Communications

We Asked Businesses What They Think of School Websites

Their responses will give you a different perspective on your own school’s website.

Due to the unique nature of their work, schools often see things from an education-based perspective. This includes their communications and, moreover, their school website.

To provide an alternative perspective, we decided to ask businesses what they think of school websites. The results are opinions founded on the needs of a business: to advertise and to influence customers. Here are some of the most interesting responses.

No Information about Business Engagement

The most common concern business leaders had about school websites was a lack of information on how they could get involved. Working relationships between schools and businesses are mutually beneficial. The schools receive external help, in the shape of money or resources. The businesses achieve their corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals and enhance their reputations.

Many schools don’t realise that businesses actually want to engage with them. This might explain why their websites have little guidance on how businesses can contribute to their efforts.

While businesses are keen to engage, they are less likely to contact a school unannounced. They would prefer your website to encourage their involvement and show how they can make a difference. For this reason, it is important for your school website to provide that information. Consider the most beneficial way businesses can help you, whether it’s a financial contribution or event sponsorship. Then,give details on how the business should contact you as well as the effect their involvement will have.

Eduprise develops community websites for schools that can become part of their existing website. Through the community site, you can promote your school fundraising activities and detail how businesses can contribute. If you would like to find out more about our community websites, contact the Eduprise team now.

Confusing Design and Buried Information

The stereotypical school website design was another factor identified by businesses as a problem. The main criticism? The design makes it difficult to navigate the site and find specific information.

Most school website designs include a top navigation bar and several dropdown menus. While this style of sitemap may appear sensical, it causes pages to be almost impossible to find and information to be buried.

The modern internet user is impatient. They are unlikely to spend time weaving their way through multiple dropdown menus to find what they are looking for. Instead, they will click off your website, resulting in a high bounce rate.

Users want an intuitive layout and information to be available within a few clicks. This is key to maintaining the interest of your customer base. If you want to know more about user experience, or you’d like a school website template to work from, contact our team today.

A Lack of User Direction

Businesses understand the importance of the customer journey. From initial contact through to the completion of work, businesses guide customers along a well-trodden path. This ensures their satisfaction and the delivery of a top-class service. Your school website should do the same.

There are many ways to guide users around your website. First, you should map out the ideal customer journey. Consider the pages you want them to visit to maximise their usage. For example, driving traffic to your admissions page should increase applications for the next school year.

To manipulate website traffic, add links to those strategic pages into your school website content. Be sure that they follow a narrative and serve to offer the user more information on a subject. A good example of this would be linking to the careers page from the staff page.

Just like a good business knows how to get the best results from customer interactions, your school should too. If you’d like to know more about adapting your website to include a user journey, contact Eduprise today.

Content That Doesn’t Promote

After spending time reading a variety of school websites, many businesses commented on the generality of the content. They were surprised by how plain the copy was, and confused that it didn’t promote each school more.

The best school website content is positive and emphasises the school’s unique features. It shows the school in the best possible light, advertising it to:

  • Potential New Pupils
  • Parents of Young Children
  • Prospective Teachers and Staff
  • The Local Community
  • Businesses

There is value in a school information website. But, the content should offer much more than information. To engage users, your school website content should offer an insight into life at your school. The sort of thing that people on the outside don’t see, like the fantastic events you host and the classes children love.

The real value in the content is making parents want to send their child to your school and teachers to work at your school. Content that achieves this will help you build a top school website. If you’d like some assistance with your school website content, contact Eduprise today.

Taking an Alternative Approach

Considering different perspectives is the best place to start your school website development. It helps you remove preconceptions and better analyse the website in full. From this point, you can start to make changes that make a difference.

The Eduprise team has developed websites for more than 30 schools. Our approach combines the analytical thinking of businesses with the compliance-based perspective of education. In doing so, we build websites that attract new students, new teachers, and business engagement.

If you are looking for more school website ideas, or you’d like a school website template to work from, we’d love to hear from you.

Published by
Dan Grey

Writing content and communications for schools and multi-academy trusts.

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