Boston Trinity Academy is a vibrant, young religious school in the city's historic Hyde Park neighborhood. It has a lot to offer prospective families. As is often the case, though, the trick is getting them in the door.
Founded only in 2002, Boston Trinity bought its current home, a former elementary school, from the Archdiocese of Boston in 2007. While the building's interior has seen some updates, the outside looks much the same as it did ten years ago. Marketing and Communications Coordinator Jon Douthit puts it plainly: "It's not a very pretty building." Happily, there's another way to show potential families what a wonderful place the grades 6-12 college preparatory school could be for their children.
"We needed a front door that bypasses our actual front door," said Jon.
Enter Finalsite and its crack designers and developers to make virtual renovations happen.
Boston Trinity's previous website went live nearly seven years ago. The timing of the unveiling was less than auspicious; just a few months later the first iPad came out. Douthit observes, "It was a total game changer. In a way, our website started out behind from the outset."
Fast forward to 2016, and the site's dated look was obvious. At first, Jon and the school administration considered simply revamping the aesthetics. It quickly became clear though, that Boston Trinity's website was technologically outdated as well. Jon's team knew that the site had to be mobile-responsive.
In Jon's words, the school turned to Finalsite because "...it's the de facto leader in school web design." Scouring the Internet, he found that the sites he and his marketing team felt most effective were Finalsite creations.
Visit their new website, and you'd never guess that "academic excellence, purposeful faith, and authentic community" lives within the walls of a building that Jon deems "not very pretty."
The Website Redesign Playbook
Boston Trinity Academy's new website features numerous best practice strategies we encourage independent schools to adopt in 2017, including:
Value propositions: Boston Trinity Academy's website is sprinkled with compelling 5-10 word value statements like "Learn with Passion to Live with Purpose" that provoke interest.
Targeted calls-to-action: The school doesn't have the same calls-to-action on every page. Rather, every page is crafted to guide the website visitor down a particular path.
Lots of social proof: Testimonials — both video and text — are one of the most important elements of a website in 2017, as the majority of prospective students won't make a decision without validation that someone similar to them has already made the same decision. Boston Trinity Academy includes social proof in the places it matters most — such as the homepage, alumni donation pages, inquiry page, and "Why Boston Trinity" page.
Landing pages: Boston Trinity Academy is the epitome of brilliant admission website content strategy. Take note of their cutting-edge inquiry page that implements numerous best practices, such as a shortened form, value propositions, bulleted lists, and social proof.
Photos and video: Boston Trinity Academy's website is easy-to-scan, yet offers enough information to provide prospective families with insight to life on campus. Professional videos and photos hide the school's less-than-boastful architecture, putting it on a level playing field with other Boston-area christian schools.
SEO-friendly everything: With plaintext in the footer and a brief plaintext description of the school's offerings near the footer, Boston Trinity Academy's rank in local search will automatically improve. In addition, the school put a great amount of strategy into crafting title tags and meta descriptions that fit the keyword searches they want to rank for, like: "private Christian school in boston."
A key aspect of the Finalsite process is the "wish list." At the beginning of a redesign, clients create a vision for their site with guidance from Finalsite professionals. The list includes needs, wants, and dreams. "Finalsite was able to include pretty much everything on our list—including the dreams," said Jon.
The new design deliberately focuses visitors' attention on Boston Trinity's diverse student body, spirited community and vibrant classroom atmosphere rather than the more functional exterior. It's a great marketing strategy for a school whose exterior doesn't yet match the magic that happens inside.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Motor City Girl who: reads, writes & loves her three kids unreservedly; Also loves gardening, swimming & her Electra Townie. Editing enthusiast. Believer in magic, all types.