Make it possible for them to access school information from their phone or tablet anywhere and at any time.
  • Use a user-friendly layout and easy navigation for website visitors. As you design your website, consider various visitors and how your space can cater to everyone. Put the important information your visitors need front and center, making it possible for them to get where they’re going without frustration or confusion, and be thoughtful about what other accessibility features you can include on your site, like contrasting colors or larger text.
  • Incorporate more multimedia elements. Liven up your website with images, videos, or even virtual tours at your school. This is a great way to show more of your school’s personality while also giving website visitors and potential families a chance to see more of what life is like for your community.

Best Practices for K-12 Websites

Now that you know what you need to make your perfect school website, keep a few best practices in mind to maximize efficiency and your online presence’s effect on website visitors.

  • Ensure your website is WCAG and ADA compliant. Accessibility is a priority for every website, including yours. With these guidelines, you can be sure everyone who visits your website can find what they’re looking for.
  • Keep school information current and make it easy to contact you. Provide current news and updated blog posts on your website, so families can always be up to date on current happenings at your school. If they have questions or need to talk to someone, having contact information and call-to-action buttons readily available will make them feel even more at home on your website.
  • Engage with the community on social media. We already talked about how social media can help with your website’s SEO rankings, but it’s also the perfect place to meet new community members, build connections, and attract people to your school.

Are you ready to build your perfect website? With the right tools and resources, you can have a school website that is efficient, effective, and inviting for everyone at your school and new families coming to meet you.

Don’t take on the task of building your website alone. With FACTS School Site, you have a specialized design partner that’s ready to do the heavy lifting. Drag and drop to make your unique design, start with a themed template, and easily update content, alt tags, or other SEO information.

Visit our website to learn more about School Site or to explore templates now.