Learn why The Colorado Springs School decided to invest in a new website, and how they plan to showcase their unique selling points to attract right-fit families.
3 min read
Thursday, 1 December 2022
Monday, 5 December 2022
Tara is the in-house content lead at Digistorm, tending to all content needs, big or small! When she’s not writing copy or managing the Insights editorial calendar, Tara is passionate about supporting theatre and live music.
Founded in 1962, The Colorado Springs School (CSS) is a college-preparatory, day, and international school serving students from Pre-kindergarten through grade 12. Recognised 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, these factors are 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, 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.” - Jessica James
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.” - Megan Winnicker:
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 enrolments.
“Throughout my entire career, I’ve dealt with a lot of backend website platforms and I can say that Digistorm is one of the most user-friendly, and has a lot of capabilities that some of the others definitely do not.” - Megan Winnicker
Why choose Digistorm?
“We put out several requests for proposals and talked with several companies as we were exploring the possibility of a new website partner, and Digistorm rose to the top. We liked working with the team, we were confident in the features that they were presenting to us, and through that, we were really proud to partner with Digistorm.” - Jessica James
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.” - Megan Winnicker
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