Your website serves as a virtual doorway into the unique learning environment your school offers. Having a strong online presence is a crucial component of attracting and engaging prospective parents. If you're looking to build a website that effectively communicates your school's values, engages visitors, and converts leads, then there are several ways you can make improvements to elevate your site and give prospective families a great first impression of your school and programs.
1. Automated Tour Scheduling: Enhancing the Visitor Experience
One of the most critical features for a Montessori school website is an automated tour scheduling system. Prospective parents often want to experience the school firsthand, and providing a seamless way for them to schedule tours directly through your website can significantly enhance the visitor experience. Schools that simply have a "contact us for a tour" CTA (call to action) are actually adding a layer of work for prospective families. If tour scheduling has to be done manually, it is less convenient and accessible for today's often very busy parents and caregivers.
By incorporating a user-friendly and automated tour scheduling tool, you empower parents to choose a date and time that suits their schedule, reducing friction in the enrollment process. This not only demonstrates your commitment to accessibility but also showcases the openness of your school to interested families. We recommend having this as your first CTA by placing it front and center on your homepage and including it as a button in your navigation bar. No matter what page a parent is visiting while exploring your website, they should be able to click on the upper corner and take the next step to schedule a tour.
The forms a prospective parent will fill out in order to schedule a tour should be short and straightforward. They should be able to select the date, time, and provide some basic contact information so that you can follow up with them and confirm the tour.
This will also serve as a great lead generator for your school website. Once a parent schedules a tour, you can send them a personalized message and trigger an email campaign to help nurture them towards enrollment. This is made easier by utilizing a Montessori CRM. With the Montessori CRM, you define your tour schedule and then let your website visitors schedule themselves based on your availability. The CRM automatically confirms the appointment, adds it to your Google or Outlook calendar, and sends reminders to your prospective parent either by email or text message. It also allows them to reschedule or cancel the appointment automatically if they need to.
2. Great Photographs and Graphics: A Visual Journey into Montessori Education
Visual appeal is paramount when it comes to online engagement. As Montessorians, we understand the importance of a beautiful environment... the same rules apply when it comes to building an appealing school website.
High-quality photographs and graphics on your Montessori school website can provide a better virtual experience for parents, offering a glimpse into the learning spaces, classrooms, and vibrant atmosphere that define your educational approach.
Invest in professional photography that captures authentic Montessori moments – children engaged in hands-on learning, collaborative activities, and the unique materials that define the Montessori experience. Strive for a balance between showcasing the warmth of your community and emphasizing the academic and creative aspects of your programs. Stay away from graphics that are generic or the use of stock photo images that are not aligned with Montessori. It's best to use images that are high quality and tell your authentic story and mission.
Need resources when it comes to photographs and graphics for your Montessori school?
Work with a Montessori Graphic Designer: Many of our marketing plans include unlimited graphic design. Our graphic designer has experience working in the Montessori space and can help schools design logos, a color scheme, and many other online graphics to create a clean and professional website.
Access our Montessori Stock Photo Library: If you're looking for high quality Montessori stock images, Nido Marketing has a stock photo library as part of our content planthat schools can use throughout their school website. You'll find images of classrooms, materials, students working, guides, and group work.
Work with a Montessori Photographer: Hiring a professional photographer to come to your school is well worth the investment. We have a photography service that can help. We'll send a photographer to your school to take pictures based our your specifications and build you a digital photo library that you can use for years to come. Sign up for a full year of our complete marketing plan, and you'll get our photography service for free.
3. Lead Generators: Nurturing Prospective Parents
Implementing lead generators on your Montessori school website is an effective strategy for capturing the interest of prospective parents and nurturing them through the enrollment journey. Lead generators can take various forms, such as downloadable resources, newsletters, or interactive tools that provide valuable information to parents. Here are a few lead generators you can implement on your school website:
Quizzes: For example, Is Montessori Right for Your Child?
A Guide to Picking The Best Childcare & Education Programs
Articles: Montessori FAQ's, Parenting Resources, etc.
Consider creating informative guides or eBooks about the benefits of Montessori education, preparing for a Montessori journey, or understanding the philosophy behind the approach. These resources not only position your school as an authority in Montessori education but also serve as valuable tools to keep parents engaged and informed. Having lead generators on your website also allows parents to take longer browsing your site and to actually engage with the content you provide.
As soon as a parent fills out an online form and clicks "request resource" they should:
1. Automatically receive the resource they requested in their email inbox.
2. Receive a follow up message from your school that ties in to the resource they requested leading them to take the next step to enroll.
3. Be added to an email list where they can receive future information about the school and email nurtures.
4. Content (Blogs & Program Information): Fostering Informed Decision-Making
Content is king, and a well-maintained blog and detailed program information on your Montessori school website can significantly contribute to informed decision-making by parents. Regularly updated blog posts can cover a range of topics, including Montessori principles, educational trends, and insights into your school's unique approach. You can also write informative blogs that guide parents and caregivers through parenting challenges, offering value to them. This not only demonstrates your commitment to ongoing education but also helps with search engine optimization (SEO), improving your website's visibility and quality. The benefits to having a regular school blog are endless:
Your Blog is an Educational Resource: A blog serves as a valuable educational resource for parents, educators, and anyone interested in Montessori education. It allows the school to share insights, tips, and articles about the Montessori philosophy, teaching methods, and child development. This educational content positions the school as an authority in Montessori education, attracting and engaging a wider audience.
Community Engagement: A blog allows the school to connect with current parents, prospective parents, and the broader community. Through comments, social media shares, and discussions sparked by blog posts, the school can foster a sense of community, encourage interaction, and build a supportive network of individuals interested in Montessori education.
Addressing FAQs: By covering topics such as the Montessori curriculum, teaching philosophy, and daily routines, the school can proactively provide the information that prospective parents often seek when considering a Montessori education for their child.
Building Trust and Credibility: A consistently updated blog demonstrates the school's commitment to transparency, education, and community engagement. This helps build trust and credibility among current and prospective parents. It positions the school as a reliable source of information and showcases its dedication to open communication. A school that shares consistent and reliable information with its community becomes a thought leader.
5. Accessibility (ADA Compliance & Accessibility across Devices): Inclusive and User-Friendly Design
An often-overlooked aspect of website improvement is accessibility. Ensure that your Montessori school website is accessible to everyone, including individuals with disabilities. Adopting ADA compliance standards not only broadens your audience but also aligns with the principles of inclusion at the core of Montessori education. Having ADA compliant software on school websites is also the law, so it's an important feature to consider in order to avoid any legal issues down the line.
Beyond ADA compliance, focus on creating a website design that is responsive and accessible across various devices. Many parents browse websites on their smartphones or tablets, and a mobile-friendly design ensures a seamless and enjoyable experience. A user-friendly website contributes to positive user engagement and reflects positively on your school's commitment to modern and inclusive education practices.
Elevating Your Montessori School's Online Presence
Your Montessori school website is more than just a digital brochure; it's a dynamic platform to engage, educate, and connect with prospective parents. By implementing these five strategies – automated tour scheduling, captivating visuals, lead generators, informative content, and inclusive design – you can elevate your online presence and create a compelling digital experience that resonates with parents seeking the best educational environment for their children. Embrace these improvements to transform your website into a powerful tool for showcasing the excellence of Montessori education and attracting families who share your educational values. A powerful school website is an essential tool for schools looking to grow their admissions.
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