Customer Story

Using your school website to showcase your USPs

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Founded in 1962, The Colorado Springs School (CSS) is a college-preparatory, day, and international school serving students from Pre-kindergarten through grade 12. Recognized as a top-choice school and nestled in the shadows of the Rockies, The Colorado Springs School’s distinctive educational philosophy strikes a balance between innovation and tradition.

We sat down with Jessica James, Director of Development and Alumni Relations, and Megan Winnicker, Director of Strategic Marketing & Communications, to find out more about why they decided to develop a new school website.

Your website as the cornerstone of your marketing strategy

Your school website is often the first place families will land when checking out your school, and so it’s where they’ll form their first impressions of you. Think of what you want to get across to families: your unique selling points, your culture, and your reputation. If your website isn’t up to scratch, then these factors will be on the line.

The team at Colorado Springs knew that they needed to update their website so they could better reach their marketing and admissions goals, and so they went on the search for a provider who could meet their needs. They also knew that they had unique qualities which would be really attractive to families, and wanted to showcase these USPs to attract right-fit families.

“Our previous website had served us well, but it was time to roll out new features. We were dreaming up new possibilities for our site, which our old website could no longer support.”

The importance of user experience

High on Colorado Springs’ list of priorities for their website was user experience (UX) and usability for their families. It was crucial that visitors to the website felt comfortable navigating it and clearly understood where to go on the site for whatever they were looking for.

“One of the goals was to make sure that it was a great user experience whether you’re a current family or prospective family, a faculty member, or anyone else in our school community.”

75% of consumers admit to judging a company’s ability purely based on its website design and usability, and it’s no different for schools. Simply put, UX aims to provide every visitor with a positive journey as they navigate through the website, and includes ensuring fast load times and accessibility.

A website with UX in mind will focus extensively on the visual elements of the website, also known as the website’s user interface (UI). The goal of UI is largely to make the website as easy to navigate as possible and will anticipate the user’s browsing behaviour, and for schools, the ultimate goal of UX and UI is to convert prospective parents into enrollments.

While aesthetics are very important for a website and highly sought after, there are many website providers who can design a good-looking website. What schools really need are useful features on their website, and if you can offer these features, you can stand out to schools who are browsing potential new website providers. If you can offer a virtual school tour on your website and other schools can’t, you’re going to have an advantage.

Another important factor that schools consider is their access to support for new website projects. Schools want to make sure they won’t be left high and dry, and need to be reassured that they’ll be able to get the most out of their investment.

“Most of the time when you launch a website, it’s almost impossible to get in touch with the people on the backend when you have an issue. It’s nice knowing that you can shoot an email out or message them on the project management software that we’ve been using, and get a response almost immediately.”
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