Do You Really Need a Website for Your Child Care Business if You Have Social Media Pages?
Having an online presence is essential for any business that wants to be found. However, there seems to be some confusion as to what an online presence consists of.
We’ve heard from several child care businesses asking if they really need a website if they have social media.
Our answer: YES! You absolutely need a website.
Your website is a permanent home for your business, and social media is more like where you hang out.
Your website is where people go when they are looking for you. It’s where all the important stuff (information) is kept. It’s long-term, it’s constant, and most importantly, it is owned by YOU.
Social media is more like your favorite coffee shop hang-out. People might be able to find you there, but for how long? What info will you have with you on any given day? What if the coffee shop closes for the day, or goes out of business? Then you’d have to find a new favorite haunt.
The point is that your website is designed to be a reliable, consistent place where potential customers can always find all the information they need to make a decision to do business with you. Websites can provide more detail, top-notch branding, and a more consistent company voice.
Social media is meant to grab attention and drive traffic TO THE WEBSITE. Social media really limits what you can put out as far as branding, testimonials, and your message. The content is always changing with every new post, so it can be hard for visitors to find key info.
Also, social media algorithms change often and could mess up your business. Social media platforms come and go. For instance, whatever happened to myspace and vine? TikTok is fairly new, and is currently trending.
Don’t get us wrong, being active on social media IS important to your business and your online presence. It is an extremely valuable marketing tactic and a great way to promote your business. It’s just that it should be used in conjunction with your website.
Your business website allows you to control the content and organize it in a logical way to take prospects on a journey to learn about your business and ultimately make the decision to enroll.
When a parent is looking for child care or a preschool, they will start with an online search, review several websites, and then make appointments with the schools that “look the best.”
This means that your website needs to be designed well with lots of pictures, videos, and text to share your story and describe your services. It needs to be modern, clean, fresh, and easy to navigate. Consider a refresh or redesign if your website looks old or outdated.
There are plenty of DIY website builders out there (with predesigned templates) to make it easy for you to create a simple website for yourself. There are also several professional services you can hire that specialize in creating child care websites.
10 Crucial Components of a Great Child Care Website:
1. Lots of Bright, Fresh, High-Quality Photos.
You can start with stock photos if that is all you have, but it is best if you use actual photos from your program.
2. Highlight Your Unique Selling Points
Find the ways that your school stands out from the others in your area and promote the ways that you are different. Focus on how your USPs will benefit the parent rather than just listing them. For example, don’t just list “Parent’s Night Out.” Instead describe it: “Stop making excuses for having no social life as a parent! Every other Friday you can sneak out for an outing with friends or family and rest assured that your child is having fun with the trusted staff at ABC School.”
3. Include Videos
Videos are authentic and engaging. They are the most popular content on social media at present. Be sure to include a few on your website. The ideas are endless when it comes to the types of videos you could create to promote aspects of your child care center, but some of the most common ones include a video from the owner sharing your story, video tours of each classroom of the school, videos of fun activities, client testimonials, promoting a new program or feature of your school, how to be prepared for your first day, and more. Get creative and let your center’s personality shine through.
4. Program Information
If you have several programs or classrooms in your school, be sure to have a page, or at minimum, a descriptive paragraph about each program. What an infant and a preschooler will experience in your center will be quite different, so be sure to help parents learn how each program will benefit their child.
Brainstorm common questions parents ask you when they call or come in for a tour and include the answers to those questions in a FAQs section on your website. You can take this a step further by including “SAQs” or Should Ask Questions. You can even reframe the way you present common information by creating a question and supplying the answer in the FAQs section. For example, rather than saying “All preschool children will be required to take a rest time from 1-2pm.” Change it up by saying something like:
Q: What if my preschooler no longer takes naps?
A: We understand that some children are growing out of naps at this age, however, proper rest is important for all children. We aim to support all children by providing a quiet time for rest for those that could use a few extra zzzzzz’s, and will allow children that aren’t tired enough to fall asleep to engage in quiet activities such as reading books, doing puzzles, or coloring during this time.
6. Parent Resources Area
Be helpful to parents and establish your school as an authoritative resource in your community by providing a page with helpful parenting, child development, and early education information and resources. You could also include links to community events such as story hour at your local library, children’s art classes, free or inexpensive family activities, and more.
7. Trust Builders
Trust is one of the most important factors when it comes to enrolling children in your child care program. Be sure to display any program accreditations, parent reviews, awards, and endorsements on your website. Any evidence that shows that other people trust you or have had a good experience with you goes a long way toward building trust before they even meet you.
8. Multiple Calls to Action (CTA)
Give people a reason to contact you asap. You could have a few different buttons placed in different locations on your website to get website visitors to click. Ideas include:
- Click Here for Rates
- Schedule a Tour Today!
- Get Our FREE eBook – A Parent’s Guide to Choosing a Preschool
When someone clicks on your website they either are directed to fill out a form or “opt-in” to receive whatever it was that they clicked on, and they should automatically be added to your email list or CRM.
9. Contact Info is Easy to Find
Ideally, create an “eyebrow” at the top of your website that includes your phone number and a call to action button such as “Schedule a Tour.” You should also include this information in your website footer for easy reference.
10. Careers Page
Believe it or not having a well-thought-out careers page on your website can help you attract families. Parents want to know about the qualifications and requirements that teachers are held to. Seeing photos of teachers and caregivers having fun and happy in their roles working with children, along with some staff testimonials will generate some warm fuzzy feelings when parents check out this page. It will also help you to attract staff, so be sure not to neglect this page.
We hope these tips get you started on creating an awesome child care website… or reviewing an existing one for areas to improve.