Your web site is the hub of your youth enrollment program’s identity. We all know the vast majority of child care center, dance studio or after-school program research starts on line – but that’s not the only reason for your site!
If you advertise through print ads or signage that direct the reader to call a number, they will rarely call before going on-line. If a current family recommends your center to a friend, that friend is most likely going on-line before contacting you.
It’s safe to say that any impression you have out in the world will usually result in the interested parent finding your web site.
So…how’s your site? Are you happy with what prospective parents are finding when they get there?
Aside from any design or content issues, there are a few user experience fixes that are easy to spot and easy to fix.
Can you improve any of these areas on your site?
1. Is your site mobile friendly?
For the last few years, the majority of online activity has taken place on mobile devices. While trends come and go every other week, smart phones aren’t going anywhere. Most sites these days are what is called “responsive” – meaning: they behave and look differently on tablets and phones than on desktops. If your site can’t tell the difference between a desktop and a phone, it can cost you potential leads as they click off.
2. Is your site easy to navigate?
Is it easy for parents to find what they’re looking for? Is your navigation bar confusing in any way? How much “stuff” do you have on your main page?
Parents don’t want to be bombarded with newsletters and calendars and explanations for every single element of every single thing you do right when they get on your page. Don’t overwhelm them. Let them know why they should keep looking. Make it very clear how to find what they’re looking for and even guide them through the discovery process as much as you can.
3. Is it easy to contact you?
The whole point of your site is to get parents to either call you, sign up right through the site or fill out a form for more information, RIGHT?
How easy is it for them to do that?
Are your phone numbers and contact form buried on a contact page they may not even see? Can you put that form (or a button TO that form) on the pages they are logically going to want it? Is your number clearly visible, or do they have to search for it?
ARE THERE 472 REQUIRED FIELDS ON YOUR CONTACT FORM?????!?!?!
Just make it easy for them to do what you want them to do.
4. Do you have a Call to Action?
While your site should illustrate your program’s benefits and features, it should also be more than just an on-line brochure. It should serve a purpose. In youth enrollment marketing, that purpose is enrollment.
Don’t assume the interested parent understands that that’s your goal. Tell them directly.
“Click here for more information” or “Book a Tour” buttons lead the parent to the next step. For dance studios or gymnastics programs, a “Sign Up for a Free Class” button is a no-risk way for the parent to experience you first-hand.
Give them the reasons WHY they should enroll, then point them directly to your enrollment funnel.
Can you improve any of these elements on your site? Are there any other user obstacles you’ve found and corrected? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Until next time – Be Well. Be Happy. Shape Minds.