5 Strategies to Apply from the Baylor School Website
A few days ago I wrote a blog post sharing 9 things I really love about the Baylor School website. If you are considering a new website or an enhancement of your current site, there are some important strategies that you can learn and implement from the Baylor School website.
From a marketing perspective, 5 strategies jump out to me that should be applied to private, independent and faith-based school websites.
Strategy #1 – Your website should be focused on marketing. It is obvious that the Baylor School site is focused on marketing. This website is clearly designed for prospective parents and students. While the site can certainly appeal to alumni, donors and current parents, the intent is to capture the interest of the prospective family. For example, noticeably absent from the homepage is a calendar of events that most schools insist on having on their site (I believe this is often wasted space since it is not relevant for the prospective family). The homepage of your website is the first place that a prospective parents or student will look and it is critical that a strong first impression is made. You may have only one opportunity to tell the story of your school through a series of key messages, photos, videos and messages.
Is your website focused on marketing?
Strategy #2 – Your website should tell the story of your school. The Baylor School has a story to tell and takes advantage of its website to convey this to the viewer. Every space and the content flow is carefully planned to tell the Baylor School story on the homepage. In a quick review of their homepage, the prospective parent or student will know the story of Baylor School because they intentionally shared it in a visually compelling way. Many school websites that I have reviewed simply regurgitate the copy from their brochures or materials rather than bring the school to life by telling stories about the people and programs. In addition, stories are integrated throughout the website so make sure you dig deeper than the homepage.
Does your website tell the story of your school?
Strategy #3 – Your website should utilize compelling videos, photos and infographics. The homepage itself features 4 videos, 23 images, 14 stats and 2 scrolling icons of colleges. This is an impressive array of visually compelling ways to share key messages about the school. In many cases, the use of video and photography is often overlooked in the development of a website. We focus too much on the design while neglecting to consider the actual content that we will use to draw the viewer into our school. However, the use of video, photos and infographics are one of the most important features that can bringing the school to life. A great video can draw you into the school story. A compelling photo can capture the campus experience. An impressive stat can give you a reason to further consider the school. Parents and students can’t help but to be impressed when they see all of this on the Baylor School homepage.
Does your website utilize compelling videos, photos and infographics?
Strategy #4 – Your website should communicate key messages about your school through compelling copy. Key messages are used to guide the viewer through important content on the homepage of the Baylor School website. This content is intentional and thought-through from a marketing perspective. Often, copy and marketing messages are overlooked when developing a website. Once again, it is more about the design than the entirety of this marketing tool. This is certainly not the case with the Baylor School website through their use of the Baylor Leads messaging. It helps to pull everything together.
Does your website communicate key messages about your school through compelling copy?
Strategy #5 – Your website should clearly guide the prospective parent or student to act. Clear call-to-actions guide the prospective parent or student to take the next step. It is obvious that their goal at Baylor is to stimulate their interest and motivate them to do something—to request information, come visit, or apply now. Once a prospective parent or student arrives at your website, it is important to direct them to take the next step. After all, you want them to do more than just view your site. You need to guide them to act.
Do you ask prospective parents and students to act and take the next step by using call-to-actions on your website?
The Baylor School website is one of the most impressive, marketing-focused websites that I have ever seen. Every school marketing and enrollment leader can learn from this website.
What strategies do you need to implement from the Baylor School website on your school’s site?