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Simple School Website Design Ideas to Boost Engagement

Simple School Website Design Ideas to Boost Engagement

We've all had a user experience that felt like a sip of poorly brewed coffee. Of course, we hit the exit button within 15 seconds like most scorned website users do and never return. 

Here's the thing, your school's website design is more than a tool for making a stellar first impression. It's the customer support agent that doesn't sleep, the marketer who works for you 24/7, and the ambassador who engages leads in different time zones and tells them why they should choose you. 

More importantly, it's your gateway to providing a user-friendly experience every time a user visits. For that reason, how you design it is of utmost importance

These seven tips will help you build a school website design that's guaranteed to boost your engagement. 

1) Easy to Navigate

The best way to approach navigation is by following this simple principle: your website navigation structure should allow users to land on any page and find what they need within three clicks.

There are two great options for designing your website to help you do this. 

  • The first one is a header with a list of alternatives running from left to right. The navigation menu can be static or move as users scroll. 
  • The second is a drop-down menu that works best for a clean, creative school website design. 

You could also add a sidebar on the left or right of the main menu and a footer. Footers contain links to the site's main pages and more resources that would interest the user. 

The point is to make it easy for students and parents to find things to stay longer on your site and increase their chances of returning or making a conversion.

2) Search Box

Most schools have a content-heavy website. And even if your website is young and doesn't qualify for that category, chances are it will grow as you grow. 

This growth will not naturally fit into your website's original structure. The result is a website that looks like a house with furniture strewn all over. It can also hamper your navigation making it hard to find things. 

Users react by hitting the back button to find something easier, but if you have a search box, they type in what they want and are transported right to it.

3) Call to Actions

Say you're doing well with content creation, and you have legions of users logging in to read blogs, view videos, and listen to webinars. That's a reason for applause, but if you want to make a lasting impression, boost engagement and drive conversions, you must compel your users to do something. 

That's what CTAs are meant to do. A CTA takes users from just sampling your content to keeping them connected to your school. A great call-to-action catches readers when they're interested and engaged and prompts them to take an action.

To create a CTA that converts your audience to students, donors, and active alumni - make it relevant, actionable, and direct. Also, make sure it involves what they care about and make them feel like they have insider information. 

4) Chatbox & SMS Notifications

The e-commerce movement has taught people to expect instant answers, and folks in the education sector are no different. The chatbox and SMS notifications help you meet this demand in several ways. For example, live chat makes answers available immediately, and SMS makes the conversation more personal than media announcements. 

With 63% of millennials preferring to have their basic customer support queries answered by live chat, the chatbox is too valuable of a feature to leave out of your simple school website design. Plus, a live chat software can serve as a central information hub for online students where every stakeholder has real-time access to help and information.

Chatbox and SMS notifications also help make communication personal when you have a sea of consumers to attend to – typical in an education setting.

- 6 TIPS FOR FINDING THE BEST SCHOOL WEBSITE DESIGN AGENCY - 

5) Responsive Design

Once upon a time, websites struggled to work well on different devices. You'd have texts that spilled on each other, images that didn't align well, and users had to wade through a maze to find a tiny bit of information.

People are much less tolerant of that kind of website today and expect only the best school website design. You can choose to provide two website options – mobile-friendly and desktop-friendly. However, doing that is unnecessarily costly and time-consuming.

The game-changer is creating a responsive website design that accommodates different screen sizes. This strategy improves dwell time, user experience, engagement, and SEO efforts. A school website design agency can help you to design one.

6) Email Opt-in Forms

As much social media is an indispensable form of engaging students, emails are 6x more likely to get you higher click-through rates than tweets and 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter.

An email opt-in section allows you to take advantage of these benefits. But how do emails directly affect engagement? The structure of an email gives you multiple avenues to connect with your audience. For example:

  • The salutation allows you to personalize the email with the recipient's name.
  • The subject line allows you to create urgency or scarcity or ask a thought-provoking question –for example, only two days until we close this offer, which engineering course fits your best character based on your MBTI personality type, etc.
  • You can send relevant emails through email list segmentation –for instance; you can send emails according to browsing behavior, location, year of study, etc.
  • With email CTAs, you can use the subject line to provoke more interaction or send subscribers to a dedicated landing page. 

Emails also help you leverage helpful school resources for free for a limited time to encourage questions and sign-ups for courses. 

7) Internal Linking Structure 

Internal links are links that point to other pages on your site. They are the most useful for establishing site architecture and spreading link equity. Ideally, search engines have to find content on your website to list your pages in their indices. They also need a crawlable link structure that allows Google to crawl through the website to find every page.

However, without the proper internal linking structure, using keywords does little to make all the pages in your website easy for Google to find. That's why a pyramid internal linking structure is better. This structure has the minimum number of links between the homepage and any other page. It provides equity throughout your website, increasing your page's ranking power. 

This strategy improves navigation, helps establish information hierarchy on your site, and increases dwell time and your SEO authority. 

Finally

Think of your website design as either a top-road-performing sports car or a beaten-down jalopy. Both can transport you to a destination, but the sports car will get you there faster, comfortably, and without the worry of a hitch.

Also, gaining a competitive advantage is dependent on who you rely on to ensure your marketing efforts have favorable returns. The Sonority Group focuses on aligning marketing and admissions with the right tools to produce results that speak for themselves.

It's time to stop worrying about how you'll move students through the admissions funnel. Let's chat!

let's chat >

Sources:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/brianrashid/2017/06/13/5-essential-reasons-and-benefits-why-you-should-be-using-a-responsive-website-design-now/?sh=3abd088517c9

https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/31388/how-to-use-internal-linking-to-improve-your-website-s-seo.aspx

https://www.crazyegg.com/blog/website-navigation/

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