COVID-19 has had a huge effect on all aspects of education – including open days. Google is often a parent’s first port of call when researching new schools. But with the challenges of social distancing, it seems likely to be more important than ever.
Your school website is the best way you can engage with parents. Providing it’s well written and tells your school’s story well. Here are a few tips on how to write good copy for your site:
Start with readability
Good writers tend to have good vocabularies. But writing web copy isn’t the time to show it off. The Guardian targets a reading age of 14. The Sun aims for eight. If you’re not sure what that looks like in practice, readability tools can help. Microsoft Word will give you some useful stats at the end of a spell-check. Or you can try an app like Hemingway.
And did you know that people read online content differently to printed text? In fact, most readers only skim. Web copy should be easy to digest and grab attention fast. Subheadings make your pages easier to navigate.
Obviously, readability isn’t the best way to people’s hearts. It simply stops them getting distracted or giving up with a complex text. That’s why the next tip is about how to stand out.
Find your voice
Schools work hard to find the remarkable in every child. And at Blue Apple Education, we work hard to find the remarkable in every school. Creating a clear voice starts with your school’s unique qualities and values. That’s why we seek to understand, and then create. It’s this crucial process that helps school websites stand out from the crowd and engage prospective parents.
Start with your values and your mission. Research your audience and what’s important to them. Then think about language techniques and vocabulary choices that will combine all of these factors. Ask for feedback (lots of it). Rewrite and edit until you’ve hit on a winning formula. And then document and share your insights with others, so that you can bring in new collaborators for your site.
How to write good copy may seem like a big undertaking. But you don’t have to tackle every page at once. You’ll get more from a small amount of really good text, then acres of unconvincing blurb.
Excellent copy is rarely the work of one individual. At Blue Apple Education, we have over twenty years of experience in effective school communications and design. If you’d like some expert help, please get in touch.
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