“We love our website, but we find keeping it looking fresh and up to date a challenge”
We often hear this from schools, so to help we have compiled 10 top tips to make sure that visitors to your school website get the latest and best information!
1. Make sure you have an effective content management system (CMS)
Ensure you are able to update content yourself – it is far more efficient than emailing content to an external agency or IT expert. If possible, make sure that several staff are trained on this, a good design or marketing agency will provide you with support for updating your site.
2. Make the approval process as simple as possible.
While you should always get a second opinion before posting anything (to check spelling and grammar as well as content), you don’t need the Head and/or the Chairman of Governors to do this!
3. Make the website the centre of your marketing activity
Put all news stories and events on the site first so that you’re not having to duplicate content from elsewhere.
4. Divide the site into different areas with different deadlines.
Some parts may need updating on a weekly basis (e.g. news, job vacancies); some on a termly basis (e.g. list of teaching staff, calendar of events); and others should be checked on an annual basis, ideally in the summer holidays (e.g. exam results, admissions arrangements, pupil premium information).
5. Delegation – Assign clear responsibility for each section update with deadlines.
If you need updates from other members of staff, ensure that they know when and how to put them on the website (or who to send them to).
6. Involve other staff and hold regular editorial meetings.
Not only is this a great way of generating new story ideas, it gives you a regular check on progress.
7. Remove out of date material as soon as possible.
Blog posts and events can quickly become dated and will lose the reliability of the information on your site. Assign this responsibility to a member of staff or make a date in your diary each week to remove all dated posts.
8. Encourage feedback and contributions.
Ask people (students, parents, governors) to let you know if there is anything out of date – and to contribute stories, photographs of their activities. Don’t see feedback like this as a criticism!
9. Resist the temptation to add many more pages to your website.
Try to always fit new content into the existing structure – new pages can be forgotten about and give an out-of-date impression of the school.
10. Try new ideas.
Set up a blog, have a video produced, set up a Social Media feed using your news content – something that will engage visitors of your site and ensure they keep coming back to the website and will help to drive traffic to your site.
Guest article from Simon Hepburn from Marketing Advice for Schools, click here to visit the site.
We are school communication & design experts
If you want to find out how Blue Apple Education can help you unearth the remarkable in your school you can call us on +44 (0) 330 223 0766 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org