Has your school’s website been receiving less traffic than usual? Are you not showing up at the top of relevant Google searches? Is the website in need of a stronger content strategy? Is the school rebranding?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, your website might need a makeover. Consequently, it may be in your best interest to hire website redesign services to get your school closer to attaining its goals.
88% of internet users are less likely to return to a site if they had an unpleasant experience with it. Whether it is slow loading times, terrible mobile experiences, or simply an outdated design, a poor website might be what is causing the dip in visitors. As part of a school’s leadership team, you must ensure that a website is not the reason why prospective parents and students miss important information about the school.
Moreover, if your school is rebranding or establishing a new strategy, these changes should be reflected on the site.
So, if you wish to hire website redesign services to help bring your site to the next level, you’ve come to the right place. Read on for a complete guide on what to expect during the redesign process.
Starting the Website Redesign Process
The first step to a successful website redesign is creating a strategic marketing plan. This will help you determine precisely what you need to change and update during the redesign process. Following these steps will facilitate communication with the website redesign service you hire:
1. Thoroughly Analyze the Current Site
Before investing time and money into a website redesign, you must thoroughly understand what adds value to the school’s site and what is causing visitors to leave. For this, you’ll need to dive into the site’s data and analyze its patterns.
Do visitors leave right after spending a few seconds on the home page? Are site visitors leaving once they click on a particular landing page? Do all mobile users bounce immediately?
Accordingly, evaluating data will facilitate identifying problem and opportunity areas.
2. Get in the Mind of Your Target Audience
After analyzing the data, conduct another audit of the school’s site, but examine it as if you were a prospective parent or student. Try to mimic their behavior as they navigate the website and identify areas where they might be unhappy with their experience.
Did the admissions page load too slowly? Is the overall design of the site modern enough?
3. Formulate a List of Goals and Priorities
Once you know precisely what is working and what is not working (and you have data to back it up), develop a list of items you must address with the redesign. This list should be as specific as possible, as it can serve as a map to aid the website service and ensure that you achieve everything you desire out of the redesign.
What to Consider When Hiring Website Redesign Services
During the research period of the website redesign process (refer to the section below), create a list of a few of your options. Later, come to a final decision based on their work quality, experience in the school niche, and customer service.
Once you’ve found a list of potential candidates, reach out to them and ask for their portfolios. Determine if their work is what you are searching for by testing UX, assessing the aesthetics, auditing their SEO, and grading the overall quality of the samples they’ve provided.
Are the websites in their portfolio functional? Modern? Easy to navigate?
These concepts are essential as you can base your experience with a service by evaluating the work they’ve done for other clients.
Even if a redesign service has an ample portfolio and plenty of years of experience, it is crucial that you ultimately hire someone who has done work within the education niche.
Designing a school’s website is not an easy task, as there are plenty of rules and regulations to consider. Consequently, it is important to ask the services about their experience working within the school niche. Moreover, ask them to provide you with samples of sites they have done for other educational institutions (if they haven’t already).
Furthermore, the website redesign service you hire must provide great customer service. Even while you are considering your options, evaluate how these providers communicate with you.
Are they polite and professional? Are they available to answer all your questions promptly?
Additionally, conduct thorough research and read reviews and testimonials. Reading the opinions of their past clients about their overall experience can be immensely telling.
The Website Redesign Timeline
You cannot rush this process, considering that a website is the first impression prospective students and their parents will have of your school. An exact timeline will always depend on your website’s needs and the company you hire. Ordinarily, the process will consist of:
- Build and design
- Revise and launch
During the research stage, you need to gather information about specific design companies and general information about what the process will entail for your school.
Additionally, you need to figure out if the redesign will require approval from the board. You will also need to find out if there is a budget you need to stick to and if third parties appointed by the school or district need to review the process (attorneys, supervisors, etc.)
Exploring all of your options could be a process that lasts a couple of days, but it can also become a week or even month-long process. There are several qualified school website redesign services out there, so finding the right one for your specific needs might be a time-consuming process.
When you’ve settled on the best service for the school, you’ll enter a prep stage where you’ll review and sign the contract, gather your branding materials, and have a few meetings with the designer. These prep meetings are a great place to show the designer the audit you created, where you identified problem and opportunity areas in your current site.
This is where you’ll talk to the designer about your goals and priorities. It is also the stage where you’ll gather and present all of your school’s branding materials, photographs, videos, and copy to be used on the site.
Afterward, it’ll be easier to understand the timeline of the project and what the deliverables and their deadlines will be. Similar to the research step, the exact time for this period may vary depending on the design service you hire.
3. Build and Design
You’ll have everything you need to design a successful site for your school at this point in the process.
You’ve already identified what you wish to change on your current site, and you have all the marketing and branding materials to bring the school’s essence to life. The right website redesign service will consider all of your goals and concerns and conduct a redesign that addresses them. After the redesign, the school’s website should be modern, optimized, have the right content, and be easy to navigate.
4. Revise and Launch
When the website design service delivers the “final draft” of the school’s site, you must conduct a thorough revision before it goes live. Check that they have incorporated all of your notes and that the site is aesthetically pleasing, easy to navigate, and overall functional.
You should also execute an SEO audit to ensure that all of the content on the site is optimized. If you can, consider conducting primary research and hosting a focus group to navigate the site and provide their opinions.
This process is fundamental as it is your opportunity to ensure that the site is flawless before it goes live. Consequently, this step should not be rushed. If possible, have several team members evaluate the site to ensure that nothing is missed or overlooked before sending a list of corrections to the designers.
After you’ve met with the designers to tweak and fix any issues, your site will be ready to launch!
Redesign Your School Website Today!
Having a slow, outdated site can be the reason why your target audience is not sticking around to learn more about the school’s programs. A school’s site should be dynamic, functional, easy to use, and aesthetically pleasing. If yours isn’t, it might be time for a redesign.
Working with professionals is the best way to ensure that your school’s site brings a pleasant experience to prospective students and their parents.
So, if you’re on the search for a website redesign service that checks all the boxes, you’ve come to the right place. Contact us today to find out how to bring your school’s site to the next level.