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.
For most schools the most visited page on their school website is the Term Dates or Holidays page and there's really no reason to explain why!
Second to Term Dates is, most often, the News section on your website. The extended school community is interested in what is going on in school and if you're getting this part of your site right users will spend more time on your site. When they spend more time on your site they're more likely to share content which ultimately leads to more engagement with your school.
Here's our 3 top tips to getting News right on your school website every time.
This is true no matter what you're writing; by making the content that you put on your website relevant to the audience and topical to what is going on day to day, your readers will naturally be more engaged.
News is relevant to an audience if it has some impact on them, their children & family or the school community as a whole. You can also make your content highly topical by releasing news that is up to date with both local and national events. There is always lots going on in the world of education and by taking a national story and making into a piece which directly affects or influences the life of your school, the users of your website will want to read it.
Lots of schools are good at this and getting better all the time. Put real students in your News & Events! Every school has so much going on day to day that sometimes it is difficult to know what to write about. If you're just getting started, give yourself a task to write just 1 News article every fortnight and follow the little plan below. You'll ideally need write more than that eventually but if you get started, get into the swing of it and you will be rattling out nice, well presented content in no time at all.
Here's where your plan comes in. I've listed a few steps below that will help you plan your time to make the very most of shouting about what is going on in your school.
1/ Plan Ahead - Set a date by which you are going to write an article and stick to it. Schedule this entire process (it won't take long, I know you're incredibly busy already) to repeat at least once a fortnight.
2/ Get the Topic, Nail the Title - as I say, there is lots going on in the life of every school so pick the achievement of a student, a big win by a school team, a real life story of a student who has done something great for a friend, a great story from a family in the community. Get the story and then decide on a short, eye-catching title. The aim here is to write something that makes the reader want to read more.
3/ Get Visual - photos are so important. Getting a good photo in a News article can be the difference between a user glancing at your content and reading the whole article. Don't go overboard and put 100 photos on the page because then you're guzzling mobile users data allowance like mad! 1 or 2 great photos that capture the essence of the story will be great.
4/ Plan Sharing - lots of schools are using Social Media now and by putting a little bit of thought into how you will share your News article will make a huge difference to how long the story circulates. Make sure you share your story on Twitter and Facebook at the very least. Link directly to the article and include a photo. Finally, make sure you use any relevant tags and tag anyone mentioned in the story.
5/ Launch Deliberately, Timing is Key - just hitting launch when you've completed writing your article will be fine, but fine isn't good enough. The Schudio School Website CMS allows you to schedule the delivery of your News story so make the most of that. Lots of people read news in the morning so sending it live on a Monday, Thursday or Friday at around 8am will work great. If not, scheduling for the evening makes you look like you're working long after you've left work and people will be looking at your site then too!
Get in touch and ask us what we can do for you. You can reach me on 0333 577 0753 or email us. We can then talk specifically about your school and see how we can dramatically improve the way you engage your school community.
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