- General Best Practices
We're just about one week away from summer — so if you're like me, your brain is in a constant tug of war between needing to work and wanting to vacation. (By the way, FinalsiteU is a great combination of both!)
And while summer is a great time to de-stress and unwind from the chaos of the school year, the summer downtime gives us the one thing we really need from August to May: time.
So, before the fall hits, and you're too busy (again) to even eat lunch, focus on these four projects to enhance your marketing strategies and save you time — we promise, you'll be kicking yourself if you don't.
Prepare Social Media Graphics and Create a Calendar
Visual content is 40x more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content —meaning in order for your tweets and Facebook posts generate website traffic, you should to incorporate a photo or video.
While it is important to have candid, spur-of-the moment tweets and posts, certain posts are easy to plan — such as home games, campus events, open houses, and important dates.
Use the summer to create graphics that promote your school's most important events for current and prospective families. Then, create a social media publishing calendar with the days, times, and channels you wish to promote the events on. This way, you won't be rushing around the office two days before the next open house trying to whip together some social posts to increase attendance.
Take a note from St. Anne's-Belfield School, who takes the time to create a graphic for every home, varsity athletic event, notable all-school events, and major arts events with the goal of increasing the attendance at each. The graphics look great, follow the school's branding, and get high engagement rates on Twitter. The team also devised a content calendar that outlined when each event should be promoted.
Need help managing your school's social media? We can help!
Our team of social media expert can manage your accounts, run ads, or simply do an audit to see how you're performing compared to competitors.
Analyze, Purge, and Re-Do Website Content
It's time for a little spring (or summer) cleaning. Summer is the perfect opportunity to conduct a complete website content overhaul to give your site a fresh look for the new school year. Re-evaluate pictures, headers, site pages, paragraph content, and structure.
For prospective parents visiting your site year over year, they'll like to see fresh, new content when they visit.
Using Google Analytics, take a look at which site pages are strong performers, and which ones are weak. Not sure where to start? Follow these two simple steps for using Google Analytics to improve your site's content.
Get a jump start on your site analysis with a free website audit.
We'll help you to pinpoint what's hurting and helping your online presence.
Optimize Your Webite for Search
SEO — very marketer has such a love-hate relationship with it. When done right, it makes our jobs easier for no extra cost. But when not given the right amount of attention, it can ruin all our hard work by sending us to page 2 or 3 of search results.
This summer, put the time and attention into your SEO strategy. With the majority of education searches (83% to be exact) starting with an unbranded Google search (like "best schools near me"), if your site isn't optimized for popular keywords, you'll be out-ranked by the competition — ultimately impacting your inquiries and enrollment. These four homepage hacks are a great, easy way to get started.
The earlier you start, the better, since search engine results pages may not be impacted by your changes for weeks.
Ready to bring in the pros?
Our team of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) experts are here to help your school obtain and maintain a page 1 presence in search.
Start a School Blog
Blogs are pretty under-valued in the school realm, as most schools depend on news and calendars to share what's happening at the school. However, today blogging means so much more than sharing news. It's your opportunity to give your school a voice and personality.
During the summer, create a blog plan, as well as a stockpile of posts. It only takes two blogs a week to make a difference in site traffic — which is pretty feasible, considering how many potential writers are at your school!
To get started, read these six awesome tips for mastering your school's blog.
Bonus: Optimize Your School's Website for a Maximum Impact
Website optimization is the process by which you strategically fine-tune content, photos, forms, and website pages to meet specific goals, such as increasing website traffic, inquiries, and donations. Download our free eBook on website optimization for independent schools, or our version for higher ed, to get a complete guide for optimizing your website to meet your goals before the next school year.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As Finalsite's Content Marketing Manager, Mia plans and executes a variety of inbound marketing and digital content strategies. As a former TV and news reporter, freelance cinematographer and certified inbound marketer, Mia specializes in helping schools find new ways to share their stories online through web design, social media, copywriting, photography and videography. She is the author of numerous blogs, and Finalsite's popular eBook, The Website Redesign Playbook.
- Content Marketing
- Social Media