Using a Public School Microsite for Online Student Enrollment
A public school microsite makes it easy to offer families an all-in-one-place enrollment experience.
In our chief enrollment officer’s previous article about creating customer personas, you learned how crucial it is to understand who your current and prospective families are and what they want in a K-12 school.
These insights provide crucial guidance for every decision you must make about your school’s marketing, communications, and enrollment strategy.
However, creating customer personas is just the first step to improving your enrollment process.
With parents and guardians having more education options than ever before, making your public school stand out amid all the noise online can be tough. And even if prospective families do land on your website, there may be so much information they get lost. Then, overwhelmed by decision fatigue, they leave your site.
That’s why it’s equally important to step into these families’ shoes so that you can understand what the experience is like from their point of view.
- How easily can they find information about your school?
- How easily can they get answers to their questions?
- How easily can they actually enroll?
This is where a public school microsite can help. If you’re unfamiliar with the term — or simply want to know how microsites for public schools can facilitate your enrollment process — read below!
We’ll introduce you to what a public school microsite is as well as why you should use an enrollment microsite to create a smooth experience for parents and guardians.
What is a Student Enrollment Microsite?
While microsites exist across many industries and for many niche purposes, in this article, we’re specifically referring to enrollment microsites for K-12 public schools.
For your purposes, a microsite is a self-contained website dedicated to your school’s enrollment process. Accessible via your school’s homepage, a microsite is laser-focused on the needs of prospective families looking for a new school.
Here is what an enrollment microsite looks like in action:
Think of a microsite as an add-on to your school’s main website. It coexists with your school’s primary site and simply facilitates your enrollment process with a user-friendly experience.
So a Microsite Replaces My Current School Website?
Nope! As mentioned above, a microsite is an add-on to your main site. You don’t need to worry about your existing school website going away.
Because of its laser focus, a microsite contains everything prospective families are interested in and keeps them in one place about that one topic (i.e., enrollment).
Everything else — your faculty directory, upcoming events, information about your school, supplies lists, handbooks, and more — remains on your main site.
To ensure families don’t get overwhelmed by information, a microsite also has just a handful of pages. It’s not as robust as your main site. When we say a public school enrollment microsite is laser-focused, we really mean it’s laser-focused.
It houses only what prospective families need and none of what they don’t.
Do I Need a Microsite for My Public School?
So you know what a microsite is and why they’re valuable to families. Now you may be wondering if your public school needs one.
If you want to streamline your enrollment process and make the family experience as easy as possible, then yes! You need a microsite. To clarify, you need a good enrollment microsite.
Here are some reasons why a good enrollment microsite can only improve your school’s enrollment experience:
- A good microsite is incredibly user-friendly and responsive to mobile devices. Remember: not all families have access to broadband internet or own a computer. Being mobile-friendly is incredibly important for any school.
- A good microsite is ADA compliant. This means the site is digitally accessible to families (for example, people with visual impairments) who need additional support to access and easily read the page and its contents.
- A good microsite keeps families exactly where they need to be: on your enrollment page. Because the content on an enrollment microsite fulfills a singular purpose, families don’t need to browse elsewhere. Everything they need about student enrollment is right in front of them.
- A good microsite features your school’s branding, so the page still looks and (metaphorically) feels like your school. A family member won’t click and wonder where they’ve ended up. With your school’s logo, colors, tone of voice, etc. on the page, they’ll know they’re exactly where they need to be.
The primary audience of any school website should be new families first and current families second. In fact, that’s tip number six on our list of common school website mistakes.
An enrollment microsite for K-12 schools ensures that you don’t make any of those mistakes on your enrollment page and that you’re targeting the people who need that information most: your future students and their families!
How Do I Get a Microsite for My School?
We’re glad you’re interested! SchoolMint can help. Our newest solution for K-12 schools, SchoolMint Engage, can help you create an ADA-compliant, SEO-friendly enrollment microsite for your public school.
With Engage, we’ll help you create an online enrollment experience that:
- Makes an engaging, user-friendly first impression
- Houses your enrollment information all in one place
- Teaches families why they should enroll at your school
- Guides them step-by-step through the enrollment process
- Supports multiple languages, which increases enrollment equity
- Features a mobile-friendly design that makes it easy to enroll via phone
When you use Engage for a microsite, it also makes the design and build process fast, easy, and effective for school marketers, recruiters, and enrollment administrators, saving you time and offering peace of mind.
Most importantly, there’s no need to redesign your school website. We’ve got that covered. All you do is select a theme from our design library, review and offer feedback on the first draft of your new microsite, and approve the final draft.
Then, with your microsite linked and live, you’re ready to rock and enroll!
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