Tips on improving your childcare center's website
Launching a childcare website, simple - yes or no?
Launching a childcare website is not as simple as having the site ‘go live.’ There are many hurdles you need to think about before, during and after the building of your site. We are often so bogged down in running our childcare centers, these hurdles can be crippling to the success of our website launch. So, what are these five hurdles and how do we overcome them?
1. Vendor (childcare industry expert)
2. Content writing
3. Reaching target market
4. The launch
As we learn more about these five hurdles, you’ll begin to understand why they seem so overwhelming. Don’t let them stop you from making the changes you must make to improve your online presence. The impression your online presence makes on potential new families and potential teachers can either turn away or encourage them from visiting your Center.
Let's review these five website launch hurdles:
1. Vendor (Industry Expert):
One of the single most important hurdles to overcome is finding a child care industry expert. It is important to find someone who is well versed in web design and child care. Be careful, not all ‘experts’ are created the same. You want to make sure the person you find to build your site is creating you a one-of-a-kind website that specifically fits your needs!
When a potential parent is visiting your website, you want to make sure it stands out amongst your competitors. It is also important to find someone/a company who is up-to-date on website trends and what it takes to create and build a good, quality website. This expert must also be knowledgeable about making sure you site is optimized for mobile, easily editable for you, and using the best SEO techniques. When you can get a vendor that has all these skills AND knows your industry, then immediately your project becomes easier!
2. Content writing:
Content can make or break a good site. You want to have good content so potential families have a clear understanding of your passion, mission and your center. Good, well-written content will do just that.
Once you find your industry expert, they will bring the knowledge with them to create that content. Not only will the content be compelling, but it will include important keywords that will help with your SEO rank and credibility online.
This is also where having a clear brand comes into play (use of tag line, unique selling proposition, core values). You want your website and all your social media platforms to ‘feel’ the same and reflect your vision. If you don’t already have a clear brand, finding the perfect industry expert to guide you and define your brand can ultimately speed up the process of the build and launch.
3. Reaching Your Target Market (parents, teachers):
When building a website, it is easy to think only of current or potential parents that may be visiting. While they are an important part behind a website, they are not the only part to think of. Appealing to families is important. You want a site that gives parents the feeling and glimpse into what it is like to be a part of your center. You do this through design, quality content and a clear mission, vision and brand for your center.
Many centers forget that their target market isn’t just families, it is potential teachers/employees as well. Creating a robust and unique "career page" is important to attract the highest quality staff. Having an internal mission that you can share will help potential employees determine if they will be a good fit in your center. Provide perks & benefits you offer as well as pictures of your staff not only teaching but having fun together. Share all aspects of your culture that makes you different!
4. Launch Campaign:
Once you build a high-quality website, creating and following through with a well-thought-out launch campaign will help drive additional traffic to your site.
Having your site ‘go live’ and hoping your target market visits it is not an adequate enough strategy. Often, once a website is launched, most companies forget about it. Creating a strategic launch campaign will give you direction on what you need to do and when after the launch. Being intentional with your strategy you will ensure to maximize the potential your new website has.
Start by teasing your audience with a big reveal prior to launch. Our recommendation is you start no more than 4-6 weeks prior to launch. Any longer than that, might cause people to lose interest or make them think that it isn’t happening. Thinking of a fun and creative way to tease a new website is crucial to the success of your launch.
On launch day, press releases should be released and a blog should be written and shared across all social media platforms including, but not limited to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. We even recommend getting a print of your homepage and having it displayed in your lobby or vestibule to also help gain interest.
After launch, keep your content current. You can do this by adding new specials, new focus areas such as teacher spotlights, testimonials and center news. Add landing pages that are specific to whatever it is you are advertising. For example, if you have a special for infants, create a page specifically for the infant special you are trying to communicate. An industry expert can help you do this with intention!
Building a new website isn’t something that can happen overnight, or even in days. If you find someone that tells you it can, you might want to rethink that partnership.
Developing a concept, laying out a design and finalizing content often takes months (usually about 3-5 months depending on the size of the site). A lot of that time is spent reviewing and fine-tuning content, not to mention Owners and Administrator are often so busy in the centers, fitting time in to do these things is hard. The right industry expert can walk you though those steps and make them seamless. The right vendor will take a huge chunk of the project off your plate so that you can concentrate on your business versus being bogged down by website deadlines. This hurdle can be very costly since your time adds up quickly!
There is a lot to think about and do when it comes to building and launching a new childcare website, but don’t let these 5 hurdles stop you or overwhelm you. Consumers are more aware than ever of advancements and trends in technology which means if your website is not up-to-date, potential clients may shy away from using your services. Having immediate access to your new website makes it easy for them to know in 8 seconds or less if you would be the right fit for their family.
Child Care Biz Help has helped countless child care centers define or refresh their brand and develop dynamic and on-trend websites for years. With an attention to detail and a personalized approach to each client, no two websites look or feel alike. We have an added benefit if you take advantage of our Need Another You Program. All Another You clients have access to this special website package:
Interested? Contact Caroline today!
Child Care Biz Help was founded by Caroline Jens, industry expert. Caroline has over 25 years of experience in finance and nearly 10 years in the child care field. Recently, Child Care Biz Help added, Justina Paterson, Marketing Director, who comes with nearly 10 years of child care experience in and out of the classroom and creative eye for design. Together, along with Mr. Gunny Jens, Boxer, they make up Child Care Biz Help.
Call us anytime to learn more about Child Care Biz Help and our services (262) 804-0339.
Sign up for blog email updates and additional tools for your child care business