Blog Comments on School Websites? Great Engagement or a Nightmare?

February 16, 2017 8:04 am No Comments

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Great school websites are about engagement. They’re about drawing users into a greater knowledge and understanding of what you’re about. More than that, they’re about reaching people and interacting with them. But where do blog comments on school websites fit into this?

Your school or college blog should be a key part of your online strategy. That’s true whether you’re a primary school, keeping parents up to date with activities and progress in class. And it’s true if you’re a high school or sixth form, engaging students and informing parents.

Regular, well-compiled updates on life in school draws people into your content. That increases engagement. And engagement breeds loyalty. (As a sneaky little aside, highly effective engagement leads to increased admissions but that’s for another day!)

What is Blog Engagement?

So what is ‘Blog Engagement’? It’s defined as the ways the people interact with your post. You write a piece about something fantastic that is going on in school or class and then your users do something with it. It might be sharing your content socially, clicking a link in an email to read your blog content or it might be commenting on your blogs posts.

Today we’re looking specifically at the impact of allowing your readers to comment on your blog posts.

To Comment or Not to Comment?

Here’s the rub. Is it a good idea to allow blog comments on school websites? Firstly, lets get the negative out of the way! We need to be assured that if someone posts a comment that is inappropriate or offensive I have the capability to wade in and manage that. A good School Website company will offer you the option to enable or disable comments (we do) and approve comments before they go live (we do that too).

With a couple of little bits of technology to put your mind at ease in place, what are the positives? Actually, they’re significant!

Firstly, if you receive comments on your blog posts Google (other search engines are available … apparently!) will notice that your blog is active and engaging. That means it will have a direct impact on your search engine rankings.

It also gives a voice to those in your community in a way that is accessible to them. Furthermore, it gives you a deeper, real-time idea of how much impact your blogs are having. Don’t expect hundreds of comments on every blog post but keep at it, it will improve over time.

But there’s some things you need to bare in mind to make sure this all works well for you.

Tips for Blog Engagement

  1. Make sure your posts are brilliant
    There’s no use in just rattling out simple, ill-conceived content whenever you feel like it. If you want to do this properly and increase engagement through your website then make sure blog posts are well-written, well-structured and get to the point. You’re in such a privileged position! Schools and colleges have wonderful things going on, great stories to tell every day … just tell those stories!
  2. Blog regularly
    Just like the first point, don’t expect people to be engaged with your content if you’re not doing it regularly. It’s like mowing the lawn; do it regularly and consistently and over time you’ll reap the benefits. (So my dad tells me.)
  3. Ask for engagement with your blogs
    It’s absolutely fine to say to your readers that you’d love them to comment. Mention that at the bottom of your post and if you’re sending out newsletters, remind them periodically that it’s a great way for them to interact with you.
  4. Share your content
    Put your content in front of as many people as possible. That means share them socially, include them in your newsletter, link to them high up in your website structure and encourage people to read them.

We think that blogs are brilliant. We also think that blog comments on school websites can be a wonderful thing. Putting some infrastructure in place to manage that, being consistent and reliably sharing your content are all key.

In keeping with the content of this post, please do comment if you agree or disagree. Or if you have examples of blogs and comments that are working wonderfully well we’d love to hear about them! Happy blogging!

Ian Richardson
Built hundreds of website and helped countless schools realise their potential online. Ian should be called upon for straight-talking advice and to make a difference to the way you present your school through every outlet.
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