Summer reading – Preparing your website for the new school year

New School Year Banner

The new school year is nearly here. After some time out over the holidays we want to help you make sure you're prepared to make the most of your website. If you've not already read our previous blog posts about things to do before summer on your school website check them out below:

School Website Summer Updates
5 Crucial School Website Tasks

When preparing for your new school year we would recommend your top website priority is to ensure you have an effective website strategy in place.

New School Year Website Strategy

Crafting your website strategy is more than just determining what software or company you want to use. A big part of your website strategy should be your content strategy. Statutory content will fall into part of this, and our 'OFSTED Website Requirements Guide' will be of help as you determine that content for your website. But content shouldn't stop there. By determining a strategy for the other content that will be added to your website you can keep the content flowing and continue to engage and increase engagement with your school community. Don't forget about the time it will take to use your website effectively though. Factor this time into the workload for your staff. By dedicating time to concentrate on your strategic plan it can be effectively carried out.

Of course the features and support available are important, without them it's not possible to effectively enact your strategy.

Aims and Objectives

What are the aims and objectives of your website? Do you want to increase engagement? Try to add specific targets (that are also measurable). For example if you run a regular event each year and attendance has been low make it your target to get more people along. Or for another example if you want to increase parental engagement through the school linked parents group (PTA or similar) make that your target. Maybe you'd just like to increase the number of visits to your school website? Maybe you want to start selling uniform via your school website?

It's important in this stage to determine what you'd like your school website to do more effectively over the year. Along with the aim or objective you should also record the current level for the area you want to improve. Without this you won't be able to effectively measure your success.

Action Plan

This stage is all about how you are going to achieve your aims and objectives for your school website.

Useful Resources:
What is Content Marketing?
Developing Your Content Marketing Strategy
Your School Website Blog
Your School Website Engagement

Measure Your Success

Remember those details we recorded about the aims and objectives earlier. They'll come in handy now. Throughout the year, and at the end of the year you can measure your criteria again and see how you measure up. As a result you can effectively evaluate your success. You should also be able to determine what aspects of your strategic action plan were the most effective, and can build on them for next years strategic plan.

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