Your website is your online storefront! In today’s consumer marketplace, your website can function as a “closer” and convert prospective families into new enrollments. Conversely, your website can also be a “dealbreaker” and convince prospective families to look elsewhere.
Your website is an online representation of your business. If your website is welcoming and informative, your visitors will perceive your early learning center to be those things as well. However, if your website is outdated, confusing, or downright unappealing, then that perception will be passed onto your childcare business.
To help you develop a website that CONVERTS instead of a website that CONFUSES, let’s take a closer look at five things every childcare website needs to have.
- Strong Messaging and Visuals
- Intuitive Navigation
- Calls to Action
- Easy Access to Offerings and Contact Info
Strong Messaging and Visuals
The importance of visual aesthetics, or how a website looks, cannot be overstated. When a person lands on a website, they make an emotional determination in the first few seconds of whether they like what they see. Your Home page must be inviting and engaging.
The messaging must grab the visitor, and quickly. It cannot be jumbled or convoluted; the “K.I.S.S.” principle applies here! Showcase smiling faces. Promote the differentiators that make your school stand out.
Website navigation basically means the menu. Don’t have too many drop-down items in your menu. Don’t have sub-levels inside of drop-down menus. Use obvious titles.
If your center names curriculum, rooms or programs after animals, don’t put those cute names in your navigation menu. Someone getting to know your center for the first time isn’t going to understand your naming methodology. Use clear-cut labels such as infant, toddler, pre-k, and school age.
Don’t make people work to get what they want. Get inside the head of your visitor, understand what they’re likely to be looking for, and deliver it to them in a concise and obvious manner.
Calls to Action
Having useful and valuable information on your website is important, but you must also guide and encourage visitors to contact you! A call to action is usually a button or a link to contact your center.
It might be a button that says “Schedule a Tour” or “Learn More” that takes the visitor to a contact form. Make your calls to action stand out. Feature them somewhere on every page. You never know exactly when they’ll be ready to contact you, so make sure your site is designed to capitalize on every opportunity!
It’s the age of smartphones and mobile search. A majority of web searches are done with a smartphone, not a desktop computer. All websites simply must have a responsive design that adjusts for any screen size.
Your website absolutely MUST work well on mobile devices. Test everything for mobile functionality. Reduce file sizes and streamline your pages so they can load quickly, even on subpar Internet connections.
We live in an impatient, ADHD society. Visitors are not going to wait for your webpages to load. They also won’t allow themselves to be inconvenienced by tiny fonts or pages that are not optimized for smaller screens. They’ll just leave your site and look elsewhere.
Easy Access to Offerings and Contact Info
Don’t hide the important stuff! Maybe they’re only on your website because they want your phone number. Make sure your contact info is featured on every page.
A good rule for website content is this: tell them what they want to know, not what you want to tell them. You may have an amazing origin story, or perhaps the learning themes of your center are very important to you. Your visitors may not share the same passion for these things.
Be sure to populate your Home page with only the most basic, matter-of-fact information. Don’t make people dig to find what they want. Remember that most people skim-read, so don’t get carried away with long passages of text. Keep it simple!
Need Some Help?
Inspire! Care 360 offers Brand Promote services to our members. We can help with your existing site, or we can build you a new one! Fill out this brief form and an IC360 team member will reach out to get you rolling with IC360 Brand Promote solutions!