7 things every nursery should have on their website
It goes without saying that a nursery website needs to be bold, colourful and full of life to grab the attention of prospective parents and staff members. But there has to be substance beneath the style.
Here are seven key features we think your website must have.
1. Contact mechanisms
Whether you opt for a front page contact form or a separate contact page, there must be at least one simple way for your customers to get in touch. Ideally you will be able to stay connected by getting them to leave an email address, perhaps by offering an incentive along with a clear call-to-action.
By integrating your contact mechanisms with an existing CRM or Parent Management System you can streamline how you handle your leads and enquiries.
If you don't have a CRM yet, Eyes Down can help you out with some simple lead management tools.
2. Interactive map
If a parent wants to drop in for a visit or you are recruiting a new staff member you will want to make it as easy as possible for them to find you without having to call the office. This is even more the case if you run a multi-centre nursery. See the LEYF website as an example.
3. Job listings / Work with us page
Recruitment is always a headache in the nursery sector so the more you can do to attract suitable applicants the better. Rather than spending time and money populating job boards and directories, more and more nurseries are running their recruitment campaigns directly from their own website.
Options range from a simple job description and 'Apply to Join' contact form to a fully integrated recruitment service as exemplified by this Greenfields jobs listings page.
4. Parent portal
The parent portal is becoming a regular feature in school and nursery websites, forming a simple one-stop interface through which parents can access anything and everything they might need such as:
- View and pay bills
- Access event calendars
- Read reports and letters
- Ask questions and receive replies
As well as adding value for parents, a parent portal will reduce administration and save your business time and money.
5. Blog / News section
One of the best ways to stay connected to parents and staff members while improving your site's performance in search engine results is to host a regularly updated blog or latest news page.
The more frequently you can add fresh content to this page the better. For example, you might post about:
- Event reviews and previews (teddy bears picnic, World Book Day, children's activities etc.)
- Achievements and awards (OFSTED reports, industry awards etc.)
- Personalities (team profiles, recognitions, manager's thoughts etc.)
- Industry news
Consider integrating social media icons to make it easy for parents and staff to share interesting content.
To find out how your blog can help you rank highly in the search engines, read our SEO for Nurseries article.
Today's consumers are being conditioned to look for reviews everywhere they go. As a result, interested parents will almost certainly be casting a critical eye over your site looking for feedback from other mums and dads.
A great way to put them at ease is to pick a handful of your favourite testimonials and scatter them liberally across your website.
7. High quality photographs or video content
Although a nursery website is much more than a pretty picture, images – especially of children smiling, laughing and having fun – are crucial. When parents and their children see those pictures they begin forming a positive mental association between your nursery and fun times.
The quality of your images (and/or video footage) is so important that it is worth allocating some budget to a professional photographer. At the very least you should hire a skilled amateur with plenty of experience of working with children.
By including the above features in your nursery website, you will maximise both its visual appeal and its functionality, upgrading it from a simple website into a powerful central hub for your business.
Topic: Nursery website design